iPhone 5S review

iPhone 5S review

T3 5
  • iPhone 5S review


    • Touch ID
    • Improved camera and flash
    • Wide LTE support


    • Price
    • Battery life
    title: iPhone 5s: iOS 7, 4G, battery / url: iPhone-5s-iOS-7-4G-battery

    iPhone 5S: iOS 8

    Within the iPhone 5S and each new device shipping with iOS 8, you get Apple’s iWork apps - Pages, Numbers and Keynote – for free.  

    Swiping down on the homescreen reveals the Search bar, while swiping apps up while in multi-tasking view will close apps.

    Swipe up on the homescreen and you’ll be presented with a handy shortcut of features ranging from activating Aeroplane mode to adjusting brightness to turning on the torch.

    iOS 8 also brings with it plenty of other updates, including handy widgets in the notification tray, apps that can finally talk to each other (editing photos with a third-party app, right from the native Photos app) and plenty of new tools for developers to play around with. Our favourite new addition though is Continuity, which brings iOS and OSX closer together, letting you start a message on your phone and pick it straight up on your Mac. It’s clever and actually works like a charm.

    iPhone 5S: 4G

    The iPhone 5S has a wider range of LTE bands that every UK provider should be able to support. We tested the 5s on EE’s 4G network and, like the iPhone 5, experienced blisteringly fast internet connections and downloads.

    Of course, your actual speeds will depend on a wide breadth of parameters, but you should hope to achieve uploads and download speeds in excess of 15/20Mbps.

    The pace of LTE really proves its worth when using FaceTime HD and streaming content.

    iPhone 5S: Battery

    Apple quotes ten hours talk time on 3G, 250-hours in standby, ten hours of internet use on 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi, with video playback running to 10 hours and audio stretching to 40 hours.

    In our real-world testing, we found the iPhone 5S mimics that of its predecessor – great in standby, draining when using 3G/4G and performing graphically intensive tasks. For example, we started the day (10.20am) with 82% of battery and after a 20-minute TomTom navigation, an hour’s worth of on/off slo-motion and regular video and photo capture, and a bit of web surfing, by 12.37am we were down to 4% and in desperate need of a recharge.

    In terms of the competition, the iPhone 5S definitely falls behind when put up against devices boasting large batteries, like the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and can’t keep up with the iPhone 6, let alone the 6 Plus.

  • The Apple iPhone 5s features the new A7 processor, along with a fingerprint scanner and a new camera. T3 went hands-on...

    iPhone 5S review


    • Touch ID
    • Improved camera and flash
    • Wide LTE support


    • Price
    • Battery life

    A year after Apple slimmed down its rock-solid iPhone 4S and introduced the world to the svelte iPhone 5, its latest superphone - the Apple iPhone 5s - has been announced and we've just had an exclusive hands-on.

    Priced from £549 contract free due for release on 20 September 2013, the iPhone 5s stand-out features include fingerprint recognition technology, a vastly improved camera and quicker A7 processor and 64-bit architecture. Plus, of course, iOS 7, which will land for upgrade on the 18 September.

    In a crowded mobile market, the new iPhone 5s will do battle with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z for the undisputed premium smartphone crown of 2013. Apple also announced the affordable iPhone 5c, so let's take a look at what sets its top-of-the-range cousin apart. 

    iPhone 5s: Size and build

    In the hand the iPhone 5s feels much like the iPhone 5, with the 7.6mm depth and 112g weight giving a lightweight yet premium experience.

    At 123.8mm tall, it fits into a pocket without trouble. Unlike the colour-coordinated iPhone 5c, the iPhone 5s comes three shades - Gold, Silver and Space Grey - adding a top-quality differentiator to Apple's most expensive handset - the 64Gb model, contract free, costs £709.

    It weighs the same as the iPhone 5 and is lighter than all of its major competitors. In typical Apple engineering fashion, each iPhone 5S goes through a rigorous build and quality control process. And it shows. 

    Best Apple iPhone 5s cases and covers 2013

    The external changes might not look that different, but it feels an expensive piece of kit. Shame that the chamfered edges remain - the scuffing and scratching issue is a real thing and Apple was keen to promote its bespoke iPhone 5s covers at the announcement.

    Button and hardware placements pretty much replicates that of the iPhone 5, with the only change being an improved flash on  the back and the Touch ID sensor that's built into the home screen. We'll come onto that... Article continues after the video

    iPhone 5s: Features

    The standout new feature here is the fingerprint scanner, which Apple calls Touch ID. Paving the way for a new era in smartphone banking, content purchasing and phone security, the scanner is built right into home button. This means you'll do away with the keypad to get into your phone, just press your assigned finger or thumb to unlock it. The same goes for buying iTunes content.

    Apple iPhone 5s: What you need to know

    Apple's Phil Schiller also said that no data would be stored on cloud servers, just the hardware itself. Giving it a quick try out, we found the setup process very straightforward - press your finger on the button 20 or 30 times to register it -  and a quick and effective way of bypassing what now seems an old security method in the way of number pecking. We'll doubtless see a glut of apps to take advantage of this in the next few weeks and months.

    Being the premium super phone in Apple's line-up, you'd expect its feature-set to earn its keep. And you'd be right. The iPhone 5s sports an improved 8 megapixel, 1.5µ pixel iSight camera on the back that, among other things, can shoot in slo-mo (720p at 120fps).

    The effect is great and will undoubtedly spawn a new wave of GIF memes and slowed-down footy skills. In addition, you get image stabilisation that combines ten shots a second to produce the best picture, a new f/2.2 aperture and 15% bigger sensor area than the iPhone 5.

    In our hands-on, it seemed to take noticeably crisper pictures than the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C. However, it's still some way off what the outrageous 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 can produce. As a comparison, the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4 have 4mp, 13.1mp and 13mp rear-facing cameras respectively.

    Apple iOS 7 apps: 10 things you need to know

    Another camera improvement is the new True Tone flash, which picks the right light for its environment to improve the picture being taken. It worked well in the halogen-tinged demo area, giving a slightly better skin tone representation. The front camera takes 1.2MP photos.(1280x960) and records video at 720p.

    The iPhone 5S supports a serious selection of 4G and LTE frequencies, which should mean compatibility with all major network providers. Wireless connectivity remains at N WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. There's no NFC. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5S: Screen

    Continuing the Retina trend, the iPhone 5S keeps the 4-inch, 1136x640 at 326ppi screen. Loaded with iOS 7, colours fizz with pin-sharp text adorning icons, web-page text and typed content. Display contrast is balanced and blacks are jet black, which add a real depth and clarity to the HD video and still image content we were shown.

    The hyper-colour environment won't be everyone's cup of tea but with the ability to take richer photos, you're going to want a screen to show it off with. Comparing screen size to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (5-inch), HTC One (4.7-inch) and Sony Xperia Z (5-inch), the iPhone 5S remains the baby of the bunch. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5S: Performance


    Under the chamfered chassis, you'll find a brand new A7 processor and 64-bit computing architecture, which Apple claims delivers 2x faster graphics and speed.

    Needless to say the experience is fast and furious. Apps open in an instant, video content is free from judder, image-processing (we tried processing shots in the photo app) is perceptibly faster than the iPhone 5. Content just zips along in iOS7 and anyone making the jump from an iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5s will notice a huge difference in speed and power.

    Best Apple iPhone 5s apps to download now

    We were given a demo of Infinity Blade III and the graphics looked simply outrageous. Like most hardware bumps, the real test will lie in what developers can create and with this much processing power on offer, we're expecting some special things this year. We'll have a deeper report when we get our hands on a review model. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5S: Battery

    Apple is quoting a a ten-hour talk time on 3G, 250-hour standby, ten hours internet use on 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi with video playback running to 10 hours and audio stretching to 40 hours. Until we get our hands on a final review sample - watch this space - we can't confirm or deny it. So there.

    iPhone 5S: Verdict

    From our early play with the iPhone 5s, we expect that the improvements in performance and features will attract the early-adopting Apple faithful as well as those finally looking to upgrade from an iPhone 4S. The refreshed iOS 7 might even tempt some Android and Windows Mobile users.

    However, the smartphone market remains a hugely competitive and keenly priced place with Samsung, HTC, Sony, even Nokia, launching some truly spectacular handsets over the last year.

    If you're not buying an iPhone 5S on contract then the prices are, well, let's call them 'premium'. And that might be a step too far for some looking to defect from other brands. But, then there's the iPhone 5c - an iPhone for the masses. It's not budget, Apple doesn't do budget, but we reckon that will be the iPhone success story

    iPhone 5s release date: 20 September 2013

    iPhone 5s price: £549 (16GB), £629 (32GB), £709 (64GB)

    Want more on the iPhone 5S? Subscribe to the T3 YouTube channel


    • Apple iPhone 5s Unboxing -- Exclusive & First on YouTube
    • Apple iPhone 5S hands-on: Specs
    •  features
    •  price and release date
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-9-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-10-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-11-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-12-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-13-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-14-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-15-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-16-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-17-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-18-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-19-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-20-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-21-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-lead-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-5-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-2-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-1-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-7-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-8-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone-5s-4-624.jpg
    • Video
      iPhone 5c video review

      The verdict on the new iPhone 5c

    • Video
      iPhone 5s Touch ID demo walkthrough

      We get our hands on the new fingerprint smarts of the iPhone 5s

    • Video
      Apple iPhone 5s unboxing

      We get our hands on one of the first models in the world before it goes on sale

    • Video
      iPhone 5S running IOS 7 Demo

      Walkthrough of all the new iOS features landing on the new iPhone

    • Video
      iPhone 5S Camera Demo

      First look at the new camera landing on the iPhone 5S

    • Video
      Apple iPhone 5S hands-on video

      Here are our first impressions of Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone 5S


Best smartphones


Which smartphone will snag the title of best blower?


Be the first to comment…

Free premium App download on the App Store

Sneak HD

Just how sneaky are you? Sneak HD challenges you to literally sneak up on your iPad. Download it from the appstore
Back to top
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network


Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human


I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password


I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now