It’s that time of year again: Apple has just unveiled the next generation of its iPhone, and it features many additions and improvements to the iPhone family.
The most noticeable difference between the iPhone 5 and previous models is the screen size. While previous iPhones had 3.5-inch displays, the iPhone 5 boasts a 4-inch screen, with a resolution of 1136 by 640 pixels thanks to the inclusion of Apple’s Retina Display. According to Apple, the longer screen will allow users to more easily surf the internet and view emails; it also lets users display videos in 16:9 widescreen format. The screen also adds a fifth row of icons to the phone’s home screen, allowing easier access to more of users’ favorite applications. Applications not updated to take full use of the device’s larger screen will feature black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, so they will look similar to how they did on previous models. The device is also 18% thinner and 20% lighter than last year’s iPhone, the iPhone 4S.
Another major addition to the phone is the inclusion of 4G LTE support across the “big three” service providers in North America, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. The phone’s new A6 processing chip allows for twice the performance speed and graphics processing compared to the iPhone 4S, while the new 8-megapixel camera features 40% faster photo capturing; when recording, the camera can record 1080p video. Enhanced speakers with five magnet transducers allow for better sound quality, and the addition of a third microphone makes sound detection more accurate, complete with noise cancellation. The phone’s new dock connector, dubbed Lightning, is completely digital, and is 80% smaller compared to the connector used for previous iDevices. The phone’s battery allows for roughly eight hours of continuous talk time.
In addition to the above features, the iPhone 5 will ship with new earbuds – called “EarPods” – that fit into listeners’ ears, and iOS 6, which adds improved Siri functionality and full Facebook integration. iOS 6 will be released for other iDevices on September 19.
Those looking to own the iPhone 5 won’t have to wait long, as pre-orders begin September 14, and will be shipped by September 21. The device will be sold under contract for $199.99 for the 16-gigabyte version, $299.99 for the 32GB version, and $399.99 for the 64GB version; meanwhile, the 8GB iPhone 4 will be free under a contract, and the 16GB iPhone 4S will be sold for $99.99. The iPhone 5 will be available in both black and white.