Apple Unleashes iPhone 5: New Look, New Feel, New Performance

Apple iPhone 5 Gets 4" Display, A6 System-on-Chip, 4G/LTE, New Connector

by Anton Shilov
09/12/2012 | 12:54 PM

Apple on Wednesday introduced its sixth-generation smartphone. As expected, the new iPhone 5 boasts whole new design, completely redesigned 4" display, innovative A6 system-on-chip, better battery and brand new connector as well as 4G/LTE in select countries. The Apple iPhone 4 will be the world's thinnest smartphone that will be comfortable to use with one hand, but relatively small screen will hardly enable totally new usage models.


"iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created. We have packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4" retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

The Most Powerful iPhone Ever

Apple’s iPhone 5 is made of glass and aluminum and sports entirely new design that removes glass from the back side of the device and features long 4" screen with 1136*640 resolution (326ppi, 800:1 contrast ratio, 500cd brightness). The sixth-gen Apple iPhone sports brand-new Apple A6 system-on-chip with two ARM Cortex-A15 cores with NEON SIMD accelerators, quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics adapter, new image co-processor, new audio co-processor and numerous other features. Thanks to massively improved compute and graphics performance, iPhone 5 is not only considerably faster compared to the previous-gen smartphones from Apple, but supports previously unavailable features.

The iPhone 5 supports ultrafast wireless standards including GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA/CDMA EV-DO/4G/LTE thanks to a unique single-radio 4G/LTE solution that provides fast speeds while fitting into the new thin design. The new iPhone 5 also features dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support with up to 150Mb/s transfer rates.

Apple also improved integrated cameras in the iPhone 5: the new back-facing camera offers iPhone 4S-like optical performance, yet it is 25% smaller than the camera in iPhone 4S and features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images. The new iPhone also supports panorama feature that lets to capture panorama images of up to 28MP by simply moving the camera across a scene in one smooth motion. New video features include improved stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos during record. A new FaceTime HD front facing camera is able to make crystal-clear video calls and can be used for recording 720p HD video.

iPhone 5 introduces new enhanced audio features including a new beam-forming, directional microphone system for higher quality sound, while background noise fades away with new noise canceling technology. iPhone 5 now includes support for cellular wideband audio for crisper word clarity and more natural sounding speech. Wideband audio will be supported by over 20 carriers worldwide at launch. The new iPhone 5 now features three microphones: bottom, front and back for improved noise cancellation and voice recognition.

The Most Beautiful iPhone Ever

According to Apple, iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with an all-new 7.6mm anodized aluminum body that is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S. Designed with an extreme level of precision, iPhone 5 combines an anodized aluminum body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a stylish fit and finish. The new iPhone weighs just 112 grams, which is not a lot for a smartphone.

By making the screen taller, not wider, iPhone 5 is just as easy to use with one hand so one could tap, type and scroll while enjoying even more of content including apps optimized for the larger retina display, widescreen HD video, a full five days of Calendar and more of every web page.

Apple iPhone 5 features the new Lightning connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the decade-old 30-pin connector. The all-digital Lightning connector features an adaptive interface that uses only the signals that each accessory requires, and it is reversible so one can instantly connect to any compatible accessories. The Lightning-to-30-pin adapter will be released to connect iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories.

The iPhone 5 comes with the new Apple EarPods featuring a innovative design for a more natural fit and increased durability, as well as improved acoustic quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones.

Smartest iPhone Ever

Apple iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6 mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an new Flyover view; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center; Passbook, the simplest way to get all passes in one place; new Siri features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings; Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps; as well as Shared Photo Streams via iCloud. Previous-generation Apple devices will get iOS 6 later this year.

The Ideal iPhone?

Being the latest iPhone, the sixth-generation smartphone from Apple is indisputably most powerful and elegantly made in the lineup. It will most likely be the best-selling iPhone ever due to the fact that tens of millions of people will upgrade their old models for the new one and tens of millions more would like to buy it due to smartphone transition trend. But is Apple iPhone 5 the ideal smartphone of today?

It appears, that the phone functionality of the iPhone 5 has been improved for at least 20 operators in the world. Traditionally, iPhone has nice Internet browser, excellent content store, very efficient synchronization between devices and all the other eco-system-related functionality. Therefore, those, who are used to their iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will find the iPhone 5 an awesome smartphone: it is simply better than the predecessors. Moreover, iPhone 5 is among the first smartphones to utilize ARM Cortex-A15 processor architecture, which means that it will offer exceptional performance from the very start and will be rather future-proof.

But there are things that are not too good about the iPhone 5. It does not support any NFC technology and does not support file transfer using Bluetooth 4. The device intentionally does not support universal microUSB charging or wireless charging technology. Moreover, even 4" display is somewhat small by today's Internet browsing standards. Finally, maps co-designed by Apple and TomTom may not support all of their advanced functionality outside the U.S. or western Europe. 

All devices has their pros and cons. The iPhone 5 has loads of advantages, but it clearly lacks a number of features easily found on other top smartphones.

Availability Starts This Month

Apple iPhone 5 comes in either white and silver or black and slate, and will be available in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model.

Initially, the new smartphone from Apple will be available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK on September 21.

Starting from September 28, the iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.