iPhone 5 Impresses Early Reviewers: Review Roundup

The iPhone 5 is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 21. A few lucky reviewers, however, have already gotten the chance to spend a few days with the device and craft their reviews of the latest-generation of the iconic smartphone.

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So what are they saying?

Overall, reviewers are pretty impressed with the update. The phone's hardware has earned accolades from every reviewer across the board -- they love both how the new phone feels and looks.

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Reviewers also laud the iPhone’s new 4-inch screen, although not all are in love with how some current apps -- not yet having been adjusted for its new size -- look on the latest device's screen.

The same can be said for Apple’s new Lighting connector, which is able to transfer data faster than Apple’s previous connector. But the headache of not being able to use some accessories – and lack of support for iPod out, a specification used in many cars – was a problem for many.

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Here are some choice quotes from early reviews:

Engadget: "Image quality is still among the best out there for a cameraphone, unimproved but quite impressive in varying conditions. What has improved, though, is the speed. Tap that big ol' thumb as quick as you can and the iPhone 5 will keep up, whereas the iPhone 4S eventually fell behind. It's at least on par with the Galaxy Nexus, which also has a ridiculously quick shooter."

CNET: "The iPhone 5 is the iPhone we've wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades like a larger screen and faster 4G LTE in a razor-sharp new design. This is the iPhone, rebooted."

The Loop: "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 tap a few times before I realize I have to move my thumb up a little bit. It’s a minor quirk that will go away as soon as the developers update their apps."

All Things Digital: "I found the new iPhone screen much easier to hold and manipulate than its larger rivals and preferred it. In my view, Apple's approach makes the phone far more comfortable to use, especially one-handed."

Slashgear: "The combination of the sturdy casing and premium materials means the iPhone 5 doesn’t feel cheap. In fact, like a good haircut, picking up the new model doesn’t feel like a drastic change or departure from what came before. It’s familiar enough to be usable, consistent."

Pocket lint: "It's the same iPhone, but it's completely different. That's the main takeaway point for the iPhone 5's design. It's something you can't really appreciate until you get up close and personal with the new phone, but when you do, wow, you'll really notice that difference."

USA Today: "People have always had lofty expectations for the iPhone 5, especially as the competition stiffens. In delivering a fast, attractive, LTE-capable and larger-screen handset, Apple has met those expectations with a gem."

At its launch event, Apple’s vice president Phil Shiller described the iPhone 5 as “the most beautiful product we have ever made.”

The smartphone improves on the iPhone 4S by offering a larger 4-inch screen, faster processor, improved camera, LTE support, and a new lightning connector.

Pre-orders for the phone topped 2 million in its first 24 hours of availability, setting a new record for Apple, and doubling the 1 million in sales done by the iPhone 4S in its first 24 hours of availability. AT&T has announced that the phone is the fastest-selling device in its history, emptying the carrier's virtual store shelves within an hour of being available for pre-order.

Do you plan to buy an iPhone 5? What new feature on the phone are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.

The media gets a first look at the iPhone 5

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This story originally published on Mashable here.