03/10/2012 11:10 BST | Updated 13/11/2012 10:54 GMT

iPhone 5 Review: Five Reasons Why You're Wrong To Hate The New iPhone

If you haven't by now made up your mind about the iPhone 5 you probably have little-to-no interest in the device. Which by our last count makes you virtually unique among sentient human beings.

If you have already made up your mind about the new iPhone, however, you should think again. Because whatever the opinion you hold about the new iPhone, it's wrong.

We've just spent two weeks with Apple's flagship device, and we think we're able to prove both that it's the greatest phone ever made, and that nobody in their right mind should buy one.

In a two-part special, we're about to prove that you're wrong. Either way.

PART ONE: Why You're Wrong To Love The New iPhone

PART TWO: Why You're Wrong To Hate The New iPhone


DESIGN:The iPhone 5 is objectively the most beautiful phone in the world.

The pre-release (leaked) blurry pics of the iPhone 5 made it appear like nothing more than a rehash of the iPhone 4. But while it is clearly an evolution of that design, it is far more impressive in person. It's visibly thinner than the old iPhone, and visibly more beautiful in a stark, straightforward, confident sort of way than any of its competitors. The two-tone matte-shiny backplate is pleasant to hold, and every design detail feels like it's cut from marble. You might think you prefer the sleek, curvy look of a GS3, or the bright primary colours of a Nokia 920, but the iPhone 5 is the only device on the market which feels like it's literally cut by lasers from a meteorite.

MAPS: Apple Maps are actually really great.

Prefaced with all due sense of caution, since it is a matter of record that Apple's Maps (included in iOS6 and the iPhone 5) are a mess of bad data, missing locations and embarrassing bloopers, let's offer a counter argument: they're also quicker, far less data-intensive, more intuitive and more feature-rich than the previous generation of iOS Maps.

The loss of Street View is not trivial, but neither is the addition of turn-by-turn and, yes, even the flashy Flyover 3D buildings mode. Even putting Apple's promise of incremental updates to their data set aside, Maps are not the disaster that you think they are. By the middle of your next contract, they might even be better than their rivals.

SCREEN:The taller iPhone 5 screen is amazing.

On paper, the slightly larger (4-inches versus 3.5-inches) screen of the iPhone 5 doesn't sound like much of an upgrade. But after living with it for 14 days, it makes a massive difference. The extra row of icons is one thing, but the extra space to play games like FIFA13 with their many on-screen buttons is the difference between a playable game and a really excellent gameplay experience. Movies look better, email is easier to read, and going back to a 4S's stunted display feels like somebody chopped your arm off.

SOFTWARE:iOS 6 is still the best mobile OS in the world.

For all the talk of iOS 'ageing' around the corners, it still boasts a selection of mind-blowing apps (IA Writer, Figure, Snapseed), and games (FIFA 13, Super Hexagon) which aren't replicated on any other device to the same quality, while also being appreciably simpler and visually pleasing than any other mobile OS. The things that made iOS great - tight ecosystem integration, visual clarity and conservative attitude to feature creep - are still there, and unless you just really like widgets, Gmail or playing Snes emulators, there isn't any compelling reason to switch.

DETAILS:It's the little things.

As with any great Apple product - and the iPhone 5 is one - the key to its appeal isn't in big bullet points, it's in the details. It's the deep, airtight 'clunk' the device makes when you set it down on the desk. It's the improved 'click' of the home button, the 'new' banner wrapped around newly downloaded Apps and the really great sports integration into Siri. The new iPhone might not look surprising on first glance, but give it a week and there will be at least five moments where it does something you didn't expect, and that it didn't need to do - but which makes the whole product more than the sum of its parts.