Apple iPhone 5s Review
Interface and Functionality
Frankly, the most impressive thing to us on the iPhone 5s beyond everything else, is the new iOS 7 interface it’s running. Indeed, it’s available on other past iPhones too, but the folks over in Apple’s headquarters mainly sought to have people experience its vastness most with its latest smartphone. And why shouldn’t they, as the new software experience is a long time coming. We won’t go into too much detail regarding every minute thing we love and hate about the experience, since you can read more about it in our comprehensive review of iOS 7, but we’ll quickly graze over a few noteworthy things.
Contrasting the spiffy new looks is iOS 7’s continued support of keeping it simple, to the point that newbies will have no issue navigating through the platform. Heck, even first timers will have a breeze understanding the intricacies of the platforms’ various functions. However, if we’re to nit-pick something, it has to be the new implementation Apple has decided to go with the multi-tasking aspect of the platform. Before, double tapping the home button enabled us to view all opened apps, which would allow us to “close” them down by long pressing on one of the icons – thus, causing the icons to jiggle in place with an “x” placed on top of them. With iOS 7, however, we’re now given webOS-like mini windows that require us to swipe up to close them down. Now, it’s still a practical function, but a tedious one at that.
Other things worth mentioning are iOS 7’s new Control Center and Notification Center. With the former, it’s wonderful we have access to common connectivity features of the iPhone, which beats having to go into the Settings just to enable thing like Airplane mode or Wi-Fi. On top of that, we have the ability to adjust the screen brightness, have access to the music player, and access to the flashlight function. And then there’s the new Notification Center, which aggregates all of our notifications. Although it’s broken down to different categories, it doesn’t seem as intertwined with some of the handsets apps – similar to how Android’s notification panel enables us to quickly archive emails. And then there’s Siri, who now talks in a more human-like voice, whereas before, Siri sounded too robotic.
Aside from all that, Apple has incorporated some cool effects like animated wallpapers (as in Android), which look pretty cool and can be interacted with using the accelerometer. Static wallpapers also move around as you tilt your device in various directions, creating a pleasing sense of depth.
Processor and Memory
Like we said, iOS 7 is what makes the iPhone 5s so darn enjoyable, seeing that it’s a refreshing sight for sore eyes. However, the iPhone 5s bears something that’s regarded as a first of its kind – a 64-bit based mobile processor! Generally speaking, most people gauge raw power by the amount of cores in the processor, and its clocked speed. For the everyday Joe, the notion of a 64-bit processor might not cause them to jump with joy, but nevertheless, it’s something that needs to be applauded.
Armed with Apple’s new A7 processor, which relies on 64-bit architecture, Apple claims that it doubles the performance of the iPhone 5’s CPU and GPU. In all seriousness, we can talk about how this new piece of silicone smokes its predecessor in all objective benchmarking categories, but we’ll simply say this – it’s fast. Did we really expect anything else? Not really, seeing that the iPhone in general is known to exude a consistent amount of fluidity and responsiveness with all functions – whether it’s basic stuff like opening apps, to more complex thing like playing graphically intensive titles.
Honestly though, we’re hard pressed to realize the most miniscule of differences between its performance against the iPhone 5, but it’s obvious that it’s similar in many aspects. Right now, the 64-bit processor’s potential can’t be seen or felt, but as developers optimize apps/games to it, we’re most certainly going to visualize the iPhone 5s’ performance superiority. In the greater scheme of things, it continues to be one of the snappiest smartphones around.
Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5s 415.7
LG G2 932.8
Samsung Galaxy S4 1082.9
Basemark X on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 27.685
LG G2 14.662
Samsung Galaxy S4 9.148
GFXBench Fill Rate off-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 3317.1
LG G2 1240.9
Samsung Galaxy S4 820.4
GFXBench T-Rex HD off-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 23
LG G2 20
Samsung Galaxy S4 16
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 35
LG G2 21
Samsung Galaxy S4 16
Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5s 5931.8
LG G2 7812
Samsung Galaxy S4 12227
Asides the new 64-bit based Apple A7 processor, the iPhone 5s also so happens to package an accompanying M7 motion processor. Call it the companion processor or something else, but the M7 is dedicated to monitoring the iPhone 5s’ motion from data compiled by its accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass – so that battery life is extended, thus in turn, alleviating some of the slack from the A7. Although it’s something that’s not necessarily seen by us as we’re interacting with the phone, it helps to optimize the handset’s battery. For example, if they iPhone 5s is left alone for a long period of time, the A7 is able to realize that and adapts to the situation by disabling certain functions (like receiving data).
It’s not the most spacious thing, but the iPhone 5s’ on-screen keyboard still proves itself as one of the best out there. Visually, the keyboard boasts white colored buttons that are surrounded by a grayish background color, but the layout is the same as before – so there’s nothing new to learn here. As always, the responsiveness and killer auto-correct feature of the keyboard aids us to type at a fanatical rate without worry. Better yet, we can also speak what we want to write down by tapping the microphone button on the keyboard. For the most part, it does a fantastic job transcribing what we speak.
Like what we mentioned about the overall platform experience, we can say the same thing about its various organizer functions. All of the visuals have been updated with all the corresponding apps, but their functionalities have remained unchanged for the most part. So whether you’re using the Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Weather, Clock, Calculator, or Notes apps, there’s nothing really new to learn with them.
Using the default email client on the iPhone 5s, the visual presentation has changed, naturally, but we’re able to navigate through things relatively easily. There’s nothing to learn honestly, as all the functions from before are here.
The beloved Safari browser has made some good progress, as it now has a full-screen option in portrait mode, a unified search bar and a new tab view, which tends to be more convenient than the old one. You can still share webpages (now with AirDrop as well), bookmark, or add them to your reading list. Throwing in the usual 4G LTE connectivity with its new found snappy Apple A7 processor, the iPhone 5s delivers the goods with the experience – namely speedy page loads, buttery smooth navigational controls, and instant page rendering. So what’s there not to like about this one?
Interestingly, the iPhone 5s bears one feature that might be overlooked by the general population – its support for global LTE. In the US, the handset is available in GSM and CDMA flavors to play nicely with each of the four major wireless players’ different networks. Dissecting it even further, Apple manufactures four different versions of the iPhone 5s that operate under the various regions and mobile networks littered throughout the world. Beyond that, it lays claim to all the usual suspect of connectivity features we commonly expect to find – like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Despite its lack of NFC, which enables competing handsets to quickly share files amongst each other, the iPhone 5s employs something similar with its own feature called AirDrop, which is iOS 7’s version of file transfer via Wi-Fi local connectivity.
1. Xavier1415 (Posts: 22; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)
this phone is trash and apple fanboys will buy anything thats apple smh
5. JDogg5281 (Posts: 50; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
I wouldnt say it is trash...just a little boring the design hasnt really changed since....ever. Same thick box look.
64. promise7 (Posts: 224; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Thick? It's one of the slimmest and lightest smartphones available.
127. Samsungadroidrules (Posts: 104; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)
Galaxy S4 has 5 inch screen and yet it is Slim and Lightest. Nit to mention its Advanced features. Unlike this Outdated, Boring Over priced iPhone again.
132. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)
This comes with touch id fingerprint sensor
Does ur dandroid comes with it?
136. realnic55 (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Sep 2013)
If you're buying a two year old Atrix it does.
151. rightcue805 (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)
oooooo it was hacked in the first 3 days.
180. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)
And "was" updated in the next 3 days
186. Neo_Huang (Posts: 116; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
That's just a gimmick, and probably just a way for the NSA to get your fingerprint. Besides, haven't you heard of the Vivo Xplay 3s? Or the HTC One Max? Or even some 5 year old phone? Get your facts straight before posting.
181. Alexs21 (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Oct 2013)
He didn't say it was thick he said it looks thick.
100. Leo_MC (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
If Rolls Royce lines are borring, than iPhone's are too.
133. CtK4949 (Posts: 15; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Rolls Royce are boring as hell!! Just like the crraple phone!!
7. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
Really? What's trash about it?
Camera? Screen? AppStore? Sound? Speaker? Support? Updates? Software optimization? CPU? Gpu?
I don't get it...
91. saffant (Posts: 185; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
Screen size, and originality (or lack thereof rather).
108. Leo_MC (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Yeah, I carry my 55" plasma; I find 5.7" Note to be sooooooooooo small...
But I'm a 2.5 m giant with 20 cm long fingers so I can easily use the Note, unlike average 170 cm Joe which would have to use 2 hands.
170. saffant (Posts: 185; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
Get a S4 then, or a HTC One/ Nexus 5 etc.
iPhone's 4" screen is a bad.. bad joke.
169. saffant (Posts: 185; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
Sure it is. That's two BIG reasons. See how people flamed the S4 when it came out cuz it looked to similar to the S3. Well the 5S looks IDENTICAL to the 5.
Also, this is 2013.. 4" screens are dead. In this multimedia age, everyone wants a bigger screen.
122. sabres0809 (Posts: 13; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
No originality. Just a finger print scanner and a processor that won't be relevant because everything is made to run on old processors
152. rightcue805 (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)
ALL OF IT! The fact that you guys still don't have a removeable battery, no expandable memory. SUPPORT? HA
9. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
Did we expect anything less from iLovers??!!
NO!!!! So, take this review and the content herein as biAsed and, therefore, iNvalid since the reviewer (s) have completely disregarded alllllllllllll of the short-comings with this phone and its' lovely lavender-laced iCon operating system. Nevermind the fact that there are at least 100 things that Android can do that iOS/iDudz CAN NOT. Enjoy the fabriCated review as a TMZ article and nothing more. I'm waiting for the reviews for Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max and Nokia 1520 (Verizon) to seehow they iSpin their reviews in comparison to this quasiPhone review.
49. greathero1 (Posts: 443; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)
At some point you are going to have to change it up a bit and kill the silly stuff. You ought to get tired of saying the same cheesy stuff everyday. The phone has reviewed well across numerous tech sites so everybody is wrong but you........get over yourself and calm down. The Note will get a 9.5 so you can claim supremacy again in a couple of weeks.
143. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Shhhhhhhhhhh, oh yeah PA already shushed you.
18. Ninetysix (Posts: 1072; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
If it's trash, then what would you call all the phones that it beat in benchmarks? Poop? Sh**? Dung? hahaha
57. illusionmist (Posts: 81; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)
apple haters will hate anything thats apple smh
63. Slammer (Posts: 817; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
I don't hate Apple. But, I've learned long ago that I demand more from a company I spend good money on. None of this incremental upgrade stuff. Apple makes a good product. But, it also uses carrot bait tactics to spend as less as possible and charge more while hyping its products as something competely new and exciting.
I can get much more from another platform without signing my life away. It's just a freakin phone. Nothing more, nothing less.
65. promise7 (Posts: 224; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Well it was a "S" version so I wouldn't have expected anything groundbreaking. I do however fully expect the iPhone 6 to up their game. They have to introduce a bigger screen at the very least.
67. Slammer (Posts: 817; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
The problem as I see it through ny friends and colleagues, is they get so damn excited about EVERY iPhone launch regardless of an "S" edition or not and yet complain that thier wish lists were not answered again after the past two iterations. Who's fault is that? If you want a larger than 4" screen, either demand it or walk away. Again, it's only a phone. The only thing that is happening here, is Apple getting richer and richer by holding back as much as they can.
109. Leo_MC (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
If people would have wanted bigger iPhone screens, they wouldn't have bought the 5s but they have bought more than they did with 5; more people bought 5s than people that wanted bigger screens and chose S4s.
That's got to say that, somewhere, your logic is faulted.
I sell services; I produce nothing and my profits are about 90-100% all the time. That means I don't have the right to get richer and my clients get nothing in return of my services?!
104. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)
Should have upgraded the resolution to Full HD! Its not even 720p! The screen is just tiny at 4" and next year is a really long time to wait for a product that should have arrived last year!
23. special4u (Posts: 63; Member since: 22 May 2013)
Iphone has the most responsive experience ever, even iphone 4 is much more reposive than galaxy s4
since fandroid like to brag about benchmark, iphone 5s and beat every phones out there
26. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)
No device is responsive when running iOS 7. I've even seen the 5S lag with it's A7 chip. I've tried every iPad and iPhone and can confirm responsiveness is there 50% of the time.
31. msa1988 (Posts: 407; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
Not sure what your using that makes it lag. I have iOS7 on my 4S and it runs perfect.
32. greathero1 (Posts: 443; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)
Sorry but my iPad is just as responsive as it was before. I have a 3rd generation model and for the most part has been issue free. No more than the every now and then lag that I experienced before.
45. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
You go Smurf, make them 'sees the
light' on that sloooow-ass, yet colorfully rAinbow BriTe, iPhone 4S++
74. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)
5S lags? Lol. I've checked almost 20 reviews and hands on videos of the 5S on YouTube, and from what I see - It's a buttery smooth experience.
Oh, but then again, you're a fandroid so the 5S would definitely lag. Haha, douchebag.
76. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Want some cheese with that whine?
Why do you base your judgement on reviews from the internet instead of real life scenarios? Glad to know no one can say anything negative about Apple, especially when they sport a Mac.
What else do you got, douchebag?
77. sniper1087 (Posts: 310; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
Not only that it also scored the best score possible in the sunspider test at 400 where lower is better. I like android dont get me wrong just the browser on the iphone is the best there is and yes I have used chrome, still prefer webkit on the iphone/ipad. The lowest I have seen an android score on sunspider is around 1000, so definitely is an improvement.
81. Eonnaydra (Posts: 185; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
What a liar!
One of my best friends has the iPhone 4 and it runs smoother than S4 or any other Android with NO lag.
82. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Lol stop lying to yourself. iPhone 4 is a brick running iOS 7.
150. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)
Smurf you are too little for it get lost
138. rezzy (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
I created this account just for you. I've been reading your comments for a bit - as I found them interesting, funny, insightful and at times ... actually correct.
Then this. What a let down. You clearly don't know what you're talking about - but at least you're still funny.
Keep up the good work.
139. rezzy (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)
BTW: in case it's not clear - I'm talking about this:
'I've even seen the 5S lag with it's A7 chip. I've tried every iPad and iPhone and can confirm responsiveness is there 50% of the time.'
187. Neo_Huang (Posts: 116; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
That's not "every phone out there", and you really trust those benchmarks?
39. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Xavier troll iPhone to baits you guys. And here we go again. Never ending mine phone is better than your phone. Really..lol.
43. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
This is how a fan is seeing this new iphone:
- It's Apple
- Almost equal to the predecessor, can't be bad
- iOS7 colours remind me that it's magic
- Different home button after 7 years
- Too many colours, need to buy'em all
"Rest? I don't care"
118. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
"Almost equal to the predecessor" Really? Usually new phones are supposed to be big improvements over the predecessor! The new iOS7 feels like it wasnt finished - like it was rushed to market because everyone was complaining about OS6 lagging behind!
50. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)
This one is better than ur hell(phone)
71. Kal-el (Posts: 87; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)
....SOOOooo basically the atrix is 9.3 rating....coool
2. android_hitman (Posts: 587; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)
such a high score.... hmmm.. for:
same screen, same design (except the mid button) and the same battery
but then again, PA is known to be a little apple oriented
10. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1433; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
SMH... PA, will give good score, to phones that, arent even great, and low scores , to good phones
102. AAABall (unregistered)
Why no mention of non proprietary lightning cable, or the lack of lack of memory expansion? This is a con on every other phone PA reviews?
105. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)
The screen isn't even 720p! But it is the brightest screen in the market! Too bad its soo SMALL. PA doesnt like to talk about the size or resolution or the fact that 326PPI is only average by flagship standards. Instead they use all these technical terms to try and hide the truth! With flagship phones pushing 441PPI, retina display is now a thrid class quality!
188. rohitknhs (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Mar 2014)
Screen size is a preference,so shut up! Even Samsung phones have almost same design,but no one complains because they are fanboys.
3. chunky1x (Posts: 121; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)
I don't see something special to this phone. This looks and feel the same.