Hands on with the Apple iPad (4th Generation)

The new unit looks just like the old one. It’s the same size and the same weight—I put two next to each other and they were difficult to tell apart except for the new Lightning port on the fourth-gen iPad’s bottom edge. The new iPad doesn’t need a smaller docking port—in fact, you could argue for a larger plug that’s better able to keep it in place in a dock —but Apple’s switching all of its iOS devices over to Lightning right now.

The difference is inside, in performance. The third-gen iPad had the odd A5X chip, which boosted the device’s GPU without accelerating its CPU at all over the iPad 2. The new iPad has an A6X, which appears to use the brand-new, Apple-designed processor found in Apple’s iPhone 5.

That means faster performance. I ran the browser benchmark Browsermark on the new iPad and got a score of 200,333. Compare that to the 126,886 on the previous iPad, and the 191,158 on the iPhone 5, and you see that we may have a significantly faster Web browsing experience here.

Apple also boosted the Wi-Fi speeds (invisible) and is offering it on more LTE networks, including Sprint’s (also invisible). The front camera has been upgraded to 1.2 megapixels. So you get the idea—what we have here is a completely familiar iPad with the same gorgeous high-res Retina screen and 275,000 apps, just faster and a bit better specced.

The new model rusticates the third-gen model, making it look like the formerly new iPad was a stopgap in Apple’s cadence of annual releases; perhaps the company was waiting for the A6 to be ready, but needed an iPad for its traditional spring unveiling. Fortunately for third-gen iPad owners, “better performance” is much less visible than “gorgeous Retina screen,” and with the iPad mini now in the running, developers will still be making sure their apps run well on A5 processors.

In other words, I didn’t see a huge difference between the fourth-gen iPad experience and that of third-gen iPad here at Apple’s event. That will change over time. The difference will be huge for people able to get the iPad on Sprint LTE, of course, and I suspect the faster Wi-Fi and faster processor will combine to create a notably faster Web-browsing experience. But we’ll have to see that when we do our full review.


Another New Apple iPad: The latest Apple iPad looks a lot like the last Apple iPad (a.k.a. the New Apple iPad), which was released mere months ago, and is now discontinued. The changes are mostly internal: a much faster processor, more 4G carriers, and a better front camera.

Apple iPad (4th Generation): Side – Apple didn’t mess with the design of its successful 9.7-inch iPad. It’s still 0.37 inches thick and works with existing cases and covers.

Apple iPad (4th Generation): Lightning Connector – Apple replaced the older 30-pin dock connector with the new, smaller Lightning port. The iPad doesn’t need to save the space, but Apple needs to nurture a world of Lightning accessories.

New (3rd-Gen) Apple iPad and Apple iPad (4th Generation): The third-generation iPad (at left) is no more. It’s been replaced by the nearly identical, but more powerful fourth-generation unit (at right).

New (3rd-Gen) Apple iPad and Apple iPad (4th Generation): Edges – The New Apple iPad (now discontinued) and the Apple iPad (4th Generation) seem thin until you compare them to the iPad mini. They’re still very handsome tablets.

New (3rd-Gen) Apple iPad and Apple iPad (4th Generation): Backs – Around back, the difference between these two iPads is just that our third-generation iPad is a cellular model, with the plastic antenna covers.

Apple iPad (4th Generation): Benchmark – This result probably isn’t valid, as it comes from an iPad that was being manhandled during the benchmark. But even with all that going on, its Web browsing performance beat the third-generation iPad (which scored 126,886) and the iPhone 5 (which scores around 191,000).

iPhone 5 benchmarked: The fastest smartphone in the land!

The iPhone 5 looks to be the fastest smartphone we’ve ever tested With its mysterious, Apple-designed A6 processor, the iPhone 5 is unique in the world of smartphones. Most high-end phones nowadays run on one of two architectures: ARM’s Cortex-A9, which is used by Nvidia, Texas Instruments and others, and Qualcomm’s Krait. But the A6, as AnandTech discovered, is something completely different—an ARM-compatible system-on-a-chip designed, top to bottom, by Apple.

We’ll focus on five tests here. First the browser benchmarks: Sunspider, Browsermark, and Guimark 3 Bitmap all test Web browser performance. Sunspider is about JavaScript, Guimark is about interactive HTML5, and Browsermark is an overall browser benchmark. Different browsers will score differently on the same phone. We test with the default browser, because that’s what most people use.

(Since you’re wondering about Chrome, which is an optional download on Android phones, it gives similar Browsermark results to the default browser on the Samsung Galaxy S III.)

The iPhone 4S running the Safari browser in iOS 6.0 on a dual-core 800MHz A5 processor is about on par with leading Android 4.0 phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Motorola Droid RAZR M, both of which are using 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors, or their equivalent. Obviously, the difference is that Safari is a faster browser than the Android browser.

The iPhone 5 takes things to the next level with a processor that can compete with the S4 along with the fast browser. Its Browsermark score is 80 percent higher, and it shows much quicker Sunspider times. GUIMark, like most mobile on-screen graphics tests, maxes out at 60 frames per second because that’s as fast as your screen updates.

Geekbench is a processor benchmark, which tests the basic components of a phone’s system. Here you see less of a difference, but it’s still there. Look at the subscores. The A6 and the other processors do math about as fast as each other, but the “memory” and “stream” scores, both of which test loading data in and out of RAM, come out much better on the Apple device.

Mix together the two sets and you see how much of a difference the Safari browser makes, but also that the iPhone 5 still wins with the browser taken out of the picture.

GLBenchmark 2.5 is a graphics benchmark, creating and walking through simulated game scenes. Performance in the “onscreen” tests is dependent on a phone’s graphics power but also on screen resolution (you can do more frames per second if you’re pushing fewer pixels.) The “offscreen” tests are purely graphics-crunching power. The Galaxy S III has 26 percent more pixels than the iPhone 5 (921,600 to the iPhone’s 727,400) but as you can see, in the “offscreen” measure of raw graphics performance, the iPhone 5 doubles the Galaxy S III’s result. It’s simply a more powerful phone.

A phone’s hardware performance can’t be taken in isolation, but it’s definitely a piece of the puzzle. Based on these benchmarks, the iPhone 5 lives up to the promise of being twice as fast as the iPhone 4S. It’s also, for now, the fastest handheld computer sold in the US.

Apple iOS 6 update starts rolling out globally!!

There is good news for all those who own Apple iOS devices. iOS 6, the highly anticipated update to the mobile and tablet platform has officially started rolling out as of last night.

Unfortunately, the release of the new OS didn’t go as smoothly as one would have hoped. Early iOS 6 adopters have been reporting that after updating their devices and connecting to Wi-Fi, Safari would launch on its own to verify whether the user was using a Paywalled Wi-Fi connection or not. What this led to, was Safari not being able to load the verification page at all, leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of users without the ability to connect to their own Wi-Fi networks. However, Apple has issued a fix for this problem on their end and users should be able to go ahead and connect to their Wi-Fi networks without any hiccups.


iOS 6 is said to include over 200 updates and additions that supposedly make the iOS devices far more pleasurable and convenient to use. Of those new features, the key updates to look out for are:


Facebook integration

Shared Photostream

Do Not Disturb

Google Maps replaced with Apple Maps

Turn-by-turn navigation

Call handling updated

Better Siri functionality and integration

No native Youtube App

We are still in the process of running our iPhone with iOS 6 through intense use to see if there is any change in battery performance, so we will update on that front at a later point. You can read our hands-on with the new OS here and see which of the features will be supported, given that we are in India. For starters, there is no turn-by-turn voice navigation when using GPS.


iOS 6 can be downloaded via iTunes (connect your device and clicking “check for updates”) or by the software update option that can be found on your device (Settings > General > Software Update). If the official route doesn’t work for you (like it didn’t for us initially), you can download the IPSW file for your respective device directly from the Apple website using the links below:


iPad 2 CDMA

iPad 2 GSM

iPad 2 Wi-Fi only

iPad 3 CDMA

iPad 3 GSM

iPad 3 Wi-Fi only

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4 CDMA

iPhone 4 GSM


iPod Touch G

As a word of caution, we recommend ALWAYS taking a full backup of your device before updating the firmware on your iOS device. Once iOS 6 is installed, you can then proceed to restore from backup, ensuring that all your information is intact.


Have you already installed iOS 6 on your iOS device? What do you think of the new OS? Let us know in the comments section below:

Apple iPhone 5 versus competing flagship smartphones!

Last night Apple unveiled to the world their sixth generation smartphone, the iPhone 5. The device was pretty much a culmination of all the rumours that have been doing the rounds since January and the launch felt like a really bad kept secret.

Nonetheless, the iPhone 5 has received some good first impressions from the people who got hands-on time with the device at the launch event.

Today’s flagship smartphones are not only about the looks and style but also about the power under their hood and what new they bring to the table in terms of their features and performance. So here we take a quick look at the specifications and the USPs of the iPhone 5 versus other flagship smartphones – the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Optimus 4X HD and the Nokia Lumia 920.

The table below is a comparison of the specifications and unique features:


Samsung Galaxy S III


LG Optimus 4X HD

Sony Xperia Ion

Nokia Lumia 920

Apple iPhone 5

Display Size
Display Type

Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen

Super IPS LCD2 capacitive touchscreen

True HD-IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen

LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen

IPS LCD PureMotion HD+ capacitive touchscreen

LED-backlit IPS TFT Retina display

Display Resolution
Pixel Density (ppi)
Built-in Storage
16/32/64 GB

32 GB (26 GB user-available)

16 GB storage (12 GB user available)

13.2 GB (12.9 GB user-available memory)

32 GB storage
16/32/64 GB
Expandable Storage

microSD, up to 64 GB


microSD, up to 32 GB

microSD, up to 32 GB

Rear Camera

8MP with an LED flash

8MP with an LED flash

8MP with an LED flash

12MP with an LED flash

8.7MP Carl Zeiss optics with pulse burst LED flash

8MP iSight camera

Video Recording
1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 24fps
1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 30fps
Front Camera

Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich upgreadable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Microsoft Windows Phone 8

iOS 6

1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex-A9

1.5GHz quad-core

1.5GHz quad-core

1.5GHz dual-core

1.5 GHz dual-core Krait

ULP GeForce
ULP GeForce
Adreno 220
Adreno 225

Unknown (spculated at 1GB)


Exynos 4412 Quad

Nvidia Tegra 3

Nvidia Tegra 3

Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon

Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon

Apple A6
Unique Features -S Voice
-Smart Stay (Eye Tracking)
-Direct Dial
-50GB Dropbox storage for 2 years for free
-Pop up Play
-Burst mode for the camera
-32GB Dropbox storage for 2 years for free
-Beats Audio
-QuickMemo (instant note taking app)
-Finger Tip Seek
-Bravia engine display
-xLoud audio
-50 GB Box.net storage for 2 years for free
-Wireless charging
-Floating lens technology
-Touchscreen can be used with gloves
-New Lightning dock connector
-Panaroma shoots


From the above chart we can notice a few similarities between all the flagship devices. For starters all of them boast of 1GB of RAM making them quite snappy, with smaller load times. The front-facing camera on all the devices was 1.3MP except the Galaxy S III, which has a 1.9MP camera. All the Android-powered smartphones run on ICS straight out of the box. All the phones feature a 720p HD resolution displays.

When the iPhone 4 was launched, it brought with it the revolutionary Retina Display. It took the competition nearly a year to catch up and bring about displays that boasted of an HD resolution (most commonly 1280×720). What’s disappointing to see in the iPhone 5 is that even though the size of the display has gone up to 4-inches, the resolution of the display has lost its edge when compared to the competition. The iPhone 5 has a pixel density of 326ppi. That brings it close to the Sony Xperia ion, which has 323ppi. The clear winner from the above table is the Nokia Lumia 920 with 332ppi. This doesn’t mean that the displays on the other smartphones are bad, it’s just a reflection that Apple, the company that once held the benchmark of smartphone displays, has lost the edge it once had in the game.

The Xperia Ion has the biggest camera sensor of the bunch, however, as we have seen its low-light performance is nothing to write home about – something the PureView camera on the Lumia 920 apparently excels at. We will have to wait and see what wonders the iPhone 5’s camera can perform. It brings with it a bunch of new features such as improved optics, an f/2.4 aperture five-element lens, a BSI sensor, Hybrid IR filter and it is roughly 20 percent smaller than the iSight on the 4S. It also features a new panorama mode that allows users to create images that are 28MP wide when stitched together. We will reserve our opinion for which is the best smartphone camera when we put them through their paces ourselves.

In terms of the battery life, we have tested all the devices except the Nokia Lumia 920 and of course, the recently launched iPhone 5. All the tested devices last for nearly a day and a half except the LG Optimus 4X HD, which boasts of 2,150 mAh battery, and lasted us for almost two days with average use. Apple promises the following battery life for the iPhone 5 – 3G talktime/browsing up to 8 hours, Wi-Fi browsing up to 10 hours, video playback up to 10 hours, music playback up to 40 hours, and a standby time of up to 255 hours. If it delivers anything like the promised figures, it should be amongst the less power hungry offerings.

The Apple iPhone 5 certainly goes a long way in redefining slimness, with a thickness of just 7.6mm. If the svelte nature of a phone truly matters to you, the iPhone 5 stands out from the rest of the flagship smartphone crowd – the next slimmest device is the Galaxy S III, at 8.6mm.

The new iPhone runs on Apple’s latest iteration of its mobile OS – iOS 6. Apple announced iOS 6 at WWDC 2012. The company has revealed that iOS 6 will be out on September 19 and will be compatible with the following devices – iPhone5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and the iPod Touch 4th gen.

With iCloud and iOS 6, Apple has a new feature called Photo stream. Apple has also brought panorama mode to the iPhone’s camera in the new OS.

We have seen the capabilities of iOS 6 and Apple showed us another glimpse of the new features of the OS. As we reported earlier, Apple has ditched Google Maps for a Map app of its own. Maps for iOS 6 has been updated with features such as POI’s (Point of Interests) along with turn-by-turn directions, satellite imagery, and 3D view. Apple has also ditched YouTube as a native app on iOS and now users will have to download it from the App Store.

In iOS 6, apps such as Safari open in full screen mode. Apple showed off this feature on the iPhone 5 and it looked quite good.

We really had high expectations for the iPhone 5 and just how Apple would try to outsmart the competition. Frankly however, we were left a tad disappointed. Not because the device won’t deliver what it promises, but because it is exactly what we have already seen in the leaks that have been making the rounds on the internet since January.

Apple reportedly cuts down Samsung’s involvement in iPhone 5 supply chain

Internet is abuzz with reports that Apple’s next flagship smartphone, dubbed as the iPhone 5, may not be featuring Samsung’s memory chips, displays and other components. Apple has reportedly shifted some memory-chip orders for its next iPhone from Samsung to other Asian chip makers in an attempt to ‘diversify’ its lines of supply for memory chips and reduce its dependence on Samsung.

Samsung, however, hasn’t been completely ousted from the iPhone 5 supply chain. Reuters quotes a person privy to the development as saying that Samsung is still on the list of initial suppliers for the forthcoming iPhone 5, which is expected to be unveiled on September 12.

The source, who declined to reveal his/her identity, rejected the notion that the move was an aftermath of the patent-war between the two companies, which recently got murkier with Samsung being asked by a US court to shell out more than $1 billion in damages to Apple for infringing upon the latter’s patents.

According to reports, Apple is now going ahead with Japan’s Toshiba Corp, Elpida Memory and Korea’s SK Hynix to supply DRAM and NAND chips. “Samsung is still in the list of initial memory chip suppliers (for new iPhones). But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung’s handset business,” the Reuters source said.

Despite being a major competitor in the smartphone market, Samsung is one of Apple’s largest component suppliers. Apart from memory chips and processors, Samsung provides displays for Apple’s iPad. Wall Street Journal in its report citing other people familiar to the situation points out that the new Asian partners use different technology than Samsung. The report further says Apple anticipates huge demand for its product, thus aims to ‘diversify’ its supply chain for chips.