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iPhone 5 hands-on: Apple hits the sweet spot with new gadget

Published on Sep 19, 2012 9:00 AM

Everyone knows by now that the iPhone 5 is 18 per cent thinner and 20 per cent lighter than its predecessor, but you have to hold it to really feel the difference. The fine craftsmanship is evident from the beveled edge surrounding the iPhone 5 that Apple said was cut with diamonds for precision.

The iPhone 4/4S have a right-angle edge that is already pretty pleasing to the hand. But iPhone 5's beveled edge around the phone feels exceedingly smooth and the edge just seamlessly blends with the display and its aluminium back.

The review unit is the black and slate two-tone design. Having seen and touched both black and white iPhone 5 during the event, I think I will prefer stealthy demure of the black model.

Furthermore, I think the black model slate aluminium back is more resistant to scratches. After iPhone 5's close encounter with my bunch of keys, I wasn't able to see the scratch marks unless I hold the phone under close scrutiny. You can probably do without a case with iPhone 5, especially when it will be hiding its good looks.

The new 4-inch Retina display greeted me when I pressed the power button on top of the phone. Apple probably will never win this display debacle. If iPhone 5 has a 4.7-inch display, critics will say it is copying Samsung or HTC. If iPhone 5 still has a 3.5-inch display, detractors will say it is behind the competition.

Personally, I think Apple hits the sweet spot with a 4-inch display. If it was any bigger, my thumb will have to grow taller to reach the top and bottom of the display while holding with one hand.

With Apple's new mobile operating system iOS 6 (available for iPhone 4/4S and 3GS) only available today, most apps have not been optimised for the iPhone 5's display. As such, we are holding judgment until we test the updated apps.

Nonetheless, iPhone 5 has already won me over and I have pre-ordered one.

For a more in-depth review of iPhone 5 along with its LTE speeds and iOS 6.0, make sure to grab a copy of next week's issue (Sept 26) of Digital Life.