The wait has been long, and the anticipation was intense for many overly excited Apple fans and tech nerds across the world. This new device is said to be the final device in which Steve Jobs paid close attention to. It is said that he put more time and energy into this iPhone than the iPhone 4S, and I’m sure Apple is hoping you’ll see the results of that time and care when you hold it in your hand.
Rumor blogs climbed into all sorts of strange places to come up with hundreds of different variations and product leaks to show to people, and in true media fashion, they raised our expectations through a roof that Apple simply shakes their head at. Luckily, the truth comes out from official sources, and today, the real deal was shown to the world.
Apple has officially announced their next generation iPhone to the world, and there are a lot of things to go over today! Tim Cook hit the stage from the get go, beginning with past figures and talking about how Apple is doing in the world (as usual) before getting down to the details we really came for.
Many of the changes to the iPhone announced today were already expected, and so it is no surprise to see them confirmed. Among the expected changes is support for Long-term Evolution (LTE), which is considered 4G cellular technology service. It’s the fastest yet, and the iPhone supports it now. We also expected it to be thinner, lighter, and faster. Apple didn’t disappoint here either.
Overall the presentation of the product, in my opinion, lived up to expectations (as long as your expectations were reasonable and not clouded by extreme rumors).
Let’s go over a few of the specifics with this new iPhone together:
The Brain Driving It
The new iPhone is powered by the all new A6 chip. The A6 chip increases the speed from the previous iPhone by double, and delivers a powerful punch in a small package. The processor will bring a huge increase in speed and performance to the handset, and will offer an even more fantastic user experience for the heaviest of users. Spec-checkers should be aware of what power really is before making statements about it, because they’re likely to be punched in the nose with real numbers after benchmarking and other tests are performed.
The graphics processing is the most important element of the chip. It always has been. It doesn’t take a whole lot of power to add calendar entries, send texts, watch a movie, or take a picture. What does take power are graphics rendering on a larger screen, including all graphical transitions within the iOS, and the massive games that are set to take full advantage of this new device.
As rumored, the new iPhone will be getting a bump in touch real-estate. The iPhone screen has been sized at 3.5″ ever since it’s birth in 2007, and despite all their competators attempting to cater to an audience that demanded a larger display in order to be happy, Apple stuck true to what it believed presented a better user experience, not only for the actual size of a device in your hand and pocket, but also for the purposes of power consumption and device longevity.
Today though, Apple has released the 4″ display on their iPhone. With the newer technology in their custom built battery, they’ve increased the screen, and as a result, the size of the battery itself has also been increased right in time for LTE support. The display is longer, but not wider, so it is still comfortable to hold in the average hand (width), but offers more room for apps and websites to display information.
This display is the “same” retina display found on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, but features some welcomed enhancements that neither of the previous display’s came with. For starters, the layer of glass that’s over the display is not there in iPhone 5, making this a much thinner display. It also means the pixels are pulling “double-duty” when you interact with it. Instead of just displaying the picture, and having the glass on top interact with your fingers, this display does both on the same surface, creating an intellegent display that’s very smooth, works better with glare in sunlight, and has 44% more color saturation than the previous models. The iPhone 5 display is also full sRGB as a result, making it the most advanced display in the market.
Old applications run in letterbox, rather than scaling. I suppose that’s for the best though, considering the experience downgrade that would come from scaling most apps this way.
It’s a 326ppi 1136×640 display. The added room also allows for an extra row of apps to fit on the screen (you get 5 rows now). Unfortunately, old applications will letterbox when being played, but I suppose it’s better than scaling them to fit. It looks bad on other devices, so why do it here?
Seeing as though Apple has changed the screen size and made the device thinner and lighter, it makes sense that this would be an appropriate time for an exterior redesign. When the iPhone 4S was announced, Apple had completely changed the device on the inside. Almost every single feature on the device had been upgraded, including the processor, amount of RAM, the camera, the iOS assistant Siri, the graphics, and the antenna’s performance. They even made the speakers louder. Despite all of those heavy changes, many people were still closed to the changes because of it’s physical appearance. It looked just like the iPhone 4 on the outside, so they assumed it must not be much different. I’ve used both. It was a huge upgrade in performance, in more ways than one.
This time though, those who choose to judge the book by the cover will have a different attitude about them. The new iPhone looks very different than previous models on the outside now as well. It’s 7.6mm thin (18% thinner) and weighs 112 grams (20% lighter). It’s engineered with micro-precision, and every single device has had individual attention provided to it for maximum accuracy during assembly.
Camera placement, for example, is fitted to the individual cut of each device, using high-powered cameras and computer analysis. It takes a picture of the cut (individually) and assembles the placement of the parts based on the micro-differences in the product.
There are three microphones on this iPhone, as well as new software (your carrier needs to support it) that will transmit audio signals through phones more clearly. More details on that later.
The Main Camera
Photography is a very popular usage for the iPhone. Every day, millions of smartphones are taking pictures, and Apple understands that amazing optics mean more than just mage-pixels. Making an image physically bigger doesn’t increase the quality… You need to take other steps to ensure the photo comes out the way you want it to. Ask any photographer.
When the iPhone 4S was released, it had the most advanced camera on any smartphone. It even beat most dedicated point-and-shoot cameras, especially in low-light conditions. The 5 element lens and fast f2.4 aperture made colors pop, and achieving artistic depth possible. Along with that, video recording at 1080p aided the shooter with image stabilization and an intelligent noise filter that most phones, even today, don’t have built in. The backlight sensor created amazing separation between the foreground and background. It had an 8MP sensor, but you should forget the size of the sensor… focus on the lens. That is what matters.
This new iPhone will once again see the great 8MP camera, and all of the glorious photos people have taken with it, but they’ve added even more pop than before. The A6 processor combined with the thinner optics works with the intelligent software to deliver even better performance in low-light conditions. They claim 2 f-stops. We’ll see. On top of that, the backlight sensor and other camera features are a little bit smarter as well, so colors and sharpness are at an all-time level of awesome.
Although the surface of the iSight camera is as clear as glass, it’s not made of glass. It’s actually sapphire crystal, whose hardness is second only to diamond on the scale of transparent materials. That means the surface of the lens is far less likely to scratch. During the assembly process, each iPhone 5 aluminum housing is photographed by two high-powered 29MP cameras. A machine then compares the images with 725 uniquely cut inlays to find a precise match.
Along with the new hardware driving the camera, and the software making your images crisp and vibrant, the iPhone is now getting a Panoramic photo mode for your capturing pleasure. Images will scale to 28MP total. WOW, that’s big.
The Front Camera
The front camera has been a crappy little VGA for the last 2 years. Thankfully, Apple has updated this little guy to a full 720p resolution FaceTime camera, right in time for LTE and FaceTime over cellular. Of course, you’ll need new plans on some carriers to even support FaceTime over cellular, so be prepared to consume data at higher quantities with the feature being performed on a 720p camera.
The front camera has also been centered, as shown above.
A new “Lightning Connector” was also introduced for the new thinner iPhone. The connector is all digital and reversible, so that there is no longer a wrong way to put it in (unless of course you try it sideways, but seriously people, you know what I mean). The connector will allow everything to flow faster, charge faster, and it’s of course smaller (which seems to be a good thing for everyone).
This does mean however, that you’ll be needing an adapter if you own an older docking station, and want to use this iPhone with it. Newer docking stations are already in development, but I think the adapter (which is likely $15-$20) will be cheaper than getting a whole new station or accessory. You may not like it, but $15 isn’t that big of a deal to get your $50+ iPod docking radio to work with your new $200+ iPhone. You’ll pay more in taxes for the device than you will for the adapter. Just buy it.
Even with all these enhancements, Apple understands that it’s to the users’ best interest to have great long-lasting battery life from their devices. They need to not only have the experience that is most desirable to them, but also must be able to enjoy that experience for a long time. Thus, even with the larger display, better optical performance in the camera, faster processing, faster graphics, and the support for LTE… the iPhone 5’s battery is even BETTER than the iPhone 4S was. It will deliver 8 hours talk time, 8 hours browsing, 10 hours wifi browsing, 10 hours video, 40 hours music, and 225 hours standby time. Very nice.
Connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0
It does feature Bluetooth 4.0, and all the features and capabilities you’d expect from Apple with that type of compatibility. Also, as mentioned above, it comes with support for pretty much every single type of network available today, including LTE (speeds up to 150Mb/s).
The device will ship with iOS 6, which you can find out all the information about by CLICKING HERE. Nothing really all that new was announced about iOS 6 that we didn’t already know, so that should give you a decent recap.
Pricing, Ordering and Shipping Information
The iPhone 5 will be available for Pre-order Friday September 14th, 2012. iOS 6 will be pushed out to the public on September 19th, and the iPhone 5 will be shipped to those who can get a pre-order in on September 21st. Prices will be the same as previous device launches. 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399. These are on-contract prices. iPhone 4S drops to 16GB model only for $99 on contact (a huge deal still for that phone), and the iPhone 4 is offered free on 2-year agreement. The iPhone 3GS has officially been discontinued.
So what are your thoughts? Is this device update a big enough deal to get you to upgrade, or switch from your other device, to this one? Let us know your opinion on this new device in the comments below!
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