After unveiling the first specifications back in June, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) have finally revealed the final Bluetooth version 5 specification. What this means is that device manufacturers around the world can now use the standard specification and begin adding support for Bluetooth 5 in their respective devices.
So what’s new? Well, there’s plenty! Bluetooth 5 packs in twice the bandwidth and also four times the range. It now also features eight times the broadcasting capacity as compared to Bluetooth 4.2 which is currently available on recently launched Android devices. What this means is that Bluetooth 5 can now transfer at 2Mbps instead of the usual 1Mbps.
What is most impressive about Bluetooth 5 is that the bandwidth can be adjusted. According the SIG website, the new spec is flexible and developers and device makers can tweak the same in their offerings depending on what is more important for them, range, or bandwidth.
Bluetooth 5 also supports larger data packets and now works with 255-octet packages instead of the older 31-octet ones. What this also translates to is the efficient use of the 2.4GHz band, meaning that there is less time spent tapping into the band to complete tasks, making the new spec more efficient and battery-conscious when it comes to devices.
So what if you are stuck with an older version of Bluetooth? Well, the new Bluetooth v5 is backwards compatible with devices supporting Bluetooth v4.0 LE and for basic operations up to v1.1 (if you happen have these around). Devices sporting the v5 spec should begin showing up in devices starting 2017.