After playing with the iPhone 5C, I played with the new iPhone 5S that includes a faster A7 SoC and M7 sensor fusion hub, fingerprint sensor home button, improved 8 MP camera with 1.5µm pixel pitch, F/2.2 optical system, and dual LED flash. The iPhone 5S also comes in two new colors, a space gray, and gold color which complement the white color that was previously available.

What's interesting about the 5S is of course that touch ID sensor which includes a fingerprint sensor inside the home button. There's no rounded application rectangle icon inside the circle, instead the home button is clear and topped with a flat sapphire cover glass material. There's a complementary settings option where you can train the system to use your fingerprints and control what fingerprints are stored. Tapping and holding your finger on the button quickly unlocks the device, there's a tiny bit of lag but it's still faster than entering a passcode. 

The two new iPhone 5S colors are striking as well, I expected the space gray option to just be a renamed black option from the 5, but it actually has different aluminum anodization and looks like a different color around the edge and back metal parts. Of course there's a dramatic change with the gold colored iPhone 5S, which actually is quite subtle in person and not nearly as dramatic as I thought it would be. It manages to be gold but still elegant and not tacky, I'm impressed with the way Apple tuned this anodization. The materials feel the same as they did on the 5, which is to say excellent. 

Dual LED color temperature flash firing

The other giveaway on the backside are the changes to the flash system, which now includes two different color temperature flashes which the ISP can change to balance the color temperature of the scene. While I'd still argue you shouldn't be using on-camera flash ever and still prefer natural light, the iPhone 5S's system looks to be a substantial improvement. Correspondingly there's a new 720p120 "slow-mo" option in the camera application which takes videos at 120FPS. In the gallery there are sliders on the playback scrubber bar which control when the 120 FPS video plays back at 30 FPS, for the slow motion effect Apple is going for, but it looks like you can also just get at the higher framerate video played back at normal speed. The rest of the camera improvements we'll have to wait and see with. 

Speed through iOS 7 the 5 was already great, playing around with a few games and especially Apple maps with 3D buildings manages to feel even faster. I'd say in maps with flyovers especially the 5S feels amazingly fast and doesn't hitch or stutter at all. 

I also played with the leather cases on the iPhone 5S which come in a variety of colors. These are also suede lined inside and feel rigid, and I was told these are actual leather as well. 

There's a lot more to talk about on the 5S side and I'd encourage you to check out our hands on video as well. 



View All Comments

  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    It failed to respond to some touches.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    He's reaching Reply
  • phobos512 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Does the keyboard still always show all caps in IO7 or does it transition from lower case to UPPER CASE? Reply
  • Dman23 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Great post again! Really looking forward to the new A7 / M7 chips and the new fingerprint and camera sensors. Looks like the fingerprint sensor is fast and responsive. Definitely liking what I see here Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    I'm assuming China is the big driver for the gold model. Gold and grandmother would love it. In a word, tacky. The other two colors look nice. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    I kind of like it, but probably wouldn't opt for it over grey. I'm sure there's a market for it, Apple's usually hyper efficient about it's SKU... I'm surprised they're jumping into the case market whole hog tho, the other case makers can't be happy for first party competition. How thick are those leather cases? I imagine it's lined? Reply
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I also wonder how "grabby" the leather ones are when sliding in/out of pockets. I've been using Diztronic TPU cases for my last few phones and have been very happy (cheap & good fit). But right now I've got a Speck SmartFlex card case on my iPhone 5. I love not having to carry my wallet around. It will be interesting to see how far Apple branches out with their case designs. Reply
  • blacks329 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Apple has made cases, (smart) covers and bumpers in the past. They generally tend to be over priced for most people, or don't provide enough features for others. I'm sure they'll sell well enough for Apple, but case manufacturers are not concerned. Reply
  • vshah - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    shouldn't that be "complementary" instead of "complimentary?" Reply
  • theCuriousTask - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    What process is A7 built on? It seems like it has a lot of transistors for that die size. Could it be 28nm HKMG or a further die shrink? Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now