I’ve been using the iPhone 5s for 3 weeks now and I don’t want to go too over board in this review because I’m sure enough people here and elsewhere already have but I just wanted to share my thoughts.
I have bought 6 of the past 7 iPhones since the original and I can confidently say that if you’re still rocking an iPhone 5, sick with it. You’re really not missing out on much this time around and I think Apple knows this since they basically took the iPhone 5’s internals and stuck them in the iPhone 5c.
That’s not to say this isn’t an incredible phone, it’s just that the iPhone has finally gotten to a point in it’s product cycle where it has become mature. Incremental upgrades are inevitable and necessary but will not change the way you use your phone or show a noticeable speed increase in your daily tasks.
But, the iPhone 5s is still the best phone you can buy if you want an overall great experience.
From a design perspective, this is very much the same phone we’ve seen and used over the past year with the iPhone 5. The only noticeable difference to the trained eye are the minute colour differences between the iPhone 5’s matte black exterior and the 5s’ “space grey” exterior, a new gold colour addition as well as the dual “true tone” flash on the back.
It’s a solid piece of quality hardware that very few companies have been able to match.
Without a word of a doubt, this is the fastest iPhone to come out of Cupertino but of course it is. In Apple tradition, a new processor called the A7 debuts in the iPhone 5s. The unique point here is that it’s the world’s first 64 bit mobile processor and it has also been paired with a motion co-processor that handles all the phones mundane tasks associated with movement dubbed the M7. It still has the same 1GB of RAM that was in the 5 and the same clock speed of 1.3Ghz but manages to double the performance for most benchmarked tasks.
The 5 was no slow poke and the performance gains will most likely not be seen until developers really start taking advantage of the added horse power here and there’s a lot of horse power. This is the first phone that will be able to keep up two years from now.
The iPhone’s camera is one of those features that tends to be incredibly important to me. The iPhone is the the camera I have with me 99% of the time. This time around, Apple has chosen to improve overall image quality rather then add megapixles. They’ve also added a couple very nice improvements. They’ve increased the Aperture size to f2.2 and increased the sensor size by 15% to increase total light sensitivity by 33%. This effectively means that photos will look better in low light which is always a good thing.
They have also included a new dual LED “True tone” flash that is supposed to help capture a more natural image when the flash is being used. I usually have my flash turned off and I don’t think this is going to change that but it’s still a welcome improvement none the less.
Experience and Ecosystem:
iOS 7 is the biggest update to iOS since the iPhone debuted in 2007. It is a complete redesign of an aging mobile system. Once again, I’m not going to go into detail here but iOS 7 has given users of the iPhone 4 and newer, an entirely new experience with their iPhones and one that is much more superior to all iOS versions since the original.
Apple controls hardware, software and services. Because of this, they can tie each aspect together flawlessly. The iCloud suite of products is just one part of this ecosystem and is incredibly important to the overall experience.
For free, Through iCloud, Apple gives you an entire suite of services for free. They give you an email account, calendar syncing, contact syncing, document syncing, photo syncing as well as a few other features. They also give you Find My iPhone, a service that allows you to find a lost or stolen iPhone through GPS and completely lock it down or even erase it.
They have also made their mobile versions of iWork and iLife completely free which before costs $9.99 per app. This is a super good value and is a great value add for the user.
The iPhone 5s still is the best all around phone on the market and the one I will continue to recommend to friends and family. Sure some phones have larger screens, cameras sensors with more megapixles and NFC but none of that really matters if the experience is lacking. Apple really knows how to deliver on a consistently great experience.
If you already own the iPhone 5 though, there’s really no need to upgrade.
But, if you’re going out to buy a phone today, the iPhone continues to be the phone you can’t go wrong with and you won’t regret the purchase down the road.