On Tuesday morning, Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 5S, which we all expected, as the company has for the last three years, added an ‘S’ line to the iPhone before upgrading the phone to a whole new number (ie. iPhone 4, iPhone 5).
Among the many announcements, Apple acknowledged that it is no longer going to produce the iPhone 5, which will be essentially replaced by the iPhone 5C (starting at $99), rather than continuing to manufacture it and lower the price. As such, for anyone looking to get a new iPhone and maintain its current look, rather than the colorful design of the 5C, it’s going to have to be the 5S.
Surely there will be some iPhone 5 devices still out there until retail stores sell them out completely but without a price drop, it would make sense to simply wait it out until Sep. 20, when the 5S hits retail stores. So with that being said, what makes the 5S different from the 5? Well let’s take a look at a few key features of the 5S as well as doing some side-by-side comparisons of their similar features.
For starters, the iPhone 5S will feature the new 64-bit A7 processor, with the 5S becoming the only smartphone in the market to have a processor that is 64-bit. By contrast, the iPhone 5 uses a 32-bit A6 processor. Apple says that the new A7 will make the 5S twice as fast as the iPhone 5. Then there’s the M7 chip, which is a co-processor that measures motion data using the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, which will make health and fitness apps much more accurate and could essentially replace fitness devices like smart wristbands.
Of course one of the biggest additions to the iPhone 5S is Touch ID, Apple’s new fingerprint scanner that is part of the Home button. This scanner can be used to unlock the screen and also allow users to use their fingers to purchase apps, rather than entering their Apple ID within the App Store. As for NFC (Near-Field Communication), Apple is still steering clear from using it on the iPhone and that’s another missed opportunity.
Another area where Apple has updated the iPhone is the camera, though it didn’t make any major changes. The new camera will still come in with 8-megapixels, which is a bit of a disappointment, when you consider that more smartphones are starting to go towards 13-megapixels. Fortunately, Apple has made the sensor larger and the lens has a maximum aperture of f2.2, which combined, can allow for clearer images in low light. The HTC One by contrast, still has larger pixels, and can take some pretty amazing shots in dim lighting, but it’s good to see Apple improve the camera in this area as well.There will now be a 10fps burst mode and users can record slow-motion video at 120fps, which may prove to be a really cool feature. There will be a best-shot selector for burst or multishot and images stabilization for stills. There will be a new feature called True Tone flash, which is supposed to white balance the color temperature during the shot. The front facing camera will be able to record in 1080p, while the iPhone 5 can do 720p.
Weight wise, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 are identical , while the screen size has remained the same at 4-inches, 326ppi and a resolution of 1,136 x 640. With Samsung, HTC and other Android device makers producing larger-screen smartphones, it’s a wonder as to when Apple will go beyond 4-inches, so those who feel the iPhone 5 is a bit small, will need to look elsewhere as the 5S shares the same dimensions. Battery life did get a slight bump to 10 hours of talk time, with the iPhone 5 offering 8 hours by comparison.
Coming on Sep. 20 for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, the 16GB version will sell for $199, while the 32GB will come in at $299 and the 64GB at $399.
So is the iPhone 5S a worthy upgrade? Those who have an iPhone 5 may not feel compelled to upgrade just yet, though for those who still own an iPhone 4S, the upgrades certainly make the 5S more tempting. With Sep. 18 being the release date for iOS 7, even those old 4S and 5 phones will behave like new devices, but if the fingerprint scanner, an improved camera and faster performance is up your alley, then the iPhone 5S may be for you...and let's not forget that sexy champagne-gold color.