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iPhone 5S review

Faster, new camera and a clever fingerprint reader. But is it enough of an upgrade?

Our Verdict

The best iPhone yet, featuring a great camera and the TouchID fingerprint sensor. The high price will put many off, but you'll find a lot of joy in this phone whether you're an iPhone fan or if you've been sitting on the fence. It's more than just an iterative update.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 64 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1136 x 640
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Powerful core
  • Touch ID is a real step up
  • Excellent camera

Against

  • Expensive
  • No screen tech change
  • Battery suspect

The gallery app on the iPhone 5S is something that stays very true to Apple's ethos, one of displaying all your photos in one place but organising them in easy to find places.

For instance, when you open up the redesigned Photos app, you're taken through a few options. You can view your album, your Photostream through iCloud or the myriad videos you'll have nabbed during your time with the device.

However, once into your camera roll, you can organise by moments in time, location or just general collections, with only a couple of taps being needed to make it easier to share the content with a social network.

Obviously from this app you're able to do more, such as create a shared photostream for the family to enjoy, or you can open Apple maps to see properly where the photos were taken. And if you want to zoom out a bit then all you need to do is tap the top left-hand icon, taking you from 'Collections' to 'Years' which means that if you've got millions of snaps then you can see them grouped properly together.

After a few complaints, Apple included an option to switch back to the traditional Camera Roll view in the iOS 8.1 update.

If you're not happy with the photos you have you can always tap the "edit" button when viewing a particular picture to take you into an editor.

http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/art/mobile_phones/iPhone/iPhone%205S/Camera/IMG_0143-420-90.JPG

From there you have various options including crop, rotate, red eye removal, eight filters and auto-enhance. iOS 8 has beefed the editor up to match Apple's iPhoto app, which is not supported on iOS 8 devices, though you can import old images from it into your Photos app on iOS 8.

This allows you to fully tweak light and colour settings, digging into exposure, brightness, contrast, and a lot more.

It's certainly not as detailed as Apple's iPhoto app - which can be downloaded for free from the App Store - but for the occasional photography this simple editor will suffice

Airdrop

If you're interested in sharing these photos with others, the Airdrop is your friend here. Apple's new proprietary connection is one that's pretty darn good and beats the pants of the likes of S Beam on a Galaxy phone or the general need to pull ones hair out when setting up Wi-Fi direct.

iPhone 5S review

In this option you simply tap the photo you want to share, make sure the person you're looking to share it with has a compatible Apple device (and is visible) then tap on the icon of the person that comes up at the bottom in the Control Centre - this works really well and the photo sharing times between the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were very impressive indeed, using Apple's implementation of the Wi-Fi ad-hoc technology.

It's startling how fast photos beam across, and it's more simple than competitor methods, providing you've made yourself available or accepted other users.

Bluetooth - your days as a data transmission option are starting to draw to a close, unless a newer version of the technology pushes the envelope again.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBNo
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory64 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyiPhone 5s
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourSilver
Operating SystemiOS
Brand NameApple
Battery Talk Time10 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution1136 x 640
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)112 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerApple
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersioniOS 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, iMessage
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density326 ppi
Height123.7 mm
Width58.7 mm
Depth7.6 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPhone 5s Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Product LineiPhone 5s
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Fingerprint Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberMF359X/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

Unrealized until now. Indispensable from now on.

A chip with 64-bit architecture. A fingerprint identity sensor. A better, faster camera. And an operating system built specifically for 64-bit. Any one of these features in a smartphone would make it ahead of its time. All of these features in a smartphone make it an iPhone that's definitely ahead of its time.

The gold standard. Also available in silver and gray.

iPhone 5s is precision crafted down to the micron. And it's evident throughout. The beautiful aluminum housing. The sleekness of metal and glass. Sapphire crystal in the Home button. And more sapphire crystal protecting the iSight camera. Design and construction of this level is unmatched. As a result, iPhone 5s looks and feels unbelievably thin and light. And it's available in three elegant expressions: gold, silver, and space gray.

Package Contents
  • iPhone 5s Smartphone
  • EarPods with Remote and Mic
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • 5W USB Power Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year