After having my iPhone 4 for over 2 years, which I stood in line to get, I was anxious to get an iPhone 5 and see what all the hype would be about.  This time I was smarter then standing in line, and went online a week earlier and pre-ordered.  In less than a 10 minute process, I had secured myself an iPhone 5 to be delivered on Day 1.  Keep in mind, for the last 4 years I have had a total of 2 phones, first my iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4.  Prior to being an Apple iPhone user I had the joy of a new phone approx. every 6 months.  I have had Windows, Blackberry, and all other kinds of phones previously but none really held up well, once frustrated enough it was out.

I was really hoping the 5 would live up to my expectations.  I use my phone a lot.  I am one of those people that can’t be without it for more than a few minutes.  Email, FaceBook, Games, Sports Scores, streaming video.  Oh yeah, and phone calls, it does that too.  I would bet actual calls make up less than 2% of my usage.Thanks to the delivery schedule of Fedex, my obligations that Friday, I waited around a good part of the day, and had to leave before it came.  The wait would have to continue.  Finally, around 6:00PM, I leave the office and meet my wife for dinner with my kids, and she has it…my iPhone 5.

First impression, just like everyone says….It feels so light!  Anytime I handle one of these new ‘light’ phones I wonder if it will take the abuse of the drops my trusty iPhone 4 survived.  But it’s solid, good feel to it, feels like good build quality, not I was getting ready to really test it.  Turn it on, go through approx 3 prompts, and it’s activated.  This seemed amazing, I am already getting test messages on it.  I had my number ported from another carrier (AT&T), new line activated with Verizon, and it all just worked right out the box, no calls to make, it just worked.  I was truly stunned by how well this happened.  Verizon really had their act together from the smoothness of the pre-order, delivery and now activation.  I was impressed.

Next thing that caught my eye…Screen brightness and clarity.  This is not the same screen on my iPhone 4…This was so bright I had to turn it down.  Normally on LCD devices I run them at about maximum power and always wish they could go even brighter.  At 75% it made my iPhone 4 look dark, and I couldn’t use it at full brightness.  Impressive.

Speed.  I’ll start on the phone itself, then carrier.  Open a bunch of apps, close a bunch of apps, scroll between them, and it kept up.  Definitely much faster than before.  Scrolling and graphics all perfectly smooth, transitions, animations, everything.  Now as every geek would do, off to benchmark this new LTE speed.  I made 2 attempts, achieving 28MBps Download and 16Mbps Upload on SpeedTest.net…amazing for a wireless device.

So after a week of use here is what I have found:

Pro’s:

Speed is incredible.  Apps totally smooth, larger screen really works well, especially as apps are being updated to take advantage of it.  1/2″ od screen  add a lot more content then you would expect.  Very light phone, still feels solid.  LTE speed is awesome!  Extra row of icons, Siri, better camera, all things I expected.  Maps App.  I understand it has some inaccuracies, but so far it hasn’t guided me wrong, and I like the new app.

Con’s:

Almost too small, sometimes hard to hold comfortably while on a call.  I’ll be putting it into a case so this should fix that problem.  The edge scuffs easily.  My phone took an unfortunate all today onto a sidewalk and added 2 scuff marks in the anodized aluminum frame band.  Also should be fixed with a case.

I will say I am a bit biased, I have loved my past iPhones and really like what I see in this one.  It has lived up to my expectations for Apple build quality and new features.  If I had an iPhone 4 eligible for upgrade I’d jump.  If I had a 4S under contract, I’d probably wait.  No earth shattering new features, but the bigger screen, new LCD, and LTE data speeds are really are nice to have.  Just not worth paying full price for in my opinion.