Apple has finally been in vogue here in India. The iPhone 5S is a smartphone that has wowed the premium consumer like anything. While we finally got out hands on the phone months after the launch, it was worth the wait.
The iPhone 5S is somewhat similar to the iPhone 5 when it comes to looks. But there is amazing stuff that has been added too make it something different. There is a Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded in the new Home button, iOS 7 and new internals – the A7 chip with 64-Bit architecture.
So, simply put, is the experience of the smartphone worth the anticipation? Lets start the iPhone 5S review.
iPhone 5S review: Design, display and form factor
When it comes to the design, this phone is sharp and edgy. Though it is not too different from the iPhone 5, it has kind of extravagant feel all over. Just like the iPhone 5, it is covered in elegant matt finish at the back, a chrome grill around the edges and glass in the front. Even the placement of the volume, lock/unlock and power buttons is the same. The speaker grill is located at the bottom and lends suaveness to the handset.
The only way this phone differentiates itself from the iPhone 5 is that it packs in a new home button and comes in a variety of colors with gold being the hot-selling one at the moment. The one we got was a ‘Space Grey’ one, although it was so elegant that one could easily have called it Platinum.
iPhone 5S/ iPhone 5 comparison
The Touch ID is an impressive thing although it doesn’t feel much different from the Home button of the iPhone 5. It is pretty responsive and does detect your fingerprint like it is supposed to.
The display is the same as the iPhone 5 – a 4-inch retina display with a 1136 x 640p display, and 326 ppi screen resolution. It is nothing too great since many phones have emerged, which outdo the iPhone screen. Its not the screen clarity that’s worth mentioning, but the kind of material the screen is made of which just makes the phone different from the huge range of phones available out there.
iPhone 5S review: Connectivity features
The connectivity features of the iPhone include Wi-Fi 802.1.1 a/b/g/n, dual band, Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth 4.0. Apple’s AirPlay and AirDrop features also deserve a mention but they would be useful only if you are surrounded by Apple devices, which is generally not the case in India.
The iPhone 5S supports 2G and 3G connectivity. It also supports 4G, which we haven’t yet experienced. Also you’ll have to cut your SIM into a nano-SIM to make it work, so forget using it on other phones ever. The Wi-Fi connectivity could be a tad better.
Besides that, this is an amazing handset out and out.
iPhone 5S review: Does the Touch ID fingerprint scanner makes it worth changing your iPhone?
Like we previously mentioned – the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is one of the few features that differentiates iPhone 5S from the iPhone 5. Apple has touted it as an amazing feature, but is it actually worth the hype?
Well, atleast for us, the answer is no. The only way you would be using the iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint scanner is to unlock the iPhone 5S and not much else. At the most you can use it to unlock app purchases. Apple needs to further develop the Touch ID fingerprint scanner for it to be more useful. If it could be used for making mobile payments or for sending your information, the case would have been somewhat different – currently it is at too nascent a stage. Another useful thing would be if it would help you log in to different email addresses and sites using just the Touch ID to log in. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner might be useful for lets say someone in the secret service but not for the layman.
iPhone 5S review: The A7 processor
The other reason to go for the iPhone 5S is the A7 processor and M7 motion processor. Firstly the A7 – the A7 processor is the world’s first 64-Bit processor and comes with two processors measuring in at 1.29 GHz. In terms of power, this one, despite being dual-core, is the big daddy of most processors out there – it comes in at 2560 in benchmarks test while the iPhone 5 comes in with a measly 1646. Any game you play is a pleasure, the clarity and functioning are a godsend. The start up and shutdown time are pretty less compared to most phones out there. Along with that, it comes with 1 GB RAM. Apple with the power and speed of the iPhone 5S, proves that you don’t need too much RAM, but rather software and hardware optimization for a phone to perform amazingly.
iPhone 5S review: The M7 motion processor
There is another reason behind the A7 processor – the M7 co-processor which handles all the motion functions of the A7 processor – like collecting data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. This saves on the battery life and makes the phone much more efficient.
The M7 makes the iPhone 5S the ideal phone for fitness freaks. It senses whether you are sitting, walking, standing or running. It will not just give you an accurate account of how many calories you burnt, but also how well you burnt them.
iPhone 5S review: Camera
The iPhone 5S has jumped in terms of megapixels when it comes to the camera which it calls the iSight camera. It is still just an 8-megapixel camera. But from experience, we can safely state that bulking up on megapixels doesn’t make a camera too good, it is actually the lens and the sensor that do that.
Here are some frames we captured:
To add to what the camera has to offer, the camera UI is amazing – It takes advantage of the great Optical Image Stabilization it possesses and adds on it with a burst mode and slo-mo video. If you are fond of taking selfies, this is the ideal phone for you. The Burst mode captures an amazing 10 picture per second, which can help you make hay even with an extremely fast situation – like driving.
Apple’s iSight camera captures more in terms of light – Apple claims it to be 15 percent more capture. Well, there is not just clarity but actually understated elegance at play here. The iPhone 5S’s camera collates greatly – everything runs togetehr smoothly to give you awesome frames.
iPhone 5S review: Battery Life
The iPhone 5S charges withe the lightning charger and comes with a 1560 mAh battery inside. It is not too much, but yet again, Apple makes it do amazing stuff, owing to optimization. It is claimed to be 10 percent better than the iPhone 5. Well, it lasts a full day of regular usage – which includes playing games, listening to music, taking pics, surfing the net and making calls. Apple also puts in timely updates to iOS which help make battery life better.
iPhone 5S review: Verdict
The iPhone 5S is definitely the best iPhone yet and one of the best phones on the planet. It deserves most of the recognition it gets. If you can afford it, go for it. See, it is an amazing phone for the fitness obsessed, selfie taking crowd and speed junkie crowd. It comes with great camera improvements in tow and more.
But if you already own an iPhone 5, we wouldn’t totally recommend investing in an iPhone 5S, since there is not too much to differentiate it. The phone is one of the most elegant you will ever see. Like alrl the previous ‘S’ versions of the iPhone, the update is incremental and not out of the world.
Apple holds out lessons for Samsung, HTC and Sony here. It’s optimization skills drive the iPhone 5S ahead of the race, even though many other phones would have been better endowed.
iPhone 5S specs
- 4-inch Retina display
- iSight camera
- A7 processor; M7 motion processor
- iOS 7
- 1560 mAh battery