Apple announced the highly anticipated iPhone 5 on Wednesday, putting to rest a multitude of rumors which have been circulating around the tech world for the past several months. Virtually every aspect of the iPhone has seen an upgrade, with this the sixth major update to the popular smartphone.
In addition to a new exterior design, LTE and a larger display are at the forefront of the buzz surrounding the iPhone 5. With iOS 6 coming later this month, this is sure to be one of Apple’s larger iPhone launches in quite some time.
How can you improve upon the existing iPhone in terms of body design? You could make it thinner, which Apple has. You could also make it lighter, which Apple has.
The iPhone 5 is entirely constructed of aluminum and glass, and it appears that the back will be less of a fingerprint magnet than the iPhone 4 family, which is a welcome relief.
- 7.6 mm wide (18% thinner than the iPhone 4S)
- Black and white bezel options available
- 112 grams (20% lighter)
- Aluminum and glass construction
- 4-inch touchscreen
A longer display means that the iPhone will finally join the 4-inch display party that has made waves in the smartphone world. Studies have shown that folks like larger screens, and this is Apple’s answer to those demands.
Perhaps the most exciting upgrade for me here is the improved color saturation.
- 4-inch display
- 1136×640 resolution
- 44% greater color saturation (sRGB)
- Touch sensor is built directly into the screen
The iPhone 5 introduces the A6 processor to the world. Apple boasts 2x faster graphics and processing with it, which would translate directly to three times the previous performance.
During the unveiling, it was discussed that the chip is actually twice as fast as the A5x processor of the last iPhone. Either way, the processor is apparently faster and sleeker than the one in the 4S. That’s to be expected.
In a series of benchmark tests run by Apple during the announcement: the A6 processor completed most common tasks in about 1/2 the time of the previous model. This isn’t to say that you’ll see that type of response in real-world use, but it’s good to know there’s an improvement being made.
Apple made quite a few adjustments to the wireless features in iPhone 5. Though there is no word on 802.11ac, there is a dual-channel 5 Ghz Wi-Fi antenna on board delivering up to 150 Mbps of bandwidth.
Perhaps the biggest change comes by way of LTE, the notably faster wireless technology that was highly anticipated to be part of the iPhone 5. Contrary to popular speculation, the iPhone 5 boasts the same eight-hour battery life on LTE as it has on 3G.
- Single chip
- Single radio
- Single antenna
- Wi-Fi: dual-channel 5 Ghz up to 150 Mbps.
Perhaps the biggest reason to get the iPhone 5 is the camera. The iPhone line has long been known for innovative camera design, especially since the five-element lens was introduced with the iPhone 4S. An eight megapixel sensor is about standard these days, though when you couple that with a hybrid IR filter and an f-stop of 2.4, it’s hard not to take note.
Apple boasts improvements to low-light condition shooting with the iPhone 5. Has Apple pulled it off? I suppose we’ll find out when folks start uploading their pictures to Instagram.
- 8 megapixel sensor
- 3264×2448 stills resolution
- Backside illumination on both cameras
- Hybrid IR filter
- Five-element lens (carried over from iPhone 4S)
- F/2.4 aperture
- Sapphire crystal lens cover
- 28 megapixel panoramic mode
- 1080p HD video on back-facing camera
- 720p HD video on FaceTime camera
- Improved video stabilization
- Face detection
- Take photos while shooting videos
- FaceTime over cellular
- Reduced motion blur
There are some notable audio improvements to the earpiece including a wideband audio design that aims to improve audio clarity during phone calls. Carrier support is required for that, though, so it may not be improved for everyone. Noise cancellation is a big deal on the earpiece, though I don’t know how well that’ll translate to what you’re sending out if you’re standing in a loud room.
- Three microphones
- Improved speaker design (20% smaller)
- Noise cancellation on earpiece
- Improved wideband audio (carrier support required)
The new dock connector is smaller than the original, and it boasts a reversible design so you don’t have to worry about having it facing the right direction when you plug it into the phone. I don’t know about you, but this has been a hassle for me while attempting to charge the iPhone in the dark. The new dock connector is being called “Lightning.”
- 8-signal design
Nothing remarkable was changed about storage in the iPhone 5. You still have the ability to select 16, 32, and 64 GB versions of the device at a tiered price point.
The iPhone 5 is being priced at the same level as previous iPhone models. If you’re willing to sign a two-year contract, you can pick one up for $199 at a supporting carrier.
Will you be picking up the new iPhone? Leave a comment and let us know!