Headed by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone 5 announcement has just taken place in Yerba Buena, San Francisco, California today at 6pm. This review will explore all the main iPhone 5 features as announced by Apple to discover whether they have packed in some real innovation this time around or if the iPhone 5 is just a repackaged iPhone 4S.
Super Stylish iPhone 5
Looking quite impressive, the iPhone 5 (yes ‘iPhone 5’ is now the official name) has just been unveiled by speaker Phil Schiller.
The device turned out to be identical to the leaked image. Made entirely of glass and aluminium, the iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever made by Apple. Weighing just 112g and at 7.6 mm thick the iPhone 5 is in fact now officially the world’s thinnest smartphone. As we saw in the leaked images, the new iPhone 5 will be available in both white and black colour variants.
The new iPhone comes with Apple’s trademark Retina display but now it’s a more generous 4” instead of the 3.5” of the iPhone 4S. The screen’s Touch sensors are now integrated deep into the display, allowing the iPhone 5 to be thinner than its predecessor and enabling the image to be sharper than ever before and with less glare.
Audio Visual iPhone
Holding on to the 8MP snapper, Apple have mainly made improvements on the software front with the new iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 Photo
The iPhone 5 will have its image processor built into the A6 chip allowing photo-capture that is 40% faster than the camera on the iPhone 4S, which will result in less lag between photos. It comes with a back side illuminated hybrid IR filter and 5 element lens. The lens has been positioned to a micron accuracy to ensure the highest quality photography. The camera’s F2.4 Aperture is 25% smaller than the lens on the iPhone 4S and has dynamic low light mode.
iPhone 5 Audio
With 3 microphones (two on the front and one on the back) coupled with better voice recognition software, including improved noise cancellation, the iPhone 5 will have improved audio recording abilities. Now using Wideband audio, the sound quality is much better and will lose that infamously recognisable phone sound and instead will have a more natural voice tone comparable to a sound playback you hear when chatting on Skype.
With full 1080p HD video on the main camera and half HD (720p) on the front facing camera, the iPhone 5 doesn’t really make a big impression and begins to seem a disappointment. However, on the software side of things there are some minor improvements with regard to video image stabilisation and processing.
All the keynote and other native software (iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband) has been updated and improved to work with the new system and screen size. Non-Apple apps will auto-fit to the new screen creating subtle black edges and filling in any gaps where the app interface is the wrong size.
One of the highlights of the iPhone 5 is the turn-by-turn iOS 6 maps which include a cinematic camera feature that allows you to fly over any area you want to see. You can even change the camera angle if you want.
Siri has been updated with software integration into Open Table so that you can make reservations at restaurants that use Open Table. Siri will now also handle all your Facebook postings for you if you tell it what to do. Now this is a really great social feature.
Apple A6 (dual Core) Chip
Unfortunately no quad-core processor with the iPhone 5! It would seem that Apple is lagging behind Samsung and HTC in terms of raw power. But all is not lost because, according to Rob Murray who demonstrated some seamless game play of Real Racing 3 on the iPhone 5, the A6 provides “full console quality”.
Despite being a dual core chipset, with its integrated graphics, the A6 is allegedly twice as powerful as the A5 (found in the iPhone 4S) in terms of CPU and graphics performance. If this is true then the iPhone 5 should be on par with the likes of the Galaxy S3 and One X in terms of power but I won’t believe it until I test it myself.
The iPhone 5 offers 8hours 3G talk time and browsing and LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-fi browsing or 40 hours music playback. This is a modest improvement on the iPhone 4S.
Should You Buy the iPhone 5?
The iPhone 5 will be available in three memory variants 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Each memory variant will be available in black or white giving us a total of six different iPhone 5 variants to choose from. The prices of each will be the same as their iPhone 4S equivalents while the iPhone 4S will now be reduced.
Over all the iPhone 5 seems a bit underwhelming. Ever since last years’ iPhone 4S announcement, disappointment seems to be synonymous with the iPhone brand. There have been some significant improvements in software but nothing hugely innovative. The hardware development department at Apple Inc. seems to have ground to a halt altogether. Admittedly though, the appearance of the iPhone is quite distinguished from the rest of the iPhone family, and I mean this in a very positive sense.
If you don’t want the best phone on the market and would prefer an over rated status symbol then the iPhone 5 is perfect for you. You will be able to order your iPhone 5 on the 14th September (this Friday) and shipping will begin on Sep 21st September.