The folks from Cupertino pulled a typical Apple yesterday, when they outed the bi-annual iPhone 5s upgrade that keeps the same chassis as its predecessor, but adds a carefully crafted new feature or two to make the handset stand out for the next few quarters.
This year the big thunder comes in the form of a 64-bit A7 chipset, which seems to be ahead of its app development times, but is a first for a smartphone nonetheless. Same goes for the fingerprint sensor embedded right into a brand new sapphire home button, which, however, won't be doing anything more useful than unlocking the phone and authorizing iTunes payments, as Apple won't store your fingerprint readings on its servers, and 3rd party developers won't be allowed to use it as authentication method - there goes that vast mobile payment network we were jonessing about.
Apple threw in a few other notable upgrades, mainly in the camera and connectivity departments, so check out the full laundry list of new features that are coming our way with the iPhone 5s in the slideshow below, starting off with the exterior design novelties, and moving to the changes under the hood.
The iPhone 5S comes in three aluminum backplate colors - Silver, Space Gray and even Gold - which is a radical departure from the traditional two color options that have always been.
The glass parts of the chassis are still painted in white or black, as usual, depending on the color scheme you choose - black on grey, white on silver and white on gold.
2. New dual LED True Tone flash on the back
The dual LED flash Apple is using with the iPhone 5S for the first time is not just for bragging rights. We've been hearing for a while that the so-called True Tone flash will be able to produce light in different color combinations, and yesterday this turned out to be true - Apple will utilize a white and an amber tone in over a 1000 intensity combinations, depending on the scene, in order to make skins look more natural than what you get with the typical LED flash.
3. Touch ID fingerprint sensor
This is not your clumsy hit-or-miss physical fingerprint scanner that has been present on phones like the Motorola ATRIX 4G. With the new Touch ID tech Apple has baked the sensor right into a brand new home key made of sapphire crystal. For now you can use it to unlock the handset and do iTunes purchases just by placing your thumb naturally on the home button, without the cumbersome password entrance each time.
Moreover, Apple doesn't store your prints anywhere on its servers - they will be sandboxed inside the phone, and no 3rd party developers will be allowed access, which is good and bad at the same time. The scanner, which is part of the home button, uses a sensor that is just 170 microns and scans sub-epidermal skin layers with a 500ppi resolution sensor.
4. A7 chipset sports the first 64-bit mobile device processor
Off to the changes under the hood - perhaps the grandest and most underutilized new feature of the iPhone 5s will be the new A7 chipset. It's the first mobile device processor with 64-bit architecture, and Apple promised two times the performance of the previous A6, both from the CPU and GPU. Core count, clock frequencies and the amount of RAM Apple uses in the iPhone 5s are awaiting dissection and confirmation.
With iOS 7 you also get a 64-bit mobile OS to match the 64-bit processor, alongside the updated native apps, and we've read here and there that this next-gen architecture was needed to make the fingerprint sensing tech as fast and seamless as Apple has managed to make it on the iPhone 5s. As for apps that will make a full use of the 64-bit A7, don't hold your breath yet, though with the increase in graphics prowess and OpenGL ES 3.0 support, even the most elaborate 3D games will be a go.
5. Dedicated M7 co-processor for motion sensing
Just like Motorola's new X8 chip uses dedicated low-power processor for speech recognition, Apple has paired the A7 chips with a separate frugal M7 co-processor, used entirely for motion sensing calculations.
This allows much more precise input processing from the accelerometer, milti-axis gyro and the compass, which should lead to a slew of new options for motion tracking and command, for an all-day sensing without draining the battery.
6. New iSight camera
While the resolution stays 8 MP and the lens keeps its 5-elements design plus sapphire glass coating, the new iSight camera in the iPhone 5s jumps on the larger sensor pixels and aperture bandwagon, with 1.5 micron pixels and f/2.2 aperture. This means 33% increase in light sensitivity compared to the already well-balanced unit in the iPhone 5.
Moreover, with the new A7 processor you get twice faster autofocus and shot-to-shot times, allowing the phone to take a couple of photos in rapid succession or with different short exposures, including HDR Panorama mode, combining them automatically for the best blur-free, correctly exposed shot. Judging from the unretouched samples Apple posted, the iPhone 5s will stay in the League of Extraordinary Camera Gentlemen for the foreseeable future.
7. New FaceTime HD front camera
The so-called FaceTime HD front camera also got significantly upgraded, with 1.9 microns sensor - even larger than the sensor pixels of the rear camera - and backside illumination, for less noise and blur plus much better low-light performance.
8. Record support of up to 13 LTE bands
Apple said its new iPhones carry the most LTE bands out of all smartpones out there, and that is indeed the case - multiband LTE performance has never been so versatile - the Sprint models of the iPhone 5s and 5c, for instance, sport the jaw-dropping 13 LTE bands, while the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile ones feature the no less impressive 11 bands.
This is much more than the current octaband LTE champion - the Sony Xperia Z Ultra - and ensures that if you buy the iPhone 5s unlocked, you can pop in a carrier SIM from the majority of LTE networks worldwide, and enjoy 100 Mbps download speeds with your own trusted device.
9. Free iWorks, iMovie and iPhoto
Apple's office suite iWorks, as well as the iMovie and iPhoto video and image editors now come free with the iPhone 5s, saving you a few tens. Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iBooks and Podcasts are all part of the freebie package.
10. New accesories
The iPhone 5s is arriving with brand new $39 wrappers made of premium leather with soft microfiber lining. The multiple case colors are infused in the material, so the texture is not only skin deep, even if you scratch the soft-feeling leather. The handset also sports a brand new $29 dock for charging on your desk or night stand.
this camera on iPhone 5S will beat up so easily Samsung, Sony, Nokia (all Nokia has is inferiror zoom and that's all)... why are u all surprised about iPhone 5C, it is reasonable move because they can't cut off the price of current iPhone 5, it is more expensive to produce it than iPhone 5C
and they wouldn't have expected earning
11.alexfiran(Posts: 40; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)
you can say everything about nokia but not about their cameras..love it or hate it they got the best cameraphones out there. period. I only wish there was a DSLR made by Nokia, or at least a point and shoot camera
Like it says mp isn't the all u need on a camera !! Samsung just trying yet !! Sorry pal ! Shut your hole and enjoy what u own or what u like !! Don't try to prove any unless u know a thing !! Good luck with your current smartphone !
46.wildfiregt(Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
I probably know more about photography than you ,did i mention that S4 has a better camera than the 5s ? no cuz we didn't see anything yet. I'm just telling the guy that unless there are no tests, we cannot say which one is better
13.jbitounis(Posts: 54; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
I don't understand why people keep bashing on Apple for not reinventing the "smartphone". Why don't people have as high expectations from another phone manufacturer ? Is it OK for, say, Samsung or Motorola to release a new model with a specs bump from its previous generation, but, when Apple does it, it's a disappointing failure ? It's just a phone people. Disregard Apple's pompous marketing, see if it fits your needs and budget and then take it or leave it.
People pick on Apple because Apple charges its customers a big premium for a phone that can easily be outdone by any other manufacturer (Galaxy S4, Xperia Z, Z1, Nokia Lumia 1020, HTC One, etc.).
With more people wanting bigger screens, Apple is still chugging along with a diminutive screen and lacking options. Apple's closed minded design does not allow the customer truly control/enhance the device and it clearly shows when other devices are pushing the envelope by allowing external storage, using beefier proessors, bigger batteries, etc.
37.jbitounis(Posts: 54; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
I understand your point of view. However, it is debatable whether "beefier" specifications are synonymous to innovation. Arguably, one of the most innovative Android phones of 2013 has last year's specs (Moto X). Reversely, would you feel Apple would have innovated if iPhone 5s sported a 5-inch screen, had a 3000mAh battery and an SD card slot ? I wouldn't. Apple, or anyone else for that matter, just cannot reinvent the smartphone every year. In my opinion, the smartphone experience will stay fundamentaly the same and can olnly be improved upon - at least untli there is a huge technological achievement on another field (materials etc).
Finally, some people (a lot, apparently) just don't care for the lack of customizability of iPhone and prefer instead the feeling of being catered for by Apple through a very polished albeit sandboxed experience. It's whatever floats your boat, really.
Actually it's not innovation. All it means now is that Apple is going to pull a typical d1ck move and enforce that all apps be created using 64-bit architecture so that any devices running 32-bit won't be able to update to the new version unless that customer buys a new iPhone.
Yeah, real innovation.....
FU Apple! I can't wait to get rid of my POS iPhone and buy an Xperia Z1.
21.AfterShock(Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
My theory is the FP sensor is going to harm more then help, its not so much the tech that is to blame as it is to understand, your skin an print change over the course of a day in the real world.
Hands are tools an dry, get soggy, get rubbed off etc, FP readers do not like that and thus leading to lock out situations.
I'm not saying it won't work majority of time, but I am saying it won't work some if the time.
This was expected of apple,this is the year of an "S" upgrade,next year they will surely release a phone with 2048x1536 resolution display,maybe 5' inch,my only gripe is that the iphone 5c isn't cheaper.
This, by far, is the biggest step an S model has taken for the iPhone. I think Apple is starting to get the picture that they absolutely cannot just do small updates and expect people to flock to them. Google, Samsung, and HTC have done an awesome job at not only catching up to Apple, but drawing people's attention away from the iPhone as well. This is the first iPhone S model I've been excited for. And I'm excited for the future. Remember iOS 7 was born only a few months after Scott Forstall was ousted. And having had iOS 7 for a few months now, Apple has made huge steps. I can only imagine what will result from them having a full year to work on iOS 8 with a brand new iPhone.
People keep throwing around the world innovative and how the iPhone 5S lacks it. But the thing is, you're not going to find many innovations that will wow you like they did a few years back. When the iPhone marched into the smartphone market (back then it was just a feature phone) it was innovative because it was made for the consumer and to be honest, smartphone manufacturers before it were lazy (except BB). Now that all there are so many players in the smartphone market, you're going to be pressed to find a monolithic innovator like Apple was. The most recent Galaxy S was called gimmicky. The new iPhone is being called evolutionary instead of revolutionary. But I think that's going to be the trend. As we move forward, things are going to take smaller steps. Companies that try to do too much without a core focus will be called gimmicky. Companies that take small focused steps will be called evolutionary. They may both get rave reviews, but they won't wow us like they used to.
I think the finger print access is much needed for all smartphones. People are growing increasingly tired of passwords and Touch ID will solve problems with stolen iPhones and hopefully will help with site usernames and passwords. Sure, Apple doesn't give sites access to finger prints, but with Keychain, I'm hoping you'll go to a site, flick your thumb on the Touch ID sensor and have it automatically enter your username and password.
The M7 chip is also exciting. Given how active some people are becoming (hopefully more), the M7 will work well with 3rd party apps to give a more accurate picture of miles ran/biked/walked. Even if we don't see an iWatch, this will be awesome.
And as a very amateur photographer, I always appreciate the better camera.
Don't know how secure this is. They explained how the finger print data is saved but a 101 things can go wrong in between, I mean the software the takes the input from user could be hacked, that is why I guess no devs get access. We cannot be sure that all devs do secure programming.
They said the print information is stored in the processor and not uploaded to Apple's database or to iCloud. Probably smart considering all that is going on with the NSA. It would be difficult to hack into the processor.
Not much. Still staying up with the tech world. PhoneArena lost much of its conversation as people started hating Apple more and more so I took a while off. I still read the stories, but refrain from commenting. I changed my name legally so I changed it on here too.
Would like too see a test of fingerprint scanner can be fooled by a "copy" of fingerprint, like face unlock for android.
Will be very unsecure , if it can be fooled like androids face unlock with a picture and gold mine for thieves to steal info from the phone. All biometric scanners on smartphones/tablets are best to avoid to use, if have importants data stored and passwords is the best choice.
64 Bit cpu is just a gimmick, unless it comes with 4GB RAM.
Only worth to mention is the camera and Im sure it will take nice pictures.
That one I'm not sure about. Apple said it's a capacitive touch on the sensor so you wouldn't be able to hold a photocopy of the finger print to unlock the phone. Any more advanced steps would mean someone REALLY wanted to get into your phone and Apple's protection shouldn't be the only line of defense. This will help people when it comes to losing their phones and others not being able to guess the passcode. It would also help with parents making it so their kids can't randomly buy apps or music.
The CPU is all about how programmers use it. So far, the iPhone not the apps used on it has suffered from a lack of RAM. Apple tends to give the iPhone exactly what it needs to run the OS and apps. From the start iOS has sipped when it comes to power consumption. But I do think this is a result of them trying to get into the gaming industry. Right now, Nintendo is struggling with the Wii U, but doing well with their handhelds. Apple is probably looking to grab that market. We'll see.
i think other countries should ban the entrance of iphone 5s in their country, cause this phone just design to be spy on peoples for USA,
imagine if someone touch the home bottom, the phone will automatically send his/her finger print and his/her pic (via front cam) to NSA or other secret agencies!!! and after 1 year USA will have an information bank of at least 1 billion people in earth!!!
I hope this post was in jest...but just in case, I'd recommend you reading a bit of Apple's posts about the fingerprint scanner. If you don't like reading, watch the video (they are actually short for once). Basically, they store the print information in the A7 processor. It's not uploaded to iCloud or Apple's servers. The government would have to actively hack your phone's software in order to grab that information. I'm not sure on the law with that. They can intercept information sent and received over the airwaves (voice/text/data), but I don't think they can go further without a warrant. And remember how hard it was to jailbreak the iPhone because Apple started having things authenticated through the A5/6 chip.
Also, the US has been intercepting calls no matter who made it. Your phone's mic can be turned on even if Samsung or HTC manufactured it. Same goes for landlines. If you band the iPhone 5S because of that, you'd have to ban all phones.
You apple supporters really put a smile on my face. Are you guys seriously hyping a cpu upgrade that won't be fully utilized to it's full capabilities? A Ferrari engine in a go kart is still a go kart. The phone is smaller then feature phones. Ios7 looks like samsung easy mode on my s4. Just stop it apple 5sucked again. Money money money could careless about user wants and industry standards. Apple should be sued for being this dumb and charging this much for a speedy go kart and it's push kart brother that's some how almost the same price. Ridiculous
Apple would gain more customers if they did three simple things to the iPhone:
1. Add removable storage
2. Increase the size of the screen (5" +)
3. Outfit the device with a larger capacity (3000mAh and above) battery
If the suggestions above were to be implemented on the iPhone, they could charge a single price for the device and make the customer happy because he/she would be able to upgrade the storage on the phone anytime, have a larger display that would allow more productivity and not have to worry about charging the device constantly.