iPhone 5: Initial Impressions (Video)

In this industry, first impressions are mightily important. Upon seeing a device during an announcement, every aspect comes into play. How the handset looks, feels and what it’s packing on the inside sort of gives us a meta-experience before we’ve even laid hands on it. And now that I’ve gotten my mitts on the iPhone 5, my feelings are a bit mixed.

When I first saw Apple’s new handset, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous — and it’s still stunning in person. It’s true that the device is surprisingly light, almost unbelievably so, and it’s thinness adds to this effect. The aluminum build gives it an incredible premium feel, and the taller screen looks fantastic. Basically, the hardware is a home run. But software is a completely different story.

For all the supposed features Apple added to iOS 6, there’s nothing new that grabs attention (unless you’re talking about Maps). Siri definitely seems improved, and there are few additions to apps like Mail and Safari, but otherwise it feels disappointingly stale. For all the time I’ve spent using Jelly Bean, it’s blindingly apparent that Apple has a lot of work to do.

Apple’s reputation for building quality hardware is still in tact, and the device feels great, even if you’ve used an iPhone 4/4S — I still had a small wow moment when I first held it. But I’m not sure that’s enough to overlook the shortcomings of iOS (compared to Android). I’ll be diving even deeper into the iPhone 5 over the coming days, so stay tuned for even more in-depth analysis.

Jon Rettinger

Jon, perhaps best known by his YouTube alter ego Jon4Lakers, has a love for technology that can never be quenched, no matter how hard he tries. If...