Apple iPhone 5s Review
0. phoneArena 23 Sep 2013, 07:09 posted on
As history has shown us, we’re in one of those years where Apple decides to retain the styling and design of its previous iPhone, and simply spices things up in the specs department, as well as throwing in some other new goodies into the mix. In this particular case, the iPhone 5s brings forth a fancy schmancy new fingerprint scanner called Touch ID, a first of a kind 64-bit based Apple A7 mobile processor, and an updated iSight camera with larger sized pixels. Beyond the hardware goodness in tow with the iPhone 5s, it’s also sporting Apple’s biggest undertaking yet, iOS 7, which has been a long time coming...
This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here
69. DONUT (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
i think it should be rated 8.8, if not 9 at best. its a decent phone, nth more
72. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I'm not going to say this is biased because I've come to think John V. is completely unbiased in his reviews. :) Good work Apple for a pretty awesome phone.
75. fanboy1974 (Posts: 817; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I got the LG G2 from Verizon for $140 on contract and took it back. The score that PA gave was too generous. I’ve been with Android for close to four years but I just got fed up with the skin jobs and the requirement to root/hack to get faster/stock Android so I switched to iPhone for the first time. There were so many small issues with the G2 that just drove me over the edge.
1. Not as bright as I hoped. And in direct sun light you can see a matrix of dots.
2. The IR blaster was useless you got right on top of your gear. The learning function was the best but not the IR range
3. All the bloatware and crap just hurts the experience. It even causes slight slowdown of the mighty S800.
4. On the Verizon model the volume control on the pull down was not always there like on the AT&T model. So when I had the phone in my car dock I had to reach around. I thought the back buttons were cool on paper but in actual use the buttons became more of a burden.
5. No release date when it was going to get updated to 4.3 or 4.4 kitkat. My Note 2 is still on 4.1.2 so the more crap and customizations they put on these phones the longer it takes to upgrade.
6. The speaker and headphone volume was really low.
7. Materials (need I say more)
I’m at the age now where I just want to use my phone. All I did with the Note 2 for the last year was load up roms and hacks trying to get every feature or speed increase but I ultimately missed the point of having the phone in the first place. Trying to get 4.2/4.3 to work on the Note 2 cost me hours of my time that I can’t get back. I don’t want to do it all over again on another locked down Android phone. I will only buy unlocked Nexus devices but since Verizon screwed that up I’m left with the next logical choice; iPhone. I still love Android but I would rather have a Nexus 7 which will always have the latest and greatest. I no longer have any interest in buying skinned devices from Android OEM’s.
Android has one good year left. If Apple releases a larger iPhone with double the resolution next year I see Android fans jumping ship. Google really has to put their foot down and put Nexus on all carriers and have complete control over software updates like Apple. I credit Verizon and the Droid OG for bringing Android to life but I now consider Verizon to be the reason that I’m moving away from Android.
135. CtK4949 (Posts: 15; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
You couldnt root/hack a month old phone so you went to a crrapple phone?? Yea makes complete sense!!
But verizon did eff up their version of the G2!! I HATE VERIZON!! Why cant you just leave the phone alone!! Why change the buttons?!?! Yea lets make them smaller so its harder to press. Good job!!
80. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
So for those of you using PA scores as your sole measure of greatness, the tally is as follows:
Greatest phone of the year: LG G2
Equally great phones: iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4
Slightly less great: Xperia Z1, HTC One
Complete and utter fail: Everything else.
84. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
So the iPhone 5S is just as good as the Note 3! In your face, Samsung!
85. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Note 3, Z1, G2, S4 and One will kill this phone in every aspect.
If PA scores every phone like iPhones, then all of above phones will get a 9.9!
86. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I could flip that argument and say:
If the iPhone 5S had a 4.8" screen, PA would score it a 9.8.
87. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
For what exactly??
for its unchanged camera,
for its unchanged design,
for its unchanged battery,
for its UI which is get worse than before,
or for its gimmicky touch ID?
Please get more realistic.
this phone doesn't deserve even a 9
88. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
The camera is improved (Apple incrementally improves it each year, even if the MP count is the same)
The design is an iPhone
The battery could use improvement, but so could most of the competition's
The UI is subjective (I don't like TouchWiz; that's just me)
The touch ID is at least something new
I wouldn't give the phone a 9.3 either, because I would dock it a whole point for the tiny screen. But by PA's evaluation system, that's the only thing holding back the phone. I expect them to give the iPhone 6 a nearly perfect score.
92. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
So, you agree that this phone doesn't deserve this score.
If iPhone 6 be a revolutionary, then i'll buy my first iPhone!
94. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I agree that it doesn't deserve its 9.3. I also don't think the Droid Maxx deserves its low 8.5. But I don't make the rules on scoring. I think it's ridiculous that people will complain about PA's scores as if they mean something. They're really quite subjective.
95. emadshiny (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
I can't agree with your last sentence right now!
maybe in future they'll become more subjective.
154. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
People buy phones based on reviews by the experts! Thats a FACT. If you get biased reviews, it does the whole phone business and journalism a injustice. I have a andriod because I wanted a bigger screen. My wife has an iphone, but she wants a bigger screen since she used my phone when we are together. I make fun of her the get a real phone! I don't read iphonearena anymore because of there poor work. Go read a GSMARENA review and you will see what a real, proper and accurate 12 page article looks like. No stupid comments about how Apple makes plastic look great, about how great there 640p screens look compared to all 1080p screens, no overlooking the bad points, etc... They give you the good, the bad and the ugly! They don't give you a grade, but the last section gives you a honest comment by a pro. Its how a review should be done!
89. MobileKicker (Posts: 207; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)
Just leave it all iphone 6 will beat all the lazy androids
97. zachattack (Posts: 202; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)
How did a refresh score 9.3. Should have gave the G2 a 9.7 then because this phone is pretty much perfect
98. rxman1975 (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)
I love to read about peoples views on here of what companies SHOULD be doing to make die hard haters consider the competition. In my opinion its just a bunch of monday morning quarterbacks who are sitting on their lazy boy who have NEVER made anything, designed anything just critique items with nothing more than opinions based on biased facts.. If your opinions (on either side) were so right then get off your ass and go design, make, produce the perfect phone for everyone. I will be waiting
99. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Amen. The clustering of ratings (9.1-9.4) for all the flagship phones this year ought to tell that ANY of them are worthy of consideration. You can't rely on any one person/site to tell you which one is the absolute best. They all have advantages and faults. Try them out in a store and decide what feels best for YOU.
103. zachattack (Posts: 202; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)
Seems to me like the people on PA that rate these phones are choosing personal preference. That's why these scores are so wonky. 9.3 is too high for an apple refresh. I know apple tends to have smooth phones but really nothing was done to change this from the 5 cept that scanner. Maybe the camera also but meh. The G2 i think deserves higher than 9.4 but i guess i'll accept it. I'd say atleast 9.5-6. At any rate these scores are biased and shouldn't be taken too much to heart
155. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
Go read a GSMARENA review and you will see what a real, proper and accurate 12 page article looks like. No stupid comments about how Apple makes plastic look great or no overlooking the bad points, etc... They give you the good, the bad and the ugly! They don't give you a grade, but the last section gives you a honest comment by a PRO. Its how a review should be done!
101. Gavii2000 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)
I like both Apple and Android. I sold my iphone 5 to upgrade to 5S, but i just did not yet! Im kind a disappointed! 5S same as the 5, same size even same weight, same screen size! Pfff iOS 7 is too Cartoonish. Its for kids! I know its not easy to come up with something WOW!
But really it does not matter if the cpu A6 or A7 or 64-bit! Apple add just a little bit and all the Apple fans gonna eat the bait! Probably me too! But this time im gonna wait, S4 is sooo beautiful, HTC One is very nice, elegant device, Moto X has some good features!
Look at the 5c, come on, these colors for kids also! Which one i should pick for my self as a guy!
No Black, Gray, No dark colors! Maybe they gonna ad some more! Who knows!
So im really confused, my contract ended and i can upgrade, but i dont know what to do! I really want the 5S, but probably im gonna go with something else! Crazy
107. Leo_MC (Posts: 370; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
You can't be serios when you say 5s is the same as 5 but "S4 is sooo beautiful"...
Sory to say, bro, but Samsung makes the ugliest phones I have ever seen.
111. PapaSmurf (Posts: 4162; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Clearly you've never seen an LG or a Kyroceria phone.
156. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
iPhone 5s is a great phone. Period. But its a small screen by todays standards! Wait to see if the Nexus 5 is going to be a homerun! Comes out in about two weeks. If its as good as it the rumors sound and at a awesome price, you might consider it and keep your iphone5 as a back up.
113. GeekMovement (Posts: 1110; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
This gunmetal/black/space gray whatever version looks ugly. I definitely think the black iPhone 5 looks a lot better than this.
115. jogootierrez (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)
C'mon everybody!!! What you mean insulting each other points of view!
Apple, Android, Windows Phone... Every new thing that comes out every day, just helps making the world better, it means advance for ALL the world...
You are just bitching yourselves with your stupid fanboy-isms, just unite and make the world grow. Stop it all.
Peace and love.
120. sabres0809 (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
This piece of crap gets a 9.3? I might by one to user as backup toilet paper.
121. sabres0809 (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
" oh my god a finger print scanner, now I don't have to slide my finger, I can just wait an extra 3 seconds!, 9.3!" Your pros are pretty much looking to keep the fan boys happy. Apple is loosing it's touch can't wait to see the company rot when it runs out of "revolutionary" ideas.
126. SilverSurfer85 (Posts: 28; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)
PHONEARENA!!! if you actually read this.. where did you get that wallpaper from? what app did you use?
128. giri.1131 (Posts: 7; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)
The iphone 5s is not a dumb phone but at the price they charge, its really too much for too less. i admit the interface is fluid but there are far too many limitations with ios compared to the android beasts. The only reason they are not giving SD card slot is to make more money on the side with their 64gb and 32gb versions. I agree with the pros in the article but phone arena CONVENIENTLY avoids the cons.
1) Small screen size
2)Stubborn screen retina resolution
4)lack of microsd card slot
5)SAME DESIGN FOR 4 YEARS???
Apple, u have good products but if u want to survive start bringing back the apple of jobs era back. the current apple is playing catch up and in a bad way
131. Marvelous (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)
The real iPhone 5s review score - 8.5/10.
Smooth operating system & user interface
Access to arguably the most fully featured app store
Great build quality
Comfortable to hold & use with one hand
Camera slightly better in low light conditions
Touch ID works well
64bit architecture allows future proofing
Expensive - costs more than flagship rivals & will not go down in price until next year
Looks virtually identical to last years model
Small screen by modern standards
Low storage compared to the competition especially in the base model.
Only perceptible difference is Touch ID
134. SilverSurfer85 (Posts: 28; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)
People...People..NOT EVERY PHONE NEEDS TO BE A 4.7 or HIGHER.. The whole point of a cellphone is something that is portable, sleek and sexy... I will admit, Apple can add some more features for the price we are going to pay, or make things alittle more customizable. But I mean when you start to add all this extra stuff, the phone sometimes doesnt last half as long. Especially for those who like to Jailbreak or even Add custom roms. I am not to familiar with that stuff, but at times I hear it doesnt end to well.
But I mean if you want to hold a GOLIATH of a phone, stay home and use your house phone. This is not the 80's phone's dont need to be so DaM* big.
158. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
SS85, you sound obtuse. Older people with bad eyes/shaky hands, need bigger phones. Big people like me, love bigger phones. If you play games, watch a vid, do work, it would be great to have a little larger screen! My kids and there small hands love the iPhone5. My geek friend loves to make changes to his phone, to the point that no one, but him can use it. Variety is the Spice of Life, my uneducated friend. If you don't know a lot about customization, don't comment, it makes you look really dumb. And if you don't know what your doing, about anything in life, read and learn about it, before you do it or talk about it! Before my military service, I thought I new lots about guns, but after I've learn a lifetime worth, about guns, I think that its scary that so many Idiots own a gun!
157. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
+1 Maybe you should write the reviews. You know your facts better than the so called journalist that are writing the articles. I stopped reading iPhoneArena because there reviews are TERRIBLE. Go read a GSMARENA review and you will understand what a PRO review is all about! I think the 5S is a great phone, but they failed on improving the screen size and resolution. (-1 point) The camera is great. Don't like iTunes but some do. The fact that it doesn't play all video formats is another BIG CON. (- 0.5 point) NO NFC! It should of got 8.5-8.99, but no higher than that. And that 5Cheap, plastic remake of the great iPhone5 getting a 9 is even WORSE. Its a KIDs phone priced like a primo flagship, should get a 7.99 at best, for going backsward instead of improving on the awesome 5!
137. tehcaucasianasian (Posts: 8; Member since: 30 Aug 2013)
Let me explain to you why an iPhone is even able to run relatively smooth and why you THINK these "features" are revolutionary
-The parts are made specifically for their OS, so of course it's more fine tuned. This allows for cheaper, lower performing parts, but the illusion of speed that can almost compete with other phones such as a G2 or Xperia Z1 to name just a couple. It's called milking you of your paycheck, since you'll always say "They'll add this feature NEXT iPhone!"
-Past technology has proven that a 64bit CPU means crap if you can't back it up. Atari made a 64bit gaming console back in the 90s that performed worse than the leading 16bit consoles. With only 1GB of RAM and still lagging with only two cores, that whole "Made custom" hides the lack of good hardware that is inside an iPhone.
-The overly simple iOS just masks things even more. Android devices lag for different reasons than iProducts; there is no Android made by Android, but there is a stock version of the OS. Most companies will put their edited Android into a device, though, increasing how much memory is taken to run the necessary programs and stuff. iOS is simple ans many people like that, but what's easier to run; clean, simple sprites or intricate, dynamic animations and complicated coding? Of COURSE some Androids lag more, it's cause we HAVE more.
-Apple lags behind when it comes to adding stuff that Android and Windows already has, yet do have some original things. However, there is a difference between features and gimmicks. A feature is like a camera or keyboard. A gimmick is added to draw attention. Apple uses plenty of gimmicks ie Siri or Camera filters. Nothing very important, just eye catching.
140. Leo_MC (Posts: 370; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Nobody cares about Android's excuses.
There are 1-2-500 Android models and none of them - 4-8 cores, 2-3 GiB of ram, 4-6-7" - is able to run as smooth as iPhone; why is that?
146. androidea (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
theres no android made by android....but but nexus line was designed by google,right? and those line is really awesooome with awesoome price....without steve jobs,i really hope apple can make a phone that can understand market,only steve jobs can make a product than market can understand,not otherwise...
159. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
My Nexus4 is lighting fast! Just as fast as my wife's iphone5. I closed programs I don't use and its butter smooth! So you should watch what you say. If you load your phone full of sh!t, Any phone will lag. Just like older computers getting slow after they have so many programs running. The Sammy S4 has a ton of programs running out of the box. Thats why its slow at times. The Google S4 is machine! Period!
164. Leo_MC (Posts: 370; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Yeah, right, you have the only Android in the world that doesn't lag... pff
141. crouchy0485 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
Lol You know I ready all these reviews and never once decided to leave a comment until now. iPhones are the most reliable phone on the market and all you have to do is check resale value comparisons to figure that one out. See which phones win the longevity race and you will see it's all iPhones! I turn a profit every time I upgrade! The only argument fan-droid people have is the larger screen. What possible argument will you be able to make when the iphone has a large screen option? ios is the most reliable operating system there is! There is a reason that they double their sales margin every time they release a new phone. It isn't because droids are taking over I can tell you that! If I want a massive screen bulging in my pocket I'll carry my ipad around! Give up on the large screen it's rehash!
160. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
Apple makes a great phone! Period! And it is a really expensive phone to buy, so it should be one of the best phone. Thank God there are still some dumbies like you around. I'm glad you are still using your 10 year old iphone! No one keeps a phone longer than three years, before its obsolete, you door knob! 80% of the world, use a different operating system, other than Apples. Windows has made MASSIVE gains in the world market. Thats a fact! Nokia is the Number 1 phone in Northern Europe and Russia. China uses mostly Andriod, and thats a HUGE market. And Apple's world share is decreasing! Thats also a fact. There shares have dropped 30% this year, because the investors know that their products have not kept up with market requirements/demands. And when Apple actually gets around to making a bigger screen phone, if and when that happens, you might have a point! But that has not happen yet, so stopping dreaming! Most experts now say that Google's Andriod OS has moved ahead of Apple OS most ways. But Google's OS is not optimized as well as the iOS yet, but they are quickly starting to improve, as Google produces there own reference phones, the Nexus Line. So what was your original point! You must look like a real JACKA$$ walking around with a iPad in your pocket! Variety is just great, so you can keep your phone and the rest of world will do what its doing, which is buy what they can afford, which is not a iPhone! Sorry for raining on your parade, but thats life!
142. mr.popo2525 (Posts: 5; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
Silly fandroids.....Apple is obviously building up towards something that will forever lay you to rest in pieces....
161. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
??????? Just what are you babbling about POPO! Apple is building to what???? The market is fluid and if you stay still, you get run over. Windows is improving fast, Andriod has improved in fast forward, so whats your point. There are people that still swear by there Blackberry! You need to pull your head out of your A$$ and see that if your don't make noticable improvements, you become a dinosaur. There 30% fall in share price this year, says more than all of your babbling!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that Apple doesn't go the way of Blackberry, but......since Jobs, there shares are down more than 44%, and most experts say Apple has lost its MOJO! And thats a fact $heep!
144. crouchy0485 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
Luckily fan-droid people have something to bitch about. If it were up to them we would all be stuck with google operating systems and no options! The day there isn't competition is the day were all doomed.
162. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
Crouch you knob, competition is great!.... Windows, Driods, iOS, Blackberry.....Variety is the Spice of Life, and it makes all the OS better, as each makes there own improvements to keep up with the march of progess. You still haven't taken your head out of your A$$. No one wants Apple to go, my family has a iPhone5, a Nexus4, and we just may get a Nokia next, as the best camera smartphone!
145. androidea (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
actually iphone 5s would be a pretty decent phone...if only its price is three times cheaper....oh god,lets pray i phone wont end up like blackberry too soon -_-, i can see steve jobs crying behind the bushes.....poor steve :(
148. crouchy0485 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
Blackberry never saw a 10th of the popularity iPhones have. Have you google people really got greedy enough to wish the only phones existent are droid products.
149. Siandlor (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)
Why is that most comments on reviews for the iPhone 5S are really bias. They are either the Apple fan kids going on about how amazing it is or Apple haters who do not appreciate any of the engineering and looking for everything bad. It makes it hard as a consumer to make an informed decision.
I appreciate that PA has tried to make it as unbiased as possible. Ultimately the person writing the review is going to have their own preference.
The big objection I keep seeing time and time again is that the screen is not as big as other phones. I LIKE this fact, I think smartphones are too big now, if you want to use your phone to watch lengthy videos or movies, get a tablet or use a laptop as even watching something to long on a 5" screen can't be good for the eyes. Being that big I feel like I am going to drop the phone as don’t have a firm comfortable grip on the device with one hand so to do anything I have to use both hands..
I think the iPhone has its strong points and also points where it is not as good as other phones and that the other brands will most likely leave the iPhone behind in ALL specs departments in next 6 months but that is the same as all flagship phones and the reason why they get updated so regularly.
163. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
PhonaArena reviews are not that good! Go read a GSMARENA review and you will see what a real, proper and accurate, 12 page article looks like. No stupid comments about how Apple makes plastic look great or overlooking a phones bad points, etc... They give you the good, the bad and the ugly! They don't give you a grade, but the last section gives you a honest comment by a PRO. Its how a review should be done! The 5S got a good review, and the 5C did not! Go and read and you can make an informed decison, about what you should get! PERIOD!
168. steodoreben (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
THINGS I HATE ABOUT iPhone 5S:
1. iPhone 5S Space Gray is ugly. I prefer the Gold and Silver/White.
2. iOS 7's icons, like Camera, Compass, Settings and Stocks
3. Network signal status icon
WHAT I LOVE:
2. Siri, personal assistant.
3. Improved fingerprint scanner
4. Smartphone's physical design (looks better in Gold and Silver color)
175. peet10 (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Sep 2013)
HTC Butterfly S or iPhone 5S? Please help me guys!
176. alenawilson (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
hmmmm..... i am heartily wait for the day when I got the chance to use the new mode;ls of Apple iphone 5s smartphone.........
177. tehcaucasianasian (Posts: 8; Member since: 30 Aug 2013)
So, this device has parts specifically made to run its OS. Even though the parts are garbage and two years old, it isn't criticized at all unless the device is running Android? Also, you keep using that excuse of small dimensions as a Pro. Seriously? A light gust of wind can break that phone, its size doesn't help. The screen resolution is also listed as a Pro, not even 720p HD. The ppi of 326 is also for some reason seen as amazing, when an LG G2 packs about 100 more ppi, along with other devices. This phone brags about 64 bit architecture, but seriously? Not even any Apple programs utilize this function! This gimmick was used so long ago by SEGA to sell a gaming console, and the console was total bull. This device is missing so much that is expected of in an Android, no wonder the logo is missing part of the Apple
178. theaztech (Posts: 43; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)
why is it that on other high end smartphones in there respective pages you have
lots of ram,
quad core processor
and in the iphone 5s you have
dual core processor,
high resolution (not high definition)
Shouldnt those be cons considering that thyere out dated??
Not to point out that you dont even mention its ram which is only 1gb.
179. hamoody24 (Posts: 3; Member since: 24 May 2012)
"From a specs standpoint, we can argue that all those aforementioned smartphones would most certainly manhandle the iPhone 5s multiple times over." Then why in every review comparison whether it be the Note 3, Galaxy S4, Nexus 5 and many other smartphone powerhouses do you say that they still pale in comparison to the 64-bit architecture dual core technology of the iPhone 5S. PhoneArena even released a smartphone benchmark review for all the top phones and the iPhone 5S was at the top by far, beating all the quad-core beasts. Not arguing that the iPhone 5S isn't a fast, or maybe even the fastest, phone but stop changing your story.