Apple’s next iPhone will be the first model with a 4 inch display. But just like the iPhone 4S, the Apple iPhone 5 will have a 326 pixels-per-inch Retina display.
In order to keep text, images, and other graphics sharp on the new screen, Apple has increased the resolution from 960 x 640 pixels to 1136 x 640 pixels, making the iPhone 5 the first phone from Apple with a 16:9 display.
Pre-orders open on September 14th, with prices starting at $199.
That extra screen real estate lets you fit another row of icons on the home screen. It also lets you view widescreen videos without any letterboxing, and apps like iWork, iMovie, and Garage Band that have been updated for the iPhone 5 will take advantage of the extra screen space.
Apps that aren’t optimized for the iPhone 5 will show black lines above and below the screen — but the good news is that they’ll basically be about the same size they are on an older 3.5 inch iPhone.
In addition to increasing the size and resolution of the display, Apple says its also increased the color saturation by 44 percent.
While competitors including Samsung and HTC having been pushing the limits of smartphone screen size with 4.7 inch and larger screens, the iPhone 5 should fit in your hand about as easily as an iPhone 4S or earlier model — which means it should be easier to use with one hand.
But the phone is thinner and lighter than earlier iPhones. It’s 7.6mm (0.3 inches) thick, which is 18 percent thinner than the last iPhone, and 112 grams (3.95 ounces), which is about 20 percent lighter. The case is made entirely of glass and aluminum.
Under the hood, Apple has added support for 4G LTE, and a dual-channel 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi.
The iPhone 5 is powered by a new Apple A6 processor, which the company says is twice as fast as the chips in the latest iPad and iPhone 4S. Apple says graphics performance is also twice as fast.
In terms of real-world performance, Apple says apps launch as much as twice as fast.
Apple is promising 8 hours of battery life while using 3G or 4G LTe, and 10 hours of run time over WiFi.
The 8MP camera on iPhone 5 camera offers most of the features you get with the iPhone 4S, but the camera has been made thinner to fit into the thinner case. Apple says the camera also captures images 40 percent faster and the camera can take panoramic photos.
You can also take photos while recording a video.
Panoramic photos, zero-shutter-lag, and taking still images while shooting video are all features we’ve seen from a number of Android phone cameras recently, but it’s nice to see Apple bringing them to the iPhone.
Apple says it’s also improved image stabilization during video recordings.
The front-facing camera is now called a FaceTime HD camera, and it supports 720p for video calls over FaceTime whether you’re using WiFi or cellular.
The iPhone 5 uses a new 8-pin charging and adapter cable called Lightning. It’s 80 percent smaller than the company’s earlier adapters — and it’s reversible, letting you plug it in either way. But you’ll still need an adapter to connect to existing docking stations or other peripherals.
Apple is still using a proprietary adapter port rather than the micro USB port that’s standard on most other smartphones.
As usual, the iPhone 5 will come in both black and white. The white model has an aluminum back, while the black model has an anodized black rear.
And as usual, Apple will charge $199 for a 16GB model, $299 for a 32GB model, and $399 for a 64GB. Those are the prices with a wireless contract. Pre-orders start September 14th, and the iPhone 5 will ship in select countries (including the US) on September 21st.
The company will continue to offer the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, which will be available for $99 and free on-contract, respectively.
Apple will release iOS 6 for all 3 phone models starting September 19th. It will also be able to run on the iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 or later, or the latest iPod touch.