After playing with the iPhone 5C, I played with the new iPhone 5S that includes a faster A7 SoC and M7 sensor fusion hub, fingerprint sensor home button, improved 8 MP camera with 1.5µm pixel pitch, F/2.2 optical system, and dual LED flash. The iPhone 5S also comes in two new colors, a space gray, and gold color which complement the white color that was previously available.

What's interesting about the 5S is of course that touch ID sensor which includes a fingerprint sensor inside the home button. There's no rounded application rectangle icon inside the circle, instead the home button is clear and topped with a flat sapphire cover glass material. There's a complementary settings option where you can train the system to use your fingerprints and control what fingerprints are stored. Tapping and holding your finger on the button quickly unlocks the device, there's a tiny bit of lag but it's still faster than entering a passcode. 

The two new iPhone 5S colors are striking as well, I expected the space gray option to just be a renamed black option from the 5, but it actually has different aluminum anodization and looks like a different color around the edge and back metal parts. Of course there's a dramatic change with the gold colored iPhone 5S, which actually is quite subtle in person and not nearly as dramatic as I thought it would be. It manages to be gold but still elegant and not tacky, I'm impressed with the way Apple tuned this anodization. The materials feel the same as they did on the 5, which is to say excellent. 

Dual LED color temperature flash firing

The other giveaway on the backside are the changes to the flash system, which now includes two different color temperature flashes which the ISP can change to balance the color temperature of the scene. While I'd still argue you shouldn't be using on-camera flash ever and still prefer natural light, the iPhone 5S's system looks to be a substantial improvement. Correspondingly there's a new 720p120 "slow-mo" option in the camera application which takes videos at 120FPS. In the gallery there are sliders on the playback scrubber bar which control when the 120 FPS video plays back at 30 FPS, for the slow motion effect Apple is going for, but it looks like you can also just get at the higher framerate video played back at normal speed. The rest of the camera improvements we'll have to wait and see with. 

Speed through iOS 7 the 5 was already great, playing around with a few games and especially Apple maps with 3D buildings manages to feel even faster. I'd say in maps with flyovers especially the 5S feels amazingly fast and doesn't hitch or stutter at all. 

I also played with the leather cases on the iPhone 5S which come in a variety of colors. These are also suede lined inside and feel rigid, and I was told these are actual leather as well. 

There's a lot more to talk about on the 5S side and I'd encourage you to check out our hands on video as well. 

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  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link


    "After playing with the iPhone 5S, I played with the new iPhone 5S"
  • LarsBars - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Additionally: "The iPhone 5C also comes in two new colors, a space gray, and gold color which complement the white color that was previously available."
  • kyuu - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Pretty sure he meant "After playing with the iPhone 5C".
  • binaryvisions - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    I'm interested to find out how reliable/repeatable/non-finicky the fingerprint reader is. Most fingerprint readers, in my experience, are not 100% and require re-swiping or re-pressing. In my opinion, the fingerprint reader is a killer feature, probably the most interesting thing about this phone, but if it's not near-bulletproof, it's going to go the way of face unlock - an interesting feature to show off, but not very practical in its implementation.
  • bountygiver - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    I'm more amazed by the 120fps video than the fingerprint reader XD.
    I think fingerprint reader will work better if they allow multi user in a device. So hopefully the jailbreak community will implement it. Otherwise it's just a fast way of typing password without remembering it.
  • binaryvisions - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Really, though, a "fast way of typing [a] password" is exactly what I want. I want my phone to unlock when I am holding it, and fall back to a passcode or pattern when someone else is holding it. If it's meaningfully insecure, or a pain to use, it becomes useless since a password is not really THAT hard to enter.

    If it's immediate, reliable and secure, though, it becomes a substantial improvement to how people use their devices. People without passcodes will be more inclined to use a secure lock mechanism, and people with passcodes now get a much more convenient and useful way to unlock their device.

    It'd also be interesting to allow the use of both simultaneously - allowing a 4-digit "quick" PIN plus a fingerprint to substitute for a long and secure passphrase.
  • mvmaastricht - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    I'm confident that Apple will gradually add fingerprint features, like multiple user support (handing over the 5S to your child, and selected apps will be disabled, etc.).
    It's like they always have worked. Focussing that way, they make sure to implement features right, while letting users slowly get used to new features.
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    4K 30fps and 720p 120fps is now becoming standard (galaxy note 3 supports both)
  • CyberAngel - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    or UHD recording, but that would require Jobs back...
  • MikhailT - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Apple bought Authentech, which at the time as considered to be the best in the world.

    With the video from Brain here showing that it works great, I'd be surprised if it is not reliable over time.

    In addition, this is just perfect for folks with super-long passwords for the app stores, I hate typing it in manually.

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