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The iPhone 5s looks great in its all new aluminum chassis coated with gold colour. The metal finish offers a classy look and allows users to feel good when they hold the phone. Measuring around 7.9mm in thickness, the iPhone 5s weighs less than most other smartphones in the market – close to 112g. The changes that have been made in this device include the presence of two LED flashes located on the rear side of the phone, and a redesigned home button. The volume rockers are still on the left hand side of the phone, while the bottom portion of the phone houses a jack for the headphone, the lightning port and stereo speakers. The right side of the smartphone sports a tray for the nanoSIM.
Unlike the other smartphones in the market, Apple has decided to keep things simple in the way people handle the camera and access camera options. There are not loads of camera features but there are definitely features that make snapshots more convenient. The rear iSight camera offers a maximum resolution of 8MP and a larger aperture at f/2.4. The Facetime camera, at 1.2MP, supports 720p and has features that support better light sensitivity. One of the additions in the camera is the inclusion of another LED flash. This flash is there to recognize the ambient colour temperature and determine the intensity each LED has to fire at in order to replicate colours in the photographed image. This result is the images becoming more vivid and natural. Videos can be recorded at full HD, 1080p, and in MPEG-4 format. The mic is pretty sensitive, and picks up sounds clearly.
TouchID is one of the most interesting features of the iPhone 5s. With this technology, the developers at Apple have ensured that people are secured from unauthorized access to their personal data such as contacts, messages, storage and the like. TouchID replaces the passcode technology that Apple used previously. In the iPhone 5s, users will no longer have to type in passcodes to gain access to their iPhones and iTunes. They just have to place their thumb, or whichever finger they have registered, over the home button and the iPhone will recognize the impression and unlock the device. The key aspect of this feature is that users can register up to 5 impressions. Also, the phone does not require the users to have their phone held straight for placing their impressions. Regardless of whichever angle the phone is held, the technology will detect the finger print and give access to the phone. TouchID is fast and highly responsive.
The device comes with an internal storage capacity of 16 GB. There is no option to include an external memory and users have to restrict the amount of storage to 16 GB unless they are willing to spend more for additional memory.
Looking at the iPhone 5s’s display, it feels like the team at Apple have become content with the way the iPhones deliver visual quality. There is no upgrade in terms of display, and the visuals appear pretty much in the same way they appeared on the iPhone 5. The screen still measures 4 inches and is powered by retina display. At a resolution of 1136x640p and 326ppi, the display is still as stunning as ever. The images look neat, crisp and vivid as usual, and retain their clarity even when they are zoomed to maximum levels.
Technical specifications get a major boost in this iteration. Apple has included the all-new and powerful dual-core 64-bit A7 processor which brings mobile computing closer to that of computers. At 1.3GHz clock speed, along with a GB of RAM, the device handles multi-tasking and hardcore gaming with ease. It is not only ultra-fast, but smooth in its transitions and handling apps as well. Games appear stunning and the phone manages to deliver a visual appeal that is equal to those of consoles. Another impressive addition is the inclusion of the M7 processor which deals with all the motion-capture data. This helps in easing of the main processor and lends support in increasing the battery life of the device as well.
|Dimensions||123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||112 g (3.95 oz)|
|Screen type||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours|
|Screen tize||640 x 1136 pixels, 4.0 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass, oleophobic coating|
|Alert types||Vibration, proprietary ringtones|
|Internal storage / memory||16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM DDR3|
|Speed||DC-HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, LTE, 100 Mbps; EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v4.0 with A2DP|
|Main Camera||8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (True Tone) flash, check quality|
|Camera Features||1/3'' sensor size, 1.5 µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR panorama, HDR photo|
|Video||Yes, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps, video stabilization,check quality|
|Front facing camera||Yes, 1.2 MP, 720p@30fps, face detection, FaceTime over Wi-Fi or Cellular|
|OS||iOS 7, upgradable to iOS 7.0.4|
|CPU||Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)|
|GPU||PowerVR G6430 (quad-core graphics)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS|
|Colours||Space Gray, White/Silver, Gold|
|Additional Features||- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- AirDrop file sharing|
|- Siri natural language commands and dictation|
|- iCloud cloud service|
|- iCloud Keychain|
|- Twitter and Facebook integration|
|- iBooks PDF reader|
|- Audio/video player/editor|
|- Document viewer/editor ((Word, Excel, PowerPoint)|
|- Image viewer/editor|
|- Voice memo/dial/command|
|- Predictive text input|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 1560 mAh battery (5.92 Wh)|
|Stand-by time||Up to 250 h (2G) / Up to 250 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 10 h (2G) / Up to 10 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 40 h|
The iPhone 5s is ripe with great features: a 4inch IPS retina display, 1136 X 640 pixel resolution at 326 ppi. The processor is 64-bit A7. It has a decent 8 megapixel camera that might not sound great on paper but the photo quality is fantastic. To top it off the editing effects and the customization options are thorough.
The phone is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, 82.11 Wifi, 4G, so no connectivity problems there. We can’t fail to mention the innovative fingerprint sensor which is fantastic to use. The gold colour looks elegant while the rest of the design is efficient yet simplistic, the best iPhone yet.
Any negatives? The screen might be a concern for some. At 4 inches it is decent but the rest of the smart phone manufacturers are really ahead in the game. The phone is a little pricey too when compared to similar or better specification devices but after all, this is Apple.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.