A one hour iPhone 5 review

The iPhone 5 has been reviewed by just about every major media outlet in the last few days and they have, to a man, been effusive in their praise.  It's a palpable hit with most reviewers now disavowing the collective media yawn that greeted Apple's muted launch.  According to the press, the iPhone 5 is beautiful and fast with an improved camera and vibrant screen.
 
With that all said and done, balance is required.  I've owned the iPhone 5 for exactly one hour, which is more than enough time to conduct a thorough evaluation, so why don't we mull over what's wrong with this execrable pile of junk?
 
It's too light
 
"Simplicate - then add lightness".  So said Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus. But he was talking about an engineering philosophy for cars.  That reassuring, expensive heft has gone from the iPhone.  Expensive phones should be heavy.  They should have added some lead in or made the back from stainless steel or rock or something.  Also, don't trust anyone who uses the word "simplicate".
 
It's too tall
 
Apple has used the golden ratio (1.61) in some previous product design work.  This magical geometry is seen repeatedly in nature and we humans find designs that adhere to it pleasing to the eye.  The dimensions of the iPhone 4S are closer to the Golden Ratio than the iPhone 5, which makes the old phone look prettier and better proportioned than the new phone.  Jony Ive must have been crying into his half-fat, decaff latte as he penned the lines of this fugly monstrosity.
 
It's a fingerprint magnet
 
Just by leaving it around, Scotland Yard could catch thieves because every touch to to the aluminium backplate leaves a perfectly legible print.  If you occasionally check your partner's texts when they're not in the room, then stop.  Because with the iPhone 5, they'll know instantly that it was you.  Or file off your prints with sandpaper.
 
That black metal band won't last
 
Who are they kidding?  The black edge of the iPhone 5 is only skin deep and is likely to get fatally tarnished before iOS 6.01 is ready for download.  Within a month it'll look more distressed than vintage Levis.
 
The design is nicked
 
Jony Ive is the third-greatest thief of all time, just behind Robin Hood and Jimmy Page and just ahead of Ronnie Biggs.  Stanley Kubrick would sue, were he alive, as the iPhone 5 looks uncannily like the mysterious alien monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey".  Apple even steals Kubrick's camera angles for the box photography.  And Dieter Ram must be miffed, too - Ive is recycling his classic Braun designs one by one.  If history repeats iself, Apple's sole product by 2025 will be this.
 
The new maps are rubbish
 
Apple has obviously taken the whole "Thermonuclear" feud thing with Google to heart, because even the rural Scottish idyll I am writing this from appears to be a ruined, post-apocalyptic desert wasteland when viewed on the new maps app. Yet, Google Maps accurately show rolling hills and pastures.  You actually have to go 10 miles South to Kirkcaldy to see what the aftermath of a global nuclear war would look like, replete with mutated, dead-eyed, dribbling zombie hordes stalking a ruined, radioactive ghost town.
 
Apple's maps "upgrade" has essentially excised great maps functionality and replaced it with mediocre functionality.  The iPhone couldn't find its way out of a paper bag, now, and swishy flyovers are no match for Google Streetview unless you are an Al Qaeda operative scouting for targets.
 
Summary
 
So, now that we've established that the iPhone 5 is total rubbish, you shouldn't buy one, right?  Wrong.  Despite all of the above, it's a magnificent device.  Take all your money - all of it, now - down to your local Apple store and camp outside for as long as it takes to get your greasy little mitts all over this, then spend most of the rest year secretly caressing it in your pocket.  You won't regret it.  I would like to unreservedly apologise to the people of Kirkcaldy.

Peter M.