So I just got an iPhone 5. To be fair, my wife actually got it for me while I was at work on Friday. I wanted to share my first thoughts after using the iPhone for a little more than a day, and through one battery cycle.

20120922-152707.jpgFirst, the size and shape… The iPhone 5 is noticeably thinner than previous versions. It is also lighter, and again, noticeably. The larger screen and taller phone work really well, especially when you hold the phone to your ear to take a call. Even that little bit of added height makes the phone feel a little more significant up to your ear and a little more comfortable. I’ve had phones in the past that just feel so small and weird when I’m taking a call on them. That’s definitely not the case here.

The larger screen is really nice too. Again, the increase in size isn’t a lot, but it feels like a lot when you’re doing something on the phone. Surfing the web all of a sudden is mush more enjoyable, and even using Facebook is much easier due to the increase in screen real estate. One thing that I don’t like about the larger screen though… When I have 5 rows of apps on my home screen any my dock apps, it seems to get a little overwhelming. There were simply too many apps on that screen. I actually had to go through and leave that bottom row of apps blank on each screen on my phone.

I have only used the camera app a few times as of now, but I can already tell that there seems to be a quicker response time, and the quality of the images is awesome! The new panorama feature is pretty nice, and you can scan from left to right when creating an image, or vice versa. But I think that perhaps the most noticeable improvement for the Camera app is the front facing camera. I’m not familiar with the specs, but the quality of the front facing images is MUCH better than the iPhone 4 or 4s.

I have to say that an improvement that I didn’t notice until later has really surprised me! That’s the improved battery life. The new A6 processor is supposed to run faster with less power, and that is exactly what I have noticed after ONE day of use. I used the iPhone 5 for an entire day after getting it without charging the device. It came to me with a partial charge, and I used it through that evening and through to the next day until 2pm (that was 24 hours without charging) when it finally hit 20% remaining. Now remember that this is only my initial observation after one day of use. I will post updates here after after I have used the phone more.

The other big improvement on the iPhone 5 is in Maps. Now that Apple has ditched Google, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I love the new display and the map elements. They look really nice and clean, and the interface is definitely easier to use and navigate. And I have to say that it’s about time to finally include spoken turn by turn directions in the app! However, when it comes to the actual directions I had a couple bad experiences with Maps already. In driving a 45 mile trip and relying on Directions from Maps, I got lost twice and ended up having Maps tell me “Park your car and get out. You will have to continue to your destination on foot.” So I’m not yet trusting directions from Maps.

All in all, I am loving the new iPhone. Only time will tell about the battery performance, but the speed is awesome and camera and other apps definitely make it worth my time.

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