So here it is; the iPhone 5. The device that sold over 2 million preorders in just 24 hours. The device that Apple fans have been waiting for ever since the iPhone 4S failed to impress many when it debuted last year (while still boasting record sales). Now the iPhone 5 has finally landed on Australian shores and Aussies are lining up everywhere in keen anticipation of owning the 6th generation of Apple iPhone.
We finally got ours in, we apologise if it’s a couple of hours late, and crowded around the office for the official unboxing.
Initial impressions seemed positive, if not awe-struck. On personal viewing the iPhone 5 looks even more like the iPhone 4S than online pictures had led us to believe. It’s still quite an attractive device and, in all honesty, even more so than last year’s 4S with its new stark edges and elongated frame. Despite the new design tweaks, it still gives the first appearance of an upgrade, rather than a total next generation device.
That being said, the new rear aluminium plate is a significant step up from the old glass model. It feels great, cuts a lot of weight from the frame and looks very classy. That, coupled with the darker edges, makes for a noticeably more handsome device than any previous iPhone.
Once we picked it up and held it the iPhone 5 was noticeably lighter than its predecessor. The longer form also gave it a more slender appearance than the squat iPhone 4S. Admittedly, when held side-by-side the iPhone 5 and 4S do appear very different, but by itself 5 just doesn’t feel like there’s very much to differentiate it from the last two, aesthetically speaking.
The thin profile is also a great bonus. It might sound silly when you’re looking at devices that measure 1mm differently on paper. But when you put a really thin handset like the iPhone 5 in your pocket you can definitely feel the difference. The new lightweight form-factor and 7.6mm thickness join together to create a pleasantly presence-free imprint on your pocket. We’re not saying that you won’t feel the iPhone 5 in your tight denim pants, but you’ll definitely appreciate the difference between this and a thicker, heavier option.
With the iPhone 5 itself came a wall charger, cord with Apple’s new Lightning Adapter and the new EarPod design. The new cord’s adapter is a bit smaller than we were anticipating, but it still fits easily in to the unit and is held in place by a low-strength magnet. The cord itself appears to be the same length as previous models. Nothing about the wall charger seems to have changed.
The new EarPods are certainly interesting to behold. The design is very “modern”; very Apple. It gives the impression of a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of look. We had mixed reactions but overall they were positive.
Comfort-wise the EarPods are a little strange to get used to. They don’t sit in the ear the same way traditional earbuds do of any shape or size that we’ve encountered. Instead of locking themselves in with rubber or other means, they’re more designed to simply rest within the ear. It’s odd at first, but ultimately comfortable.
No word on sound quality or isolation yet; we’ll get to that once we’ve had a play-around with the charged up and fully-synced product. We do have the feeling that there could be a fair amount of noise-leakage, the kind that can lead to annoyed co-passengers on public transport. But, as we said, further testing is needed before reaching any conclusions.
Well, that’s about it for the unboxing. Stick around for our initial thoughts after we get everything up and running. Then we’ll be sure to throw out a review or two in the next couple of weeks.