(CNNMoney)–Reviewer Rob Pegoraro is putting the new iPhone 5 through its paces and keeping a running journal of his impressions.

-Apple’s new iPhone 5 may not feel that much thinner than other phones, but it’s dramatically lighter–in a way that makes you wonder if somebody forgot to put the battery inside.

But it’s there, and so are all of the other parts of a modern smartphone. I bought a 16-gigabyte model from a Verizon Wireless store Friday morning to see how those components work together in this device ($199 and up from AT&T (T, Fortune 500), Sprint (S, Fortune 500) and Verizon Wireless (VZ, Fortune 500), with prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless adding it Sept. 28).

I’ll be writing about it in a series of posts here over the next several days. For today, I’m going to stick to things close to the iPhone 5’s surface: its look, its feel and the Maps app that you may have already heard about.

Two of those things are better than the other. The iPhone 5 ups the precision-machined sharpness of the iPhone 4 and 4S with a delicately beveled edge that catches the light as you turn the thing over in your hand. (Too bad it may have already picked up one scratch from the coins in my pocket. Others have seen the same issue.)

The phone’s shrunken dimensions required two trade-offs: a new Lightning connector that won’t work with older dock-connectors without a $29 adapter that isn’t in the box, and a nano-SIM card slot that won’t accept existing cards without some tricky surgery. The cable disconnect won’t be a big deal for many users, but fragmenting the SIM standard seems a high price to make this thing a few millimeters thinner.

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