Record-breaking pre-orders. Lines forming a week in advance. Launch-day euphoria. Supply shortages. Pre-order delays. Panic. Record-breaking opening weekend sales. Doubt. Problems and complaints. A mini-scandal or two. Apologies. Those are the makings of an Apple (Fortune 500) device launch. ,
I've spent the past month using Apple's new iPhone 5, measuring it against both the competition and its predecessors. The device is certainly not without flaws -- "Scuffgate" and "Mapsgate" proved that -- but is the new iPhone 5 really "the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone," as Apple claims?
Let's start with the brand-new design.
From an aesthetic perspective, the original iPhone was always my favorite. I was not happy when Apple moved away from aluminum and used plastic on the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The iPhone 4 and 4S shifted back in the right direction by dumping cheap-feeling plastics in favor of glass and metal, but I still missed the original iPhone's sleek aluminum housing.
Apple returned to its roots for the iPhone 5. The phone's face is still a solid sheet of glass, but the back is now mostly aluminum, just like on the original model.
The new aluminum is much thinner, making for a surprisingly light handset. Almost too light. I prefer a phone with some heft to it, and the new iPhone took a bit of getting used to, compared to heavier recent devices like the iPhone 4S, Droid Incredible 4G LTE and Lumia 900.
In terms of build, the iPhone 5 is in a class by itself. From the oleophobic glass face to the matte metal bezel with polished edges, everything about the new iPhone screams high-end. The parts are snug, the lines are elegant, the buttons don't wobble, and there are no rattles or creaks whatsoever.
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