Hands on: iPhone 5S review

Hands on: iPhone 5S review


  • Strong design
  • Cool fingerprint scanner


  • Still expensive
  • Screen tech remains the same

Faster, new camera and a fancy fingerprint reader. But is it enough of an upgrade?

The new iPhone 5S is a solid upgrade of the iPhone 5, but with a few key changes: the processor is more advanced than ever, the camera has been upgraded and most importantly: there's a fingerprint sensor.
On top of that there's the added bonus of a faster GPU (to help power all those teeny tiny pixels rolling around and changing colour in the display) as well as an uprated power pack to keep things moving.
And, as expected, the iPhone 5S is the poster boy for iOS 7, with the new display offering the best look yet at the new flatter, sleeker operating system from Apple.
iPhone 5S review
In our plays with the beta version of the OS, some elements were noticeably slow or jumpy (although this was very much because we weren't on final software) but with the iPhone 5S everything just flows around as smoothly as possible.
iPhone 5S review
The design of the iPhone 5S isn't a great leap forward, with the chassis remaining largely the same as the iPhone 5 in keeping with Apple's tradition of using the core model as the base for the sequel, before releasing a 'true' evolution next year.

Even though we knew this was coming, we can't say that we aren't a little disappointed as the rumours around the iPhone 6 hint at a dramatic redesign of the device as well as a new material type to make it feel even better in the hand.

There are three colours to choose from, with silver, gold and 'space grey' coming in to give another option to consumers looking to mark themselves out in the iPhone game, especially at the sharp end. If you're after colour, then the iPhone 5C is your friend - that thing comes in five different options, with cases that you can stick on top too.
iPhone 5S review
The design of the iPhone 5S is, as we said, pretty similar to what we've seen before, so colour aside you'd struggle to see if someone is packing a new or old version of the phone with the larger screen.
iPhone 5S review
But let's forget about all the stuff we expected and focus more on the fact that there's a fingerprint sensor in there now - we're talking about biometrics that actually work with a phone.
iPhone 5S review
The premise is simple: you turn on the phone using the home or power button, hold your finger down on the round key and you're into the phone. It's incredibly fast, very slick and makes you feel like you don't have a passcode on there at all.

Apple hasn't just made this a one-trick pony though, as when setting up the sensor you're asked to guide your finger on and off the button in a variety of ways - this means that no matter how you jab at the home key to unlock the iPhone 5S will be able to react correctly.
iPhone 5S review
In our tests this worked incredibly well - Apple really has cracked the first step in biometrics on a phone, and when you compare it to Android's Face Unlock, it's world's apart, and shows the power when a phone company doesn't have to rely on such a wide spread of hardware.
iPhone 5S review
Granted, it's only on the iPhone 5S - so an update from Android should enable the tech in phones like the Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max.
But the big question in the mind of many reading this is 'Should I got for the iPhone 5S or get the cheaper iPhone 5?'. Well, if you're looking to get what will likely be one of the best handsets on the market as well as future-proofing yourself (although you'll probably upgrade your phone before Apple ceases support for iOS on the iPhone 5S) then the newer model will please you no end.

However, the iPhone 5 still comes with all the bells and whistles needed to make iOS 7 run smoothly, as well as packing a decent enough camera and screen to excite enough users, who will also get the benefit of a few dollarpounds off the monthly cost of their new device.

Early verdict

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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

I really like to read reviews and see what's new about technology, on D-BLOG I share with you articles/reviews that I find interesting. I also write some reviews in romanian...

My second blog is D-NEWS , here are some movie reviews , my favorite songs or clips that I like...is more like a personal blog...so please don't get in because you'll get really bored.

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