iPhone 5 finally official, 4-inch display, A6 processor, iOS6, LTE on board

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It’s finally official. Apple has officially launched the successor to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5. Most of the design leaks were pretty spot on, as the iPhone 5 retains the iconic look and feel of the iPhone 4S albeit in a somewhat larger device. The iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch retina display with 1136 x 640 resolution, has a pixel density of 326 ppi, and only weighs in at 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the previous version. Incidentally, Apple claims that the iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest phone, at only 7.6mm thick. The device is the same width as the previous device, and is only slightly taller to accommodate the bigger screen. The screen has 44% better color saturation than the previous device, and has full sRGB rendering.

Apple has also improved the wireless capabilities of the iPhone 5, and has included GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO (for carriers that use it), HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA (for carriers that use it) and LTE into the mix. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any indication that the Philippines will be included in the initial LTE list that Apple showed, but that may change later on.

The iPhone 5 is powered by a new chip, the A6, which boasts 2x faster CPU and graphics performance compared to the old A5 chip. It’s also 22% smaller, and a lot more energy efficient, which theoretically means more time on the go and less time stuck in the charger. Apple says that the iPhone 5 can go for 8 hours without a charge using 3G or LTE, and 10 hours on WiFi browsing.

The optics on the iPhone 5 has been revamped as well. The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel, backside illumination camera with a hybrid IR filter and five-element lens, bearing a f/2.4 aperture. When paired with the A6 chip, the new camera is able to deliver low-light photo capture that’s 40% faster than the iPhone 4S, as well as spatial noise reduction. The new optics is also able to take full HD video, and can now take photos even while recording. The front-facing camera also got a bit of a lift, as it’s now a 720p deal, and is also backside illuminated.

The new dock connector is dubbed Lighting by Apple, and is an all-digital deal with an 8-signal design. It’s reversible and 80% smaller than the old connector. Apple is also hard at work with third-party manufacturers to create docks and other devices for the new iPhone. Apple has also created a dock adopter that will allow you to use the iPhone 5 with older, legacy docks.

As expected, the iPhone 5 runs on iOS6 and Apple has also improved a few core features with the OS. Better Maps and Safari, as well as the ability to share tabs from your desktop straight to your phone, dubbed iCloud Tabs. Mail also gets a bit of an enhancement as well, and now allows you to mark people as a VIP, which then sends their mail to a separate inbox. Siri also seems to have gotten a slight upgrade, and now allows you to launch apps by voice.

For the folks in the US, the pricing for the iPhone 5 are as follows: $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB. Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 start on the 14th, and will ship out on the 21st for customers inUS, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch will be getting iOS 6 which will hit on September 19. No non-contract pricing has been announced yet.