Firstly, the actual name of the device is the ‘iPhone 5‘, not the rumoured ‘new iPhone’ (taken from the name of the newest lines of iPad). While it’s not exactly unexpected, it isn’t exactly true either; iPhone, iPhone2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 equals seven, but who’s counting. That’s another argument for another time.
The screen is bigger, brighter and better. If you’ve been keeping up with Apple rumours, then the screen will probably not be a surprise, as it’s the same as several leaked images. It’s the same width as the 4S but is longer at the expected 4 inches. Again it has a 326ppi Retina display but now with a resolution of 1,136 by 640 pixels and a 16 x 9 aspect ratio. The difference in ratio means that current apps will be letterboxed, and with the inclusion of 5 rows of apps in the home screen, the difference in dimensions is clear.
For the weight, the iPhone 5 is undeniably the thinnest and lightest iPhone yet and maybe even smartphone. It’s 7.6mm thick and weighs 112g. It’s made of a combination of glass and aluminium. While looking similar aesthetically to the 4/4S (the volume and mute buttons are the same, for instance), the device has a redesigned shell which will be available in ‘white and silver’ and ‘black and slate’. Very sexy indeed. Apple said “iPhone 5 combines an anodised aluminium body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a truly incredible fit and finish”.
As expected, the new processor is the A6, which has twice the CPU speed of the previous core and twice the graphics power in a smaller and more battery saving style. Indeed, this battery is longer lasting than the 4S.
While the camera is smaller, it’s still 8mp with a 3,264 x 2,448 BSi sensor with f2.4 aperture. It’s basically exactly the same as the 4S but with the new A6 core, the image processing is a lot sharper and colourful. A nice addition is the ability to finally take panoramic photos at 28mp, as well as the ability to take still photos during a video. It seems Apple is finally starting to catch up with other handsets in this regard.
The front facing camera has changed from VGA to 720p (so Facetime will be a LOT clearer), with three additional microphones for sharper voice.
Thankfully, the iPhone 5 will be fully 4G LTE capable. While only available on the EE network for the UK, it will eventually be used when other networks 4G become available. The 802.11n Wi-Fi also works on 5GHz now as well as 2.4GHz.
EE said “Our Orange and T-Mobile customers will also be able to get hold of the iPhone 5 with the biggest and best network and the fastest possible 3G network speeds. Pricing and availability to be announced in due course.”
To the fury of many fans, Apple has decided on a new dock for this generation of iPhone. Called ‘Lightning’, the new 8-Signal dock connector is 80% smaller than the previous model introduced 9 years ago. Though Apple says that between iCloud, AirPlay and wireless sync, you won’t need it … it’s still nice to have one, just in case.
If you’re concerned about the new dock (or will stubbornly not change), there will be an adaptor that can convert the new to the old. Doubtful that it will be included (it is Apple after all) but it shouldn’t be too expensive.
The new iOS incorporates Passbook, Apple‘s new e-tickets app, plus FaceTime over 3G (depending on your network) and Apple‘s own mobile apps (including turn-by-turn navigation). There’s also native Facebook integration but the YouTube icon wasn’t seen.
iOS 6 will be available on 19th September for other iOS devices.
The 16, 32 and 64GB models will be released on 21st September. iPhone 5 will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the US on that date, with other countries soon afterwards.
For the UK, the handset will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple‘s retail stores, and through Everything Everywhere, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 and select Apple Authorised Resellers.