Displacing all rumours, the new iPhone is here. Apple has officially launched the new iPhone at the ongoing Apple event. And yes, it’s indeed called the iPhone 5, not the ‘New iPhone’, ‘iPhone Ultimate' or any of that crap. Made entirely out of aluminium and glass, it weighs a mere 112 gm and is 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S, and is the thinnest iPhone yet at 7.6 mm thick. Armed with a 4-inch, 326 ppi retina screen at a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels, it’s the same width, but taller. Apple has chosen to debut iOS6 with the iPhone 5 and the new OS includes Apple's own Maps app, an updated version of Siri and lots more. Overall, the new iPhone has been upgraded in almost all respects.

However, the new iPhone doesn't have NFC and Apple has not mentioned anything about using Bluetooth 4.0 for NFC-like pairing facilities. And you don't have wireless charging or microUSB support either.

Apple’s product launches so far have been nothing short of spectacular. Great videos, thronging journalists live-blogging and insane fans continuously pinging tech news sites are but normal in cases like these.

So it looks the same just slimmer, lighter and taller

So it looks the same; just slimmer, lighter and taller

But the launch of the iPhone 5 has been anticipated like no other mobile phone yet, be it ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’. Since the iPhone 4S was launched last October, rumours of the new iPhone have been dropping out of the sky like a meteor shower, leaving us with no idea of what to expect.

Apple says it has added more than 200 new features in the new iPhone, like the ability to control it through a car, cognizant features like knowing when to alert you when to call back someone if you missed their call and were busy – and a whole lot more.

The touchscreen and display of the iPhone 5 have been integrated together, so the screen is slimmer and sharper, with less glare in sunlight, 44 percent better colour saturation and full sRGB rendering. It’s got a similar antenna to the iPhone 4S – a dynamic antennae that can automatically switch connections – and supoprts GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE. It has a single chip for voice and data, and a single radio chip. It has a dual-channel Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n adapter with a maximum speed of 150 Mbps over both channels.

Powered with the new A6

Powered with the new A6

The processor on the iPhone 5 is the new A6 chip, which is 22 percent smaller, more energy efficient and capable of loading pages 2.1 times faster than before. There’s also a new image processor in the A6 to reduce noise. It includes a “smart filter” to better match colours.

The battery on the new iPhone is even better than that of the 4S. It has a standby time of 255 hours, offers 8 hours of talktime on 3G networks and will last you for 8 hours when browsing on either 3G or LTE networks. When using a Wi-Fi connection, you can use the phone on the battery for a complete 10 hours.

The camera here is the same as the one found on the iPhone 4S, but is thinner, has an 8 megapixel sensor with sapphilre lens crystal cover, backside illumination, a Hybrid IR filter and an aperture of f/2.4. It has a dynamic low light mode that evaluates nearby pixels to give up to 2 f-stops, which results in greater low light performance.

You can also take panaorama photos. The demonstration showed a panorama picture being shot which resulted in a 28 megapixel image when completed.

Panorama in 28 megapixels

Panorama in 28 megapixels

You can capture 1080p HD videos with improved video stabilisation, face detection and you can also take photos while recording. The front camera lets you capture 720p videos and has backside illumination.

An 8MP shooter strapped onto the back

An 8MP shooter strapped onto the back

Interestingly, the iPhone 5 is equipped with three microphones – front, bottom and back – for voice recognition and noise cancellation. It also has a wider spectrum for audio called “wideband audio” for crisper word clarity and more natural sounding speech. It also comes with the new high quality in-ear earbuds called Apple EarPods.

The iPhone 5’s connector has undergone much speculation that it’ll be smaller than ever. Well, after using the same connector for its devices over the last nine years, Apple has finally decided to change it on the iPhone 5. Called 'Lightning', the 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. Apple will launch a Lightning-to-30-pin Adapter to connect iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories.

Here is a quick look at the highlighted features of the iPhone 5:

  • 4-inch, 326 ppi Retina display at 1136 x 640 pixels,
  • GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE, dual-channel Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (up to 150 Mbps)
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • 8 megapixel camera with backside illumination, 1080p full HD video recording and aperture of f/2.4, 720p front-facing camera with backside illumination.
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions
  • Lightning adaptor

iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, which includes Apple’s own Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and a new Flyover view; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center; and Passbook, which lets you store all your passes in one place.

Siri has also been updated and new features include 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.

The iPhone 5 comes in either white and silver, or black and slate colours, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399  for the 64GB model. iPhone 5 will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 5 will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK from September 21, and pre-orders open from September 14.

Apple has cut the prices of the iPhone 4S as well. The iPhone 4S will be available for just $99 and iPhone 4 will be available for free with a two-year contract in select locales.

iOS 6 software will be available on 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.

Images courtesy Engadget's Liveblog

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