iPhone 5S vs. 5C (5S Edition)

David Holthausen reviews his iPhone 5S and discusses why he chose to upgrade from an existing iPhone. He tells us his pros and cons while covering the new features like Touch ID and iOS 7. Is he happy with it? Click to find out!

iPhone 5S Review

iPhone 5S (CC by Ashok Govind)

I’ve been using my iPhone 5s since the week after launch, so about 5 weeks now, and it truly is the best, fastest iPhone to date. The casing and screen are virtually identical to the iPhone 5, except for the dual flashes and touch ID. It ships with iOS 7, and is remarkably light and thin for a device that packs such substantial improvement in power. An article I read on imore.com points out that the power under the hood from the A7 chip in the 5s is equivalent to that of a 2010 MacBook Air.


Maker: Apple
Price: $199 with a 2 year contract from AT&T
Ownership Length: 5 Weeks


Pros:

1) The iOS 7 user interface is silky smooth and quick, but probably not appreciably better than the iPhone 5.

2) The camera quality is improved. The slow motion and burst mode options both work really well and are useful for action video and photos.

3) The battery life is good. I know there are phones with better battery life, but I can quite easily go the entire day (from 8 AM until midnight or later) and still be at 10-15% battery or higher, depending on use.

4) Touch ID is awesome; it’s the best, easiest to use feature security feature I’ve witnessed. You set it up with up to 5 fingers and it allows you to unlock the phone or pay for apps in the app store without having to input an alphanumeric password. Putting your thumb—or whichever finger you choose—on the home button unlocks the phone. The only time I’ve had a problem is if my finger is damp. It is so much easier than inputting a 4-digit code every time you unlock your phone. Also, if the “nuisance” of having to input a password has kept you from putting a pass lock on your phone, this is such an easy way to secure your phone and your personal information (I don’t think it blocks the NSA though).

5) In addition to the A7 processor, there is a M7 coprocessor that registers motion, so exercise, GPS, pedometer apps or whatnot can track that data without taking away memory and battery/efficiency from the main processor.

Cons:
1) Size. I personally love the size—it’s the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5. I find most large Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy, too huge to slip in and out of my pocket easily. But if you want a larger screen, get an Android or Windows phone.

2) No external card slots. There isn’t and never will be a card slot on an iPhone. If you need one, the iPhone 5s is probably not for you.

3) Slick surfaces. The iPhone 5s is is very shiny and possibly a little slick. If you are like me and want to keep it pristine, get a case for when you are out and about. I like to uncase it when I’m at home.

Summary

iPhone 5S BackMy overall final thoughts: it’s a great phone and if you like Apple products, you’ll really enjoy using the iPhone 5s. That being said, I was eligible for an upgrade on contract, and with selling back my previous iPhone, I basically got it for the activation cost. While the iPhone 5s is certainly an upgrade from the iPhone 5, it’s not necessarily worth paying full price if you aren’t eligible for an upgrade on your contract. But if you have the iPhone 4s or earlier, upgrade to the iPhone 5s if you can. It is the creme de la creme of iPhones.