Earlier this week I upgraded from my iPhone 5 to the iPhone 5S. Overall it’s been an ok upgrade from the iPhone 5, but true to the iPhone series, not much has really been changed.
Why the iPhone 5S?
As I mentioned in my iPhone 5 review last year I already had an iPhone and I still enjoyed what the platform had to offer. Seeing as I also have an iPad running the same OS and a couple of Mac computers which all talk to each other seamlessly, it made sense to go for the latest device on the iOS platform, of course I did consider other devices for a “bit of a change” such as the Nexus 5 which runs buttery smooth stock Android, but it wouldn’t integrate as seamlessly with what I already have.
My impressions: Unboxing and initial Setup
As also mentioned in my iPhone 5 review, Apple didn’t disappoint with the packaging, very thick robust cardboard, no audible box farts, the phone was easily removed (placed in front of everything else inside of the box), everything else had it’s own separate compartments inside the box. Same old. Same old.
Very easy set up process if only because I already had iCloud configured, simply restored from previous iPhone backup and the phone was fully set up in around 20 minutes. The only issue I had was that my social media apps had de-authenticated themselves (I’d guess for security reasons) and the Google Chrome app went missing.
Inside the box as with the iPhone 5 there was the mains charger, a USB to lightning cable, Apple stickers, the warranty and manual booklets and a pair of Apple earpods.
As before it’s good to see when companies embrace the concept of “the first impressions are the lasting impressions”.
My Impressions: Overall Design and Ergonomics
As with most of Apple’s products these days, it’s minimal yet incredibly sexy. Not many physical buttons. All pretty much the same from it’s predecessor, apart from the back casing colour, the changed camera flash LED shape and a flat fingerprint sensor home button with a metallic ring around it. Black glass on the front, smooth “space grey” aluminium on the back, compact connector design (lightning), generally sturdy construction. Both the glass on the front and metal on the back feel as though they might get scratched easily over time just like the iPhone 5, but the new space grey finish may make scratches less noticeable. As with the iPhone 5, the mixture of smooth metal and glass makes it quite slippery, a rubberised texture may be preferable but not as sexy.
My Impressions: The Display
Crisp, clear, no ghosting, vivid colour reproduction and consistency across the entire display, good contrast, virtually unlimited viewing angles… everything I like to see on a display, exactly the same as the iPhone 5.
My Impressions: The Speaker(s)
The audio sounds clear and crisp for the most part. Also exactly the same as the iPhone 5.
My Impressions: Overall usage
Compared to the iPhone 5, the device feels marginally more responsive. The 64-bit capabilities don’t really translate to the end user yet as there just aren’t enough apps utilizing this new architecture. The touch ID sensor seems to recognise finger prints quickly enough and is a welcome addition to the iPhone series. The new true-tone flash does seem to make images taken with the flash appear more true to life. Slow motion video recording is also a welcome addition and can be fun to use, just make sure you’ve got enough light! (An unusual side effect of slow motion video recording is requiring more intense light) Despite the battery being larger than in the iPhone 5, the battery life seems to be more or less the same as on the iPhone 5. Apart from these differences the iPhone 5S is just a slightly modified, slightly faster version of the iPhone 5.
Overall the iPhone 5S was a decent upgrade from the iPhone 5, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the upgrade from an iPhone 5 it I’d say not so much as they’re near identical. Of course it’s entirely up to you at the end of the day. If you’re upgrading from an older iPhone however such as the 4 or 4S, then you’d most likely notice a huge difference.