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iPhone 5 reviews: The verdict on the new Apple smart phone is in

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Of course, as we've noted, the iPhone 5 is not an aesthetic leap forward for the Apple smart phone. It's got an aluminum back, instead of glass, but it retains the boxy look and hard edges of the iPhone 4. Still, Henry McCracken of Time is fine with the looks of the device, which he calls a "refinement." Despite the taller screen, he writes, the iPhone 5, is an "exemplary one-handed phone: You can cradle it in your palm and use your thumb to type." 

About that screen: Does the added half-inch yield a radically new experience? 

"It’s a nice but not life-changing change," answers David Pogue of The New York Times. "You gain an extra row of icons on the Home screen, more messages in e-mail lists, wider keyboard keys in landscape mode and a more expansive view of all the other built-in apps. (Non-Apple apps can be written to exploit the bigger screen. Until then, they sit in the center of the larger screen, flanked by unnoticeable slim black bars.)" 

Horizons readers will remember that Apple has made its own in-house mapping service the de-facto maps app on the iPhone 5 – gone is Google Maps, which had been a staple of the iPhone since the first iteration of the phone. So how does Apple's offering stack up? 

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