Apple iPhone 5S Review

A paginated review video post format which includes a table specifications. This is a big week for Apple; it has two new phones hitting store shelves, and a brand new operating system that becomes available Sept. 18 for compatible devices. The new mobile operating system is a big visual change, and is likely to feel somewhat disorienting to users upgrading from iOS 6, but in most important ways, it’s not that dissimilar from what you’re used to, and many of the changes are definitely for the best.

Apple has entered the spec wars. The iPhone 5S isn’t just supposed to be “the most amazing iPhone yet.” It’s not “the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever.” No, Apple says the 5S is “the most forward-thinking iPhone yet” and “the best smartphone in the world.”

Like its predecessor, the iPhone 5s is one of the best handsets you can buy. But more importantly, it’s laying the groundwork for the smartphones of tomorrow.

Along with the A7, the 5s also includes a new separate helper chip, the M7 coprocessor. It’s designed to efficiently monitor data gathered from the phone’s accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope without bogging down the CPU and draining the device’s battery. Argus and Strava Run were among the first apps updated to take advantage of this feature.

The touch, the feel

Using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint security system feels very much like being in a secret agent movie: you pull the phone out of your pocket, touch the ringed home button (which is now much more tactile, directing your finger to exactly the right spot), and presto — you’re in.

Specifications Overview

Thickness0.3 inches0.32 inches0.4 inches
Camera8 MP8 MP8 MP
Screen size4 inches4 inches3.5 inches
ChipsetApple A7Apple A6Apple A5
CPUDC 1.3 GHzDC 1.3 GHzDual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9

The Up’s vibrating motor is used for two different alarm features, both of which I’ve come to love. When you’re sleeping at night, you can set your alarm, and the Up will rouse you up to 30 minutes before that time based on when you’re in lighter sleep and will wake up feeling better.

Future-proofing the smartphone

Apple’s spent more time talking about the 5S’s specs than I’ve ever seen the company do in the past, but the improvements are hard to evaluate. In benchmarks, the new A7 processor is spectacular — the top of its class in nearly every way.

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