The iPhone 5 Has Arrived, Was It Worth the Wait?

Paul Lilly

Apple's iPhone 5 is finally here, and it's pretty much everything that's been rumored in the weeks and months prior to today. It has a half-inch larger touchscreen display that's now 4 inches with an 1136x640 resolution, which marks the first time the iPhone has deviated from using a 3.5-inch screen; there's a 4G LTE radio tucked inside; Apple upgraded the system-on-chip (SoC) to an A6 processor; and yes, it's officially called the iPhone 5 and not simply iPhone or 'new iPhone' (a la the third generation iPad).

Right off the bat one could say the new resolution might be problematic for apps, but to go along with the new resolution, Apple said it updated all of its own software. As for third-party apps that were designed with a smaller resolution in mind, those will be letterboxed rather than upsized and pixelated. Also on the topic of the display, Apple says it's now packing 326 pixels per inch with full sRGB rendering.

The new A6 processor is a powerful upgrade over the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S. According to Apple, the A6 is 22 percent smaller, allowing the company to design a smartphone that, while boasting a bigger display, is 18 percent thinner than before, measuring just 7.6mm, and 20 percent lighter. It's also twice as fast, both in CPU and GPU chores, and more energy efficient.

Apple upgraded the front-facing FaceTime camera to support 720p, and it works over 3G with iOS 6. The rear-facing "iSight" camera, has an 8MP sensor with a five element lens, backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, f/2.4 aperture, dynamic low light mode, spacial noise reduction, and takes pictures 40 percent faster than before.

We'll update with pricing and release info when that's made available, but in the meantime, you can follow the iPhone 5 launch event on Mac|Life's (our sister site) live blog .

Update

According to Mac|Life, the iPhone 5 is priced the same as the iPhone 4S at launch. It will cost $199 for 16GB; $299 for 32GB; and $399 for 64GB, all of which is contract pricing. Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S is being reduced to $99 for the 4S, and the iPhone 4 8GB will be free, both on contract as well.

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