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iPhone 5 review roundup – Superb design, simple software

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With two days to go until the iPhone 5 launches, Apple has lifted the review embargo and the first full reviews have started to appear online.

As a very small tech blog, we unfortunately don’t have the privilege of fondling the latest iPhone for a week before it launches, but thankfully there are some great sites out there that do. We will of course be bringing you guides, first time setup videos and reviews as soon as we can when our iPhone 5 arrives on Friday, but for now here’s what the experts are saying.

Stuart Miles – Pocket-Lint

“The iPhone 5 is a phone that makes you feel safe. A phone that you know exactly how to use as soon as you take it out of the box and that is perfect for a wide range of people.

While the hardware and design here is cutting edge, the software plays it safer than we would like. Apple has created a phone that the millions of current iPhone users will want to upgrade to. iPhone owners will love it, enjoy all those new features, and appreciate all the hard work, design, and engineering that has gone into it.”

Tim Stevens – Engadget

“Apple’s iPhone 5 is an amazing performer with great battery life wrapped in a delicious shell. It’s a top-shelf device.

The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard, and in those areas that didn’t see an upgrade over its predecessor — camera, storage capacity — one could make a strong case that the iPhone 4S was already ahead of the curve. Every area, that is, except for the OS.”

Luke Peters – T3

“Given that iPhone 4S users can upgrade to iOS 6 and do just about everything the iPhone 5 can do, and that Android users can get similarly impressive handsets for less dosh, we reckon the smart money won’t all be going on a new iPhone this year, even if the mass market can’t get enough of it. It’s good, very good. But it’s no longer the best around.”

David Fogue – New York Times

“If you have an iPhone 4S, getting an iPhone 5 would mean breaking your two-year carrier contract and paying a painful penalty; maybe not worth it for the 5’s collection of nips and tucks. But if you’ve had the discipline to sit out a couple of iPhone generations — wow, are you in for a treat.”

Harry McCracken – TIME

“How does it stack up against the Galaxy S III, the current champ among Android phones? It’s really not that complicated a question. The Galaxy does more stuff; the iPhone 5 does somewhat fewer things, but tends to do them better. (And when the iPhone doesn’t do something right out of the box, there’s often an App Store app that will.)”

So there we have it; a selection of the first iPhone 5 reviews for you to mull over. It would seem that again Apple has perfected design and has married it with iOS 6; an advance on the software millions feel is easy to use, and most importantly feel familiar with. For those who are really into their tech and want the latest software features, it doesn’t look like the iPhone 5 is going to satisfy those deep desires.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.