The stock Camera app has gotten a decent upgrade as well – it allows you to choose from a set of 8 photo filters, and it also sports a new 'square' photo mode, for those of you who would enjoy snapping square photos. The panorama picture option is once again here, of course, and so is HDR. If you've been hoping for some more advanced options, such as ISO, sharpness and so on, you're in for a disappointment, because the camera app is just as simple as before. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because it's incredibly fast and easy to use. If you'd like a more "manual" experience, well, you'll surely find an app for that. Although it’s not something entirely new, the iPhone 5s now offers the useful mode of burst shooting, which is accessed by merely pressing and holding onto the shutter key.

Alas, we now come to the point where shutterbugs are bound to know for sure if the iPhone 5s is indeed an improvement over the iPhone 5 in terms of picture quality via its updated 8-megapixel iSight camera. So what’s the final verdict on this one? Well, we can certainly say that it’s a valid claim, but its superiority is mostly reserved to low lighting quality. In fact, as we compare samples taken by the iPhone 5, we’re unable to actually tell the two apart with their outdoor quality. It’s not a bad thing honestly, seeing that it’s rich with sharp details and warmer toned colors to continue making it one of the best in its class. Also, it handles dynamic range fairly well too, as both light and dark areas are well exposed.

The true telling, however, is most evident with its low lighting quality, which is attributed due to the combination of its backside illuminated sensor, larger aperture f2.2 lens (f2.4 for the iPhone 5), and larger sized pixels (1.5µm vs 1.4µm) thanks to the 15% bigger sensor (from 1/3.2” in the iPhone 5, to 1/3.0” in the 5s). Not only are images brighter in tone in lower lighting situations, thus, exposing more details than the iPhone 5, but there’s also less blurring and haziness too. Essentially, it translates to images that rival the sharpness and clarity of outdoor shots – though, details of course, are a smidgen softer looking. With this new model, it’s sporting not one, but two LED flashes. Through the combination of its white and amber colored LED flashes, the iPhone 5s composes images that have a more balanced look with colors. And yes, it’s extremely potent as well, enabling it to light things up as far as 7 feet away!

Packing an HDR mode as well, images clearly make good use of the various exposures that the iPhone 5s snaps up. Naturally, dynamic range is handled exquisitely in HDR mode, seeing that the handset does a bang up job of performing its post processing effects to get the best result.

Previewing its 1080p video recording quality, there’s not a whole lot different here that jumps at us. Certainly, it produces videos that are most pleasing to the eyes, as it’s filled with plenty of visual eye candy – like its sharp details, accurate colors, smooth recording, progressive exposure adjustment, and clear audio recording. Sure, there are a few instances of artifacting that’s evident every now and then as we pan quickly, but it’s hardly a distracting element. One of these days Apple is going to get it right, but alas, we’re only presented with touch focus yet again.

Mixing things up, the iPhone 5s has a neat-o high definition slow motion recording mode as well. Specifically, it shoots the video at a blazing fast rate of 120 fps, enabling us to select when to apply the slow motion mode by merely adjusting the cropping marks in the video timeline. Without a doubt, it’s a pretty cool and slick feature, especially when the audio also receives the same slow motion treatment as well. Depending on the action that’s being shot, you can seemingly get a cool Matrix-like effect with this particular mode.


It might not sport fancy looking 3D visual effects, but the Photos app of iOS 7 also gets its long deserved update. Running the app, we have quick access to looking through photos stored locally on the iPhone 5s, and others stored in the cloud via Photo Stream. Everything is once again presented in the customary 2D scrollable view, but the organization of content has been improved considerable – as we can view them according to date, album, or location. Not only do we have quick sharing via the usual portals (Messages, Mail, iCloud, Twitter, Facebook, & Flickr), we can also share then through iOS 7’s new AirDrop feature.

Say it ain’t so?? The music player is no longer carrying the app’s usual flare in its cover-flow mode! Yes, you heard that right folks, cover-flow mode is no longer seen with the music player, as it’s been replaced by this resizable album cover grid layout when tilting the phone sideways to landscape. Seriously, it’s not as flashy! Despite the omission of cover-flow, the functions of the music player are intact. As for the presentation, it boasts the same lovable visual improvement we see throughout the platform, but for the most part, it’s still rather conventional looking – it doesn’t try to be flashy.

However, we do appreciate the addition of iTunes Radio, which is Apple’s new streaming music service that’s similar to Pandora. When it comes to audio output from its internal speaker, we can attest that it doesn’t differ whatsoever from what we’ve seen with the iPhone 5 already. It’s potent, but nothing earth shattering.

Copying videos to the iPhone 5s continues to be a process of its own, mainly due to the requirement of having us to convert them to properly load. Regardless of that, the smartphone is a decent offering when it comes to watching videos. Why only decent? Well, we’ll point out that high definition videos play flawlessly and without any hitches, but considering that larger screens prove to be more suitable for the experience, the 4-inch Retina Display seems rather quaint when compared to its rivals. Still, it suffices for the occasion.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 1
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
LG G2 0.29
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s 74
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
LG G2 66



1. Xavier1415

Posts: 208; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

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

5. JDogg5281

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 09, 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: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

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

127. Samsungadroidrules

Posts: 104; Member since: Jul 28, 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: Sep 19, 2013

This comes with touch id fingerprint sensor Does ur dandroid comes with it?

136. realnic55

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

If you're buying a two year old Atrix it does.

151. rightcue805

Posts: 55; Member since: Jul 08, 2013

oooooo it was hacked in the first 3 days.

180. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

And "was" updated in the next 3 days

173. Alexs21 unregistered

Wow it comes with a finger print sensor.

186. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 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.

194. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

The s5 does. My dandroid also comes with face recognition.

181. Alexs21 unregistered

He didn't say it was thick he said it looks thick.

193. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

Right, but it feels thick compared to other phones. Motorola devices are amazingly designed with a curved back, nice materials, and that awesome little "dimple." The iPhone 5s (and the iPhone 5c, and the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4s, and the iPhone 4, and EVERY IPHONE) is a box that FEELS thick because it's just a slab.

7. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 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: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

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

165. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

That's not a strong reason!

169. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 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.

191. gutuebogdan

Posts: 29; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

Not everyone wants a bigger screen. 4" for a smarphone is perfect. Everything biger than 4, 3" is perfect for a multimediaphone. Just my opinion.

195. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

You are such a fanboy.

122. sabres0809

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 18, 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

192. mstar010

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Are you kidding me? Apple introduced the first touch screen smartphone that was actually good. I feel like everyone else has no originality making phones with smartphones. Plus you get incredible build quality with an iPhone only rivaled by an HTC One. All the other android phones are cheap plastic pos.

152. rightcue805

Posts: 55; Member since: Jul 08, 2013

ALL OF IT! The fact that you guys still don't have a removeable battery, no expandable memory. SUPPORT? HA


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 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: 31322; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Shhhhhhhhhhh, oh yeah PA already shushed you.

18. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 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: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

apple haters will hate anything thats apple smh

63. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 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.

65. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 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: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 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.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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