Apple iPhone 5s: Into the future

The iPhone 5s is more than just a mild revision. It features a powerful new processor with twice the performance of the previous version, and while that was sort of expected, the jump to a 64-bit architecture came completely out of nowhere. The Touch ID fingerprint reader is a big surprise and seems developed enough as a feature to change the game in terms of smartphone security and access control. Touch ID works best with dry and non-oily fingers. I would suggest registering more than one finger, as this makes it easy to unlock the device regardless of which hand you are using. The flagship iPhone 5s takes on the general shape, size, and look of the iPhone 5. This is good news for case and accessory makers with existing accessories for the latter. I’m able to use all my iPhone 5 cases and battery accessories with the iPhone 5s without any issue whatsoever. Apple has gone for more luxurious Gold, Silver, and Space Gray color options to replace the previous version’s white/silver and black/slate colorways. The gold finish is really striking and looks plated with 18K gold. The silver finish is brighter than last year’s white/silver model. Space Gray is more muted and has a gunmetal appeal, which looks and feels like it could wear nicely through time; this is the color I prefer. I pitted the iPhone 5s against a new LG G2 and HTC One connected to the same Wi-Fi network for website speed tests on the Chrome browser app. The iPhone 5s loaded complex webpages a second or two faster. The feature that impressed me the most is the new Burst Mode. Simply keep your finger on the shutter button and the iPhone 5s will continue to take photos at around 10 fps. This is faster than many of the prosumer DSLRs, which seem to top out at 7 fps. Verdict The iPhone 5s isn’t just the latest and greatest iPhone but a definite step forward in the smartphone’s evolution into a bona fide computing platform. Forward thinking? Yes. Definitely. Review by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla First published in Speed January 2014

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