Apple calls the iPhone 5S its most forward-thinking phone, ever, despite the phone not looking any different from last year's iPhone 5. As they say, appearances can be deceptive and under the hood, the new iteration of one of the most popular smartphones, brings some major changes. Now that the iPhone 5S has finally hit Indian shores, we try to find out if it makes for a good buy at a rather high starting price of Rs 53,500.
From a distance, the iPhone 5S looks almost like a replica of the iPhone 5. This is both a good, as well as a bad thing, depending on what you're seeking. If you're happy with the compact form factor of the iPhone 5, then you have a reason to cheer since most high-end flagships come with big screens and often sacrifice ergonomics and usability. However, if you're someone looking for a big display, you're in for repeated disappointment.
The iPhone 5S sports the same dimensions (123.8x58.6x7.6mm) and weight (112g) as the iPhone 5, and the same aluminium chassis, glass panel and chamfered edges. Apple has introduced two new colours though, namely, Space Gray, that replaces the Black and Slate colour variant, and a new Champagne Gold variant. We got a Silver and White model, the third colour variant of the phone, as our review unit. It's been said that the Space Gray variant is less prone to wear compared to the Slate and Black model.
The front of the iPhone 5S is dominated by the same 4 inch Retina display seen on the iPhone 5, sporting a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels with a pixel density of 326ppi. We feel the display is still the best in its class offering excellent brightness, wide viewing angles, and under-sun legibility. Images and text look crisp and sharp, and if you're happy with the screen size, you don't really have much to complain about.
The Home button, which is the only key on the front, is located just below the display, but sports a silver ring around it. It's one of the few visible changes that you'd see in the iPhone 5S. Its purpose is much more than being a cosmetic enhancement. It is part of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor which is integrated with the Home button and offers an alternative way of securing the phone.
Like the iPhone 5, the Mute switch and the Volume rocker key sit at the left top edge, while the Power/ Screen lock key sits on the top. The 3.5mm headset port and the lightning connector is located at the bottom edge along with the speaker grill, and the nano-sim tray is placed at the right edge.
The back features the same Silver coated aluminium plate and White glass strips, with the upper strip featuring the camera and the new pill-shaped dual-LED Trutone flash, the other visible change.
In terms of the build and look and feel, the iPhone 5S has not undergone any visible change, but going by the past, 'S' iterations of the iPhone don't really get a makeover in looks.
Performance and Battery Life