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Apple iPhone 5s Review

Apple iPhone 5s 9.3

Apple iPhone 5s Review
Call Quality

Apple didn’t really expand on anything related to the iPhone 5s’ call quality during its unveiling, so that’s probably why we don’t notice anything different this time around with its quality. In fact, it’s identical to the iPhone 5, as its earpiece emits a potent punch with its volume output – enabling us to comprehend our callers with ease. At the same time, our callers clarify to us that they’re presented with rich, natural sounding voices that aren’t muddied on their end of the line. However, when we switch to its speakerphone, we can make out a subtle hint of distortion with voices, but it’s nothing too detrimental to the experience. Oh yeah, its noise-cancelling feature is yet again spot on this time around, as it instantly is able to mute out background distortions.


Something we’ve come to expect with the announcement of any new iPhone, Apple claims that the iPhone 5s delivers better battery life than its predecessor. Despite the claim, we don’t actually notice any better battery life this time around, since we’re still getting the same 1 day tally of normal usage from a full charge – while heavy usage permits us roughly 10 hours. Considering the newer and more potent processor it’s packing along for the ride, we can’t complain about the single day of usage, but it would be a nice change of pace to see its tally increased from that.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
6h 48 min (Average)
View all


Crazy to believe it, but this phone has been seeing competition long before its arrival on the scene. Heck, you can argue that everyone was trying to one-up the iPhone 5s way before the first round of juicy rumors came up to the surface, but now that it’s finally here in the flesh, it’s rather interesting to see how the landscape plays out as we near the busy holiday season – as well as the end of the year. Everyone has been wondering if this particular iPhone can still put up a fight, especially when it’s vying for success in an already crowded market filled with big named smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z1, LG G2, and the Motorola Moto X.

Apple iPhone 5s Review
Apple iPhone 5s Review
From a specs standpoint, we can argue that all those aforementioned smartphones would most certainly manhandle the iPhone 5s multiple times over. However, as consumers are being bombarded on all sides by these specs beasts, the iPhone 5s proves once again something we’ve come to embrace dearly – it works in all the aspects of what makes a smartphone so darn lovable to use. And knowing that, we're sure it’ll continue to be a benchmark device.

Seriously, it’s a premium constructed phone. It has a great quality screen. It’s snappy with its performance. It captures stunning photos and videos. Its call quality is undeniably above average. Its battery life is enough to get us through a single day of normal usage. And yes, even the software on the phone has finally been updated with a more modern presentation. Lastly, it’s just simple to use and operate. So what more can we ask, right?

Obviously, it’s not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we’ve seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there’s nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones. That brand new 64-bit A7 processor is unique; however, its true potential isn’t seen or felt that much right now. Rather, we’ll more than likely experience it in the very near future, when third-party app developers begin to take advantage of it. For the money, starting at $200 on-contract, the iPhone 5s is definitely a worthy option fit for your hard earned money.

Software version of the review unit: 7.0.1


  • Updated iOS7 experience
  • Excellent low-lighting photo performance
  • New way of unlocking and app purchasing via Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Slow motion HD video capture


  • Battery life is no different
PhoneArena rating:
9.3 Excellent
User rating:
8.8 44 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:14 49

1. Xavier1415 (Posts: 32; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

this phone is trash and apple fanboys will buy anything thats apple smh

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:18 35

5. JDogg5281 (Posts: 73; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:27 18

7. bucky (Posts: 3040; 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...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:27 22

9. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:34 16

18. Ninetysix (Posts: 2575; 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


posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:41 5

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

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:43 9

26. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:49 8

31. msa1988 (Posts: 418; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)

Not sure what your using that makes it lag. I have iOS7 on my 4S and it runs perfect.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:49 7

32. greathero1 (Posts: 569; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:53 2

39. joey_sfb (Posts: 6464; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:56 7

43. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; 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"

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:57 6

45. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

You go Smurf, make them 'sees the
light' on that sloooow-ass, yet colorfully rAinbow BriTe, iPhone 4S++

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:01 7

49. greathero1 (Posts: 569; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:07 1

50. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

This one is better than ur hell(phone)

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:20 4

57. illusionmist (Posts: 157; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)

apple haters will hate anything thats apple smh

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:54 15

63. Slammer (Posts: 1515; 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.

John B.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 08:56 15

64. promise7 (Posts: 889; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)

Thick? It's one of the slimmest and lightest smartphones available.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 09:00 3

65. promise7 (Posts: 889; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 09:15 6

67. Slammer (Posts: 1515; 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.

John B.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:05 4

71. Kal-el (Posts: 94; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)

....SOOOooo basically the atrix is 9.3 rating....coool

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 10:19 7

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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:15 5

76. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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?

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:16 2

77. sniper1087 (Posts: 531; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:02 3

81. Eonnaydra (Posts: 217; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:11 6

82. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Lol stop lying to yourself. iPhone 4 is a brick running iOS 7.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:16 9

91. saffant (Posts: 274; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)

Screen size, and originality (or lack thereof rather).

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:00 3

100. Leo_MC (Posts: 2312; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

If Rolls Royce lines are borring, than iPhone's are too.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:52 4

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!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 17:05 3

108. Leo_MC (Posts: 2312; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 17:12 2

109. Leo_MC (Posts: 2312; 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?!

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Display4.0 inches, 640 x 1136 pixels (326 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz, Cyclone ARMv8 processor
Size4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches
(123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm)
3.95 oz  (112 g)

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