A macro look at the iPhone 5 in micro-fine detail

A macro look at the iPhone 5 in micro-fine detail

Getting up close and extremely personal with the new iPhone 5 iSight and FaceTime camera, in-cell display, nano-SIM card, and Lightning connector

We've already shown you just how stunning the new design looks in our iPhone 5 gallery but we also want to go in for a much closer look at all the little details. Apple is manufacturing the iPhone 5 using some incredibly advanced equipment and tolerances measured in microns. The backing is anodized 6000 series aluminum with ceramic or pigmented glass inlays. The iSight camera is covered by sapphire crystal and the beveled edges are cut by crystalline diamond. It's been said the iPhone 5 is closer in kind to a luxury time piece than what's traditionally passed for consumer electronics.

How much of that is just marketing and ad copy, and how much is reality undistorted? If the details matter that much to Apple, how well did they execute on those details? Let's take a really close look...

8mp iSight rear camera, the new rear mic, and flash.

720p FaceTime front camera and speaker.

The in-cell display.

The pixels of the new in-cell display.

The new Lightning port, new speaker and mic grills, and the newly repositioned 3.5mm headphone jack.

The pins inside the new Lightning port.

The new nano-SIM in the card tray.

All shots taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and an EF 100mm F2.8 L IS USM Macro lens, embedded at HiDPI for iPhones, iPad 3, and Retina MacBook Pro.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

A macro look at the iPhone 5 in micro-fine detail


I'd agree with comparison to a fine time piece. The attention to detail is remarkable. I've always liked that about apple products. When my nano has more aluminum than my old fascinate had...... anyhow good article with lots of iporn! Lol.

I'm just curious, why do you dislike Apple's Maps? I have nothing but good things to say about it. I feel that it's much better than the Google Maps app on iOS that it is replacing. But, I can definitely understand that some people are upset that there aren't public transit directions in the new Maps app, at least for right now away. I live in Raleigh, NC, so that doesn't effect in the slightest bit. But anyway, what do you feel like Apple could have done better on?

Are you serious or taking a survey? Lets see. I dropped a pin and it landed in my neighbors backyard. Am I the only one that noticed that the maps are like 3 years old? A lot of things around my home are not even on them. NO STREET VIEW. That was a very nice function. You could SEE the place you were trying to find before you got there. No transit info, which really makes no sense considering Apple is practically in San Francisco. The public transportation capital of the world. I can't understand them pulling Google until this was ready to fly. And, have you seen some the screen shots people are sending from overseas? Entire cities under cloud cover. Not Apples best work.........

Yes because Google got everything right their first time. Check your Apple Maps expectations at the door please.

Yes Apple Maps are amazing in comparison to Googles 1st, but look at what they are replacing. Anything wanting to compete or replace has to be better or just as good. Especially when it was a key part of the software and 3rd party apps!

noberrynomore is right. I live in NYC and the maps are horrible, not to mention that it isnt very accurate. My parents live in the suburbs in New Jersey and some of the newer roads are missing.

I have to agree, maps where I live are old and with plenty of errors, not to mention that bus schedules are now an in app purchase. I have set up the Google Maps shortcut and even that is much better than Apple Maps.

Why is everyone trying to compare the new iPhone 5 to luxury watches? Apple did NOT redesign the phone, they modified the design from the iPhone 4/4S. Don't get me wrong the iPhone 5 is a nice looking phone but there is nothing new about the design minus being slightly taller and a smidge thinner. Other than that is looks just like an iPhone 4.

A 50 year old Rolex, Omega or Tag Heuer is still a beautiful watch... the iPhone design won't last another 3 years before it is obsolete.

The problem is that you'r e comparing things like classic mechanical wrist watches with a modern piece of electronics - which is really more like a small computer. Unfortunately, or fortunately - depends how you look at it, the iPhone 5 will become obsolete due to its internals (chip, memory, etc) which are constantly evolving due to the industry pushing forward, but NOT because of its design. The iPhone 5 is a design that will be far more 'timeless', and without a doubt outlast the likes of Samsung GSIII or Nokia Lumia 920.

To me, the iPhone 5 design is reminiscent of something like a Leica camera. You can call the old film versions "obsolete", but that design still thrives today in the form of a digital version.

I'm not comparing them to a classic timepiece, the writers of the article are. I'm pretty sure that this isn't the first device to be called 'timeless'. As far as a watch or your comparison to a Leica camera, people still pay big money for those and actually use them even though in the Leica's stance the technology is obsolete or the Rolex is 50 years old.

Again, don't get me wrong the iPhone is a beautiful phone but by no means a classic design. In reality it is a tweaked design of the iPhone 4 not something original. So I guess that by that omission the iPhone 4 is now (or is actually) the classic. Now that being said, I do agree that the design of the iPhone will (and already has) outlast the design of the likes of the Samsung GSIII and Nokia Lumia 920. But I'm sure that in a few years, when the iPhone 6 or 7 is released there will be a similar article and the iPhone 5 design will be considered dated.