iPhone 5S Review
To be honest I was never a fan of the original iPhone 5 - when it was launched last year - as I felt the iOS 6 platform at the time did not suite the new screen size/dimensions (everything looked stretched or elongated, not to mention the number of apps which had an unattractive gap).
Thankfully with the launch of the iPhone 5s with iOS 7 (which was designed for the screen) the above issues have been mostly sorted and it now looks/feels like a better phone as a result.
Of course on the outside the phone is pretty much the same as the iPhone 5 (at first glance), but there is a subtle change with the design in the form of the Home button which now supports the Touch ID feature (which I will come back to later).
Build-quality is once again exceptional and the grey finish (for the colour I picked) at the back gives it a professional look, though you would expect this given the high price tag!
The lightning port resides at the bottom edge, next to the speaker, microphone and 3.5mm headphone port. The lighting connector is a lot smaller than the previous iPhone connectors and while it is a pain having yet another cable to dig out and use, I have to admit since owning the iPhone 5s the technology offers a couple of benefits over the original.
For one charging seems a lot faster, which in some ways is useful given that the phone does not have great battery life if you are using it for a lot of data/games.
The connector can also be put in either way, so you are not having to faff about. Additionally the smaller connector port does not collect dust like the old port did.
To the side you have your volume and mute switch and all the buttons have another aura of quality about them when they are pressed. In fact the phone feels fantastic to hold and is certainly a device to catch the eye.
Under the bonnet you have got (at the time of writing) the world's first A7 64-bit mobile processor and this is also coupled with 4G support at last.
In the real-world the 64 bit technology has not been exploited yet, but I did notice that games/apps load a lot quicker and swiping between screens is ultra-smooth! In future you should see some great titles being released to take advantage of the processing power. Thus for me the purchase of the device was a better investment than the iPhone 5C.
Using a 4G sim in the phone also proved to be a wise choice. While I don’t get 4G in the house (3G max) I do get ample signal strength - which is a big boost over the Samsung Galaxy SII that I had before.
As a result call quality has been fantastic so far and all the recipients say how clear I sound and vice versa I can hear them clearly.
Ironically I mainly get 4G in other buildings/outdoors so I must be in a black spot. However for me 4G has made a big difference in terms of downloading apps, web browsing or streaming performance on the fly!
The other big change is the Touch ID Home button and to be honest I was not expecting anything too fancy with the tech, but now I've used it I have to admit that it is a pretty useful feature to have.
For a start you can use it to open your phone, which doesn't sound amazing, but on an iPhone it makes life a lot easier than having to type in your pass-code all the time. However the Touch ID function can also be used when making purchases, thus again you don’t have to type in your password.
Security wise I have tested the Touch ID with other users and it only responds to my finger print; so it does work and a feature that I now use all the time.
The camera has also had a boost and the iSight 8MP lens - compared to some of the previous iPhone’s I have used - does produce some great results in various light conditions. Video recording supports front 720P and rear 1080P capturing and the quality has been good, not only in the visual department, but also with the audio capturing quality as well.
You can see an example of the video quality in this video (though the original quality has been compressed slightly)
The above was taken indoors on an overcast day.
Camera features are also easier to access during the capturing process, for example using swipe gestures you can quickly change from your camera to video mode or select flash (now has dual true-tone flash), HDR, panoramic shots and the slo-mo function which can be used for capturing videos at 120fps.
Picture quality has been good so far, but I have not had chance to test this in brighter sunnier days just yet due to the time of year, but most shots in lower light have been pretty sharp. I'll take some shots soon and upload these to the Gallery.