Apple unveiled its latest version of their iPhone today; the iPhone 5S. I find it ironic that today's unveiling was September 11 (911 anniversity) . Although the unveiling of the new model was interesting, it was hardly of the hoopola level from a major event that I'm used to seeing. There are some interesting things to note about the new iPhone 5S and that's where our smartphone review will be focused.
The 5S definitely has some interesting features, the most notable are the first ever 64-bit processor and a new way to implement login security. Out with the password, in comes a fingerprint scanner. Let's don't forget some notable camera improvements as well. Yes, it does indeed have some first in phones involved here. However, there's also one notable thing that did not happen. The screen is the same size as the previous model. In fact, the physical dimensions are exactly the same size as the iphone 5.
iPhone 5S features
- 64-bit A7 processor/M7 Coprocessor – Included in this new processor is the OpenGL ES 3.0 standard, meaning better graphics performance. Apple claims it's twice as fast as the previous model. Now I'll add the frosting to the cake here. This nifty device also contains an M7 motion coprocessor. That's a mouthful but what it does for users is nice. It will take in the phone's various sensors including the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. Not only will applications that need or use real-time data benefit from this, the net effect will be less of a battery drain since it's less work the processor has to perform; thus an increase in battery life.
- Touch ID fingerprint-authentication system – The Home button located on the lower part of the front casing is depressed. This engages a scanner which detects differences in electrical charges caused by the various curved lines of a fingerprint and stores this information digitally. It should be emphasized this is not an image; it's more like a digital signature. It's very secure in that it cannot be stored in the Cloud. In fact it is actually stored in a secure spot inside of the processor. Supposedly, it will authenicate through an iCloud as well as the famous Apple iStore. It may be natural to be a tad skeptical since one would think this new technology would use more battery power. Apple says that the battery will be equal to or slightly longer in battery time than the previous one. They claim 10 hours of 3G/4G LTE browsing will be available.
- Improved Camera – This new 8 Megapixel camera specifically designed for this phone has a five-element lens and it is bigger in some respects. The lens includes an f/2.2 aperture, which is larger than the one in the iPhone 5 and has 1.5-micron pixels, which is more than the previous version. Another Apple first is the dual-LED True Tone flash, which uses a white and amber colored flashed, for cooler and warmer temperature flashes respectively. The new iOS7 system has some programs that will definitely benefit from this new camera hardware. Just before the shot, the white balance and exposure is automatically calibrated for improving the highlights and the shadow areas. The picture sharpeness will also be enhanced by an improved auto-focus. Image stabilization is enhanced by taking a series of photos, and mixing them together for an improved picture quality. And for you video lovers, you have a 1080p HD recording capability.
- Technical Specs - The 5S has more 4G LTE bands available than ever. It can pick up on 11 or 13 LTE bands depending on which carrier you go with. With this many bands, if you travel frequently you will have a better chance of locking into a LTE signal with this phone, definitely a strong consideration if you need that extra speed while on the road. Location finding includes assisted GPS and GLONASS; wireless includes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. There is no NFC capability; why that is, I do not know. To my knowledge none of the iPhones have NFC. Maybe one day they will, who knows. The 5S comes in 16, 32, and 64GB versions at $199, $299, and $399.00 respectively.
- Applications - The suite of programs including iMovie, iPhoto, and iWork can be dowloaded for free if an iPhone with iOS7 was activated after September 1, including phones besides the 5S. If you activated before September 1, you can still download these apps but you will pay for them.
- Colors – The size of the 5S is the same as the iphone 5, including the chamfered edges. The colors offered include a new gold color, which many say is more of a champagne color. The other colors are space gray and silver.
The phone has some nice technical improvements although the basic design of the phone has remained the same. It seemed as though Apple was more concerned with technical improvements over the physical looks of the phone. It does seem to have some appeal with its improved processor and coprocessor, although time will tell how much that actually improves the performance of this phone. We shall see.