The most noticeable differences in the iPhone 5 from all previous iPhones is its form factor - the new phone is thinner, lighter and taller than its predecessors - but users will quickly see that one of the best features of the phone is running under the hood.
The iPhone 5 is the first Apple device to run on the company's custom-built A6 chip, which is 22 percent smaller than the A5 and A5X chips found in the iPad 2, iPad 3, Apple TV 2 and iPhone 4S, but the processor runs twice as fast and has twice the graphic performance. Better yet, the A6 chip is much more power-efficient than the A5, and contains 1GB of RAM, which gives a major boost to performance.
Primate Labs, software makers of the leading Geekbench platform that measures processor and memory performance, announced the first benchmarks for the iPhone 5 on Sunday.
The results, which tested an iPhone 5 (codename iPhone 5,2) running iOS 6 on a dual-core 1.02GHz ARMv7 processor (the A6) and 1GB of RAM, gave Apple's latest smartphone a score of 1601. For comparison, the average score for the iPhone 4S is 629, and the average score of the new iPad "3" is 766. In other words, the iPhone 5 has more than twice the overall processing performance of any iOS device that's come before it.
Apple said at its product unveiling last Wednesday that the A6 clocked twice the speed of the A5, and the first performance tests only validate that statement. The power of the A6 easily makes the iPhone 5 the most powerful mobile device Apple has ever built. In addition, the A6 processor helps the iPhone 5 surpass the average performance of all Android smartphones, including all but two models - the Asus Nexus 7, and the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The full Geekbench results break down performance of the chip across the entire system, as well as its speed in handling certain duties like memory, streaming, compressing and decompressing information, is all listed on the site.
The iPhone 5 will be released this Friday, Sept. 21, starting at 8 a.m. sharp. Now that pre-orders are sold out, the only way to buy an iPhone 5 on launch day is to stand in line at any physical Apple Store, Radio Shack, Best Buy, Target, Sam's Club, or at any physical retail store owned by one of the iPhone 5's LTE carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless or Sprint.
The new iPhone 5 features a taller, lighter, and thinner build with a 4-inch Retina Display for watching HD videos in full 16:9 widescreen, as well as an improved camera infrastructure, LTE support, and the new smaller "Lightning" dock connector.