iPhone 5s review

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iPhone 5s review

The iPhone 5s is finally arriving at the doorsteps of those who ordered it weeks ago, and a customer’s first instinct will be to tear open the box and begin setting up the device right away. I urge anyone who upgrades or purchases to take a moment to really acknowledge what you are holding in your hand. This is because the iPhone 5s is an “s-model” iPhone, which means Apple has added only incremental updates, so unless you stop to look at what you’re getting and what’s to come, you might miss the whole point Apple is trying to make.

iPhone 5s Hardware

Apple is calling the new iPhone “forward thinking,” and that’s exactly what you get when you take a moment to appreciate the new features in the phone. The iPhone 5s is the first smartphone to use a 64-bit A7 processor, with amazing graphics performance.

This year’s iPhone model also has an M7 motion coprocessor housed inside the A7 that helps monitor motion data. There are currently less than 15 apps that take advantage of the M7, and there aren’t too many games out there that really push the envelope on the A7 chip. So, you can see that Apple is thinking ahead about what types of apps will be developed over the next several months.

iPhone 5s Design

iPhone 5s review

The design of the iPhone 5s is probably my favorite part of the device because of how it combines the solid design of last year’s iPhone 5 and adds several changes, including new colors, dual LED flash and the new Touch ID home button. For me, that sets the iPhone 5s apart from its predecessor enough for it to be considered a “refresh.” I will note that those who upgrade from the iPhone 5 won’t notice a huge change in performance (as mentioned before, not a lot of apps yet) or design (weight, height, etc.). However, I upgraded from an iPhone 4s, so I noticed a drastic change in speed, app performance and overall hardware quality. The taller 4″ screen, coupled with the rigid aluminum body gives the device a solid and comfortable feel. Anyone who is upgrading from anything from an iPhone 4S and back will notice huge changes in design and performance.

iPhone 5s Camera

The iPhone 5s’ camera is one of the most important features on the device because of how advanced it is. Apple retained the same 8 megapixel camera in the iPhone 4s and 5, but bumped up the aperture to f/2.2, which allows the iPhone to capture more photons. Apple has remained fairly consistent with the camera, reinforcing the idea that megapixels don’t equal a higher quality image. So far, it seems  most people are impressed with the quality of the iPhone 5s camera. Overall, I’ve noticed a huge improvement over the iPhone 4S camera in terms of clarity and color. With Apple’s new True Tone flash, images of any subject come out exactly how I see them in front of me.

iPhone 5s Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor

Touch ID is a feature that knows no limits, even though it can only unlock the iPhone and authorize App Store purchases at this point. Down the road, I can see Touch ID being able to log into applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and even banking apps. There’s plenty more Apple is planning, and the iPhone 5s is a step in the right direction.

In the future, I would like to see a slightly concave Touch ID sensor. While the new flat Touch ID home button does provide a nice firm click each and every time, sometimes I feel like the button feels cheaper than the rest of the phone. Adding a bit of depth would have given the iPhone screen a bit more of a continuous look and feel, consistent with previous generations.

iPhone 5s Review

Would I recommend the iPhone 5s to friends and family? Yes, of course I would. It builds on every model of iPhone to date, and adds even more features without going overboard.

Appletell Rating:
iPhone 5s review
Buy the iPhone 5s

Provides: Smartphone functionality
Developer: Apple, Inc.
Price: 16GB – $199 with contract, $649 without; 32GB – $299 with contract, $749 without; 64GB – $399 with contract, $849 without
Availability: Now

Also see AppleTell’s iPhone 5c review.

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