Bigger screen, higher resolution and faster mobile broadband
Apple has launched the iPhone 5, the latest version of its best-selling smartphone.
The new iPhone 5 has a larger 4in display with a resolution of 1,136x640 pixels, whereas the previous iPhone 4S had a smaller 3.5in screen with a resolution of 960x640 pixels.
Despite the increased screen size the new iPhone is thinner at 7.6mm and weighs 112g compared to the 140g weight of its predecessor. Apple has updated all of the apps included with the phone, as well as the ones it sells in the App Store such as iWork and iMovie, to take advantage of the extra resolution.
Apple claims the new screen is larger than that of the iPhone 4Ss, but is still usable single-handed unlike some phones from competing manufacturers.
The iPhone 5 supports wireless technologies that the iPhone 4S does not. It's is Apple's first smartphone to use the faster LTE 4G wireless broadband technology that's already present in the iPad 3. The new smartphone also supports dual-channel 802.11n Wifi.
The iPhone 5 uses the new A6 processor which Apple claims is twice as fast as the A5 processor in the iPhone 4S. Curiously, Apple has yet to specify how many cores the A6 has. Despite the faster processor and wireless technologies, Apple claims the new iPhone will have longer battery life than the older model.
Apple has replaced the familiar Dock Connector with a smaller Lightning connector. The new charging cable can be plugged in with either side facing you so there's no ‘wrong' way to plug it in.
Adapters will be available to allow use of the older Dock Connector cables with the iPhone 5, although it's unclear if those adapters will work with speaker docks and other peripherals that rely on the old Dock Connector.
The camera has also been upgraded from a five megapixel model to eight megapixels. Apple claims the new camera can take photos faster, one after the other, and can take better looking photos in low light conditions.
The new camera can also take panoramic photos more easily thanks to a new software feature in the camera app. It can also snap photos while recording video at the same time, a feature first debuted by HTC in its One range of Android smartphones.
Apple also claims that the microphones have been improved for better sound quality when making phone calls and using the Siri voice recognition feature. The iPhone 5 will be available in two colours - an all-black version and a white and aluminium variant.
Almost all of the iPhone 5's features were leaked weeks in advance of its announcement which is unusual for an Apple product given the company's reputation for secrecy. The iPhone 5 can be ordered from September 14th with delivery one week later on the 21st.
It will be priced identically to the iPhone 4S, but that older model, as well as the iPhone 4, will still remain as cheaper alternatives. No mention was made of the previous budget iPhone, the 3GS.
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