My black 32GB iPhone arrived this morning. I'm sure you've read numerous incredibly verbose reviews by now so here are my brief initial thoughts.
Apple was right when it decided the 3.5" display was the most comfortable size. 4" is a stretch and I've found myself using two hands to operate it much more than I ever did previous models.
To reach the top left I end up sort of tilting the phone toward the thumb while lunging. It's imprecise and makes dropping it much more likely.
Little things like checking the time are also more precarious. You pull the phone out, spin it round, press the home button, see the time, then have to shift the whole hand position to get up to the standby button on top. This is made even worse with headphones plugged into the newly repositioned jack. The cable gets in the way of the manoeuvre.
I'm sure these digital gymnastics will become second nature in a week or so but for now I don't feel as comfortable using it.
Speed wise, it certainly feels quick but not wildly different to the 4S.
The mute rocker seems whittled down: thinner and a little easier to miss.
The movement of the pixels closer to the display isn't as apparent as I had expected. The jump from the 3GS to the 4 was a truly revolutionary upgrade for me. The first time I saw a Retina display I was blown away. I love the screen on the Retina MacBook Pro and the new iPad but they can never recapture the shock at how good the iPhone 4 was.
So when I heard talk that this screen upgrade was as impressive as the 3Gs to 4, I was excited. However, I can't notice a discernible difference. It's a fantastic display but so was its predecessor.
The one area of display that has stood out is the blacks. It really is difficult to discern where the screen ends on the black model.
The Lightning connector is fantastic. Seems stupid to be so effusive about a charger but the symmetrical design will be beneficial every single time you use it. The one thing that surprised me about it was how tightly it fits. It takes a good bit of force to pull it out.
Finally, the Earpods. I'm not a good judge of earphones. I have funny shaped ears, with my right ear seemingly bigger than my left (the earpod stays in my left, falls out of my right) and I'm no audiophile. I think, however, it's safe to say that for almost everyone these will be better than the old pair but not great.