iPhone 5S Review Roundup

iPhone 5S

Now that Apple’s iPhone 5S is available to the public, let’s take a look at some of the reviews. In an iSmashPhone review roundup, we take a handful of popular reviewers and put their thoughts into a quick, easy-to-follow roundup divided into sections. Read on.


TechCrunch – I do take a lot of pictures, and generally speaking I carry at least an advanced pocket camera like the Sony RX100. But Apple’s really done some amazing work here; the quality of still captures from this phone is excellent…

Engadget – First, let’s tackle the camera’s low-light performance. The shots we took with the 5s were consistently better than what we took with the 5: they were sharper, with finer details, more natural colors and far less noise.

SlashGear – The iPhone 5s’ camera is not only clever, it’s clever in a very usable way.

Techland (Time) – The iPhone 5s is the smartphone I’d most want to have in my pocket if photo taking were important to me.

Our Take – The camera is much better than previous models, especially for low-light photos. It doesn’t measure up to the Lumia 1020, but it’s nice.

(Editor’s note: Apple has un-retouched photos here. If you’re skeptical for any reason, Engadget has some sample shots at full-res in their review.)



Fingerprint scanner

Touch ID demonstration

TechCrunch – 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.

Engadget – … it is indeed fast: the scanner was able to pick up all of our fingers in fractions of a second and from any angle. It’s so natural … however: the scanner didn’t work when our fingers were wet or only partially on the home button, although we didn’t experience any problems with clammy fingers in humid conditions.

SlashGear – Once that’s done (scanning), suddenly unlocking your iPhone becomes incredibly easy. Touch ID is magical in how simple it makes using the iPhone 5s. Press the home button and you’re looking at the homescreen; it’s actually cutting down on even more taps compared to an PIN-free device, since now you don’t have to swipe the unlock bar either.

Techland (Time) – The 5s’s scanner works remarkably well. I’ve used it dozens of times so far, slapping my thumb against the home button without making any effort to be precise. Only once has it failed to identify my thumbprint on the first try.

Our Take – Simply put: it works.



Speed and Performance

TechCrunch – General performance is perceptibly improved, with apps launching quicker, camera and other functions recycling with less downtime, and just overall helping the phone to feel fresh and new.

Engadget – In general, the 5s is noticeably speedier; apps load faster and everything just feels zippier.

SlashGear – Unsurprisingly, then, the iPhone 5s feels fast, no matter what you throw at it. iOS 7 whips between apps with alacrity, and even heavy inboxes and big multimedia files don’t cause the smartphone to slow down.

Techland (Time) – The phone uses Apple’s A7 chip; as usual, the company is boasting that it’s up to twice as fast as its predecessor. And as usual, even though the difference may be perceptible, it’s not like anyone disliked the previous iPhone on the grounds that it was too slow.

Our Take: It’s noticeably faster, but don’t expect any huge leaps. Gaming is much better, though.





TechCrunch – With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available.

Engadget – Is the 5s the best iPhone ever made? Yes, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

SlashGear – The iPhone 5s is the best iPhone so far, by a long shot.

Techland (Time) – But I suspect that the iPhone 5c will find a large and enthusiastic audience of people who crave the iPhone’s simplicity and style, don’t care much about specs and are not members of the Bigger Screens Are Better Club.

Our Take: Best iPhone so far. Took a great phone (iPhone 5) improved on what was already good.


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