After more than two years of waiting, Apple has finally announced the iPhone 5. In accordance with many rumors, it has a larger screen, LTE, faster processor, new design and much more. There are so many new features that it’s hard to miss much of what has been said. So we have all the vital information regarding this new device all in one place.
For many months, we saw rumors that suggested a new design was to be used for the iPhone 5. Although the shape of the final product does resemble Apple’s previous iPhone’s this year’s iteration improves upon the old design for something much more desirable.
The finished product is an improvement on behalf of both construction and design.
The iPhone 5 is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. With help from the aluminium backing, nano-sim enclosure and smaller dock connector, the iPhone 5 could be significantly thinner than it had ever been before.
The nano-SIM is 44% smaller than a micro-SIM, leaving much more space in the device for other internals, such as a larger battery.
The Retina Display used in the iPhone 5 has also seen technical improvements, with integrated touch technology being used for the first time by Apple. Instead of a separate layer of touch electrodes seated in-between the display pixels, the pixels go ‘double duty,’ acting as the touch electrodes as well as displaying the image. This leads to not only more clarity in the display, but also a display that is 30% thinner.
Apple has always reinstated their use of quality materials, and the iPhone 5 is no different. Apple detail their glass inlay process in an in depth paragraph.
Take the glass inlays on the back of iPhone 5, for instance. During manufacturing, each iPhone 5 aluminum housing is photographed by two high-powered 29MP cameras. A machine then examines the images and compares them against 725 unique inlays to find the most precise match for every single iPhone.
Another key element of the design is the chamfer that surrounds the display. According to Apple, this is produced through the cutting of the phone by a crystalline diamond, to achieve the perfect result. The edge of the final product is almost mirror like in appearance.
In order to prevent scratching of the iSight camera, the surface is no longer made from glass, but of sapphire crystal. It is still as transparent as glass, and looks just like it, but is one of the hardest transparent materials available, meaning that the lens is much less prone to scratching.
The iPhone 5 is only 7.6 millimetres thin, making it appear much more sleek than its competitors.
Probably the most significant improvement the iPhone 5 makes over the 4S is in the display. While the previous five generations have made do with a 3.5-inch screen, the iPhone 5 improves this with a 4-inch screen, matching many of its Android competitors.
Although instead of making the screen wider, Apple has simply made the it taller. The iPhone will remain the same width as before, but become significantly taller.
Apple’s main reason for this is that of usability. Most of the time, the iPhone is held with one hand, and is easy to use this way. However, if Apple were to extend the width of the display, parts of the phone may become difficult to reach. The solution is to make the screen taller, which will make single-handed use easier than it is on most Android devices.
Apple’s next reason for this display is to increase the amount of content seen. When navigating anywhere in the OS, there will be more information on show vertically. Whether it be composing an email, reading a text or going through a Twitter feed, more content will be available on the screen at one time.
In addition to this, the aspect ratio has also improved, making media playback much more convenient. The iPhone 5 will make do with a display that is approximately 16:9, the same ratio as films and widescreen games. This means that the iPhone 5 really is a video-friendly device, with less of a ‘letterbox’ effect than was seen in its predecessors.
Improvements to the Retina display have also been included, with the 1136-by-640 resolution packing 326 pixels per inch. Similarly to the iPhone 4 and 4S, individual pixels are not distinguishable by the human eye, making the display truly great to look at. Another improvement comes in colors. This time around, color saturation is 44% greater, making for a much more vibrant picture.
Yes, finally the iPhone has LTE. Despite being significantly thinner, the iPhone 5 manages to handle the capabilities of an LTE network, making for much faster data speeds than previously seen. According to Apple, LTE has been done ‘the right way,’ being optimised for battery life.
We expected some sort of improvement in regards to processing power, and that’s what we got with the iPhone 5. Apple has introduced the A6 chip, which improves performance of the device by up to 200%. Apps will launch quicker, email attachements will appear instantly, and web pages render much faster.
Apple has also improved the battery life over the 4S. Despite having to deal with a faster processor and LTE capabilities, the iPhone 5 manages up to 8 hours of browsing time on LTE. Just like we’ve seen with the third-gen iPad, Apple has stepped up the battery performance to match the other improved internals.
As mentioned earlier, Apple has improved the strength of the surface of the iSight camera, but further advancements have been included inside the camera.
The headline feature of the iPhone 5′s camera is panorama capturing. Functionalities within iOS 6, as well as help from the A6 processor means that the iPhone can capture vistas of up to 240 degrees. According to Apple, the panorama shots can have a resolution of up to 28 megapixels.
Apple are so confident of the photo taking abilities of the iPhone 5 that they’ve compiled a gallery of shots taken with the camera. Full resolution versions are available, and just from looking at them, it’s easy to tell that this camera is quite good.
In order to make the transition from 30-pin to Lightning easier, an adapter is being sold by Apple. It retails for $29, and allows the 30-pin connector to connect straight to the iPhone 5.
iOS6 will come pre-loaded on the iPhone 5, with the phone being completely optimised for the new OS. Five rows of Apps will be displayed on the iPhone 5′s home screen, as opposed to the four seen on the past five generations of iPhone.
The extra screen real estate will be utilized by apps, making scrolling through content much easier on the 4-inch display.
As was expected from Apple, the iPhone comes in three storage options, and in black and white. The storage is the same as it was since the iPhone 4. The 16GB model is priced the lowest. The 32GB fills the middle-range spot and the top model is the 64GB.
In color options, however, there is now more of a difference. Previously, the black and whiter were only separated by the one phone color, but now they do not, thanks to differing aluminium backplate colors. The black iPhone uses a ‘slate’ shade on the back, which gives a matte feel to it. The while iPhone uses a silver backplate, which is much lighter than the slate, but darker than the white.
Also, turning over to the band surrounding both phones will show up another difference. The black iPhone features a heavily darkened band, that mimics the color of the slate backplate. The white iPhone uses the same silver band seen in the iPhone 4 and 4S.
The iPhone 5 is truly another Apple smartphone to behold.
In all aspects, major improvements have been made, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one. This is the iPhone we will have for the next year, and I for one, am quite impressed, and can’t wait to see what’s next. iPhone 5S anyone?