Two Weeks with the iPhone 5: My Impressions

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

When Apple announced the iPhone 5, I told myself I wouldn’t do it—that I wouldn’t buy one.

And yet, there I found myself walking out of my local AT&T Store on launch day, a 64 GB iPhone 5 in my pocket.

One of the first things I noticed about the iPhone 5 was the metal back. It has a metal back with two glass strips running the width of the phone—one at the top and one at the bottom. The headphone jack has been relocated, and it is now on the bottom left of the device—right next to the main microphone. To the right of the headphone jack is the Lightning port; I can best compare the size of it to that for a Micro USB slot.

It's no secret that the iPhone 5's screen is larger. I didn’t think the size change was really important, as I am totally blind and use VoiceOver. And then, after a few days of actually using the phone, I realized: the larger screen is very important. Nowhere is that importance manifested better than when navigating the home screen: a larger screen = more icons per page. More icons per page = fewer pages to scroll through when searching for an app. Fewer pages to scroll through when searching for an app = time saved. I was sold.

The iPhone 5 is also lighter. It feels different in my pocket than my 4S, but I quickly got used to that. It is, however, a little bottom-heavy.

In everyday use, I have not noticed a huge increase in speed from my iPhone 4S. As one would hope, VoiceOver handles very well on the iPhone 5, minus the various bugs that plague it on other devices. Safari does load pages quicker than on my iPhone 4S, but I am not entirely sure if that is a function of the upgraded hardware in the iPhone 5 or a feature in iOS6. (I don’t use Safari much and just happened to need to use it a couple times this past week.)

I was in an AT&T store with my father yesterday, helping him get set up with my old iPhone 4S. The sales representative asked me what my favorite feature of the iPhone 5 was, and I surprised myself (and probably the rep) by saying: the screen. Yes, the larger screen is probably one of my favorite features of the latest iPhone incarnation. Because, when it comes right down to it, I love iOS devices since they are so easy to use.

Oh, and one more thing...all the new iOS 6 features are pretty awesome, too.