Unless you’ve been completely offline for the last couple of months, little Apple announced last night at their September 10th even will be a surprise. Despite “doubling down” on security, much has been leaking on Tim Cook’s watch, and we had a a pretty good idea of both models and features that were announced.
This is the “S” year upgrade cycle, and true to form, the 5S upgrade is physically the same as the iPhone5 released last year, with some new hardware internally.
Apple has upgraded the system chip to its new A7 64bit chip. The first phone to include a 64bit processor with a “Desktop-class architecture”.
The 64bit chip allows larger amounts of information to flow in and out of the processor in the same time span, making it more efficient and faster. The processor is quoted as being twice as fast as the one in the iPhone5.
– Movement Processor
New to the 5S is a Movement Processor – the M7 coprocessor that independently monitors gps, altitude, accelerometer and gyroscopic readings to consistently provide movement information and make it available to third party apps. The purpose here is to better provide data for health and fitness apps like Runkeeper.
– Touch ID
So, the much rumoured fingerprint scanner has finally made its debut. A redesigned home button now contains an fingerprint scanner which can read and authenticate you from any angle. The scan details are only stored on the device, not sync’d via iTunes or the iCloud service, and multiple fingerprints can be stored per device.
The new authentication method can be used to unlock the 5S and even authorise purchases from the iTunes store, App Store and iBooks Store.
The 5S camera has been improved again, with Apple stressing the importance o the increase in quality – shying away from simply throwing more megapixels in as a solution to improved photography
.The new iSight camera contains a 5-element Apple designed lens, with a 15% larger active area on sensor and uses larger pixels at 1.5 microns.
It can now take multiple photos (Continuous Burst Mode) and present you with the “best” one based on sharpness focus and tonal balance. The tonal balance is achieved with a new 2 tone flash, containing both a white LED and an amber LED to use “intelligent software algorithms to adjust the flash intensity and colour temperature, using over 1,000 unique combinations to light your subject perfectly.”
The iPhone5S is available in 3 new colours, although two of these are pretty similar to the “black” and “white” options from last year. This year however we’ve moved on to Space Grey, Gold and Silver.
– Facetime HD Camera
The 5S front facing camera has also been upgraded to HD quality which features larger pixels and an improved backside illumination sensor to improve lighting and definition of FaceTime calls.
– Improved 4G Support
Unlike the iPhone5 which supported limited 4G frequencies, the 5S now supports 4G on all the major UK networks and various others throughout Europe.
One of the biggest improvements on the 5S is also coming to its predecessors too – the new mobile OS – iOS7.
Announced back in June at WWDC iOS7 is the brand new mobile operating system given a fresh new look by Sir Jony Ive. The new and improved version includes key new features like Control Centre, new Notification Centre, new multi-tasking, AirDrop and loads more.
>> Take a look at our last review of the iOS7 Beta.
iOS7 will be available for the iPhone4 or newer, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th gen) and will be released to the public for automatic download sometime September 18th.
The iPhone5S has had a little price bump again, and will cost £549 direct from Apple (up from the £529 of the 5, which was up from £499 of the original iPhone4S!). You can’t pre-order the 5S so will have to buy on the day or release or order online.
Inside is everything from the iPhone5 such as the A6 chip, 8MP iSight camera. 4-inch Retina display and the new iOS7.
The plastic case is built around a steel-reinforced frame that also acts as an antenna, and while slightly thicker than the 5 also has a slightly larger battery capacity.
It comes with a range of multi-colour cases allowing you to pick the perfect colour combination for you, albeit with a surprising design choice to obscure the “iPhone” name on the rear of the phone.