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Apple iPhone 5s Review

 

Apple iPhone 5s Review

 
Page 1 of 3

The iPhone 5S adopts the same form-factor and a similar design to the iPhone 5, but it has a brand-new A7 64-bit processor complemented by an M7 motion co-processor. It also features an improved iSight camera and comes pre-loaded with the new iOS 7 platform.

The iPhone 5S’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor has attracted a huge amount of media hoopla, while the new ‘Gold’ coloured model is a real eye-catcher.

Design

Apple has stayed faithful to the design of the iPhone 5 with their latest flagship, meaning that it adopts the same compact form factor with a 4-inch display. Even if the design was identical to the previous model it would still be a joy to behold thanks to Apple's stylish and premium aluminium design.

But thankfully the design has been improved because the iPhone 5S has been on a major diet and now tips the scales at a super-light 112 grams and is just 7.6mm thick.  That makes it even more comfortable to hold and it still feels every bit as premium as its predecessor.

Apple has also introduced two new colours (Space Grey and Gold) with the Silver version also returning. When we first saw the Gold iPhone 5S we thought it looked a bit garish, but after seeing it in the flesh our fears were allayed - because it’s a beauty to behold.

The new Space Grey model is also a great addition, while the Silver version is every bit as appealing as it always has been. The biggest complement we can pay to Apple is to reveal that we find it really hard to choose our favourite because we love them all.

Apple have introduced a couple of subtle design changes. The most noticeable being the new metal-rimmed home-button, which doesn’t feature the square emblem that’s present on all other iPhone models. And importantly it also accommodate’s Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor (more on that later).  

The camera module has also been moved slightly and the new dual-LED flash is larger than before. Unfortunately, that means that those who are upgrading from the iPhone 5 will have to buy a new case for their iPhone 5S.

Apple’s iPhone 5 arguably maintained its position as the best-looking, best-made smartphone in the world until the day Apple unveiled their new iPhone range. But it’s now been trumped by the iPhone 5S, which has a slimmer, lighter design and comes in a great new colour range.

Display

Other mobile manufacturers have been increasing the size of their smartphones’ displays with each new generation, but Apple have so far resisted temptation and stayed faithful to their trusty 4-inch Retina display.

That means that the iPhone 5S has the same 1136 x 640 resolution IPS Retina display delivering a pixels-per-inch rating of 326. You also get the same amazing colour reproduction you’ve come to love, excellent viewing angles and it’s still a very sharp display.

However, after getting our hands on the likes of Sony’s Xperia Z1 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, we can’t help feeling it’s a little on the small side.  The iPhone 5S also can’t playback 720p HD content (let alone full HD 1080p video) and it also suffers from its aspect ratio, which is slightly above widescreen (16:9).

There is no denying that the iPhone 5S’s display has some of the best colour reproduction around and is still very sharp. But we would have loved Apple to include a slightly larger, higher resolution display in the iPhone 5S.

Performance

The iPhone 5S includes Apple’s new A7 chip making it the world’s first 64-bit smartphone. On paper the dual-core 1.3GHz processor sounds underwhelming compared to its quad-core and even octa-core Android rivals, but fear not because appearances can be deceiving.

Benchmarks show that Apple’s new A7 chip delivers double the CPU and graphics performance of the A6 processor featured in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C. Even more impressively the new A7 chip outperformed the quad-core touting LG G2 on raw Geekmark benchmark (on both single and multi-core tests).

In the real-world the smartphone felt speedy around the iOS platform and - even when running multiple applications at once - it remained silky smooth. The even better news is that performance will continue to improve over time as more and more applications take advantage of its 64-bit architecture.

We booted up the game Infinity Blade III, which Apple themselves used to demo the new A7 chip, and it quickly became clear that the graphics and performance were vastly improved compared to previous models.

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