“The iPhone 5 is the iPhone we’ve wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades like a larger screen and faster 4G LTE in a razor-sharp new design. This is the iPhone, rebooted,” Scott Stein writes for CNET. “The new design is flat-out lovely, both to look at and to hold, and it’s hard to find a single part that hasn’t been tweaked from the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is at once completely rebuilt and completely familiar.”

“I’ve had the chance to use the iPhone 5 for nearly a week, and have been using it for nearly anything I can think of,” Stein writes. “If you want a great, all-around, beautifully engineered smartphone that covers all bases, here it is. Just like the MacBook is to the world of laptops, the new iPhone is one of the top three, if not the best-designed, smartphone around. It’s better in all the important ways.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Top three?” CNET, puleeze.

“You’re going to be shocked at how light this phone is. It’s the lightest iPhone, even though it’s longer and has a bigger screen. After a few days with it, the iPhone 4S will feel as dense as lead,” Stein writes. “Running the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark test, the iPhone 5 ran twice as fast as the iPhone 4S (1,073 ms vs. 2,238 ms). On GeekBench 2, the iPhone 5 scored 1,461 over three tests, compared with the iPhone 4S, which scored 629. That’s 2.3x faster, or 132 percent, a very big leap forward.”

Stein writes, “If you’re looking for a show-off gadget, something with gee-whiz bells and whistles, then go somewhere else…except for the fact that people will inevitably want to see the iPhone 5 and grab it out of your hand. But, if you’re looking for an excellent, well-conceived phone…well, here it is.”

Tons more in the full review here.

Related articles:
NYT’s Pogue reviews Apple’s iPhone 5: If you’re getting one, wow, are you in for a treat – September 18, 2012
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPhone 5: Keeps Apple at the front of the smartphone pack – September 18, 2012
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 5: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – September 18, 2012
Pocket-lint reviews Apple’s iPhone 5: ‘This really is product design at its finest’ – September 18, 2012