Just as expected (did you really question why the invite had a big “5″ on it?) Apple have announced the follow up to their highly successful iPhone 4s during today’s conference in San Francisco. They promised to take it to the “next level”, so read on to find out how and if they did just that.
The iPhone 5′s headline feature is undoubtedly the jump from a 3.5″ to a 1336 x 640 4″ screen, allowing for an extra row of icons in the home screen, as well as more information on screen. In fact, the phone stayed true to all those leaks over these last few months, resembling a elongated iPhone 4/s with a large aluminium strip across the back. It’s 18% thinner than the current iPhone at 7.6mm, 20% lighter than the 4S at 112g, they’re claiming it to be fully constructed of glass and aluminium.
To go along with that, they’ve updated the UI to take advantage of the increased space, email, calendar, keynotes and the rest of the native applications are updated also. Legacy applications from the store are not stretched, but instead run with black bars at the top and bottom, effectively giving you back your older iPhone for the duration of use. That is, until developers inevitably update their apps for the increased space. Screen technology is another thing the company is highlighting in their press conference, claiming 44% more colour saturation than the 4S as well as bigging up the thinness of their panel.
The company also highlighted their A6 chip, which they claim to be two times faster than the outgoing A5 chip powering the 4S, all whilst being 22% smaller, at which point EA came on stage to demo Real Racing 5, built to take advantage of the A6 chipset. True enough, graphics did look impressive, yet short of their promised “console quality” by a long stretch. Power consumption is improved with the A6 chip also, when paired with the battery in the 5th gen iPhone, they claim better battery life than the 4S.
They’ve added HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE(!) and will be partnering with carriers across the globe (too many to note here), not to mention better Wi-Fi performance with 2.4ghz and 5ghz on 802.11n.
The camera has been improved with an 8MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture, dynamic low light mode, as well as a tough sapphire crystal coating, which when combined with the processing ability of the A6 promised better low light performance and 40% faster on image capture. Video got the revamp treatment too, 1080p rear performance with simultaneous image capture (a-la One X) and an improved front facing camera capable of capturing in 720p for all those times you wished Facetime caught even more of your imperfections.
Undoubtedly the most controversial issue here is the move from the classic Apple 30pin connector (the one on all your docks and cables) to a newer, smaller “lightning” connector, rendering your current accessories useless with the new iPhone. On the plus side, it’s design allows it to be used from either side, meaning no more fumbling in the dark. The company also showed off a hilariously bulky adapter for the iPhone 5, for everyone interested in using their current hardware.
Pricing – in the US, at least – will follow exactly the same path as the 4S, $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB, pushing the 4S to $99 on contract and the 4 down to free. Pre orders begin in the 14th of September with the phone due to launch on the 21st of September.PS: Digging this story, news or review? Let us know! Comments open.
About Alec: I'm addicted to gadgets, it's as simple as that! You'll find me on my HTC One X during the day, listening to music on my Bowers & Wilkins at night and editing my very own music blog on my laptop anytime. View author profile.