Official iPhone 5 Features and Video September 12 2012


Apple is unveiling the iPhone 5 today—and working very hard to convince everyone that it's a big leap from the last iPhone, the 4S.

See images of the entire announcement on our Facebook

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"We've updated every aspect of iPhone 5," CEO Tim Cook boasted. "Everything has been enhanced." Which is nice, but could also be read as a euphemism for, "There's not really any one thing here that's revolutionary." 

Some big updates have been announced - here are the essential points:

Release date

* The new iPhone hits shops on September 21

* Pre-orders can be made from Friday

The price

* Exactly the same as the 4S was - meaning the iPhone 4 is now free and 4S is much cheaper

The connector

* It was widely rumoured there would be a new smaller port - and the rumours were true. Meaning accessories with docks will no longer work without the adaptor Apple are making (no mention on whether it will be included or cost extra)

* The new, 80 per cent smaller connector cable is called the Thunderbolt - it is all digital, more durable and you can plug it in in any direction

Performance

* There is a new A6 chip.

* CPU and graphics are twice as fast (CPU and graphics), meaning apps will open faster and the phone will operate more quickly

* Battery life is improved, offering 10 hours of video playback and Wi-FI browsing

Operating system

*  iOS 6 will be a FREE upgrade from September 19 on everything down to the 3GS

Connectivity

* The iPhone 5 is LTE compatible. Which basically means you can download massive amounts of data very quickly

* It is working with EverythingEverywhere, Orange and T-Mobile's parent company, to provide the faster connection

* Wifi has been boosted

How it looks

* Made entirely of glass and aluminium

* It is Apple's thinnest and lightest phone, just 7.6mm thick - making it the world's thinnest smartphone - and weighing only 112g

* The screen remains the same width but it now taller, with a 4in display. It makes it 1136mm x 640mm, a 16:9 ratio

* Retina display with 326 pixels/inch

* The larger display screen allows a fifth row of apps

* It is available in black/slate and white/silver finishes

Phone calls

* Three microphones will help with noise cancellation

* Improved earpiece

Siri

* The three microphones should help Siri understand you better

* It now knows all about sports

* Siri can now launch apps with voice commands

* It knows about movies and restaurants and can make recommendations and help with bookings - although this may not work in the UK

* Siri now has Facebook integration too

The camera

* 8mp

* New dynamic low light mode

* Precision lens alignment

* Sapphire crystal lens cover - good news for those who drop their phone all the time

* Spatial noise reduction

* Smart filter

* Better low-light performance

* Faster photo capture by 40 per cent

* Shared Photo Streams so friends can see your snaps

* Panorama software which stitches pictures together in real time

* Improved video too: still 1080p but with better stabilization and 10 x facial recognition at once.

* FaceTime camera upgrade

Apps

* 3D satellite imaging for select cities (including London)

* New Notification Centre which works like Mountain Lion - you can Tweet direct from it, for example.

* New Safari: Features iCloud tabs, which allows you to look at the same tabs that are open on your iCloud conencted desktop

* Passbook - collects cinema tickets, boarding passes, concert tickets, coupons etc in one place - and even has a virtual shredder

The most obvious difference is the one that rumor mills have been predicting for months: The iPhone 5 is taller than its predecessor, with a larger, four-inch display and a movie-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio when you turn it sideways. It looks lovely, though its ability to display a fifth row of apps and a full work week on its calendar probably won't rock many people's worlds.

Similarly, the hardware advancements are technically impressive, though probably not mind-blowingly so for the average consumer. The phone is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the 4S, yet twice as fast, thanks to its new A6 processor. It also comes with a new, smaller connector, called "Lightning," meaning that everyone is going to have to buy adapters for their old plugs and docks—or buy new ones. And it will run on super-fast LTE networks on many carriers (Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T in the United States). All that, plus longer battery life. It's safe to say Apple is doing its best to capitalize on Moore's Law.

The biggest software highlight is Panorama, a photo mode that seamlessly stitches together images to create, well, a panorama. New maps and GPS features, including turn-by-turn directions complete with 3D-modeled satellite images in a mode called FlyOver that Apple previewed at a conference earlier this year. Siri has also learned a few more tricks, like loading the latest NFL standings on command or pulling up Rotten Tomatoes reviews when you ask for a movie recommendation.

The phones will come in black and white, and the first ones will ship in the United States on Sept. 21, a week after pre-orders begin. The prices—$199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB—remain the same.

In short, the phone sounds like it's improved in just about every way. Although people are going to nit-pick about it not being enough, there are enough complaints that have been resolved that although it's not exciting, everyday use will be an improvement that you'll appreciate but maybe not notice.