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Apple iPhone 5S specs review

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Apple iPhone 5S specs review
Ah, the Apple iPhone 5S has finally been unveiled, and it's about to hit the market on September 20. The new iDevice seems to be extremely powerful in terms of hardware, but it also packs some very interesting new features like the Touch ID sensor that enables fingerprint security. It would be an understatement to say that we're excited about this phone, as we simply can't wait to put our itchy fingers on it. Still, before we commence with our physical experience with the new iPhone 5S, it'd be better if we make sure that we've gotten the theory learned by heart. That's why it wouldn't hurt if we go through all the hardware and software features of the iPhone 5S one more time, and if you happen to have missed a part of our coverage (shame on you!), consider this an opportunity to catch up.


Since this is an 'S' generation, the iPhone 5S is supposed to have exactly the same exterior as the iPhone 5, right? Well, think again, because the 5S actually features a number of visual improvements compared to its predecessor. The main design concept has been retained, but the iPhone 5S has a brand new home button design, which looks particularly fancy. In addition, the color variations have been changed — the 5S will be offered in black/grey, white/silver and white/gold, all of which being extremely good-looking. By the looks of it, Apple has slightly altered the black version's color scheme, so that the metal part (including the frame of the phone) is a bit lighter (in terms of color), making for a more contrasting and appealing color scheme.

Other than that, the design is pretty much the same, with the rear camera located in the upper-left corner, though this time, the snapper is accompanied by a special kind of dual LED flash.


Apple iPhone 5S specs review
If you though Apple's going to install a 1080x1920 resolution display on the new iPhone 5S, well, think again! The 4" IPS LCD screen will retain its 640x1136 pixels resolution, making for a pixel density of 326 ppi. Now, this isn't as high as what you can find on the newest Android flaghships, which often cross the 400+ ppi mark with their 1080p displays, but we should remember that the iPhone's screen resolution is already high enough to allow for a comfortable reading and viewing experience. Yes super-fine details won't be as clear as on a 1080p screen, but do we really need such type of clarity? Plus, we should keep in mind that higher resolution equals poorer performance and shorter battery life, so we should definitely think again before asking for a 1080p res on a screen that is already super-clean.

Resolution isn't everything, though, and while we're yet to see the iPhone 5S's display in person, we're absolutely sure that it'll be just gorgeous. Based on the familiar IPS LCD technology, we expect the screen of the 5S to be accurate, vivid and plenty bright.


The Apple iPhone 5S will ship with the new iOS 7 operating system, which, as you've probably heard, is the first iOS version with a brand new user interface. The core ideas are basically the same — but the whole system looks very different from the current skeuomorphic design. iOS has become more abstract and cleaner in a bid to become more recent with the times.

In terms of features, iOS 7 is also introducing a bunch of intriguing things, such as the control center pull-up menu, which provides quick access to frequently used toggles and options, such as brightness, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity and others.

A really interesting new feature of the iPhone 5S is the so-called Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which will be used for enhanced security and some other cool stuff. For example, you'll be able to unlock your perfectly secured iPhone 5S just by touching its home button. Since the device will know that it's you and no one else, it'll simply let you access the OS without your having to enter a passcode or anything like that. Another useful application of the fingerprint sensor is for iTunes purchase authentication. Now, instead of having to enter your iTunes password each time you want to buy an app, game, song, or anything else, you'll be given the option to simply touch the home button of the iPhone 5S, and it will immediately pass the authentication process - quickly and effortlessly!

Processor and Memory

Speaking of the software, we should absolutely mention that the Apple iPhone 5S is going to be the first smartphone with a 64-bit processor, and iOS 7, along with all the built-in apps is going to be optimized to take advantage of that. Hopefully, all of this will lead to a better overall system performance. It's interesting to note that Apple says the so-called A7 chip in the iPhone 5S has a CPU that is up to 40 times faster, and GPU that is up go 56 times faster than those of the original iPhone. This doesn't give us much information about the actual performance of the 5S, but at least it's a cool fact to know.

When it comes to internal storage, the iPhone 5S comes with the usual capacities of 16, 32 and 64 GB - nothing out of the ordinary here. As always, there is no microSD card slot, so you won't be able to expand  your internal storage even further in the future.


Interestingly, instead of bumping the camera megapixels to 13 MP from the current 8 MP, the company has decided to keep the megapixel count but increase the size of the pixels themselves, along with the aperture (now f/2.2), which should allow for brighter and cleaner images. Other interesting features of this new camera include the dual-LED flash, which isn't just a normal dual-LED flash. Actually the new light has an amber color and will be used to fix the color temperature of photos taken in not-so-wonderful lighting conditions. It really sounds like a great feature this camera.

Naturally, it also knows how to do 1080p video recording, but it can also shoot a 120 fps slow motion video, which can produce some neat, eye-catching effects. Another new video-recording extra is ability to zoom up to 3 times while filming, which doesn't seem like a great option, but nevertheless - it's there.

Release Date, Price and Expectations

Apple has always announced exact release dates for its products, and the iPhone 5S is not an exception. The handset will go on pre-order as soon as September 13, while the iPhone 5S release date itself will take place on September 20.

Pricing is also your standard affair. If you're ready to pay for a new two-year contract, the iPhone 5S is going to cost you $199 for the 16 GB model, $299 for the 32 GB one and $399 for the 64 GB one. That's the way it'll be offered by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, while T-Mobile will sell the unlocked model at $649 for 16 GB, $749 for 32 GB and $849 for 64 GB - none of which tied to a contract.

We're definitely looking forward to reviewing the Apple iPhone 5S. You can rest assured that this is going to happen very soon, so that you'll know exactly what advantages and disadvantages come along with the iPhone 5S. Apple's newest flagship smartphone is extremely appealing, and we're sure that it's going to straighten the users' confidence in Apple. Stay tuned for our iPhone 5S review, which is going to put the device's screen, camera, software and pretty much anything else to the test!

Apple iPhone 5S specs review

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posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:51 21

1. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Innovation at its best hahahhaha same stuff another year

Fruit is about to get rotten :p

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:54 9

4. Ninetysix (Posts: 2377; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Do you have a timeframe? What are we looking at here? I want to get back to you when that time comes and tell you that you were wrong. Wake up and face reality. Apple is not going anywhere.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:59 25

6. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

That's... exactly his point?

They are stuck in 2010 and not going anywhere.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:06 1

51. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Kind of how BB/RIM was stuck 2 years behind the innovation curve. Look where it got them. What is the saying - those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them?

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:11 7

11. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

First phone with a 64 bit processor... I'm no fan of apple, but I have to admit that, yes, that is innovation. While others just tack on more cores, this improves capability. Can't say its last years tech anymore.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:55 5

33. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3576; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)

Innovation❔ 2 innovative features in 12 months❔... My Lumia 920 had at least 8 innovations, and that was just one out of 15 devices in a year... Apple is definitely not the innovator here...

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 23:56 1

70. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

Like I said, I\'m no fan of apple, I love my Lumia 920 as much as you love yours. But it is what it is. The quantity doesn\'t change that.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:46 7

45. ph00ny (Posts: 1234; Member since: 26 May 2011)

and what's the point of having a 64bit processor with such little memory to address it?

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 23:58 1

71. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

Increased memory limit isn\'t the only benefit. It will use the memory it has in a much more efficient manner, and overall performance will improve. This may be marginal, but it opens doors.

in the end, why do anything else than praise what is obviously a step forward?

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:36 1

83. ph00ny (Posts: 1234; Member since: 26 May 2011)

and additional core while maintaining power efficiency isn't an obvious step forward?

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 21:18 1

98. VArase (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)

The A7 has twice the number of general purpose and floating point registers, twice the speed, twice the GPU speed. This is straight-line scalar speed, not just adding a couple of cores the same speed, so straight line non-multiprocessing tasks can finish in half the time.

Fully optimized 64 bit kernel and vendor supplied apps, touch friendly free software suite (the same as on the Mac), iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote as well as free access to the corresponding web HTML5 apps.

The camera has two LED flash elements - one white and the other amber allowing for a thousand flash colors to warm flesh tones in harsh lighting environments like florescent. The camera is also capable of 1080p, and 720p slow motion at 120fps. Holding the shutter button takes 10 fps 8 mp shots as long as the button is held down, with software selection of the best exposures and sharpness, as well as panorama mode with corrected exposure throughout the camera sweep.

The fingerprint sensor is capable of mapping five fingers with the fingerprint maps stored securely in a special enclave on the A7 chip. This allows for rapid authentication, so there's no need to carry the phone unlocked.

VPN pathing is per application, so activating the vpn for a RDP session doesn't necessarily route all your packets through your work network.

Motion, orientation, compass heading is tracked by a new M7 chip so applicatons can query this data without having to reinvent the wheel.

The supervisor attempts to batch multitasking access so more work can be done during periods when the processor is waken, saving on battery life.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:01 7

37. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

only Ray. S love his Same phone every year

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 01:58

77. imran86 (Posts: 174; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

All PA writers must be feeling embarrassed falsely praising the IPhone 5S but they have to feed their families. My sympathies are with you guys.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:53 6

2. iampayne (Posts: 322; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)

I believe they said it was 40, CPU, and 56, GPU, times faster than the "original iPhone."

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:04 1

8. HansGoneInsane (unregistered)

Yup. Apple said that the iPhone 5S is up to 2 times faster then the iPhone 5 in CPU and GPU performance. Still a huge leap forward in my opinion. I still like to know how much RAM is put in there.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:31 2

27. papss (unregistered)

And in true apple fashion I'm sure the GPU will outpace just about everything.. That's one area where apple puts punch. I read that they will have 2 gigs of ram

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:47 3

31. Bootutu (Posts: 227; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

If it is powervr 544MP4, it will not stack up against Adreno 320 or Tegra 4, let alone Adreno 330 or Mali T628, technology has gone well ahead of what Apple can produce.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 23:18 4

67. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)

@Bootutu Are you insane? Apples iPhone always beats the rest of the flagships in GPU performance! Just because Larry page allowed you to suck his cock that doesn\'t mean that you can underestimate the new iPhone!

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 01:36 2

74. kyronnex (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)

True, iP5's GPU performance and frame rates are outstanding but that is like hooking a 1024x780 monitor to your graphics card and telling me you can run the latest and greatest game at 80fps!

HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 feature 1920x1080 displays which are 2.85 times finer than iP5/5S's1136x640. That is as many more pixels they need to fill polygons, texturize, light source, filter, anti-alias, .....

Use the appropriate factor and you'll actually find that both One and SGS4 are way better in graphics performance.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 04:28

80. Leo_MC (Posts: 1476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

Why on earth would people buy 50-70\" LEDs if it\'s a real pleasure to watch graphics on a 4-5\" screen?!
A phone graphics should be good enough to run mobile apps without any lag or adreno_how_much_do_you_want can\'t make Android bad, laggy os be better.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 13:42

96. kyronnex (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)

Irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Compare apples to apples. Don't compare apples to "oh, you don't need an apple, so we'll compare ourselves against an orange ... yeah!!! my apple is so much better than an orange ....".

Just because Apple tells me they have Retina Display and you don't need more pixel density when holding a phone at 10-12", it doesn't mean anything. People are people. Some hold their display at 10", some at 8". Some have better eyesight. PPI requirements change dramatically as you put the phone closer to your eye even by an inch or 2.

SGS4 and HTC1 both run at >30fps for even the most intensive graphics tasks. I could even say that iP5 running 60fps on a 4" screen doesn't mean anything to me because it is indistinguishable to the human eye (for head on vision of course, peripheral vision is more senstive to flicker) but a 30fps on a 5" screen is real value addition to me.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 13:54

97. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)


posted on 11 Sep 2013, 09:30

88. azfar (Posts: 23; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)

lol what a explaination, my i7 is million times faster then 186 cpu :D

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:53 22

3. andro. (Posts: 1998; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

Its funny how ppi became a huge detail when the iphone 4 first launched with apple being the \'best\' because of the so called retina display,now some articles here claim ppi isn\'t relevant at all now that manufactuers other than apple have much better screens!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 21:35

61. stealthd (unregistered)

Other manufacturers don't have much better screens. Retina was a big deal because the 4 was one of the first modern smartphones to have a screen with pixels too small to see. Once you reach that point, adding more pixels is pretty pointless, which is why they haven't increased the PPI in 3 years. More pixels also consume more power, both from the screen and the cpu/gpu, which is exactly why the Moto X is 720p and not 1080. It's also not like they haven't improved the screens just because they didn't increase the resolution. The 5 looks noticeably better than the 4 if you put them side by side, even though it isn't higher PPI.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 02:41 1

78. imran86 (Posts: 174; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

You probably haven't seen a FHD screen that's why you say it's pointless. Put your Iphone 5 with S4 or HTC one and you can learn what's the difference between 326 and 440 ppi. and BTW most FHD phones's batteries last much longer then iphone.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 17:54 4

5. android1234 (Posts: 137; Member since: 09 Feb 2010)

Its 40x cpu and 56x gpu of the original iphone not the iphone 5.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:02 21

7. amiaq (Posts: 509; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

phewwww!! for a moment I thought Apple going to set the bar again and android manufacturers have to catch up. Then I realize that was 2009.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:10

10. Bootutu (Posts: 227; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Anyone know the GPU on this phone?

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:17 2

17. mrturner (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)

PowerVR SGX544 quad

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:13 6

12. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

The only bar apple set is the one for them to get drunk at. They ain\'t got to go home they\'re stuck in 2010.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:15 4

16. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

Yes coz in 2010 there were a hundred phones with a 64 bit CPU architecture and an OS that supported it. Oh wait that's 2013-14 and there's only one phone! :O

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:25 9

22. Bootutu (Posts: 227; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Educate yourself first before bragging about 64 bits, you are embarrassing yourself

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:05 2

39. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

Sure! How exactly am i embarrassing myself? By embarrassing u dumb haters?

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:13 1

14. DukeX (Posts: 327; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

The only bar apple set is the one for them to get drunk at. They ain\'t got to go home they\'re stuck in 2010.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:14 6

15. mrturner (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)

Don't care if its 64bit, its still a dual core 1.7GHz processor,
Not very futuristic.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:38 6

28. mrturner (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)

perfectly optimised to for what? Do you know what technological optimisation is? Its not an android but the processor is manufactured by samsung.
They say you're an apple undercover salesman, it'll make more sense.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:13 2

40. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

So what if samsung or any xyz is manufacturing it?! ITS DESIGNED BY APPLE!!!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:20 1

19. bigsimpd (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

I\'m all Android but not a hater gotta say this is a nice phone and looks great.I have the Note2 waiting on the Note3 but Iphone looks great never wanted one until I saw these hmmmmm decisions,decisions.........

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:17

42. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

If i was out for a phablet, the Note 3 it wud be.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 04:31

81. Leo_MC (Posts: 1476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

Z Ultra is way better.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:25 3

21. Mrmark (Posts: 276; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)

When is someone going to admit that the iPhone is the most popular mid - range device that can out perform many high end devices! Looks nice by the way! But let's be honest here!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:41 3

30. mrturner (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)

Most popular true,, outperform false

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:38 8

29. MojoDojo (Posts: 102; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

PhoneArena is a bunch of hypocrites. With some phones with features like these, they think they're yesterday's. But since it is Apple that has made ​​this phone so it's okay with these features. "Yes super-fine details won't be as clear as on a 1080p screen, but do we really need such type of clarity?". I remember when they said that the clarity of the Lumia 1020s display wasent enough. And it has a higher ppi than the iPhone 5S. Ridiculous...

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:21

43. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

If ONLY ppi decided the display quality, My 5 year old Xperia X1 with a ppi of 312 can beat most of the phones out there. It doesn\'t.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:16 1

54. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

PA was kind of criticizing 1020 because of it's low pixel density compared to the 1080p panels on Android flagships, but when the iPhone has a sub-400 ppi display, it's alright and we don't need that much clarity. They weren't judging on display quality overall, they specifically called out the pixel density.

I'm not usually one of those fanboy conspiracy theorists, but it is kind of weird.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:34

57. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)

If they were criticizing the sub-400 ppi then i agree they are biased. Or could be that different authors have different opinions. Still PA should maintain their standard.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 18:54

32. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Yeah that 64 bit tag is nice I guess for future proofing, does this mean other iphones are going to be left behind in a year or so?
Seems cool mojo is replaced by tech and it doesn't seem to offer any bragging points over last year's at this point, some of the fans are going have to dig, to defend that as year goes by I'd guess.
We'll see.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:01 3

36. tiara6918 (Posts: 2036; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Apple, your specs are so outdated compared to your competitors. Now I know some of you would complain that what matters is real life performance and usage but I think that the 5s is just a silly minor update over its predecessor. They no longer have iNnovation

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:50 1

46. TheM16 (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)

Right...but phones like \"iPhone\" \"Lumia\" & \"BlackBerry\" got an optimized software so they wouldn\'t care about the hardware much...cuz they don\'t need it unlike Android which is power hungry all the time ...and I used all phones and trust that\'s enough hardware for them...plus its a company strategy and they know what\'s best for their phones, we are just consumers.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:37 3

44. hellonerds (Posts: 314; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)

Underwhelmed. Same tiny, narrow screen as before, a better graphics processor to play games I don't play. A fingerprint scanner which no doubt will automatically upload your fingerprint to an NSA/FBI database without your consent

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 19:55 1

48. T00muchF00D (Posts: 98; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)

Ray S. what is going on buddy? I been reading lots of your articles and a lot of them have grammatical issues. Get some sleep, drink some coffee, or have someone proof read for ya bud. With that being said......iPhone 5\"s\"heep is already out dated. Lets go Windows phone!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:03 1

50. reckless562 (banned) (Posts: 1153; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)

remember, Apple is STILL a computer company, and make dam fine pc\'s, but they forget to add all the cool shiz in thir phones.
they rely on shieeple and hot chicks n their enabelers to buy tha crap they sell. all the iphones past the 4 are girls phones. thats y the screen is the same size, for their women customers. they dont care bout function, just \"OMGGG, IPHONE!! LIKE OMGGG\" ;\'\'( \"(sigh) yes jessica if u can have the new iphone after we bang.\"
u all know ur girl, if u have one, wants that damn useless phone. u have to rely on apps for function. at least android get it written in the OS

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:42 1

58. Lakuta1978 (Posts: 64; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

my next phone of course....love the gold one^^

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 21:09 3

60. bigsimpd (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

Why so much hating on phones if you don\'t like one then don\'t buy it.I\'ve just started posting on here because I like to see the latest gadgets and I must say you guys are funny getting all uptight fussing over phones.Competition is the american way it\'s great to have choices relax take a chill pill it\'s just a phone i\'m cracking up over here I see this is gonna be fun listening to ppl get mad over phones lol

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:59

85. darkkjedii (Posts: 21199; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Lotta trouble making jealous trolls on this site yo. PAPINYC, gadget80, dorothy69 who's a guy btw, Troll, shatter, and a few more. You'll learn them as you're on the site more. PAPINYC won't like you, and I, if you know what I mean.

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 15:56

99. bigsimpd (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

I was wondering why my back was expanding lol noore preacher then you have any videos of your workouts I have done on my Facebook page

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 22:02

100. darkkjedii (Posts: 21199; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Yep we gotta hook it up

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 09:41

101. bigsimpd (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

Hit me on email bigsimpd@yahoo.com I will give you info.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 21:59

63. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Anyone know what the ram is? Apples official spec sheet doesn't say and some day it's 2gb team but can't find confirmation anywhere.

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