"A solid "S" device but cost prohibitive."3.0 starson by rhonindk
Pros: Better camera - especially in low light
Battery life is better than the 5 -
WiFi - I think.
Cons: Camera flash - most photos are better with the flash off.
Battery life is better except when you use the speaker phone
Fingerprint sensor - this much touted feature turned out to be a NOT.
1 gb RAM
Summary: Review iPhone 5S 64gb - ATTAn update after using this device for a few months.
Not bad, Not great. Unless you have a needed upgrade reason or do not currently have a i5, stick with the 5.
If you upgrade, for the price I would recommend the 5S over the 5C - better long life features. This is not the "I must switch from Android / WinPhone to ..." device; wait for the 6. In all a definite "S" version though I feel it puts them even farther behind the Android curve.
Same shape, same size, same basic feel, no black color available :( ..... but .....
Trying to separate the feel and function of the 5S from its predecessor is difficult because of iOS7.
- Better camera - takes a better low light photo and the flash generally results in a better picture than I could get with the iPhone 5.
- Battery life is better than the 5 ... with one noted exception (listed later) It pretty much matches my HTC One in battery life
- WiFi - I think. I am running into a glitch in the wifi but as it is on both the 5 and 5S I suspect it is an issue with iOS7
- Camera flash - most photos are better with the flash off. This is a noted departure from my Lumix and Canon DSLR
- Battery life is better except when you use the speaker phone feature. Not sure why but the battery drains quicker than my 5 and a lot faster then my HTC One.
- Fingerprint sensor - this much touted feature turned out to be a NOT. It is convenient and works better in place of a password for purchases than as a login mechanism.
- 1 gb RAM - this device suffers from some serious lack-a-ram. On the 5 one of the most common causes of app failure was low mem. Seeing this on the 5S too. Not sure why Apple went the low ram route
- bigger screen. Using this alongside my HTC One, you quickly see how much better the 5S could have been with as little as a .5" upgrade. Work and gaming apps could have used the real estate.
- Stereo speaker output. Then again I am likely spoiled with my One.
- Home button design. I may be incorrect here and time will tell. The Home button has been a point of failure for my family's iDevices - to date a 30% failure rate. Will adding the TouchID sensor help or hurt ...
- RAM increase - especially with 64 bit and the growing size / complexity of apps, this should have been a no brainer.
I will try to keep this relevant to the device, not the OS - may be a bit difficult.... :(
Through an ATT Premier discount, I was able to update my 5 to a 5S (the wife got the 5 in place of her venerable 4). I was initially disappointed that black was no longer an option and since I dislike white I chose the Slate. Ordered online and was pleased that it shipped 2 days later even though I was quoted sometime in early October. Why update? My 5 was a 16gb and I was finding that to be a bit small as the data use grew.
On to the device itself. Outside of the TouchID, there really is no visual difference between the 5 that I had and the 5S. Look, feel, controls, etc ... all seem the same. Opened the package; same as the 5; inserted my Sim and turned the device on. I cable synced to iTunes and set it up as a clone of my 5 and in a few minutes I was online with my provider, iTunes store and my accounts. Fairly painless.
I have not seen anything earth-shaking that makes the 5S stand out. I saw the articles in the performance increase but iOS7 with all the swoop / animation / parallax detracts from the speed impression. Side by side this and the 5 are almost equal (excluding startup and shutdown). I would like to be able to shut all that stuff off to really get a feel for it. Oh well. Maybe in an update.
I put the device through its paces comparing it to my legacy iPhone 5 Black and my HTC One Stealth. With this being the latest Apple offering, I felt it was a good marker. When compared to the 5 it really did not feel any faster but some of the app interaction felt crisper / sharper. Unfortunately (I really dislike that term) it felt sloppy compared to the crisp feel of the One. This I blame on the OS, not the hardware. Despite the aclaim given to 64 bit, I have yet to see any real world value. With more RAM it ..... you get the picture.
The display didn't change and even though there is some claim the color is better I cannot see any difference using the same HD wallpapers, video and photos.
The camera .... beter than the i5, especially in light sensitive situations including low-light. In low light the One was better, but the 5S is beter in all other aspects, including flash.
Let's move on to the battery .... It is better than the i5. Not a whole lot better. I spent a few days replicating routine tasks for personal and work and compared the battery life left at points like lunch, dinner, bed time and after certain activities. The 5S compares very well with the One for most activities. The exception has been the use of the speakerphone. For whatever reason, the 5S drains at twice the rate of the One and faster than my i5. Either way, it does make it through a normal day with less than 30% left at dinner. If the speakerphone use has been heavy, I will need to plug it in during the afternoon.
Overall the 5S has been moderately good. I would not put it in the same league as some of the top end Android devices but it is close. A decent revision to iOS7 would overcome a lot of that.
Recommend: a good choice as a contract upgrade; too pricey for a top line off contract device.
Updated on Feb 13, 2014
Overall impression has not changed - solid "S" device.
Updated Pros: not sure when, but one of the updates fixed the issue with the battery drain and speakerphone use. Not up to the One but much better. The wifi issue has been fixed and this model hooks into my wifi much better than any other smartphone I own. LTE connectivity is very good. Very nice.
Updated Cons: the lack of ram issue is very noticeable. App crash due to low mem is a common occurrence. The update that fixed my wifi introduced a new "bug" that causes TouchID to reboot the springboard. Repeated visits to the Apple store have provided no fixes to date. I have been advised it is a software issue affecting some devices. The back of the device (I have the Slate) scratches easily. The marks are fairly well hidden by the color although it scratches more easily than the black i5 did.
Overall the 5S still rates a solid 3* in my book.