The New iPhone 5s, Evolution by Increment

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iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s

Here we go again, in good Apple tradition: after the iPhone 5 and the not-so-impressive low end/budget iPhone 5c, now we have a new flagship to talk about.
As usual, the S particle in the new iPhone marks some subtle changes, nothing radical but change it is, not an illusion or just marketing. The design of the smartphone remained the same; there were no improvements in terms of screen size or resolution.
But don’t despair just yet: one of the most important changes in the iPhone 5s is the new iOS 7 delivered with the smartphone, featuring cloud integration. Another gimmick is the new Touch ID feature, which is basically a fingerprint scanner, located on the already famous Home button. This works like a digital seal and it already raised some eyebrows when it comes to privacy issues, because with this new feature Apple might create for themselves one huge fingerprints database.
Another thing worth mentioning in the iPhone 5s, the camera was upgraded, now featuring a larger sensor and a dual LED flash, along with the new A7 chip, now working on 64 bits. That means that the new iOS 7 is now working on 64 bits, with better memory management and advanced apps ahead, leaving the competition far behind and getting closer to Apple’s desktop OS-X. Sometimes in the future, I predict that the two platforms will merge eventually.
The iPhone 5S comes with the same premium-built compact chassis and a lightweight body, but it may lack in screen size and resolution, at least for some of us.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
iPhone5s Original PackageThe iPhone 5s comes with the same retail box as the iPhone 5, and the contents haven’t changed a bit: the Apple lightening USB cable is still there, together with the AC Adaptor, the EarPods headphones featuring volume controls and a microphone, plus the SIM card eject tool.
The dimensions remained just the same, the phone measures 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and weighs a mere 112 grams. That means that the new iPhone 5S is the lightest and most compact high-end smartphone on the market. Obviously, the screen measures the same 4 inches in diagonal and somehow Apple managed to squeeze the new processor, a bigger battery and a larger camera sensor plus the fingerprint scanner in the old iPhone chassis.
The design is almost identical to the iPhone 5, the phone’s body is made of glass and matte aluminum, which feels great and looks even better. Now, you have two new color options: along with the White Silver, which was also found in the old iPhone 5, you can choose Space Grey instead of the Black version and if you’re into glamor, a brand new Gold variant is available.
In terms of design, the main differences are the True-Tone flash, which is basically a dual-LED flash sold under a fancy name, in good Apple tradition and the Home button which serves as a fingerprint scanner.
The build quality and the choice of materials used in its construction are top notch, as expected from an Apple flagship; the front panel is protected by Gorilla Glass and the Touch ID button is made of sapphire crystal with a stainless steel frame. The end result is stunning; the phone looks like it’s made of a single piece of glass. Handling the smartphone is a pleasure and the built quality of the device is almost perfect, one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 5s in my opinion.
iPhone 5s Two Sides

iPhone 5s

The 4 inches wide Retina display has a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels, translating in a 326ppi pixel density. The display is a LED IPS LCD and beneath it you will find the Home button that doubles for a 500ppi CMOS sensor, used for fingerprint scanning. The data collected is processed by the A7 CPU, obviously.
On the front panel you can see the front facing camera used for video calling and a third microphone, used for voice recognition. The smartphone comes with the usual buttons on the sides and a tray that harbors a nano-SIM slot.
The back of the smartphone harbors the new iSight camera, along with the dual LED flash. The sensor is now 15% bigger, while the resolution is the same, 8 Megapixels; but, the pixels are now increased in size, from 1.4 µm to 1.5µm, which translates in better performance in low-lighting conditions. The aperture was increased also, from f/2.4 to f/2.2, again, to maximize the camera performance and help increase the light intake in unfavorable conditions.
The screen in the iPhone 5S is identical to the one you found in the old iPhone 5.
The battery was upgraded, now it has a bigger capacity (1560 mAh vs the old 1440 mAh unit in the last year’s iPhone 5), in order to feed the new A7 processor. The smartphone comes with 54 hours endurance rating, meaning that it will last you over 2 days on a single charge, if used moderately.
iOS 7

iOS 7

The best thing in the new iPhone 5S is the iOS 7, which runs like a dream and it is a match made in heaven for the new Apple flagship. The user interface looks completely different, while the functionality and ergonomics remained the same. One of the coolest things about the new interface is the opening/closing of the folders, which is accompanied by a nice animation. Also, the icons and folders are now semitransparent, while the background adapts to your main theme color. Everything is more eye-candy in the new iOS user interface.
Anther novelty in the iOS 7 is the Vimeo and Flickr integration, along with the usual Twitter and Facebook, plus the Back gesture, now available in all default applications.
The Touch ID feature brings security to a new level, the phone cannot be unlocked by anything but your fingerprint. You can still use a password, as a back-up method of validation and Touch ID can be used for different things, not just unlocking the smartphone. For example, you can use the feature as authorizations for the App Store or the iTunes store.
The hardware platform in the iPhone 5s revolves around the new A7 chip, Apple’s first 64 bit mobile SoC. According to Apple, the new processor is twice as fast as the old A6 CPU; the new A7 is using a 28 nm lithography and is basically a dual core CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz, using ARM’s v8 architecture. The Graphics Processing Unit is a PowerVR G6430. The phone lives up to its reputation, offering a similar performance in benchmarks when compared to the current Android flagships.
The phonebook offers Facebook and Twitter integration, telephony is top notch, with good reception and in-call quality is also great. The messaging and photo apps were redesigned and they are now better organized.
The video player still has its usual limits, you can upload on your smartphone just formats supported by the iTunes and that’s disappointing, to say the least. Same story goes for the iTunes, nothing changed from iOS 6.
In terms of audio output quality, the device performs remarkable, with impressive scores in benchmarks; as good as it gets, in my opinion.
The 8 megapixels camera comes with improved hardware and software, and thanks to its improved sensor and lens, the low-light performance increased significantly. The pictures taken with the iPhone 5s are great, the image processing quality was improved, offering high amounts of resolved details, excellent for an 8 Megapixels shooter. The phone also records full HD videos, at 1080p resolution@30 frames per second. Video quality is state of the art, clips are running smooth and fluently with plenty of details.
iOS SIRIIn terms of connectivity, the iPhone 5S offers everything, from quad band GSM/penta band 3g and also lots of LTE bands, not to mention dual band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP support, A-GPS and GLONASS. With the new iOS 7 you will get 5 GB of free storage space in the iCloud and more is available is you’re willing to pay for it.
For internet browsing, you get an updated version of Safari, which now supports more than 8 tabs opened simultaneously and also the iCloud keychain, that can store your passwords and other personal data (for example, your credit card info).
The organizer spells business, you get a complete iWorks suite, that includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote. You can create and edit documents of all kinds, including PDF,doc, docx, PowerPoint and Excel files and you can also import some from iTunes.
There are all kinds of cool, updated apps in the iPhone 5s, like the Weather application, the compass, the clock etc. Obviously, Voice Memos are available too.
Siri is getting smarter, now accepting new commands and comes with new voices; it now comes with support (it also understands)for English, German, Japanese, Italian, Chinese(2 dialects), Korean and also features Wikipedia integration.
Apple now uses TomTom for navigation, instead of Google Maps and voice guided navigation, with a little help from Siri, of course. Instead of the well-known Street View, now you can enjoy the 3D Flyover mode, which is basically the same thing.
iPhone 5s In Palm

iPhone 5s

The App Store was improved, now it has automatic updates and comes with a new feature called nearby apps. This works by showing you the most popular apps downloaded by people located near you.
In conclusion, the new iPhone 5s is a very interesting smartphone. It’s an incremental step forward from the old iPhone 5, it runs the iOS 7 smoother and faster than its predecessor thanks to its new A7 chip, the camera was significantly upgraded and its premium looks along with the high end materials used in its construction makes it a desirable gadget to own. If you can live with its hefty price tag and its rather small screen (by today’s standards), this baby is a must-have.

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