Initial IPhone 5 Reviews Arrive: Critics Praise New Screen

From Knights of Ivalice

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Less than a week since its debut, some of the initial reviews for Apple's next iPhone have hit the Web.

The consensus is mostly positive, with reviewers praising the larger screen, faster LTE cellular networking, and iOS 6 software features. Less hot, it seems, is Apple's new maps application and Lightning connector technology. Critics say the maps app is impressive, but not as full-featured as Google's, and that the new Lightning connector is nice, but a move that requires an investment in new cables and adapters.

Another common thread is a lack of near-field communication (NFC) technology, something many of the reviews highlight as missing, though also acknowledge might have added size and weight to the device.

CNET's own senior editor Scott Stein rated the iPhone 5 four out of five stars, awarding it the editor's choice.

"The bottom line is, we said last year that the two big missing parts of the iPhone were 4G LTE and a larger screen. The iPhone 5 has them, plus a new processor, plus a new design, plus iOS 6, plus a lot more. It's the best iPhone that's been made," Stein wrote.

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Some of the highlights from the other reviews around the Web tonight:

David Pogue for The New York Times [ says]:

If you have an iPhone 4S, getting an iPhone 5 would mean breaking your two-year carrier contract and paying a painful penalty; maybe not worth it for the 5's collection of nips and tucks. But if you've had the discipline to sit out a couple of iPhone generations -- wow, are you in for a treat.

Pogue adds that the one downside is the switch to Lightning, Apple's new connector technology, which replaces the 30-pin adapter.

Ed Baig for USA Today [ says]:

People have always had lofty expectations for the iPhone 5, especially as the competition stiffens. In delivering a fast, attractive, LTE-capable and larger-screen handset, Apple has met those expectations with a gem.

Walt Mossberg, writing for All Things Digital [ , says]:

Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall. Consumers who prefer huge screens or certain marginal features have plenty of other choices, but the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice.