Apple's iPhone 5S has a better camera, faster hardware and a gold-trimmed option. How does it stack up to last year's model, and strong offerings from Samsung and Nokia?
Anand Lal Shimpi likes the performance improvements:
What Apple's silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while – the 5s is as good a starting point as any.
David Pogue says that the focus now is on useful features, rather than hardware upgrades:
Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it's still among the few that will.
Bloomberg's Rich Jarolovsky is unimpressed by the 5S and 5C:
There's nothing wrong with either phone. But there's not much that's pulse-quickening about them either.
Among other things, John Gruber likes the improved camera and the accompanying software:
The main thing that occurs to me with the iPhone 5S camera is how clearly its new features are designed for the mobile-first world. We, as a collective whole, no longer shoot, sync to a computer, edit, and then upload. We shoot, edit, and upload right from our phones (and, let's face it, tablets). The standalone consumer camera is dying a quick death — an always-on network connection and apps for editing/filtering, and most importantly, instantly sharing are now essential components for consumer photography. The iPhone 5S embodies this better than any other device in the world.
CNET's Scott Stein says it's not a required upgrade.
I'm tempted to call the iPhone 5S the iPhone 5P, for "potential." This is Apple's half-step year, a rebuilding year. It's telegraphed by the name itself: adding an "S" versus giving the phone a whole new name. The 5S introduces technologies that could transform the future of iOS as a computing platform, and maybe pave the way for future products in 2014. But it doesn't manifest these changes right off the bat. Its promises haven't come to fruition yet.
Engadget's Myriam Joire suggests waiting until we see what developers do with the better technology.
The 5s is a solid effort from Apple, but its true worth is yet to be determined. If developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of the M7 coprocessor and the 64-bit support in iOS 7, the 5s will truly shine. If not, many people might just wait it out another year.
Daniel Etherington, at TechCrunch, says it's the best smartphone on the shelf.
With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available. The hardware may resemble its predecessor in many key ways, as with the 4-inch Retina display, but it improves dramatically in areas like the camera where it makes the most difference to every day users, and in the addition of the fingerprint sensor, which is already a feature I miss when I switch back to older generation devices or the iPhone 5c.
Jim Dalrymple loves the slo-mo video feature:
I like to take videos of my dogs playing—I don't always post them, but it's nice to have those memories. You can see how much fun my two Border Collies, Harold (the one jumping) and Ozzy have playing frisbee. After taking a video, you just adjust the in and out points where you want the slow motion effect to happen and you're done. It was really easy to do, even for me.