apple iphone5 frontAt Apple’s press event yesterday they finally unveiled the much anticipated iPhone5. Described by Phil Schiller (Apple’s senior vice president of marketing) as a ‘completely new iPhone’ the iPhone5 visually is largely as the leaked images portrayed it, with a taller screen, redesigned dock connector, and slightly thinner.

It is at least a from factor change over the iPhone4S, whose identical design to the 4 left many disappointed, but there are also many internal improvements that weren’t readily leaked before the event.

iPhone5 Design

The “the thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone ever” measures taller at 123.8mm (iPhone4S is 115.2mm), the same width 58.6mm and slightly (18%) thinner at 7.6mm (9.3mm for the 4S).

Weight wise the 4S weighed 140grams while the 5 weighs just 112grams. The chassis is now entirely made of aluminium with glass on the top and bottom at the rear for the antennae’s.

The taller height allows Apple to change the screen size for the first time ever, giving a 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display running at 1136×640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi with a full 16:9 aspect ratio.

apple iphone 5 front back and side

The increase in display size allows you to see more of the screen while holding or typing on the iPhone5 as demonstrated at the event.

Battery

Despite the larger screen Apple say they have exceeded the battery life of the iPhone 4S, with up to 225 hours standby time and up to to 8 hours talktime on 3G.

Lightning Connector

The new dock connector rumours were pretty much spot on, Apple has done away with the old connector that has been in use since the early iPods in 2003, and introduced a new Lightning connector.

Made smaller to allow more room inside the iPhone5 the new connector is an all-digital, ‘eight-signal design’ and is reversible so you can connect it in either direction. There is an adapter allowing you to connect up your previous accessories if needed – but naturally its sold separately.

Camera

Apple have improved on the already excellent camera in the 4S. The iPhone5 has a 8-megapixel iSight camera that is backside illuminated, has a hybrid IR filter and overall is 25% smaller. The iPhone5 takes pictures 40% faster than the 4S, and includes a new feature – Panorama mode, which allows you to stitch together multiple images into one widescreen panoramic image.

The sample images look pretty impressive and prodices images up to up to 28 megapixels in size.

The front facing camera is improved to, allowing Facetime HD (720p) calls now, and with iOS6 FaceTime calls can be made over your 3G connection. No word from UK carriers yet on whether this will come out of your bundled data or separately.

4G

The iPhone5 includes a 4G ‘world’ radio chip, that supports multiple frequencies to provide 4G support globally, or as best as you can hope for at the moment.

Here in the UK 4G is only just rolling but unlike the iPad3 (new iPad) the iPhone5 will actually support the 1800mhz frequency the Everything Everywhere recently announced they would be using to provide 4G services in the UK with availability starting as soon as the end of this year.

Other UK networks have yet to bid on 4G spectrum once it is made available by Ofcom, so its not certain that support for those will be provided yet.

iOS6

Of course the iPhone5 will be released running the new iOS version iOS6. We’ve covered the new features of this quite a bit here, check out our iOS6 Focus articles for more details on specific features.

iOS 6 will be released on September 19th and will be available for the iPhone3GS, iPhone4, iPhone4S, new iPad, iPad2 and iPod Touch (4th gen).

Availability and Price

The iPhone5 will be available for pre-order this Friday 14th September, with shipping happening 1 week later on Friday 21st September.

UK Carriers have yet to confirm their pricing, but the SIM free price from Apple has gone up to £529 – £30 more than previous models at release.

iphone5 available september 21st for £529

Some images courtesy of theverge.com