The iPhone 5S, Apple’s newest smartphone, was unveiled on Sept. 10 at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. The phone is very similar in external style to the iPhone 5, with the exception of new panel colors and a redesigned home button. However, the phone’s internal workings have been completely revamped to include a new processor and motion sensor, as well as an upgraded camera and more efficient battery usage. The iPhone 5S also includes a fingerprint scanner, called TouchID, which is built directly into the home button. The scanner can sense when the user’s finger touches the button, and analyzes a high-resolution photo of the fingerprint in order to unlock the phone. The phone will be available in 16, 32, and 64 GB models.
Media reactions to the new phone have been positive, focusing mainly on the device’s new features and design.
Many reviews have mentioned the TouchID system as an innovative piece of technology, with a powerful sensor that works from multiple angles of touch. Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian touts the fingerprint sensor as “A major leap forward in both phone security and usability.” Up to five separate fingerprints can be logged in the system, allowing users to specify exactly who can unlock their phones. The fingerprints are also securely encrypted and stored locally on the phone, meaning users do not need to worry about the theft of their private personal data.
The camera has also been a focal point of critic’s reviews. There have been many behind-the-scenes improvements to the iPhone 5S's camera, incorporating hardware, software, and user interface. Matthew Panzarino, a professional photographer, is optimistic about the 5S's camera capabilities, and believes that the device’s most important feature may be its improved image signal processor (ISP). Among its many features, the upgraded ISP is able to split the field of vision into "zones", increasing speed of focus. It can also take several photos within a fraction of a second and choose the least blurry one, resulting in a generally sharper image. Another feature, True Tone flash, uses two differently-colored LEDs to match its flash's color temperature to the color temperature of the scene, so that the photo's lighting closely parallels the actual ambient lighting. Referencing this feature, Panzarino says: “The sheer engineering prowess here is insane.”
The new optional gold coloring scheme has been almost universally praised as a smart marketing move, understated enough to fit in with other Apple products but unique enough that it makes the phone distinct from previous models. However, some reviewers have noted that the iPhone 5S doesn't strongly distinguish itself visually from the iPhone 5. Stuff.tv’s Will Findlater notes that "It doesn't help that it looks and feels just like the iPhone 5 most Apple fans are already carrying."
Overall, reviewers tend to believe that the iPhone 5S’s new and innovative features, combined with Apple’s ability to provide an excellent user experience to consumers, will make this new smartphone a rousing success.