iPhone 5s: Build
The iPhone 5s will come in three colourways (we say colourways, it doesn’t really compare to the rainbow variety of the 5C but still). The rumoured gold and silver iPhones are now a reality, along with a ‘Space Grey’ grey/black version.
Whichever colour you opt for, the phone uses the same high-grade aluminium as before and has chamfered edges for a slightly smoother feel in the hand.
iPhone 5s: Power
Apple’s iPhone 5s chip – the A7 – is brand new for the device, and packs over 1 billion transistors into the same surface area as the A6. That’s double the number of transistors as its predecessor.
It’s the first 64-bit mobile chip in the world, and will run 64-bit apps as a result. iOS 7 has been designed to run in 64-bit, but doubtless there will be other 64-bit apps appearing as time goes on.
You’ll see the increase in power all across the phone, from starting up apps to editing videos to browsing the web. This is potentially the kick in the pants that the iPhone needed to compete with the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
iPhone 5s: Gaming
iPhone 5s: Touch ID
Apple’s much-rumoured fingerprint scanning tech has a name. ‘Touch ID’ is now official on the 5s.
The sensor is 170 microns thin and built into your home button. It scans your prints at a resolution of 500 ppi and scans sub-epidermal skin layers for accuracy. Essentially what is happening is this: the sapphire crystal in the sensor acts much like a lens, allowing the sensor to take a high resolution snapshot of your fingerprint, which it then analyzes.
Around the sensor itself is a stainless steel ring, which detects when your finger or thumb is on the button. This means that you don’t actually have to press the button, and the sensor has 360-degree readability so it shouldn’t be too fiddly.
Integration with iOS 7 means that you can use Touch ID to read multiple fingerprints, and even to authorise iTunes purchases. But thankfully, your fingerprint isn’t stored on Apple’s server or backed up to the cloud, so if identity theft was the first thing that came to mind, you needn’t worry.
iPhone 5s: Camera
The camera has a 5-element Apple designed lens with a 15% larger active sensor area.
iOS 7 has clearly been heavily integrated with the new camera. It automatically sets white balance, exposure level and creates a dynamic local tone map. It autofocuses, has digital auto-image stabilization, and even picks your sharpest images for you.
True Tone flash fixes dodgy pictures where the flash ruins your colours and tones.
120FPS slow motion video is supported as well. Even better, you can edit a video after shooting and select separate parts for normal speed and slo-mo.
iPhone 5s: Battery
The iPhone 5s offers 250 hours of battery life in standby, 10 hours 3G talk time, 10 hours LTE browsing and 40 hours music playback.
One of the major gripes we had with the iPhone 5 was the poor battery life, so it’s a slight disappointment to see only a marginal improvement in the iPhone 5s. Still, batteries are always variable – we’ll see how the 5s performs when we get our hands on one for testing.
iPhone 5s: Motion Tracking
A new motion co-processor – the M7 – works alongside the A7 chip to constantly monitor your motion. Using an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and other metrics devices, it’s essentially a continuous motion sensor.
Apple didn’t elaborate much further, but integration with apps like Nike+ Move - announced during the keybote - and the likes of Fitbit and Withings seems an obvious step. And the potential for a new generation of health apps is enormous.
iPhone 5s: Price and Availability
The iPhone 5s will cost you £549 (£457.50 ex VAT) for the 16GB model, £629 (£524.17 ex VAT) for the 32GB model, and £709 (£590.83 ex VAT) for the 64GB model.
This is a pretty hefty price tag by all accounts. The 32GB version is over £100 more than our currently top ranked HTC One.
Along with the iPhone 5c, the 5s will be available from Apple and selected retailers on September 20th, 2013.