True to their word, Apple has unveiled the next generation of the iPhone 5 today – it is now official. We have heard all sorts of rumors over the past year about this gadget that the Apple fan boys have been eagerly anticipating. One of the most talked about feature that the iPhone has indeed come with is LTE. From the first looks, the iPhone 5 is a taller gadget than the previous generations of iPhones. Let us have a look at the other features and specs of the newest entrant into the smartphone market.
Build: Thinner but taller
As most people expected, there is a very big change in the shape and size of the new iPhone compared to its predecessor the iPhone 4S. the new iPhone is 18% thinner (only 7.6mm) than iPhone 4S and is designed to have a screen ratio of 16:9. The screen is however the same at 1136 X 640 pixels but has a Retina display at 4.0 inches. Apple has however improved the display density which now stands at 326 pixels per inch. Still on build, the iPhone 5 is said to weigh 112 grams, 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S.
Apple has promised that widescreen movies viewed on the iPhone 5 will look better and clearer with the 44% increased color saturation compared to the 4S.
The touch sensors are now incorporated in the display itself. This, according to Apple, is what makes the screen 30% thinner and will significantly reduce screen glare.
Applications built for the earlier versions of iPhone will not have a problem working with the new screen setup. However, the windows will leave black borders top and bottom on portrait so as not to be scaled or cropped.
The iPhone 5 comes with an A6 chip which is up to twice faster than its predecessor the A5 chip. The graphics on the new iPhone have faster speeds whilst the chip is 22% smaller than the chips on iPhone 4S. According to the specs sheet of the iPhone 5, users should expect their web pages to lead up to 2.1 times faster and music applications to load up to 1.9 times faster with songs.
It is not a surprise that iPhone 5 comes equipped with 4G LTE, especially since we have been hearing over the past two weeks of how Apple has been trying to get its hands on the LTE patents. The new iPhone 5 will feature 4G LTE capability in addition to the capabilities of iPhone 4S including GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO and HSPA data networks.
iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6 as expected. Apple did not announce any unseen or new features of iOS 6 today – but you already probably know what iOS 6 is all about because the company released the features during this year’s WWDC in San Francisco. What we know though is that Siri has been updated and we should soon see it driving cars, there is a system-wide Facebook integration, ability to conduct FaceTime calls on cellular networks as well as new maps (Apple dumped Google Maps) that can provide turn by turn voice directions. Other lesser features in the iOS 6 include a new App store user interface, an improved music application, a Game Centre and an improved Safari browser.
The star of the software show though was the mention by Scott Forstall that iOS 6 provides 200 new features to the iPhone. The new Maps application was created by Apple after dumping Google Maps and features turn-by-turn directions (along with info cards for businesses), a full 3D view that shows terrains, buildings and landmarks and ‘flyover mode’ when looking for an address. More good news to iPhone users is that iOS 6 will be available to iPhone 3GS and later models and second and third generation iPads starting September 19th. Note however that not all the features in this newest operating system will be available to all devices.
Hardware features and specs
The camera sensor of the iPhone 5 has been improved from what the iPhone 4S has although it remains with an 8 MP resolution. The sensor on the iPhone 5 camera is 25% smaller than the one on iPhone 4S. Still on the camera, you can use the iPhone 5 to take panorama pictures at full resolution – Apple showcased a panorama picture at 28 MP, we are not sure if it was taken with the iPhone 5 though. The front facing camera has also been upgraded and can now support up to 720p HD video recording.
iPhone 5 sports three microphones, a smaller speaker, noise cancelling earpiece and a new lightning connector. The connector is 80% smaller and has 8 pins. This port is also reversible but there is an adapter for the older 30 pin port.
LTE is a very handy feature for data transfer but its greatest downside is that it is a power drainer. The iPhone supports LTE 4G but they have come up with a newer battery that can power LTE. The new battery promises better performance – up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G, 8 hours of browsing on 3G, 8 hours of browsing on LTE and up to 10 hours of browsing over WiFi. Estimates by Apple also give the battery a life of 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours for music and up to 225 hours of standby time on a single charge.
The iPhone 5 will be available in both black and white. The black will feature an anodized finish and the white will have a lovely aluminum back. Apple is drifting away from its traditional singular design and hue and seems to start offering a variety for its fans.
No NFC 🙁
Unfortunately, iPhone 5 does not have Near Field Communication (NFC), a feature that almost all mid-range and high performance Android smartphones have been coming equipped with lately. This means that iPhone users will not be able to use their iPhones to pay for goods, public transport and services using this technology – for quite a while. Apple thinks NFC is not secure enough and this deals a big blow to networks that were trying to convince its users that NFC is the technology of future payments.
Preorders of the iPhone 5 will begin on September 14th – this Friday. For users in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong and 22 other countries, the phone will be available on September 28 off the shelf. Apple says that the list of countries where the new iPhone will be available will increase to 100 by the end of the year.
iPhone 5 will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The 16GB will sell at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 with a 2 year contract.
Getting an iPhone 5 is a major step for any Apple user – but can you take advantage of the LTE capability on your network? In the US, the networks that have LTE are Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile users will lose out on this great feature. Good thing though is that if your career does not have LTE, the iPhone 5 will run on dual band 3.5G HDPA+ which is almost as fast.
We do not know the full features and specs of the newest addition to the iPhone family yet, but check with us soon because we will update when we do.