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iPhone 5S review

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

Maps is a contentious area of the Apple ecosystem since its rather embarrassing launch which saw the whole of the internet go about spotting the myriad of errors in the software. It lead to an Apple climb down and CEO Tim Cook recommending users try alternative solutions until a fix in place.

Much later and I'm still waiting for the major overhaul to take place - Maps is still determined when I type "Luton" that I mean a tiny village in Devon rather than the large Bedfordshire based town.

iPhone 5C review

Some things have been fixed, Doncaster for example is now spelt correctly, but there's still quite some way for Apple Maps to go before it can seriously challenge Google Maps, with elements like public transport integration not on offer.

Of course it's not always bad news and for the most part Maps works pretty well, and it's able to comprehend where I am and where I want to go.

iPhone 5C review

The colour palette is pleasing to the eye and everything is very easy to read with various points of interest marked on the map including restaurants, hospitals and train stations.

Maps load very quickly on the iPhone 5S, be it over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G, so there's no awkward waiting around when you fire up the app, and unlike the 5C, the 5S was very fast at locating us. I'm surprised about this, as the location chips inside should be the same, but clearly the A7 chip is playing a part here.

Turn Wi-Fi off and try and locate yourself when indoors and the 5S struggles to really nail down your location, placing a large blue halo round the location dot, which is usually in the right vicinity.

iPhone 5C review

As well as the stock map view you can also view the world in a series of satellite images or choice a hybrid option which sees roads laid on top of the satellite snaps.

However unlike Google Maps, the TomTom powered Apple maps doesn't have the StreetView option, nor does it sport any public transport information, so if you want to know which bus or train to get you'll have to go else where.

The 3D Flyover option which Apple lauded at the launch of Maps last year is nice to view when you're over a city which has actually supports it, but for the majority of the world there are no 3D renders present and thus the mode is merely there for aesthetic value.

iPhone 5C review

While there are some gremlins on the navigation side of things, in general Apple Maps is a very capable turn-by-turn sat nav alternative - and you'd hope so considering TomTom is behind the technology.

iPhone 5C review

Tap in your destination and pin pops up with a little blue square next to the address details with an estimated drive time - tap this and Maps will load the route from your current location, plus provide two alternatives.

Select the route you want and hit "Drive" and you'll be launched into the navigation screen, where the blue route stands out well on the grey roads making it really clear where you need to go - especially useful at tricky junctions.

There's an extra clever little feature on offer here too: with the M7 co-processor on board, the iPhone 5S was able to work out when I had stopped driving and began walking, showing that the phone's internal motion sensors are up to snuff.

I did note once during testing that the GPS signal caused the phone to freeze when jumping out to the email app, but this was a singular instance which I've not been able to replicate since.

I did find the text display the time and distance left on my journey and my estimated time of arrival were a bit small at the top of the screen and I found myself squinting at the screen to read them - not particularly safe when you're driving.

The stereo speakers on the base of the iPhone 5S allow for loud, clear spoken instructions from a robotic male voice, and the volume really impressed us as I've found many phones struggle to be heard over the noise of the car.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersioniOS 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, iMessage
Pixel Density326 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.2 Megapixel
Height123.7 mm
Width58.7 mm
Depth7.6 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time250 Hour
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