When deciding how to overhaul the iPhone 5, Apple left no stone unturned. The famously crack-prone back of the 4 and 4S has been replaced by a matte aluminum body that helps make it both thinner and lighter than any previous iPhone (and most of its competition). It feels truly remarkable. And the taller (but not wider) screen, faster 4G LTE wireless, strong battery life, upgraded processor and graphics, and improved low-light photography make it a worthy upgrade, even for many people who purchased a 4S last year.
If you're already an iPhone (or iPod) user, the iPhone 5 heralds Apple's latest big switch, this time upgrading the aging, ubiquitous 30-pin connector to a tiny, versatile new Lightning port. (Adapters sold separately, of course.) And its iOS 6 operating system, while largely an improvement over iOS 5, now features turn-by-turn directions, but significantly poorer maps and directions (which Apple has stated it intends to greatly improve over time). The iPhone 5 is exactingly, thoughtfully designed from the inside out, and Apple's attention to detail shows. It's by a wide margin the best iPhone ever built, and, with a gdgt Score of 96, is one of the best smartphones ever made.