The iPhone 5 was announced on Sep 12th and pre orders were open on Sep 14th. It was to be available in stores on sep 21st. It comes with some great and unique features that were never available on an iPhone before.
One of the most noticeable change to the iPhone is its longer screen. The retina display is now 4" diagonal instead of 3.5. This means the screen is a little taller.
The iPhone 5 has a completely new design. You will notice that it is lighter, thinner and taller in your hand immediately when you hold it in your hand.
Once a you turn the iPhone 5 on, you will notice the rest of features specially iOS 6, and an additional row of icons.
The iPhone 5 is full of features from hardware and software, I will go through the most useful features that you will find quickly noticeable:
So here are the most important new features of the iPhone 5:
4" Retina Display:
The 4" retina display is 0.5" taller than the normal 3.5" display since the release of the iPhone in 2007. By making the display taller but not wider, you will have more display real estate while keeping the same feel and comfort you are used to in holding your current iPhone.
I never supported the idea of going wide, simply because I use my iPhone with one hand, a wider screen will make it difficult to use with one hand.
Apple also made a smart move by increasing the length and keeping the same width, as this is very important to developers and the 600,000 current applications. Any application will run normally on the new display without stretching or changing the resolution. It will simply be centered in the longer screen. This is a great plus for the new display.
Apple also changed the supplier of the display supplier from Samsung to Sharp, and made the screen a little thinner getting rid of one layer between your finger and the touch screen. This not only helped the iPhone to be thinner but also it makes the touch even more responsive besides the clarity and the 40% colore saturation in the new screen. The iPhone photos look much clearer and colorful on the improved display.
The iPhone video play back is amazing with bigger screen having an aspect ratio of 16:9, you won't see letterboxes on top and bottom of your movies.
Better Rear Camera:
The rear camera of the iPhone 4S is 8MP which is great. The only problem with the iPhone 4S camera is capturing at low light. The iPhone 5 still has an 8MP sensor, but improved optics for low light.
The new camera takes shots faster, and takes better pictures at low light. It still takes 1080p HD video but at improved anti shake for more stable shots.
Another cool feature with the camera is the ability to take panorama pictures at 240 degrees angles. Simply aim your iPhone 5, and swipe a scenery, the software will stitch the pictures into a nice panorama picture. I have used panorama applications for the iPhone 4S up to 360 degrees, but this built in feature is much better in quality and speed.
Moreover, you can now take a picture while shooting a video. So you don't have to stop the video to take the picture. This is really cool, and useful.
HD Front Camera:
Facetime was always available over wifi, but now with iOS 6, Facetime is available over cell network.
The front camera got some general improvements. It now captures 720p HD video, the pictures are much crisp and clear. It recognizes faces, and it also allows for capturing still pictures while taking a video.
The iPhone 5 has three microphones, and improved bigger speaker. It support HD sound in phone calls, which means very high quality phone calls if the carrier supports it. The iPhone audio jack is moved from the top to the bottom of the iPhone 5 for packaging purposes.
The 30pin connection which is a decade old is gone, and is replaced with the lightning connection which is faster more durable and reversibly.
The problem of course is that all the iPhone accessories that you might have already and collected through the years will not work on your iPhone 5.
However, Apple made a new 30 to 8 pin convertor which you have to buy separately, that allows those old accessories to work on the iPhone 5.
4G LTE is now standard in all iPhone 5 models. This service if available in your area means up to 100 Mbps download speed.
4G LTE could in fact be faster than some cable connection at home. Wifi is also improved to supports 802.11n at both 2.4 and 5Ghz.