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iPhone 5S review

Fingerprint scanner, slo-mo video and faster processor
Mon Oct 07 2013, 08:15

Product iPhone 5S
Specifications 4in 1136x640 326ppi Retina display, A7 64-bit processor and M7 coprocessor, 1GB RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage not expandable, 8MP rear-facing iSight camera with HD 1080p video at 30fps, 1.2MP front-facing camera with HD 720p video, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/HSDPA/LTE 4G; 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 8-pin Lightning connector, headphone jack, non-removable Li-Po 1560mAh battery, iOS 7 mobile operating system, 124x59x7.6mm, 112g
Price £549 for 16GB SIM-free

GADGET DESIGNER Apple decided to split its iPhone offering into two ranges at the recent launch, unveiling the iPhone 5C for the slightly lower end of the market and the iPhone 5S as the premium model.

On the outside, the iPhone 5S is pretty much identical to the iPhone 5, but Apple has added a few features and made some tweaks to try to attract a whole new generation of iPhone users, or convince those using older models to upgrade. (We'll be comparing the iPhone 5S with the iPhone 5 in a separate head-to-head review, so check back for that soon.)

Design and build
The iPhone 5S has an aluminium case and glass screen. It's comfortable to hold as it's very thin and light, measuring 124x59x7.6mm and weighing only 112g. The iPhone 5S certainly retains the premium Apple look and feel we've come to expect from the brand. However, users new to the iPhone might find the edges of the device a little too square and sharp when holding the iPhone 5S for long periods.

On the top, the iPhone 5S features a power button, with a SIM card slot on the right, a ringer on/off button and volume controls on the left (the plus button can also be used to take pictures from the camera app), and a headphone jack, microphone, Lightning charging port and speaker on the bottom of the device. The iPhone 5S is available in three colour choices - gold or silver backs with a white front, or a grey back with a black front.

Apple iPhone 5S in space grey gold and silver

The iPhone 5S features a 4in Retina display with 1136x640 resolution at 326ppi. The colours on webpages, games and video were bright and vibrant, while text was clean and crisp. The high-quality in-plane switching (IPS) panel is also evenly lit and the impressive viewing angles mean you can see what's on screen whether looking down from the top, up from the bottom, front or side on, or anywhere in between.

However, some users have complained about the new fonts, which are thinner and smaller, and the removal of boxes around menus, making text hard to read for those with visual impairments.

Those used to the larger screens offered by devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has 1920x1080 resolution at 441ppi on a 5in screen, might also find the iPhone 5S screen too small, so while the quality on offer from Apple is comparable to its competitors' displays, size might make a difference here.

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