After much speculation, rumors and leaked photos, Apple finally announced the new iPhone 5 on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Those following the chatter online probably weren’t surprised by much.
The increased height shown in the leaked photos was right on. That extra real estate allows for a larger 4″ diagonal screen that is closer to the 16:9 widescreen format we’re all used to. Of course Apple is using their Retina display with a resolution of 1136×640 pixels at 326 ppi.
The iPhone 5 is also thinner and lighter than the previous iPhone 4S which made fitting all of the components in the body more challenging. The new radio chip and A6 processor were redesigned to be smaller to fit in this compact area and Apple claims the battery life is equal to or greater than the 4S.
Taking advantage of the new LTE mobile networks and dual-band WiFi, data download speeds are faster than ever. LTE could see download speeds up to 100 Mbps and the dual-band WiFi up to 150 Mbps. For many internet users, these speeds are faster than their home networks.
Since we’re all photographers here, let’s talk about the cameras. The iPhone 5 has two, an 8MP rear facing camera and 1.2MP front facing camera. The front camera can be used to shoot photos and 720p HD video up to 30 frames per second. The rear will shoot 1080p HD video up to 30 frames per second and the iPhone 5’s improved video stabilization will help to prevent shaky footage.
The new f/2.4 iSight camera features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass. Apple has also improved low-light performance and noise reduction and increased the speed of photo capture by 40 percent thanks to the new A6 processor.
The autofocus system has also been improved and features face detection for up to 10 faces. You can tap to focus while shooting stills or video and you can even capture still images while you’re shooting video (a feature of many P&S cameras).
Other camera features include an LED flash, photo and video geotagging and built-in panorama images. Yes, now you can create high-resolution images up to 28 megapixels without the need for a third party app. With one smooth motion you can shoot up to 240 degrees and the gyroscope, A6 chip and camera app all work together to create one seamless image.
The iPhone has become one of the most popular devices for shooting images because of the popularity of the device and the high-quality camera. It really has become the walk around camera of choice for many photo enthusiasts and pros alike. I’ve used the 4S camera and have produced some stunning images. I’m excited to get my hands on the iPhone 5 to test and compare the new features and improvements but from everything I’ve seen so far I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
So who’s going to pre-order their iPhone 5? I know I am! I can’t wait to retire my old 3Gs.
I’ve included a summary of the iPhone 5 press release below for more information about the other features.
Thanks for reading
September 12, 2012 – Apple® announced iPhone® 5, the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina™ display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology*—all while delivering even better battery life.** iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: the all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography and turn-by-turn navigation; Facebook integration; Passbook® organization; and even more Siri® features and languages.
iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with an all-new 7.6 mm anodized aluminum body that is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S. Designed with an unprecedented level of precision, iPhone 5 combines an anodized aluminum body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a truly incredible fit and finish.
The new 4-inch Retina display on iPhone 5 delivers even more pixels than iPhone 4S, making the already incredible Retina display even better. By making the screen taller, not wider, iPhone 5 is just as easy to use with one hand so you can tap, type and scroll the same way you always have, while enjoying even more of your content including amazing apps optimized for the larger Retina display, widescreen HD video, a full five days of your Calendar and more of every web page.
iPhone 5 supports ultrafast wireless standards including LTE and DC-HSDPA, so you can browse, download and stream content even faster. To support the latest LTE technology, Apple has pioneered a unique single-radio LTE solution that provides blazing fast speeds while fitting perfectly into the new remarkably thin design. iPhone 5 features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for a wireless experience up to 150 Mbps.***
The all-new A6 chip was designed by Apple to maximize performance and power efficiency to support all the incredible new features in iPhone 5, including the stunning new 4-inch Retina display—all while delivering even better battery life. With up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, almost everything you do on iPhone 5 is blazing fast for launching apps, loading web pages and downloading email attachments.
The 8 megapixel iSight® camera is the most popular camera in the world and with iPhone 5, it’s even better. The new camera is completely redesigned with incredible optical performance, yet amazingly it’s 25 percent smaller than the camera in iPhone 4S. The new iSight camera in iPhone 5 features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images. The new panorama feature lets you capture jaw-dropping panorama images of up to 28 megapixels by simply moving the camera across a scene in one smooth motion. New video features include improved stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record. A new FaceTime® HD front facing camera makes FaceTime calls incredibly clear and can also be used for self portraits and recording 720p HD video. iPhone 5 also allows you to share photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.
iPhone 5 features the new Lightning™ connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the previous connector. The all-digital Lightning connector features an adaptive interface that uses only the signals that each accessory requires, and it’s reversible so you can instantly connect to your accessories. The Lightning-to-30-pin Adapter is also available to connect iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories.****
iPhone 5 introduces new enhanced audio features including a new beam-forming, directional microphone system for higher quality sound, while background noise fades away with new noise canceling technology. iPhone 5 now includes support for cellular wideband audio for crisper word clarity and more natural sounding speech. Wideband audio will be supported by over 20 carriers worldwide at launch. iPhone 5 comes with the new Apple EarPods™ featuring a breakthrough design for a more natural fit and increased durability, and an incredible acoustic quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones.
iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new user features including: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover™ view; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center; Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place; new Siri features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings;***** Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari® and Maps; and Shared Photo Streams via iCloud®.
Pricing & Availability
iPhone 5 comes in either white & silver or black & slate, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the 64GB model. iPhone 5 will be available from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 5 will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK on Friday, September 21, and customers can pre-order their iPhone 5 beginning Friday, September 14. iPhone 4S will also be available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 4 will be available for free with a two-year contract.****** iOS 6 software will be available on Wednesday, September 19 as a free software update.
iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
* LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks, check with your carrier for details.
** Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
*** Based on theoretical speeds, actual speeds may vary.
**** Sold separately.
***** Not all features are supported in all countries.
****** Availability varies by carrier.
Images provided by Apple.
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Founder of Current Photographer, co-host of The Digital Photography Cafe Show, Designer, Photographer, and overall tech geek.