The iPhone 5S is one of two latest smartphones that Apple has launched. It is the fastest iPhone ever with an A7 chip which supports 64 bit architecture. This leads to 2x GPU and CPU performance of the A6 chip and gives the iPhone 5S desktop class architecture. Coupled with the fact that iOS has been redesigned for this 64 bit chip, this leads to dramatic performance increases and better graphics in games. The A7 now supports OpenGL ES version 3.0 to deliver the kind of detailed graphics and complex visual effects once possible only on Mac computers, PCs and gaming consoles.
This makes for games look stunning and in my testing, I could see the difference between games which had been designed for the A7 chip such as Infinity Blade, and those which had not been updated such as Asphalt 7. In Infinity Blade, textures and shadows seemed more true to life, lens flares were abundant in the game whilst sunlight reflected off the water making the whole experience of gaming seem much more realistic, game console standard. Apple claims the A7 chip is still very energy efficient, even with all these improvements leading to comparable battery life results to devices on the A6.
For the first time ever, the iPhone also has a M7 motion coprocessor which measures motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, which it is more efficient at than the A7, leading to a whole new generation of fitness Apps which use less power than before. The M7 even reduces your network pinging when you are asleep to save battery life.
Along with this, the iPhone 5S supports a new way to unlock the phone; Touch ID. This technology is embedded in the home button and allows the user to unlock their phone by just holding their finger over the button. This removes the tenuous task of sliding to unlock and then entering in a passcode, leading to a faster and more secure method. Touch ID can also be used to approve iTunes and App Store purchases and has 360 degree readability. With the new 7.0.3 update, the ‘slide to unlock’ text has been removed so that the Touch ID is more prevalent and scanning seems to be a lot quicker, but sill as accurate. This leads to a read time of less than half a second which makes it almost unnoticeable.
The back camera now sports larger 1.5µ pixels and a wider a wider ƒ/2.2 aperture for better low light pictures and a reduction in noise. The wider aperture also allows for great macro shots and a short focal length. When coupled with the A7 chip, the camera can now take advantage of a burst mode, capturing 10 shots a second for an unlimited amount of time, which is faster than most if not all DSLR cameras. The iPhone even scans these photos to find the best ones it suggests that you keep, however you can choose these as well.
Apart from the TouchID scanner, the only other outer hardware change on the iPhone 5S to the iPhone 5 is the two-tone LED flash. This incorporates a white LED and amber LED which, coupled to intelligent software algorithms adjusts the flash intensity and colour temperature, using over 1,000 unique combinations to light the object or subject perfectly. I found this amazingly good and makes it as if you are not even using the flash which I have never seen from any smartphone camera before.
Auto image stabilisation also helps with low light and normal photography to make images sharper and more clear. Im my testing, this was very effective with almost all images being sharp. I would suggest that if you want a sharp photo with the iPhone 5S that you use the burst mode and many if not all of the photos should be clear enough and you can select your favourite. This works well when some images come out blurred but with the burst feature, there are others to choose from.
The iPhone 5S can now capture 120fps slow motion video in 720p which allows you to play back video at ¼ speed. This was amazingly good in my testing and I found it fun to use. In normal video, you can also now zoom up to 3x. iOS 7 also incorporates new camera options such as square photos, panoramas and filters.
The FaceTime camera has also been updated with a backside illuminated sensor and larger pixels making images clearer and with less noise, especially in low light situations. This makes selfies, FaceTime calls and Snapchats nicer and more appealing to others.
The iPhone 5S now comes with Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand for free and with built in iCloud integration, which means that owning other Apple devices is rewarded greatly.
Apple also introduced a new leather case for the iPhone 5S:
iPhone 5s has a stunning exterior. So any case that dares to conceal it should be equally appealing. The new iPhone 5s Case more than meets the requirement. Made from premium, hand-selected leather, each one looks and feels luxurious. And because it’s precision crafted for iPhone 5s, your phone still feels incredibly slim, even with the case on.
The leather is deliberately shaped to cover the volume buttons, the on/off switch and the chamfered edge of iPhone. Holes for the iPhone speaker are cut with a high-speed drill normally used for circuit boards. Inside, a soft microfibre lining protects the exterior of your iPhone. Outside, you see colour that’s more than surface deep, thanks to a dye that’s infused into the leather. And there are six complementary colours to choose from, including a (RED)™ edition.
In conclusion, the iPhone 5S is a solid upgrade to the iPhones before it. It incorporates new, advanced technologies, especially within the A7 and M7 chips which make it one of the, if not the most powerful smartphone in the world. Pricing, as always with Apple products is high, but the iPhone really is in my opinion, the most beautiful and well made smartphone in the world and really shows how design can be incorporated into technology, which means it is a definite ‘buy’ for me. The case however I feel is too expensive, however it is very nice so I will be trawling the internet for a cheap price for one of these. If anybody has a spare one… 😛