Apple iPhone 5S Review

Posted by Tommy Rebik on 09 September, 2013 Apple Phone Reviews |
A year ago, iPhone 5 was the best iPhone we'd ever seen. It has met our expectations and wishes. It added a slew new features. It had LTE. What did Apple do this year with the release of the 5S is they have added...a few new improvements. The iPhone 5S and its sibling the iPhone 5C mark the first time Apple's delivered two new iPhones in a year. For me, the iPhone 5S isn’t really a shocking product. We wanted a huge screen, a better camera, and a much reliable battery. What Apple gave us is a fingerprint sensor, an improved camera, and a slightly faster processor. Yup, faster is better but the iPhone 5S still does not feel like a shocking new product.

Apple seems to do this every other year with their iPhones - see the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S. It's also the same for their iPads and MacBooks. Every update, it will still take a familiar form, and repeat. For a smart phone dominated by rapid change, it can feel very frustrating, even for a product we loved just 12 months ago. Even its iOS 7, which is just an overhauled operating system, feels different but not really all that shocking. Even the new color schemes - gold and "space gray" - are subtle than you realize. The iPhone 5S is still subtle just like its predecessor but with some new color scheme variations. You can get last year's white/silver color, or "space gray," which matches the smart phone’s black glass and gray anodized aluminum. There's gold but it's mellow gold, more of like a champagne, or a light bronze. A larger touchscreen display would have helped the iPhone 5s: not just because the competition has it, but because iOS’ newest features and apps would put it to good use. One more thing, there’s also no 128GB iPhone this year; we’re just given an option to pick between 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, at the same $199/$299/$399 prices. In the US, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are the three carriers to offer the iPhone 5S under a contract while T-Mobile sells it in an unlocked, contract-free version for $649 for 16GB, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for 64GB.

The iPhone 5S boasts with an improved camera that is probably its biggest selling point. We all know that camera is one of the most important features, for many, as smart phones slowly but surely replace point-and-shoot cameras. If you are looking for a camera phone, then most likely the iPhone 5S is just right for you. A suite of new and useful upgrades makes the iPhone 5S camera into something even better. Unlike the 41 MP camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020, the iPhone 5S’ camera stays at 8 megapixels, which is the same as last year and even the year before. It’s sensor is 15 percent larger though: the pixels are bigger (1.5 microns), and the aperture is larger (f/2.2). All these camera elements add up to better low-light exposure.

The iPhone 5S is powered by an A7 processor which is considered as the beast when it comes to mobile phone processors. The iPhone 5S and its new A7 processor seem to be at least twice as fast as the 5 and its A6. Cool eh? Games and applications load up pretty fast and smoothly, but the iPhone 5 felt the same way last year, and the iPhone 5C still feels pretty fast for everyday smart phone tasks. Compared to its competitors (Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One), the iPhone 5S is faster based on every benchmark I threw. Graphics actually look better on the iPhone 5S as well, thanks to its 1,136x640-pixel 4-inch 326ppi Retina Display. It's bright, accurate, and extremely responsive to touch. However, I still wanted a bigger display as it’s small compared with the screens on the competition. The iPhone 5S has dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, just like it’s predecessor, along with Bluetooth 4.0. Apple's AirDrop technology. Data connection was fast during my tests. I got around 20.9Mbps download and 2.3 Mbps upload over AT&T's network at three bars of service, compared with 18.1 and 4.2 on the iPhone 5C. You shouldn't really see a difference. Call quality is superb as well. Audio sound a lot better and more present compared to the iPhone 5. Battery is not that ok, but you can always use a powerbank especially if you’re always on the go.

Versus its fiercest rivals, the Apple iPhone 5S stands on a shakier ground. With Touch ID as its only compelling hardware innovation, the brand opens the door wide for the Galaxy S4, Nokia Lumia 1020, HTC One, and LG G2 to woo users with an array of smart phones that include a much bigger touch screens, exciting/unique design, and advanced camera offerings. If you've waited for an iPhone all this time and has skipped older generations of iPhones, get the iPhone 5S. You'll appreciate it as it has a better camera, OS, and processor. But, if you just want a basic and a performer, the iPhone 5C will do just fine.

Featured Cell Phone News
  • Here in the US, Alcatel is starting to create a name for itself as a low-cost Android manufac...
  • The iPhone 6 is an uber hyped phone from the brand that delivers a bigger screen while remain...
  • Here's why the Amazon Fire should grab your attention: it looks pretty good, it performs well...
  • For me, the Alcatel One Touch Fierce lives up to its name as it really is a one ferocious dev...
  • A year ago, iPhone 5 was the best iPhone we'd ever seen. It has met our expectations and wishes...