The iPhone 5S has been announced last September 10 and just a week hence, reviews for the Apple flagship are starting to pour in. It will be a while before the iPhone 5S officially arrives in the Philippines so what we can do for now is see what the reviews from other sources are saying.
In case you don’t know the basic specs and features of the iPhone 5S, it is essentially the same as the iPhone 5, but with improved camera, improved processor and a fingerprint sensor conveniently located on the home button. It now packs an A7 processor with 64-bit infrastructure and an 8MP camera with bigger pixels and f/2.2 aperture with dual LED flash. The phone of course runs the new iOS 7, but other iPhones will be able to download the same OS version very soon.
Let’s go now to the reviews of the iPhone 5s.
All told, the 5s plays in the same league as all those other flagships with a bigger emphasis on imaging. Even so, our sample shots still showed more noise and less detail than the same images taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020. The 5s also does a good job of reproducing color, but it’s not the best performer in this category, either. Make no mistake, though: the iPhone has been — and continues to be — great as a simple grab-and-go camera. It may not be a best-in-class performer, but the vast majority of iPhone users will still be happy.
Is the 5s the best iPhone ever made? Yes, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Apple took a good product and made it better through hardware upgrades, new features and a completely revamped operating system. In what would otherwise be considered a mundane update to the iPhone 5, Apple somehow managed to appeal to both the geek (64-bit support, M7 coprocessor, Touch ID) and the average Joe (a fresh, colorful iOS 7), all while laying the groundwork for the company’s future.
In my scores of tests, with three fingers, the reader never failed me and none of the 20 or so people I asked to test it was able to unlock the phone. If a finger match fails three times, the phone offers you a chance to type in your passcode instead. After five failures, it requires the passcode. Apple says the odds another person’s finger would work are 1 in 50,000, versus 1 in 10,000 for breaking a four-digit passcode.
There is one bug in the system: Sometimes, while trying to use a finger to authenticate an online purchase, the phone asks for a password. Apple says it expects to fix this bug very quickly.
Overall, however, the new iPhone 5s is a delight. Its hardware and software make it the best smartphone on the market.
With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available. The hardware may resemble its predecessor in many key ways, as with the 4-inch Retina display, but it improves dramatically in areas like the camera where it makes the most difference to every day users, and in the addition of the fingerprint sensor, which is already a feature I miss when I switch back to older generation devices or the iPhone 5c. And thanks to the 64-bit A7 processor, this phone, more than any iPhone before it, is likely to be the device that grows more appealing as the software ecosystem catches up, which is great news for buyers looking for something that isn’t so easily replaced by the next big thing that comes along.
The iPhone 5s is the best iPhone so far, by a long shot. Apple is notorious for describing its products as “magical”. The magic of the iPhone 5s is in how usable its improvements are. The updated camera is both fast and capable, with the True Tone flash proving itself to be no gimmick, while the Touch ID system feels like the first biometrics system that actually stands a chance of succeeding in the mass market.
Best of all is the performance. iOS 7 may take some getting used to for those familiar with earlier versions of iOS, but the combination of its improvements like iTunes Radio, more refined access to multitasking, controls, and notifications, and the new Apple A7 chip means the iPhone 5s simply flies. Exactly how much of that refinement is down to the transition to 64-bit is, perhaps, immaterial to the user, though it sets iOS 7 up well for the future.
Now, Apple’s competition in the Android world is fierce and gaining; the competitors include phones that are equally beautiful (from HTC), phones that take spoken commands without your having to press a button (from Motorola) and phones in every conceivable screen size (Samsung).
But that doesn’t mean that the iPhones have been overtaken. The iPhone’s ecosystem is a deal-sweetening perk — the best apps; the best-stocked online stores for music and movies; smooth synchronizing of your calendars, addresses and even photos among Apple phones, tablets and Macs; and enough cases and accessories to reach from the landfill to the moon.
If you wanted to summarize all three of this week’s lessons into a single final thesis, here it is: Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it’s still among the few that will.
The iPhone 5S delivers an improved camera, a nifty fingerprint sensor, and a next-gen CPU and motion-tracking chip. Apple throws in the iWork app suite for free. iOS 7 adds some nice step-ups, too, including AirDrop file transfers and the Android-like Control Center.
External design is identical to that of the iPhone 5, including a 4-inch screen that looks downright tiny next to Android competitors. For now, the fingerprint sensor only works with Apple apps. The 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion-tracking chip don’t have killer apps yet. iOS 7 differences are potentially jarring for longtime iPhone users.
The iPhone 5S is not a required upgrade, but it’s easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date.
We kicked off this review by stating the 5s has the potential to be Apple’s most game-changing iPhone since inception. Apple is clearly looking to future-proof its handset while offering developers the opportunity to take advantages of its 64-bit architecture, A7 chip and M7 Coprocessor. Right now, you won’t really experience what this phone is capable of. Give it six months and we’d expect some truly groundbreaking apps to appear.
It’s not only Apple’s flagship iPhone but it’s also the best phone the company has ever made. The camera is extraordinary. Touch ID is revolutionary. The iPhone 5s is a stunner today, but expect the real fun to come tomorrow.
The general impression appears to be that the iPhone 5s is Apple’s best iPhone to date. Its A7 processor is showing faster performance compared to the A6 on the iPhone 5. The camera is also said to be an improvement over the previous one, although the difference is only noticeable in low light shots. The fingerprint scanner is also getting positive reviews, proving that it is something that works as advertised, and not just a marketing gimmick.
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