Simon Drew from Best Mobile Contracts takes you through the biggest change in Apple iPhone history; The iPhone 5 screen size.
This week saw the biggest event of the mobile calendar, the launch of the latest iPhone. It’s an annual event that all of us at best-mobile-contracts.co.uk have watched with interest since the very first iPhone, and the iPhone 5 brings some of the most monumental changes to the iPhone series we’ve seen yet.
Gone is the old dock connector, which will be replaced by the much faster, and much smaller, “Lightning” connector. This will also be the first iPhone with LTE support and, although not yet available in the UK, LTE promises to enhance many existing iPhone features such as FaceTime and Siri and further strengthen the iPhone’s position as a top entertainment device.
A New Form
But in amongst the new connector, Nano SIM card and A6 processor, perhaps the biggest thing to shake up the world of the iPhone is the new 4 inch iPhone 5 screen. The new screen may not be creating the same sort of buzz as FaceTime and Siri did at earlier iPhone launches, but it is guaranteed to have far wider implications.
All previous iPhones have come with the same three and a half inch screen size despite calls from many consumers for Apple to expand it. The only other major change to the iPhone screen during the past five years was the introduction of the Retina resolution in 2010. The iPhone 5 will maintain this Retina resolution by adding an extra 176 pixels to its height.
Most large screened phones are wider as well as taller, but Apple has increased the iPhone 5′s screen size while maintaining the same width as earlier models. This means that the iPhone 5 is still comfortable to hold unlike many other large handsets which can feel quite cumbersome for people with smaller hands.
The new dimensions also mean that the iPhone 5 screen offers a 16:9 aspect ratio making it ideal for widescreen movies. With the addition of LTE this will make the iPhone 5 the best device for watching movies, both stored on the phone and streamed from online services like Netflix.
The size increase has also resulted in one of the biggest redesigns of iOS since the first iPhone. Apple has had to completely overhaul many features of iOS 6 to make them work with the new screen dimensions. For one thing, an extra row of app icons has been added to the homescreen so that now you can have more apps at your fingertips. Many apps have had to be redesigned too. You can now display more emails in your inbox and a larger number of tweets with your Twitter account.
While native iOS apps have already been redesigned for the new iPhone 5 screen size, and many major apps will also have a makeover, some older apps may not easily fit to the new screen dimensions, resulting in the need for a letterbox mode with black bars added to many apps to avoid graphics being stretched.
With the new A6 processor, which is twice as powerful as the processor found in the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 will be the first phone to offer console quality games in the palm of your hand. While the processor plays a big part in this, the new phone’s gaming prowess would not be possible without the larger iPhone 5 screen. Apple is working closely with Electronic Arts and other games developers to bring high quality gaming to the iPhone 5.
Fresh, yet Familiar
The new iPhone 5 screen is the same width as earlier iPhone screens but is 0.3 inches taller. This has resulted in a new resolution of 1136 x 640 which allows the iPhone 5 to maintain the same Retina 326ppi quality. Using improved LCD technology the iPhone 5 is also able to offer 40% more colour saturation so that colours look exceptionally more vibrant than they did on the iPhone 4S.
While the screen has increased in height it has decreased in thickness due to the use of in-cell panels. These merge the touch-sensitive panels with the LCD display itself, rather than placing them slightly above. It is the use of this in-cell screen technology that has allowed Apple to make this the thinnest iPhone ever, at just 7.6mm, and also the lightest at just 112g.
The bigger iPhone 5 screen is just one new improvement among many. While Apple has improved battery performance, Wi-Fi and 3G support, added 4G, introduced a new SIM card design and completely overhauled the way that the iPhone connects to other devices, it is the larger screen that is going to have the biggest impact on the way that people use their iPhones on a day to day basis. It enhances many native apps, makes the iPhone more suitable for emails and social networking, and provides vastly improved entertainment features. If you want a large screened phone you are no longer restricted to Android to find what you are looking for.