The fact that the iPhone 5 is taller than its predecessors—but not wider—really helps its form factor. Other wider phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III creep into mini-tablet territory, while the iPhone 5 is still comfortable as a phone. The fact that it's ridiculously light and thin helps too. It's definitely something meant for the greatest degree of portability while still functioning on the upper tier of smartphones.
The new 4-inch display is pretty gorgeous, just like the 3.5s on the last two models. The fact that it's bigger, though, really does make a difference. The increased real estate helps a ton as far as being able to see and do more, but the slim look helps keep everything
iOS 6 is incredibly fast and light. Rarely if ever is there a stutter in its functioning speed. Switching apps is almost as easy as blinking. There are eighteen thousand simple ways to do most basic tasks on the phone, making the overall experience pretty incredible. However, there are some pretty annoying oddities. For one thing, clearing the multitasking app memory is an arduous task, requiring you to click the tiny red "exit" circle on each and every app that's still "running." Furthermore, the notification system is confusing. It can be difficult to tell at first whether an app is set to give you notifications or not, leading to some very weird issues with pop-ups on the lock screen. It all needs to be made more clear.
The new lightning connector is WAY faster than the old 30-pin. Syncing huge files using the lightning connector and iTunes 11 takes less time than copying the same files to a USB drive.
Speaking of iTunes 11, it really is pretty amazing. It took me a couple of days to get used to it, but it honestly is much faster and usable than previous iterations. Apparently this only applies to the Mac version, however, and the PC version is still terrible.
The new "EarPod" earbuds are pretty amazing. They actually have nice bass and sit very comfortably in my ears. A lot of people like to bash these $29 earbuds by comparing them to $200 in-ear earbuds, but that comparison doesn't hold for more reasons than price. In-ear earbuds are a different class entirely, since they act like earplugs. Personally, I can't even use in-ear earbuds because I have small ears. Even though most high-level earbuds come with smaller adjustable plugs, I've not yet found a set that was small enough to be comfortable for me. Because of that, I can only actually use earbuds that sit outside the ear canal, like the EarPods. For that reason, the EarPods are far and away the best earbuds in the universe for me. The only drawbacks are that they don't block out outside noise (as to be expected from non-in-ear buds) and they spill quite a lot of noise away from your ears. If you're listening to these on medium-to-high audio levels, expect a sleeping person next to you to wake up and whack you in the head.
So yeah. I like my new phone. It ain't perfect, but it's perfect enough.