iPhone 5 first-impressions review

On Friday, FedEx delivered a pair of his and hers iPhone 5s to my home, which was much better than waiting in line outside Apple Store.

Apple says it sold 5 million units over the launch weekend. I can claim two of them.

Initial impressions:

iPhone 5 is a nice upgrade from the 4; maybe less impressive if I already had a 4S.

4G LTE is awesome and kudos to Verizon for including the hotspot feature at no extra charge.

While I haven't tested it yet, I'm also very pleased that Verizon sells the iPhone 5 without a SIM lock. This is extremely valuable if you travel internationally.

I didn't expect to like the new form factor, but I do. iPhone 5 feels great in the hand.

Apple Maps is not as bad as you've read -- it's worse. There's a ton I'd love to write (and would love to blog about it myself).  "It took Google years to get as good as they are" is no excuse today. Apple is competing with Google Maps 2012 and not Google Maps 2005.

I have very mixed feelings about the new Lightning connector. Taken alone, it's a nice upgrade. However, I'm miffed that it breaks the entire ecosystem. For example, so many hotels now have a clock with a built-in Apple Dock connector. Sorry, that doesn't work anymore unless you bring along a (not yet available) dongle. Same thing for home stereos, clocks, etc.

Cases? Why were there virtually none on launch day? I picked up a cheap but awful one from Amazon as a stopgap, but my wife is eagerly waiting for the first decent cases to be released. Again, that's another problem by breaking compatibility with the ecosystem.

Finally, my wife has had a miserable experience with her Samsung Android phone (sorry, forgot the model). She has been waiting months for the iPhone 5 release, and I suspect that she's not alone.

So in short:

  • It's another iPhone -- better than before, but designed to appeal to those who like the iPhone
  • If you're an iPhone 4 user, it's a great upgrade
  • Maps is horrible. Can't wait for a better alternative.
  • Get ready to get adaptors for your existing iAccessories.

Did you buy iPhone 5? What do you think?

Dr. Greg Glockner has trained users of mathematical optimization software in Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and throughout the USA and Canada.  He has developed software on all major platforms and 8 of the top-10 programming languages in the TIOBE Programming Community Index.  He is currently the Director of Engineering for Gurobi Optimization.

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