The first round of reviews for Apple’s new iPhone, the iPhone 5S, are out. And verdict appears to be unanimous: every writer gave the iPhone 5S an amazing review.
There are three big features that set the iPhone 5S apart from the old iPhone 5: its fingerprint sensor called Touch ID that can unlock the phone without a passcode, its faster processor, and its improved camera.
It appears that the iPhone 5S excels at everything it promises to do. Most reviewers seem happy with the fingerprint sensor, and say it works as advertised. Walt Mossberg called it a game-changer.
They also liked the new iPhone operating system, iOS 7, which has a brand new design.
Here’s a look at what some people are saying:
The iPhone 5S is the first digital device I’ve seen with a simple, reliable fingerprint reader — one you can confidently use, without a thought, to unlock the device instead of typing in a passcode. You can even use this fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, to authorise purchases from Apple’s App, iTunes and e-book stores.
All my pictures were slightly sharper than on the iPhone 5 and low-light pictures were much less washed out by the flash. The camera app has been improved, with a new burst mode that takes many shots quickly and then picks the best ones, and a slow-motion video feature that lets you choose parts of an action sequence to slow down. It worked seamlessly.
The 5S also has two LED flashes — one pure white, one amber — that fire simultaneously. When mixed in the right balance, their light can match the colour tone of your subject (moonlight, streetlights, fluoresce nts, whatever). Apple says this idea is a first in both phones and cameras.
It really works. Flash photos look much, much better. No longer will your loved ones’ skin look either nuclear white or “Avatar” blue.
At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the fingerprint sensor as a whiz-bang feature designed to attract eyeballs and do little else. But this isn’t that. The fingerprint sensor, unlike some other questionable recent smartphone tech like gesture control or eye-tracking, doesn’t feel like a gimmick or tech demo; it feels like a mature feature that actually enhances the overall experience of using an iPhone in a noticeable way that you encounter very frequently.
A larger screen would have really helped this year: not because the competition has it, but because Apple’s newest features and apps would put it to good use. I found editing and appreciating the improved photos and video recording, and even playing games, to be challenging; the better that graphics and camera quality get, the more you need a larger screen to appreciate them.
The new look and feel brings with it a crisper and thinner font, a greater use of colour, and a layering system that gives everything added depth. Gone is the ode to faux leather, green felt, and yellow note paper. That overall vibrant, colourful – even joyful – approach shines through, although does strike a chord with the serious outer, we all need to smile inside sometime.