Apple iPhone 5S Announced

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The iPhone 5S has been announced at an event in California.  Maintaining the same design as the previous generation, following the standard launch cycle set by Apple, the hardware has seen a considerable upgrade.

First new addition is that of colour.  Not only available in Black or white anymore, a new gold "champagne" will also be available.  A new-style home button with a chrome outline has also been touted.

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The processor will also undergo a rather big jump in specs, as they move to the A7 CPU.  Primarily, this is now a 64-bit chip, enabling "breakthroughs in performance for graphics-intensive games."  This makes the iPhone 5S a gigantic 56x faster than the first iPhone, which paired with Open GL 3 makes for a new level of gaming, proven by the Infinity Blade 3 demo.

Alongside this, the architecture will also contain an entirely new part called the M7 (short for 'motion').  It's essentially the 'computer chip' version of the health & fitness wristbands, constantly analysing the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload data on the A7.  This will enable more precise measuring in fitness apps, and Apple are working alongside Nike to bring a new generation to the table.

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In terms of battery life, the iPhone 5S remains mainly unchanged from the previous generation.  10 hours LTE browsing, 40 hours music playback, 10 hours 3G talk time and 250 hours standby.  This will not impress those who have reported iPhone 5 battery life issues!

Moving onto the camera, the lense itself remains largely unchanged, using an 8 megapixel sensor with slightly larger pixels, at 1.5 microns.  It's the software tweaks Apple have made that will improve camera operability, and make photography simpler.  The camera app automatically sets the white balance, exposure and creates a "dynamic local tone map," "autofocus matrix metering" with 15 zones...  Essentially, the phone will pick the best lit photo out of multiple shots taken at the same time to present you with the best picture.

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A significant upgrade is the dual-flash: not used for a brighter shot, but rather for a pretty nifty colour matching they call the "True Tone Flash."  One is cool and white, the other is warm and amber. The software can analyse the colour of a dark shot, and use a combination of the two flashes to create the right lighting to ensure colour remains true.  This will stop night club photos turning up with a blue haze for example.

But probably the most exciting is the addition of slow motion footage.  The iPhone 5S can capture 720p HD footage at 120 frames per second, meaning you can slow down footage without losing its fluidity.  Looking forward to trying this out!

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As predicted by many bloggers, and leaked by many journalists, finger print scanning is coming.  Called Touch ID, this sensor is implemented into the home button, meaning you merely have to press it and instantly unlock your phone securely.  A scan can also be done without pressing, meaning you can use it to enter your iTunes password (FINALLY).  

“iPhone 5s is the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world, delivering desktop class architecture in the palm of your hand,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone 5s sets a new standard for smartphones, packed into its beautiful and refined design are breakthrough features that really matter to people, like Touch ID, a simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger."

Pricing stays the same, with $199 charge for a 16GB model. Add $100 more for each model up: the 32 and 64GB, and all will be available to pre-order on Friday September 13th (bit unlucky), with release on September 20th.

Source: Apple


on 2013-09-10 20:35 by Jason England

The Apple iPhone Event is now available to stream on the website. Check it out.