Would you buy the iPhone 5s?
November 22, 2013  |  Blog

As you may know the all new iPhone 5s sold to a record of 9 million units at its launch weekend, it may be a very successful product, but do you want to buy one yourself?

From the outlook the iPhone 5s just look so much alike the iPhone 5, having the same screen dimensions and same sleek design. The only difference being the super hyped fingerprint sensor at the home button of 5s. The iPhone 5s also weighs 112g which is the same as the iPhone 5, with identical dimensions of 123,8mm x 58,6mm x 7,6mm. But the new one comes in a choice of three colours: grey, silver and gold. Some say the gold colour is targeted for the Chinese, but I think the gold colour is the only new element one can easily spot that you have an iPhone 5s, so naturally it would be the most sought after version.

The addition of the fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, is used to unlock the phone, which is more convenient than typing a four-digit Pin. It can also be used to authorise purchases on the App Store. It works very well, scanning accurately and quickly most of the time. If, after three attempts, you haven’t been able to sign in or purchase an app, you are prompted to enter a Pin.

Initial set up of Touch ID is straightforward. You simply place your finger on the scanner to enrol your fingerprint. You are allowed to store up to five fingerprints, but having two thumbprints should be sufficient because, the more fingerprints stored, the longer it takes to read. Touch ID reads a fingerprint from any direction, even upside down — perhaps useful after a few too many at your local pub.

 

When using the 5 and 5s side by side, there is a slight but noticeable “warmer” hue on newer model’s screen. At the highest level of screen brightness on both handsets, the 5s is slightly off-white.

iPhone-5s-280

 

The 5s is powered by Apple’s dual-core A7 processor, the world’s first 64-bit processor on a mobile phone. Although it’s just a dual core processor, its performance actually surpass most of the quad core mobile devices. This doesn’t mean much for now, but could point to an effort by Apple to blur the distinction between its desktop and mobile lines.

The 5s also has an M7 motion coprocessor health fanatics will love. It uses very little power and can be used to monitor and track all your movements. An app that works really well with the M7 chip is Nike+ Move, which tracks your movements, displays your Nike “Fuel” points earned, shows your movements in coloured graphs, and allows you to link your Nike+ account and connect with friends. It cuts out the need to wear any additional gadget to track your fitness.

Not surprisingly, the 5s is snappier than the iPhone 5 when it comes to launching apps, browsing the Web or watching videos. However, on a couple of occasions, our review unit randomly crashed — with the screen going blank and the device rebooting. The new Tweetbot app crashed the phone a few times on the 5s, whereas it continued working fine on the 5. According to Crittercism, a mobile application performance management specialist, apps crash twice as often on the 5s than the 5c due to the 64-bit chip on the former. It’s apparently happening because developers are not optimising their apps for the hardware on the 5s. It is rather frustrating.

The camera on the 5s is an 8-megapixel affair, as in the iPhone 5, but the newer model has a larger lens. This means more light can reach the sensor, offering better quality pictures in low-light conditions. It also has auto (not optical) image stabilisation, and a dual-LED flash — white and amber — to achieve more natural-looking light and colour in photos.

Two nifty new features in the camera app are “burst mode” and “slo-mo” video. Burst mode is amazing, it takes up to 10 frames per second so you don’t miss the best shot from an action sequence. It only works on the normal photo ad square photo shooting modes. You simply press and hold the shutter release button for a series of rapid shots. A count of how many shots you’ve taken appears next to the shutter button.

Slo-mo video recording shoots in 120fps and, apart from testing the mode, we haven’t really found a use for it. When you record in slo-mo mode, Apple automatically selects which part of the video to turn into slow motion, but you can use the edit tool to adjust this. However, sharing the slo-mo video does get a bit tricky — they won’t display on Instagram and the like.

Video mode supports full 1080p HD recording at 30fps with a 3x zoom. The front-facing, 1,2-megapixel camera is capable of 720p, which is fine for Skype or FaceTime.

Battery life on the 5s has been improved slightly — it has been bumped up to 1 540mAh from the 1 440mAh on the iPhone 5. If you’re out and about most of the day, chances are you will need to find a plug, but on a regular day, even with the M7 coprocessor running in the background, it should take you into the evening.

Bottom line: it may be a decent upgrade option for iPhone 4s users, but not so attractive to the users with iPhone 5. The listing price is the same as iPhone 5, but you may try methods to buy cheap iPhone 5s


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