t’s that time of the year – the new iPhone is coming in less than a month on September 10th, and rumors and leaks are pouring on us from all sides. What should you believe and what not? One thing is clear – the Apple iPhone 5S will be better and more powerful than the current iPhone 5, so you’d better save your money and wait for it.
First, let’s make it clear that the new iPhone 5S will look just like the current iPhone 5. Traditionally, Apple is changing the design of iPhones once every two years, so a redesign is due only next year. Most changes will thus happen under the hood. We have summarized them all right below, take a look.
Fingerprint scanner built inside new ‘sapphire’ home key
A new camera and processor are more or less usual upgrades, but the most radical new feature in the iPhone 5S might turn out to be a fingerprint scanner built right into the home button. The main use of the scanner would be to easily unlock your device, but Apple might also use this as authentication for a future iPhone wallet app.
The new home key would allegedly be covered in sapphire instead of usual protected glass as sapphire is said to be even more secure. What’s interesting that some rumors even say the new home button might be convex, bulging outward.
New Apple A7 chip with 1GB of RAM
The new iPhone 5S is expected to come with a brand new chip inside – the Apple A7, an upgrade over the A6 chip on the iPhone 5.
The A7 is a dual-core 32nm chip manufactured by Samsung using the Higk-K Metal Gate technology. It features a higher clock speed of 1.5GHz, with better, quad-core PowerVR SGX 544MP4 graphics and the same 1GB amount of RAM. The type of RAM however has allegedly changed and Apple is using the now standard LPDDR3-1333 RAM rather than last year’s 1GB LPDDR2-1066. This means emory bandwidth is higher, going up from 8.5GB/s to 10.7GB/s.
Interestingly, rumors also claim that the next iPad will actually use a modified version of the A7 chip. That modified chip will be called Apple A7X and will come supporting higher processor frequencies and four graphic cores.
12-megapixel camera with dual LED flash
The other big upgrade will come in the camera department. The consensus is that the new iPhone 5S camera will have dual LED flash and a wider f/2.0 aperture for better low-light performance. Dual LED flash will allow for more even lighting and the lower the aperture, the more light gets into the sensor. That’s why the f/2.0 rumored aperture would be such a great asset for low-light photography compared to the f/2.4 one on the current iPhone 5.
Chances are Apple will bump the camera unit to a 12-megapixel one, but here rumors are split and some say Cupertino might decide that an 8-megapixel camera is sufficient.
Most certainly, it will come with built-in improved HDR shooting modes. That would definitely make sense if Apple goes for a 12-megapixel camera where the HDR mode would compensate for the smaller sized pixels with improved dynamic range in the highlights and shadows.
Interestingly, Apple might also include slow motion video recording at 120 frames per second. That would make possible some fun Matrix-style shooting possible. Cool.
Additionally, the iPhone 5S is said to get a better front facing camera than the current 1.2-megapixel one on the iPhone 5. There are no further details, but our guess is that Apple could go for a 2-megapixel shooter.
iPhone 5S in… gold
For years we have been used to just two color options for the iPhone – black and white, but this year the iPhone 5S might finally introduce a third one and that’s gold. Gold here refers to just the color, mind you, there is no actual gold in the device. And it won’t be an aggressive, lush color color – instead imagine a more aristocratic, champagne-like tonality.
Maybe a 128GB version
The iPhone is currently offered in three versions – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB ones. The iPhone 5S might get a fourth one with a whopping 128GB of internal storage. Great news for those who use a lot of storage on their phone, but also good news for Apple. The company’s profit margins goes astronomically high for larger capacity models, and with a 128GB one it would make Apple even more profitable.
Near-field communications, or NFC, is a technology mostly associated with phone wallets and cashless payments. Often said to be a technology of a future where you use your phone to pay for things, it was adopted by most phone makers except for Apple. This could also change in the iPhone 5S as it might become the first iPhone with NFC on board.
Finally, the iPhone 5S price. We have no reason to believe Apple will change its pricing. The basic model is likely to cost around $650 off contract, or $199 on a two-year plan. The iPhone 5S release date will probably be in late September in the United States, and October for tens of other markets worldwide.