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iPhone 5S review

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

For the first time in its history Apple launched two smartphones at the same time, and thus introduced a new tier to its iPhone range with the mid to high-end iPhone 5C joining the premium iPhone 5S.

But how do the two handsets differ? Well in simple terms the iPhone 5C is just 2012's iPhone 5 repurposed in a slightly chunkier, fully plastic body, while the 5S keeps the design of the 5 and adds a couple of new features.

If you fancy a more in-depth comparison check out our full iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C feature, but here's a quick breakdown of the main differences.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Build

This is easy - the 5C is plastic, the 5S is metal and thus feels far superior in the hand.

The 5S is thinner, lighter and generally much more attractive than its colourful, yet rather toy-like plastic clad brother which ends up feeling a lot cheaper than it is.

The iPhone 5S measures a svelte 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and tips the scales at 112g, while the porky in comparison 5C comes in at 124.4 x 59.2 x 9mm and 132g.

iPhone 5C

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Processor

The iPhone 5S treats you to Apple's fancy new 64-bit A7 chip which has been smashing its way through benchmarks.

That's not to say the A6 chip found inside the 5C is a poor offering - it runs iOS 7 just as well and it be honest in day to day usage there's little to choose between the two in terms of performance.

Where the 5S steps up is in graphically intense tasks, such as 3D gaming, where it's able to render a lot more and the addition of the M7 motion co-processor means all the sensors on the iPhone are kept in check.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Camera

Both handsets sport an 8MP rear facing camera capable of 1080p video recording and front facing 1.2MP snappers with 720p video.

The 5S has a slightly larger sensor, dual-LED flash on its rear as well as a slo-mo video recording mode, while the 5C makes do with a single flash and no fancy slow motion capture.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Security

One of the biggest new features unique to the iPhone 5S (the 5C misses out here) is the TouchID fingerprint scanner hidden under the home button.

It allows users to register a number of prints with the 5S which you'll then be able to use to unlock the phone and authorise iTunes purchases without having to enter your passcode.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Storage

You can pick the iPhones 5S in 16GB or 32GB models, while the 5C only comes in an 8GB option now.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Price

Aside from the design, the biggest (and most noticeable) discrepancy between the 5S and 5C is the price.

The iPhone 5S costs £459 for the 16GB model, rising to £499 for 32GB and the 64GB model has been discontinued. The 8GB iPhone 5C can be picked up for £319 and that's your lot, there is no other option anymore.

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