The speculation had been running for months. Thanks to regular leaks from manufacturers and those just somehow able to get pictures of things they shouldn’t have been able to get pictures of, Apple’s newest handset was not the secret they surely would have liked to unveil earlier today.
However, these things happen, so Apple went with it.
Everything that had been rumoured about the iPhone 5S was pretty much true. But does that take away from what we now know to exist? Before we get to what’s inside it, let’s start with the outside.
Now available in three colours; white, space grey, and the much-rumoured gold. And for the record, that is real gold. So the phone looks good, but what can it do? Let’s take a look at the headline features in Apple’s forward-thinking device…
You feel this is Apple’s jewel in their latest crown. Built right within the Home button, now made from laser-cut sapphire crystal, the sensor will read your fingerprint and give you a new level of security for your phone. And it’s not just for unlocking your phone either, as the new scanner can also be used for various other levels of authentication, such as authorising purchases from iTunes, iBooks and the App Store. The sensor also has 360-degree readability, so it will read your print whatever way you are holding your phone. It also offers the ability to register other prints as well, if you want to give others access to your phone.
Something else that Apple are incredibly proud of, as they can now boast that they have the world’s first 64-bit smartphone, thanks to the new A7 chip inside the 5S, Giving CPU and graphics up to 2x faster than the current A6 chip, yet still maintaining the same battery life, the new chip supports OpenGL ES version 3.0, delivering the sort of graphics and visual effects once only obtainable on a Mac, high-end PCs and gaming consoles. And with iOS 7 optimized for the A7 chip, it enables the phone to run efficiently, thus providing that maintained battery life.
Installed as a sidekick to the A7 chip, the M7 coprocessor is designed to measure motion date from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, tasks that would usually be assigned to the A7 chip. However, with the M7 collecting this data, fitness apps that track physical activity can take the relevant data directly from the M7 coprocessor and not have to constantly engage with the A7 chip. Thus, less battery power required. What physical activity, I hear you ask? When you’re walking, or running, or even driving, M7 will record it. And adding to the battery saving going on here, if your phone hasn’t moved in a while, M7 will reduce it’s network pinging. Huzzah, more battery saved.
After increasing the camera to 8MP in the iPhone 4S, and then adding little touches to it since, Apple have decided to work heavily on the camera this time around, and add several major changes to it. iSight now has a continuous burst mode, enabling you to capture multiple shots by taking 10 photos per second, with real-time analysis even suggesting which individual snaps or sequence of pictures you might prefer from the collection. Slow-motion video has also now been included, letting you shoot video at 120 frames per second at 720p, and then playing back any section of your recorded clip at slo-mo for that dramatic effect. And staying with video, you can now zoom in while recording, giving you the chance to zoom in up to 3x on whatever you are recording at the moment.
Apple have announced that the iPhone 5S can be pre-ordered from this coming Friday, and will be available in nine countries from September 20.
In the US, a 16GB model on a 2-year contract will cost $199, the 32GB will be $299, while the 64GB model will set you back $399. In the UK, meanwhile, recommended pricing has the 16GB model at £549, the 32GB version at £629, and the 64GB model retailing at a staggering £709.
So, did the leaks ruin it? Even if we knew there was going to be a fingerprint scanner, or there was going to be a bigger chip put inside, does it make it any less magnificent a phone?