Every year since 2007, Apple has announced a new iPhone model, and 2013 is no different. However, this year, the Silicon Valley-based company threw the technology world for a twist with the announcement of two new iPhones: the 5S & 5C.
The iPhone 5C; Apple’s new, less-expensive iPhone line, includes 5 different color choices, as well as an all-plastic back-end of the smartphone, which is terrific compared to the iPhone 4’s all-glass back which was prone to frequent scratches & shatters.
Apple introduced the newest member to the iPhone family, the iPhone 5S, on September 10th, 2013, showcasing the new gold/white color option, the new “Touch ID” fingerprint scanner, and the A7 64-bit chip, the redesigned iOS 7, as well as an improved iSight camera.
With all of appthese new features added to the iPhone, is it enough for Apple to keep up it’s domination over the global consumer smartphone market? How does the new iPhone 5S compare to Samsung’s line of Galaxy devices? What about iOS 7? Will it be the downfall of the iPhone?
All of the above questions and more will be answered in my review of Apple’s new iPhone 5S.
Hardware & Design
The iPhone 5s has kept to it’s minimalistic iPhone 5 routes, with it’s sleek aluminum-wrapped body, which showcases the beautiful tones of Apple’s three new color finishes: Champagne, Space Grey, or Silver. The unibody back plate of the iPhone 5S is my favorite part of the phone as it is very aesthetically pleasing, sleek, and very, very attractive.
Currently, it is very difficult for consumers to purchase a gold-colored iPhone 5S as it seems that Apple didn’t make enough to meet demand, and some Champagne 5S orders were pushed back up to a month online. (I reviewed a Space Grey iPhone 5S.)
The 4-inch display on the iPhone 5S sure is a beauty. Compared to other smartphones on the market, personally I still do not think that any other phone come’s close to the iPhone’s vivid, bright, & color-filled Retina Display screen. The only real competitor to the 5S is the Samsung Galaxy S line of smartphones, however holding both side-by-side, the iPhone is more appealing to look at, whether it be because of the sleek hardware & design, or just the Retina Display itself.
The new camera sensor on the iPhone 5S is now 15% bigger, as well as coming with a f /2.2 aperture, which allows more light to come into the 5S sensor to allow for sharper-detailed pictures in lowlight situations. Apple also added a True Tone flash to the 5S’ camera which allows for more accurate color temperature readings.
In iOS 7, Apple announced the “Burst Mode” feature which allows users to take up to 10 frames-per-second, which is truly incredible. I find Burst Mode incredibly useful as you can take as many photos as you want, and the iPhone 5S automatically chooses the shots that it recognizes as “the best” and highlights them on your display (the 5S also allows you to choose your favorite pictures, and groups them all together in one collection as to not clog up your camera roll).
The major selling-point that Apple is pushing for the iPhone 5S is the new fingerprint-security sensor technology that is inside of the home button, named “Touch ID”.
I found Touch ID incredibly easy to set up and start using, and 95% of the times I’ve used it, it works!
The best thing about Touch ID for me was that it forced me to create a passcode lock on my phone; whereas before, on my iPhone 5, I did not have a password simply because it became annoying and troublesome to constantly keep locking/unlocking my phone and entering the passcode over and over again. Now, with Touch ID, it facilitates additional protection to my iPhone against accidental loss or theft.
Another great feature of Touch ID is that instead of typing out your Apple ID password out every time you buy an app, movie, or music, you simply scan your fingerprint on Touch ID and it associate’s your fingerprint to your Apple ID, which is like creating your own password based on your fingerprint – pretty cool!
Apple announced iOS 7 on June 10th, 2013 at Apple’s Developer Conference, WWDC. When announced, many were anxious about the new all-white design, and the flatter-based look & feel of the UI.
After using iOS 7 for 3 months, I can definitely say that it is miles ahead of iOS 6 and I cannot imagine going back for any reason. I love the new UI & flat-icon based look as I think it is simpler and cleaner than before. Also coming in iOS 7 are some different and new features, such as Control Center, which allows for easy toggling on and off of Wifi, Bluetooth, Flashlights, etc., as well as Airdrop, and iTunes Radio, which is insanely easy to use and it’s excellent for finding new music and artists.
Is this the “Phone of 2013”? Absolutely yes. It blows any Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone out of the water on all levels, from camera, all the way to battery life. Touch ID and the additions to the iSight camera have pushed the iPhone 5S past it’s competitors in deeper in the world consumer smartphone market. I recommend the iPhone 5S to business professionals, students of all ages, and anyone who is looking for a top quality smartphone. Before you buy, I recommend going to an Apple Store and playing around with the 5S as well, just to see how incredible this device actually is for yourself.
The iPhone 5S comes in three different color options: Champagne Gold, Space Grey, and Silver/White. The 5S also comes in 16 GB, 32 GB, & 64 GB storage sizes. It is available on Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint carriers for the US.
You can read more about and purchase the iPhone 5S on Apple’s website.