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iPhone 5 hands-on reviews claim 'a significant hardware change'

Our tech colleagues go hands-on with Apple's new phone

Apple finally revealed the iPhone 5 yesterday and while there are still a few more days until the general public can get their hands on it, tech journalists have been given the opportunity to put their grubby prints all over the sharp-looking new device.

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Our colleagues at TechRadar have provided a comprehensive hands-on review of all the device's new and improved features.

"It is the size, design and shape that will win the most admiring glances." says the site."The added real-estate is welcome, especially given the growth of its rivals, and apps will apparently be easy to move onto the new screen size for developers."

In terms of design TechRadar reckons "the overwhelming majority will feel that the iPhone 5's design is a good step on from the now ageing chassis of both the 4S and 4."

It goes on to say the differences between the two are more noticable from a hardware perspective: "A new chip definitely brings a snappier feel. Many people with an iPhone 4 will be all too used to the lagginess when trying to do anything even slightly complex with the devices, and the Apple iPhone 5 manages to take things on as far as you would expect in more than two years.

"What is perhaps more suprising is just how much snappier this feels than the iPhone 4S. The A6 chip clearly has a significant amount more grunt under its smaller hood - but what is surprising is that you can immediately tell when you use the device alongside its predecessor."

TechRadar notes "not having NFC is a real misstep," but ultimately thinks Apple has "provided a fine phone that will keep it battling at the top of the charts for another year."

T3 has also posted an iPhone 5 review, offering similar views.

It says the aluminium/glass form is both "gorgeous to look at" but its lighter weight makes it feel "less industrial and less sturdy."

Apps in iOS 6 are the subject of particular praise in the review, Maps in particular: "Maps has been rebuilt from the ground up and now looks sharper, quicker and has some flashy features such as the cool 3D Flyover that allows you to zoom right into satellite imagery and rotate around landmarks as if you're playing God. It also includes turn-by-turn navigation that will have the likes of TomTom and Garmin reaching for the booze cabinet."

Apple's new OS upgrade also expands the camera's capabilities and, according to T3, the changes make the iPhone 5 a noticably better capturing device.

"Video recording remains at 1080p, while the front-cam is markedly better - 720p FaceTime being the standout feature. The headline newbie, however, is the panoramic mode that will stitch together a landscape shot in real-time and create an image up to 28mp in size.

"We tried this out in a packed press conference and while the results were unsurprisingly dull, due to the dim lighting, the technology itself was impressive - telling us to slow down if we panned too fast and then outputting the jumbo image in a few seconds."

The tech specialist concludes its review by saying the iPhone 5 "remains a significant hardware change for the phone that hasn't really had a good going over for a couple of years."

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