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iPhone 5 – How the Rumours Compare to the Facts

September 12th, 2012 by Simon

After months of anticipation, speculation and leaked images, Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 5 to the world at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. From the outset it seems that much of what Apple had to reveal is already well known. Due to the high secrecy maintained around earlier iPhones before their release, it was assumed that the device that has been cropping up so frequently during the past few months must have been a test device or prototype.

Apple iPhone 5 launch

Now it appears as though that device was in fact the finished iPhone 5 and much of the rumoured features and specifications turn out to be correct.

The Display

Firstly, and perhaps that most talked about and obvious change for the iPhone 5 is the larger screen. It looks like the rumours were right on the mark. The screen has been increased to 4 inches, uses an 1136 x 640 screen resolution with 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio, has the same 326ppi as the 4S, and will introduce in-cell LCD technology, allowing the screen to be much slimmer than earlier models.

Gaming on the iPhone 5

The use of in-cell panels has allowed Apple to make this the thinnest iPhone yet, measuring just 7.6mm in thickness. That is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. The smaller size also results in the iPhone 5 being 20% lighter at just 112 grams.

The screen is not just larger but has had some tweaks made to its quality. It now offers 40% more colour saturation. The larger resolution and new aspect ratio had caused some concern for app developers. Native iOS apps will be adjusted to fit the new screen, allowing more content to be displayed, and some third party apps have already been tinkered with to fit the new dimensions. For the majority of existing apps, however, the iPhone 5 will employ black bars as had been previously anticipated. The new dimensions also result in an extra row of app icons on the homescreen.

Connectivity

Yes, the iPhone 5 will have LTE and, more importantly, will still have that LTE support when released in the UK. Apple mentioned a number of networks that will be offering the 4G iPhone across the globe, and brand new network EE was the only one to get a mention for the UK.

LTE support on the iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 also has HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA as well as 802.11n 5Ghz Wi-Fi which Apple claims should provide wireless speeds of 150Mbps.

Processor

The iPhone 5 will run on a A6 chip which is 22% smaller than the last iPhone processor and twice as fast. Loading a music app will be twice as quick, for example, and the iPhone 5 will be able to offer console quality gaming. It is already partnering with Electronic Arts to bring some high quality games to the iPhone 5. Game Center also introduces “time-shift multiplaying”, allowing you to challenge someone to a game one day, and play them the next.

Battery

In our Facebook poll we found that instead of NFC, LTE or a taller screen, the number one thing people wanted to see with the iPhone 5 was a better battery life. It was already known that the iPhone 5’s battery would be bigger and Apple promise that the battery will certainly perform better than the 4S. Stated battery life is 10 hours for use on Wi-Fi and an impressive 8 hours solid LTE use.

Camera

28 megapixel camera on iPhone 5

The camera has not had an increase in megapixels, remaining set at 8 megapixels, but it is 25% smaller than the iPhone 4S camera and an improved dynamic low light mode will increase picture quality when the flash is not used. The camera employs “sapphire crystals” to protect the lens, and comes with spatial noise reduction and smart filter. Photo capture speed has been increase by 40%.

The camera has been integrated with Facebook and photos can automatically be shared with friends who can comment on and like images. A new panorama mode will combine multiple images into a huge 28 megapixel image. For video, image stabilisation has been improved and the camera can now detect up to ten faces. As previously rumoured, FaceTime can now be used over 3G and 4G connections.

Lightning Dock Connector

Lightning dock connector for iPhone 5

Another rumour that has been confirmed by Apple: the iPhone 5 will have a new dock connector. It is reversible, so it can be inserted either way, and is 80% smaller than the old design. All of this we already knew. What we didn’t know was that the new design is called “lightning”. What we were not sure of was how it would affect existing accessories. Thankfully an adaptor will be available. A number of companies including Bose, JBL, and Bang and Olufson have already been working on new accessories.

iOS 6

The new Maps app includes 100 million points of interest and info cards for businesses, supplied by Yelp. TomTom provides turn-by-turn directions and real time traffic data is supplied by Waze. Thankfully, it appears that the 3D flyover mode will not be limited to US cities, with at least parts of London being available.

Safari can now be used full screen, Siri understands a bit more about the world, particularly sports, and Passbook has had some improvements since iOS 6 beta was first released to developers. Siri can also be used to book restaurant tables with OpenTable and can recommend movies from Rotten Tomatoes. Siri can also post directly to Facebook for you, and Facebook will be integrated into many more apps.

Big Ben on Apple Maps for iOS 6

Final Thoughts?

There is not much that was revealed by Apple today that was not already well known about via numerous leaks. Yes we finally know what the new dock connector is called and also heard about some improvements to the camera that were not previously known about, but it seems there was not much on show to really wow the audience. The initial reaction of many appears to be one of disappointment or indifference. The iPhone 5 is certainly an improvement on the 4S, and has introduced some much called for changes like the larger screen, but it doesn’t feel quite as revolutionary as earlier iPhone launches. Perhaps this is more to do with the fact that Apple has historically done a much better job of keeping things secret until the last moment, while the iPhone 5’s wow factor has been spread thinly across several months of grainy images. What are your thoughts on the iPhone 5? Are you excited or disappointed?

Images Via Mashable

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