A Closer Look at the iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5 is longer and thinner, more powerful, and boasts LTE.
By the time Apple got around to announcing the iPhone 5 this week, many of the features such as the smartphone's bigger screen and LTE support had been leaked. But Apple did manage to keep a few goodies secret until its announcement. Here's a closer look.
This is the first feature that strikes you: the longer body. But Apple keeps the iPhone 5 both a pocketable and (for most) a one-handed device: 0.30 inches thick, 2.31 inches wide and 4.87 inches tall, weighing 3.95 ounces. The phone is in two colors: black with slate back, and white with silver back.
Apple embraces windows Not those Windows. Instead, the flat aluminum metal back has black glass windows at top and bottom for unimpeded wireless transmissions.
A new angle on the edge One obvious style change is the chamfered edge of the metal sideband, creating a chiseled look that doesn't seem sharp or "edgey."
For the first time, iPhone offers a larger screen: a 4-inch diagonal display, with 640-by-1136-pixel resolution, preserving the 326-pixels-per-inch density of Apple's crisp Retina display. The new display is also thinner, thanks to a new technology that smushes the touch sensors into the display itself.
One obvious difference with the taller display: The home screen adds a fifth row of app icons. Existing apps run fine: The phone automatically centers them, adding black bars around them as needed.
With the taller screen, and 18% more pixels, there's simply "more app" on display, for maps, Web browsing or playing games.
iPhone 5 replaces the wide 32-pin dock connector that's always graced the bottom of the iPhone with a much smaller 8-pin connector, dubbed Lightning. It creates more room along the bottom edge, and inside. And don't worry about being able to use your existing peripherals ...
Apple has an adapter to bridge the gap between iPhone 5's Lightning dock and the 32-pin peripherals you treasure.
Apple stayed with its dual-core architecture, crafting the new A6 CPU in a smaller silicon process: 32-nanometers instead of 45. The result: a chip that's 22% smaller and more power efficient, while doubling both app performance and graphics performance.
As expected, the new iPhone for the first time supports LTE cellular connectivity. Apple waited for a single-chip, single-radio implementation (expected to be from Qualcomm, its traditional cellular supplier), to minimize components and costs, and optimize battery efficiency.
Despite the more powerful CPU, LTE and bigger screen, iPhone 5 actually improves battery life compared to the 4S model, according to Apple. 3G talktime is the same for iPhone 5 and 4S at 8 hours; standby time for the new phone is 225 hours, versus 200 for 4S.
The new iPhone retains the 8-megapixel iSight camera and its f/2.4 aperture. But it offers better low-light performance, 40% faster photo capture, more precise lens alignment and a highly durable sapphire lens cover. Overall, the unit is 25% smaller.
Thanks to other changes in the new CPU, photo and video processing is faster. The A6 has a new image signal processor (ISP) built-in, with a feature called spatial noise reduction and a special filter that essentially guides the ISP.
iOS 6 will run on the new iPhone. It was unveiled, with over 200 changes and improvements, in June at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. Some high points: integrated Facebook (shown at right); Passbook (middle); shared photo streams (left); Apple's maps app, with 3D turn-by-turn navigation.
For the new iPhone, Apple has tweaked Siri, giving it background in sports and movies, and the ability to book restaurant reservations for you. Tell it to "Find a sushi restaurant for 4 around 8 p.m." Tap to make a reservation it presents, and the phone takes you to Open Table.
One seemingly slight change: iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to let you use the 5GHz band to connect to a Wi-Fi network. That's a much less crowded frequency than 2.4GHz and more channels from which to choose. Apple says the phone's 802.11n Wi-Fi data is 150Mbps for the single-stream 11n chip.
iPhone 5 models will have the same price as their iPhone 4S cousins last year: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. Notably, Apple has greatly accelerated its iPhone rollouts in overseas markets: That should lead to a huge surge in sales for the final quarter of 2012.
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