Apple announced the iPhone 5 at an event in San Francisco last night.
The iPhone 5 has a bigger screen than earlier versions. There’s a fifth row of icons on the home screen, while the display is the expected 4-inch version, but the iPhone 5 screen is not wider than the iPhone 4S, it’s just thinner. It has a 326ppi Retina display, but now with a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Apps will have to be resized for the new iPhone 5 – old apps will appear letterboxed. Apple has managed to make the screen thinner, as touch is now integrated into the screen layer itself.
In terms of size, iPhone 5 is 7.6mm (0.3 inches) thick and weighs 112g (4oz). It’s 20 per cent lighter and 18 per cent thinner, and is made of aluminum and glass. As you’ll see, it has very similar aesthetics to the iPhone 4 and 4S, albeit in a redesigned shell; the volume and mute buttons are the same, for example.
iPhone 5 has a two-tone back and comes in either “white and silver” or “black and slate”. In its usual understated style, Apple says “iPhone 5 combines an anodised aluminium body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a truly incredible fit and finish”.
The processor is a new Apple A6 chip, as expected. It has twice the CPU speed and twice the graphics power – the chip is smaller and is more battery-friendly and is based on the new-ish dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU design. It’s manufactured on a 32nm process, hence the smaller physical size. Performance is also frugal – Apple says it’s better on battery life than the iPhone 4S.
The camera is smaller, but still has an 8 megapixel sensor size. It’s almost exactly the same as that in the iPhone 4S in terms of spec.
Apple obviously wanted to make a big thing about the stuff it did to the camera to fit it inside the new chassis, but it isn’t a massive step forward although the A6 includes a better image processor.
For the record it’s a 3,264 x 2,448 BSi sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Apple is also bigging up its low-light performance.
It can also shoot panoramas to produce a 28MP image. It can also take pictures while shooting a video, like many other high end handsets.
The front camera is now 720p rather than VGA for FaceTime calling. There are three microphones including a new beam-forming, directional microphone for higher quality sound.
As expected, we’ve now got a 4G LTE iPhone, primarily for the US. However, it will work on EE’s new 4G UK network. The 802.11n Wi-Fi also works on 5GHz now as well as 2.4GHz.
The new 8-signal dock connector is called Lightning, though Apple says that between iCloud, AirPlay and wireless sync, you won’t really need it. You can plug it in either way, while it’s 80 per cent smaller than the old dock connector. An adaptor will be available for the old 30 pin type.
You can buy your iPhone 5 with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage. You also get Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The smaller SIM card will be up to 40 percent smaller than previous designs, (12.3 millimeters x 8.8 millimeters) and allows for phones to be even thinner than before.
The iPhone 5 release date is September 21. The iPhone 5 will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the US on that date, with other territories to follow.