Apple launched the new smart-phone iPhone 5 today at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Many of the leaks proved true, which was disappointing given Tim Cook's exhortations to be "doubling down on secrecy" in the spring.
The new iPhone has a bigger display, is dubbed the "thinnest phone in the world" -- 7.6 mm thick at 112 grams, a glass and aluminium chassis -- and has a faster CPU than the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 has a 4" (10.16 cm) display with 326 pixels per inch and an aspect ratio of 16:9. The iPhone now has a resolution of
640 x 1,136, as opposed to
640 x 960 on the iPhone 4S.
The apps are not stretched or scaled because of the bigger screen, however a fifth row of apps has been added to the home screen. All of Apple's apps have been optimized for the bigger screen, but older third-party ones will have a black letter-boxing to fit.
The new iPhone also includes LTE 4G technology (Apple calls it "ultrafast wireless"), although this is something the Samsung Galaxy III and others implemented a while back.
Battery life: kept up even with LTE
The battery life on the iPhone 5 is better than that of the iPhone 4S, even with LTE chipset, according to Apple. We talked about this before the launch, and now we've got the official version. The iPhone 5 has 8 hours talk time on 3G, 40 hours music playback and 225 hours standby (9 days, but who leaves the iPhone in stand-by, anyway?). Not much different from the iPhone 4S, but 8 hours of LTE use and video, and 10 hours on Wi-Fi is a good deal.
Apple's new 5mm dock connector is called "Lightning". It is all digital and reversible. It's a nice marketing touch, as the former connector was named "Thunderbolt". This will also be another source of revenue, as there will be an adapter for all the out-of-date connector docks. You can purchase a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter for $29, and a 30-pin to Lightning Adapter for $39.
Apple is also pushing the introduction of the nano-SIMs, and current SIM cards will not be compatible with iPhone 5. Also, the iPhone 5 is using Qualcomm's
MDM9615M LTE modem and flash memory provided by Hynix.
A6 CPU: Two times faster, two times faster graphics
The iPhone 5 includes an A6 processor, two times faster than the A5X model: it's 22% smaller in size than the A5 and has two times faster graphics.
The faster CPU opens new doors related to the camera performance (8MP with a sapphire lens). iPhone 5 will have a faster photo capture (40% faster than the iPhone 4S), a "smart filter" for images that can see what should be color and what should be texture, but also a dynamic low light mode for all your party photos. Panorama mode finally comes to the iPhone, giving us 28 megapixels images, although this comes almost 3 years after Samsung introduced it on its devices.
The phone now has three mics that help improve voice recognition and noise reduction and a redesigned speaker with five magnets in the transducer, 20 percent smaller than the iPhone 4S speaker.
The iPhone will come with the usual 16/32/64 GB memory options, in white and black. Pre-ordering starts on the 14th of September, the phone will be in stores on the 21st. Make sure to make a backup of all your data when getting your iPhone 5: if you run into trouble, iPhone Backup Extractor is here to help.
Oh, and check out Apple's promo video for iPhone 5: