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Taller screen, better audio, better camera, and iOS 6. In short: awesome sauce.
The iPhone 5 is here! Lo, gaze upon it, and be afraid.
Screen and display
As expected, the new phone comes with a larger screen—four inches, or nine millimeters taller than the iPhone 4S, but with the same width. The new height allows for six rows of apps instead of the previous five, which means that apps designed for previous iPhones won’t scale to the new screen. The retina display comes with a resolution of 326 pixels per inch, or 1136x640 resolution, and features 44% greater color saturation.
The iPhone 5 is encased in glass and aluminum, and at just four ounces, it’s 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. It’s also 18% thinner, at just 7.6 mm—which makes it the thinnest smartphone in the world, according to VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller.
Apple’s first 4G LTE phone (which means it will be compatible with carriers’ high-speed LTE networks), the iPhone 5 comes with a host of swanky upgrades.
For starters, it comes with a smaller, faster processor. The A6 processor in the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as that of the 4S and it’s 22% smaller. The new phone also comes with “ultrafast” wireless.
The battery comes with eight hours of talking on 3G networks, or talking plus browsing on LTE networks. It also supports 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.
Additionally, the new iPhone comes with three microphones—front, back, and bottom—compared with just one on the bottom of the 4S. The whole audio system has been upgraded, with noise-canceling features and wideband audio, which fills up more of the frequency spectrum. It will also come with a new noise-canceling earpiece that will make calls easier to hear.
And naturally, the camera also got a makeover. The 8-megapixel camera comes with precision lens alignment, dynamic lowlight mode (that will make pictures clearer in low light without having to use the flash), and a sapphire crystal lens cover. The front-facing camera can now shoot 720p video and allows for HD quality video for FaceTime (the iPhone 4S offers VGA). The sensor is 25% smaller and snaps pictures 40% faster. The camera also has a panorama mode for capturing widescreen images.
On the subject of FaceTime, iPhone 5 owners will be able to FaceTime over cellular networks now (instead of having to ground themselves to Wi-Fi connections).
And of course, the iPhone 5 will run iOS 6, which will be released September 19. The new iOS 6 comes with Apple’s new mapping app, which comes with turn-by-turn directions and the flyover feature. There will also be an improved Siri, which will be able to open apps on voice command and reserve tables at restaurants for you (using OpenTable), among other features.
Like the iPhone launches before it, the new iPhone will start at $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB version. The iPhone 4S will now retail for $99, and the iPhone 4 will be available for free. Farewell, iPhone 3GS.
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