Apple iPhone 5: So what's new?

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Here's a first look at what you can expect from the long-awaited Apple iPhone 5, as well as more information over the LTE capabilities controversy and how it will affect users in Europe. 

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Apple iPhone 5: So what's new?

Here's a first look at what you can expect from the long-awaited Apple iPhone 5, as well as more information over the LTE capabilities controversy and how it will affect users in Europe.

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iOS 6 - Apple's new mobile operating system

Touted as the "world's most advanced mobile operating system" by Apple, the new iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6. The latest iPhone runs Apple's own Maps app, which, if you see our review, standard 3D maps are available but Flyover maps are still only available in the centre of certain popular cities. Turn-by-turn navigation will probably greatly improve the current GPS capabilities, but we weren't able to try that out yet.

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4-inch Retina display

The new iPhone 5 comes with a new 4-inch display measuring 1136 x 640 pixels with a 326PPI Retina Display. The screen retains its current width but is slightly taller vertically, allowing photographs to be displayed in a wider mode, as well as more icons on the Home screen. Screen dimensions are also now in a 16:9 format as opposed to 3:2 on previous models of the iPhone.

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New A6 chip in the iPhone 5

Apple has announced that the A6 processor has been included in the iPhone 5. Although Apple hasn’t announced the internal amount, it has said it’s twice as fast a CPU with twice as fast graphics. Our guess is that the internal teardown will reveal a new quad-core CPU with the quad-core graphics found in the new iPad. Photo-capture speed in the new iPhone 5 has been improved by 40 percent, thanks to a new image signal processor built into the A5.

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4G LTE capabilities in the iPhone 5

The new iPhone 5 supports many LTE frequencies, but mostly North American markets and advanced Asian markets. There will be 2 phones running on the GSM band, as well as one for CDMA, including GSM roaming. However, the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands will be left out, which are crucial for LTE in Europe. Out of all the UK mobile operators, only EE has the 1800MHz band, which is carried by Apple on 2 of the phones. The rest of the operators have to bid for 800MHz and 2.6GHz in the Ofcom 4G auction, which will not be carried by the 3 current iPhone 5 models. UK users will have to either switch to EE, use 3G on their own networks, or wait for Ofcom to sort things out.

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Thinner, lighter aluminium case and improved accessories

The new iPhone 5 weighs in at just 112 grams, making it 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S. There is also a new anodised aluminium backplate on the white phone and a slate black metal backplate on the black phone, replacing the glass rear of the device. Other new changes include the new 9-pin Lightning dock connector (replacing the old 30 pin connector) and new EarPod earphones which are designed to be more comfortable and durable than the previous Apple earphones.

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