Just 11 months after the iPhone 4S arrived, Apple has officially taken covers off its brand new iPhone model. While many expected the iPhone 4S to carry the iPhone 5 tag, it is the sixth generation iPhone that finally got it. The iPhone has been amongst the most revolutionary consumer electronics products of our times. Has Apple managed to recreate the magic with the iPhone 5? Will it continue to sell in the same frenzy that we have been so used to seeing? All this is especially pertinent in the wake of some serious competition that Apple faces with fellow competitors doing a good job at catching up. Anyway let’s take a look at what’s new with the iPhone 5.
One thing that has remained consistent ever since the launch of the first generation iPhone is its display size. The resolution has seen marked improvement, but for some reason, Apple thought the optimum display size for an iPhone was 3.5 inches. Well that changes with the iPhone 5. What we now get is an all new 4 inch IPS display with an improved resolution of 1136*640 pixels. The increased resolution ensures that the iPhone 5 maintains its Retina Display-ish pixel per inch density. The display has a 16:9 aspect ratio. The larger display on the iPhone 5 lets it display an additional fifth row of icons. This added real estate also ensures that users can glance through an entire five day week view in the calendar without the need to scroll. Apple also claims that the display would be even more awesome with widescreen movies – thanks to the new displays’ 44 percent more color saturation capabilities.
The iPhone 5 is significantly taller than its predecessor. However, Apple has more than compensated for this added dimension by making the device 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S. Apart from being thinner, the device is also much lighter – tipping the scales at just 112 grams. And lest we forget, the phone measures just 7.6mm across. This is the thinnest iPhone ever!
Many users were disappointed when LTE failed to make an appearance on the iPhone 4S. With most high end Android and Windows Phone toting devices now sporting LTE capability, it was inevitable that the iPhone too would be getting it. And it did. The iPhone 5 comes in three network versions – two GSM versions and one CDMA based version. All these versions support LTE networks. The iPhone 5 will also mark the debut of nano SIM cards. This new SIM card is much smaller than the already small micro SIM cards. (You might also read our earlier article on why you cannot cut the micro SIM to nano SIM size). The phone also comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi a/b/g/n.
Many people expected an upgrade to the somewhat significant megapixel count with the iPhone 5. That however was not to be. The camera image resolution remains the same at 8 megapixels. What has changed however are the internal optics which promise better image quality. The new additions to the camera include backside illumination, an IR filter and a five element lens. There is also a new smart filter that promises much better low light photography. Still, if you expected something revolutionary comparable to Nokia’s promised floating lens technology, you might come out a wee bit disappointed. That said, with both these phones yet to be released we would reserve a final judgment only after we get to see user generated images from both these phones. Video recording quality remains the same – 1080p at 30 frames per second. Some improvements have been made on the image stabilization front. And yes you can take photos while shooting a video now. The front camera is also capable of recording videos at 720p.
Good Bye 30 Pin Connector
The ubiquitous 30 pin connector that you have all been so used to has been retired. Thanks to the shrinking dimensions of the iPhone, it was deemed that the 30 pin connector design would take up too much real estate. That has resulted in the birth of a tiny new connector that Apple calls “Lightning”. This thing is 80 percent smaller than the outgoing 30 pin connector and features reversible ends. For interoperation with older accessories based on the erstwhile 30 pin connector, Apple has also debuted an adapter that will let you plug them in to the iPhone 5. That said, I am sure there are a lot of pissed off users out there who expected Apple to adopt the now standard micro USB standard – which is doing a decent job globally.
The launch of the Apple iPhone 5 will also mark the official debut of iOS 6. The features of the latest version of the OS have been extensively dealt with in the past. If you were however in a cave for the past few months, let us remind you that iOS 6 features an all new Maps application, Passbook, significant updates to Siri and of course, an update to FaceTime.
Under the hood, Apple has done a great job at making stuff smaller while more than doubling the firepower. The iPhone 5 features an all new A6 chip that is claimed to be twice as fast as the A5 chip found on the iPhone 4S. Despite being faster, the chip is physically 22 percent smaller than its predecessor. A wide variety of applications and features would load noticeably faster on the iPhone 5 – thanks to this new chip. The processor is also quite energy efficient.
Talking about energy efficiency, that brings us to the all-important battery life projections of the iPhone 5. Apple has been in the past spot on with its claimed battery life and we hope the story remains the same this time as well. Apple’s official spec sheet tells us that the iPhone 5 can last you up to 8 hours of continuous talking on 3G. It will last you the same amount of time if you opt to browse on 3G. On LTE, the browsing time would be the same as well. Wi-Fi browsing fares marginally better with the phone capable of lasting 10 hours of continuous browsing. Apart from these, the device is capable of playing videos for 10 hours, music for 40 hours and remain in standby mode for 225 hours.
When Is It Coming?
Well, if you happen to be one someone from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, you can preorder the iPhone 5 starting Friday, the 16th of September. The official launch date for these countries is September 21 2012. As for pricing, the 16GB version will cost you $199, the 32GB $299, and the 64GB $399. These are prices for the US of course. By the end of September, the iPhone 5 will spread it wings further. By year end, Apple expects the iPhone 5 to officially and in over 100 countries and 240 operators.
For how much do you think will it land in India?