The first reviews of Apple’s new iPhone 5 hit the web Tuesday night and — spoiler alert — it’s a huge hit with the gadget press. Here’s a roundup of some of the first reviews and some of the things the critics liked best and least about the shiny new 4-inch smartphone set to go on sale Friday.
- Wall Street Journal: Walt Mossberg is a big fan of the iPhone 5. But his praise wasn’t universal: he called the new Apple Maps the phone’s “biggest drawback.” He likes the new 3-D Flyover view, but he says “they lack Google’s very useful ground-level photographic street views. And they also lack public-transit routing.”
- New York Times: David Pogue liked the phone overall. He calls the built-in camera “among the best put in a smartphone.” But he wasn’t necessarily drooling over the larger 4-inch screen, the first display size change Apple’s made on the device in five years. He said it is “a nice but not life-changing change.”
- CNET: They really like the “rebooted” sixth-generation iPhone, calling it “the iPhone we’ve wanted since 2010.”
- Engadget: The review is probably the most detailed out there. And yes, they do recommend the phone. One of the things they enjoy most is that Apple didn’t boast enough about the iPhone 5′s processor and graphics speed being twice as fast as iPhone 4S and its better battery life: “The iPhone 5 over-delivers on all those promises.”
- T3: The only real dissent among the group — mild as it is — comes from this U.K. gadget site. Because you can upgrade an iPhone 4S to iOS 6 and because you can buy “similarly impressive handsets for less dosh,” T3 writes, “we reckon the smart money won’t all be going on a new iPhone this year, even if the mass market can’t get enough of it. It’s good, very good. But it’s no longer the best around.”