At least a few thousand iPhone 5 reviews went live this morning, and almost all of them offer the same glowing assessment: The iPhone 5 is the greatest creation since sliced bread. But can a man-made device really be this perfect? So perfect, in fact, that it warrants 10 million sales in its first weekend?
I certainly didn't think so. So I poured over iPhone 5 review after iPhone 5 review, read between lines that probably didn't warrant doing so, and managed to create an amalgamation of suck that would make Fox News proud.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present:
The iDigitalTimes (Extremely Negative) iPhone 5 Meta Review!
"The digerati mostly greeted the iPhone 5 last week with a collective yawn. So much was already known - a longer, larger (yet not wider) screen, thinner body, a new connector offering instant obsolescence for hundreds of accessories - that its Tom Daley-like lack of splash was declared, in this Olympic year, to lack enough of the technology motto citius, grandior, vilius (faster, bigger, cheaper)." (The Guardian)
"Is it as futuristic or as exciting as the iPhone 4 or the original iPhone? No. Does this change the smartphone game? No. Other smartphones beat it on features here and there: if you want a larger screen, go with a Samsung Galaxy S3. If you want better battery life, go with a Droid Razr Maxx." (CNET)
"Its screen has grown taller by half an inch - 176 very tiny pixels. It's a nice but not life-changing change. You gain an extra row of icons on the Home screen, more messages in e-mail lists, wider keyboard keys in landscape mode and a more expansive view of all the other built-in apps." (NY Times)
"If there is one problem I had with the iPhone, it would be with the apps that weren't designed for the larger screen. We're used to going to the bottom of the screen for the menu, but because the older apps are centered on the screen, the menus aren't there. I [tapped] a few times before I [realized] I have to move my thumb up a little bit." (The Loop)
"Although it's thin and light, the device does feel more fragile than a Galaxy S3, HTC One X or one of Motorola's robust efforts, such as the Razor i. A cover will be an essential purchase for the iPhone 5." (IT Pro)
"There's [also a] design change that's already rankling people...to accommodate the thinner design, Apple has adopted a new, thinner connector on the phone for plugging in the charger cable and connecting to accessories, like speaker docks. A new cable is included, but owners of the new phone will have to buy $29 adapters to keep using existing accessories." (AllThingsD) "But, that's not a perfect solution, as even that won't support iPod Out, the specification used in some cars (most notably BMW and Mini) to enable in-dash control of an iPod or iPhone." (Engadget)
"The biggest drawback I found is the new Maps app." (AllThingsD) "It isn't nearly as comprehensive as Google's offerings on Android." (Engadget) "The excellent mass transit mode in Google Maps has no counterpart in Apple Maps, so there's no way to plan journeys that include bus, train, or other public transportation. Apple currently expects third-party apps to fill that gap. It's something I missed while testing the iPhone 5 during events away from home, when I rely on mass transit in cities I'm less familiar with." (SlashGear)
"Google Street View is gone, because this isn't an app powered by Google anymore. Flyovers take the place of Street View to some degree, but flyovers are only available in large cities, and not all of them. Mumbai was flat. So were parts of the San Fernando Valley above Los Angeles, and parts of the outer boroughs of New York City." (CNET)
"Passbook is similarly incomplete. This is Apple dipping its toes into the virtual wallet space, providing the ability for companies to write custom apps that will slot in here and provide access to things like movie tickets and value cards. But, as few major players have pledged to deploy their services here, this serves as a framework for something that will be cool rather than something that actually is right now." (Engadget)
Battery & Heat
"One of the biggest complaints about the older iPhones was battery life, and this has been improved - but not dramatically enough that you won't need a boost most days if you're a heavy user. It's a shame, but something of an achilles heel...expect a huge range of external cases and batteries supporting the new connector to go on sale very quickly." (Daily Mail)
"There's one thing I noticed when using the iPhone 5 for long sessions, and I wonder how big a deal it will be: it ran warm, especially when using 4G LTE instead of Wi-Fi. After a 20-minute FaceTime call over LTE, the metal back became very warm, but not hot. Using flyover in the Maps app over LTE produced this, too." (CNET)
"Moreover, the rear of the phone grew noticeably hot when the GPS system was in use for an extended period...Apple says some heat buildup is to be expected given the demands of the GPS system, and that my experience with the app's inaccuracy was unusual." (Bloomberg) "The phone did get warm during heavy use; it wasn't uncomfortable, but it was noticeable. Also, during heavy use you'll watch the battery level slowly creep downward." (ABC News)
"Should you get the new iPhone, when the best Windows Phone and Android phones offer similarly impressive speed, beauty and features? The iPhone 5 does nothing to change the pros and cons in that discussion." (NY Times) "The new model lacks any single gee-whiz breakthrough, like the Siri voice assistant introduced with the iPhone 4S." (Bloomberg) "Overall, it looks like the iPhone 5 will be a slow burner. After a few hours in its company, it does not feel like an essential upgrade." (IT Pro)
"There is a segment of the market, myself included, that would really like to see smartphones - and smartphone OSes - really evolve, and really try to innovate. And, at this point, I don't feel like Apple's really doing that with the iPhone." (The Verge)