Apple announced the new iPhone 5 along with the latest iOS 6 software today at its San Francisco media event.
If you’ve seen the leaked images and heard the rumours then the iPhone 5 will look familiar, but nevertheless Apple had some surprises up its sleeve for us.
The iPhone 5 is made entirely out of glass and aluminium, with the metal part being the band around the outside and a large portion of the back panel. Apple has made the new model 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S, and claims it is the world’s thinnest smartphone.
As we had expected, the major upgrade in this new model is the display. It’s still classed as a Retina Display, but it’s now stretched out to be 4-inches diagonally. It has a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels, and has a pixel density of 326ppi. The advantage of the new screen is that it’s widescreen, meaning no black bars when you’re watching TV shows and movies. Apple says app developers will want to increase the size of their apps too.
The display is also claimed to have 44% better colour saturation and the most accurate touch response, due to the touch sensors being in the screen itself instead of being in a separate panel. We believe this is the new IGZO screen technology we’ve heard about, but will wait to find out for sure from Apple.
Ultrafast Wireless was the next feature on the agenda, which includes the 4G LTE that we had expected. For countries that don’t have 4G, the new iPhone will also do the very fastest in new 3G standards: HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. Wi-Fi has also been made faster with the addition of 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, offering speeds of up to 150Mbps.
A new processor sits at the core of the iPhone 5, and it’s called the A6. It’s twice as fast as the A5 processor from the iPhone 4S, and is 22% smaller. The new processor will load most apps twice as fast, and will blaze a trail for new, more demanding and more realistic mobile games.
The battery has been improved over the iPhone 4S, with 225 hours standby and 8 hours 3G talktime estimated.
Improved 8MP Camera
The iPhone 5’s camera seems the same on first look, but has in fact been redesigned to be 25% smaller and to work with the new size. It’s an 8-megapixel backlit sensor with a hybrid IR filter and an aperture of f/2.4. Combined with the processor the camera will be 40% faster at taking images, and have better low light performance and noise reduction. Finally, the camera will feature a panorama mode – something Apple have toyed with before but not officially released, and Android and Windows Phones have had for a while.
For FaceTime video-calling Apple has stuck a 720p HD camera with backside illumination for better video quality in low light conditions. Face recognition was also advertised, which sounds pretty interesting!
Smaller Dock Connector
Another long running rumour was the redesigned dock connector. Apple confirmed this with the new dock, which it’s calling ‘Lightning’. It’s 80% smaller, much more durable, and it works both ways, so no more jamming the cable in the wrong way! For existing accessories that use the older 30 pin adaptor, Apple has made an adaptor.
As we already knew, Apple’s iOS 6 software will be pre-loaded as the operating system of choice for the new iPhone. That software will include additions to Siri such as posting to Facebook and looking up movies and restaurants, new Apple Maps and additions to the Notification Centre, amongst other things. iOS 6 will be available as a free upgrade for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users as of 19th September.
Finally, the iPhone 5 will be available in Black and White versions at the same prices as the iPhone 4S for 16, 32 and 64GB versions. Pre-orders begin September 14th, with the phone going on sale September 21st.