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iPhone 5: Are Great Expectations Met?

Judy L. Wang |
September 12, 2012 | 1:32 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Apple's iPhone 5 will be released on September 21. (Janineomg/Flickr)
Apple's iPhone 5 will be released on September 21. (Janineomg/Flickr)

It has arrived. Apple on Wednesday unveiled its highly anticipated iPhone 5 featuring its first redesign since the passing of founder Steve Jobs.

Months of swirling rumors were mostly confirmed at the event, from the larger 4-inch display to the addition of 4G LTE. However, critics were generally pleased with the unveiling calling it “predictable,” but by no means “boring.” While iPhone enthusiasts may be slightly disappointed by the lack of physical transformation, the consensus is that the most exciting changes are not external, but internal.

So, what are the differences between the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5?

1. The way it looks: The new iPhone is taller and thinner, along with a 4 inch retina display screen (the iPhone 4s has a 3.5 inch screen). It’s 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter, making it the thinnest smartphone on the market. 

2. LTE: Most people predicted that Apple would finally add 4G LTE capabilities and so it has. However, this change leaves T-Mobile in the dust. 

3. Camera: The iPhone 5 camera is smaller and has a dynamic low light mode that will help capture pictures better in dim lighting. It also has a precision lens alignment that will take photos 2.1 times faster and a sapphire crystal lens cover, which is just as fancy as it sounds because it’s meant to provide clearer pictures while protecting your lens. Apple has also added a built in panorama feature that will stitch pictures together on the spot. 

4. Battery life: This is probably Apple’s biggest vice, but the iPhone 5 boasts a 8 hour battery life on 3G talking and browsing, 8 hour on LTE browsing and 10 hours on Wi-Fi. That's not a huge improvement, but a tiny one from the 4S.

5. Dock Connector: This change is probably the one that will annoy Apple users the most because it makes old connectors obsolete. The dock connector, known as Lightning, is smaller and also reversible. 

6. Audio: Unlike its predecessor, the new iPhone has three speakers---one front facing, one on the side and one on the bottom. It will make for better quality sound and provide a noise cancellation feature.

7. A6 Chip: The iPhone 4s has an A5 chip and all technicalities aside, the A6 chip basically loads web pages twice as fast. 

The iPhone 5 will hit the shelves on September 21, coming in a 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. Also, like the 4S, buyers will have a choice of either a black or white device. 

Overall, the iPhone 5 may seem like the same old, same old from Apple in terms of presentation, but an analyst from IDC said that "the actual level of engineering and design that has gone into it is quite amazing." Either way, Apple sales are expected to be through the roof at perhaps 6 million to 8 million in just the first week. The iPhone is one of Apple's most marketable products, making for nearly half of their sales.

To see how the iPhone 5 matches up to its competitors, check out this graphic





Reach Staff Reporter Judy Wang here or follow her on Twitter



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