iphone 51We’re sure that after the iPhone 4S was revealed last year, more than one iPhone fan was disappointed with what was unveiled. It was in no way Apple’s fault as the rumors and alleged leaks were to blame for raising expectations, but for some reason this year, the leaks and rumors have been pretty spot on, rather surprising given that Apple is a company well-known for its secrecy. If anything, we’re surprised that we weren’t surprised.

Anyway if the iPhone 5 is the redesigned iPhone that you’ve been waiting for since 2011, here it is in all of its glory. Today Apple has finally taken the wraps off their next-gen iPhone and based on its design, the previous leaks were right on the money.

earpods imageBuilt from glass and aluminum, it features a slimmer profile that’s 18% thinner than its predecessor at 7.6mm, weighs 20% less than the iPhone 4S at 112 grams, and sports a “taller” screen at 4” and a display resolution of 1136×640 which is also considered to be “Retina” by Apple’s standards at 326 PPI, which also gives the phone enough screen real estate to add a fifth row of icons. Apps that haven’t been updated to fit the new display will be centered and given black borders on both sides to complete the illusion. Apple also revealed that the iPhone 5 features a touchscreen display where the touch sensors have been integrated into the display itself, thus confirming earlier speculation that Apple would utilize in-cell display technology for its next-gen iPhone.

It will also feature HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and 4G LTE connectivity, making this Apple’s first iPhone that supports 4G LTE. Given that its Android competitors have long had 4G LTE compatible devices in the past, we guess this is just another cross off the checklist for many iPhone users out there.

The iPhone 5 will also be powered by Apple’s new A6 processor whose performance Apple claims is better than the A5 – twice as fast in terms of both CPU and graphics which they demonstrated with EA Games’ Real Racing 3. As expected, with a more powerful chip in place and 4G LTE connectivity, we can only imagine what a toll this will have on battery life and Apple has claimed that the battery in the iPhone 5 is better than the iPhone 4S, promising LTE browsing time of 8 hours, 10 hours of video and 225 hours of standby time.

camera heroAs far as its camera is concerned, the iPhone 5 will come with an 8MP sensor with BSI, a hybrid IR filter, and an aperture of f/2.4 which should be wide enough for some decent low-light photography. We guess we will have to take it for a test in order to find out how well it handles, but so far Apple’s iPhones have had pretty good image capture quality and we expect the iPhone 5 should perform just as well as its predecessors, if not better, although how it holds up against the competition like the recently announced Nokia Lumia 920 will be interesting. It has 1080p video capture capabilities and improved video stabilization. FaceTime has also gotten an upgrade to HD and will get FaceTime over cellular which allows iPhone users to place FaceTime calls on mobile networks instead of having to rely on WiFi.

The iPhone 5 will also utilize a new dock connector, a smaller one which Apple is calling “Lightning”. Apple has also revealed an adapter that will allow devices that rely on the old 30-pin connector to work with the new iPhone, although if this will be a universal fit for all third party accessories remains to be seen (we doubt it).

siri imageAlso as expected, the new iPhone 5 will run on iOS 6 and will also come with Siri on board which Apple claims to have been improved upon. We will need to try this out for ourselves to see if Apple’s claims hold true, but if they are, they could turn Siri from a somewhat novelty feature to the feature that Apple had originally planned for it to be.

Now the most important bit – when can you get the hands on Apple’s new iPhone 5 and how much will it cost you? Not surprisingly the iPhone 5 will cost the same as the iPhone 4S, which is priced at $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model, all with a new two-year contract, of course. If you were hoping you could begin pre-orders today, you’re out of luck as it seems that Apple will be sticking to tradition like the iPhone 4S, and will only begin pre-orders on the 14th of September and will ship to countries such as the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore on the 21st of September. In the meantime those who are shopping on the budget, the iPhone 3GS has since been replaced by the iPhone 4 8GB model as being free on contract, with the iPhone 4S dropping to $99 for the 16GB model on contract.

So – what do you guys think? Is the iPhone 5 what you’ve been hoping for, or did the leaks and rumors kind of ruin it for you? [Product page]

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