Ready to get in line for the iPhone 5? This might influence your decision.

Early reviews of the new phone are trickling in from tech reviewers around the country, and the consensus is that it’s a strong upgrade from Apple — considerably faster and lighter than the iPhone 4S, providing a larger screen and stronger connectivity without taking a toll on battery life.

Quibbles include the smaller connector, which requires an adapter to work with existing accessories. Reviewers are also mixed on the new Maps feature in iOS6, which replaces Google Maps as the default in the new device. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, for example, likes the turn-by-turn navigation but notes that Apple Maps is missing some of the basic functionality of Google Maps, such as built-in public transit schedules and routes.

Mossberg’s bottom line: “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.”

The lighter weight of the device is also getting lots of comments from reviewers.

Scott Stein writes for CNET: “What I really noticed is how light it is. I still feel weirded out by it. The iPhone 5’s 3.95-ounce weight is the lightest an iPhone’s ever been. The iPhone 4S is nearly a full ounce heavier at 4.9 ounces. The iPhone 3G was 4.7 ounces. The original iPhone and iPhone 4 were 4.8 ounces. This is a phase-change in the nearly constant weight of the iPhone — it’s iPhone Air.”

Also see reviews by David Pogue of the New York Times, Edward Baig of USA TodayRich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News, and Harry McCracken of Time.

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  • Jane Hadley

    I can readily appreciate that the new iPhone is an improvement over its predecessor, but it doesn’t measure up well against the Samsung Galaxy SIII, as far as I can tell: iPhone 5 battery life = 8 hrs talk time vs 11:40 hours for the Samsung. Even worse: iPhone standby = 225 hours vs 790 hours for Samsung. Samsung screen size is larger. The Samsung has an SD card slot, iPhone does not. Samsung front facing camera is better. And the Samsung costs less. I don’t see what all the fuss is about over the new iPhone.

    • Nonsense destroyer

      Like knocking over dominos…

      1. 8 vs 11:40 hrs of talk time

      For vast majority of people this is a moot point as they don’t talk anywhere close to that amount and charge their phones nightly.

      2. 225 hours vs 790 hours of standby time

      Who cares. Most people, if not all, plug their phones in every night so anything over 24 hours is almost a moot point.

      3. Larger screen

      For most people it is nice to look at but a pain to hold. What’s next, a Samsung phone the size of an iPad… whoopee, that will work well.

      4. SD card slot

      Vast majority of people don’t care and never use SD cards.

      5. Front facing camera is better?

      Sure about that? Reviews in so far say the new iPhone’s is better.

      6. Summary

      Most the Samsung fanboy/ girl complaints of the iPhone are nonsense.

      • The truth

        For most apple fanboy/girl, A large screen cell phone will only be good once apple launches it.
        I-phone 5 was more attractive when we were speculating about the release date and characteristics.

      • Matt Wass de Czege

        Your counterpoints to 1 & 2 make no sense. Not sure about you , but I would prefer to have a phone I don’t have to plug in every night.

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