Yesterday Apple announced the much-anticipated iPhone 5s alongside a whole new iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5c. There was a lot of information thrown at us during the keynote for both of these phones, so here’s our roundup of what’s new.
The Gold Standard
Ever since the iPhones inception, it’s been available in 2 colours – black and white (excluding the ridiculous amount of time it took to announce the white iPhone 4). Well this year Apple have decided to switch it up with the addition of the only colour that is worthy of the iPhone 5s – Gold. The black and white models have been renamed too, now being referred to as Silver and Space Grey (isn’t space Black.. like the iPhone?).
Possibly the coolest addition to the iPhone since Siri, the 5s comes packed with a fingerprint scanner built into the home button. We unlock our phones hundreds of times every day and for many of us that means inputting out passcode hundreds of times – it wastes a lot of time. Well now all you need to do is turn on your screen and put your finger on your home button & you’re in (if the fingerprint matches of course). What does this mean? It means that the iPhone security has improved 10 fold and it may even discourage theft – who’s going to steal a phone they can’t get into? Don’t worry though, you can add up to 5 different fingerprints for friends/family and if all else fails you can still input the beloved passcode.
The A7 Chip – the worlds first 64 bit smartphone
If the Fingerprint Scanner wasn’t impressive enough, Apple announced that the 5s would have an A7 chip built-in – giving you 2x better performance and graphics compared to the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5 and 5c. It’s also the first 64 bit smartphone in the world, all other smartphones can only handle 32 bit. If you’re not too sure about what the difference is between 32 and 64 bit, I’ve found a really cool article on The Next Web that breaks it down into plain English. iOS 7 was designed specifically with a 64 bit processor in mind so the new operating system will definitely make use of all that processing power without loosing out on battery life!
The M7 Processor
The M7 coprocessor is like a sidekick to the A7 chip, measuring motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass – all tasks that would usually be done by the processor alone. It gets better though – fitness apps can use the M7 without going through the A7 processor first which means that it uses a lot less battery power than it does currently.
There’s still more though! The M7 knows when you’re running, walking, driving and even sleeping. If you’re using Turn by Turn navigation on the Maps app on a bike and you park up and continue on foot, the directions will be adjusted for walking routes. It’ll also detect when you’re driving so won’t prompt you to join new WiFi networks and when you’re sleeping it’ll reduce network pinging, again improving the battery life.
The camera on the back of the 5s has got a significant boost but has kept the same amount of megapixels. How? With a 15% bigger sensor, bigger pixels (measuring 1.5 microns) and an aperture of f/2.2. What does this mean in plain English? More light means a better picture and the new camera gets a lot more light on its sensor, therefore improving overall quality. It’s also got a built-in image stabiliser that’ll kick in when you’re trying to take a photo of a moving object or if you’ve got shaky hands.
There’s also a new photo mode added for the 5s – burst mode. Burst mode allows you to continuously take photos (up to 10 per second) while holding down the shutter button. If that wasn’t enough, the phone then analyses all the photos and suggests the best photos from the bunch.
Even the flash has been pimped out and renamed in the 5s, now being called True Tone flash. Why? Well its a combination of a white and amber LED that, using software algorithms, will calculate the correct flash intensity and colour temperature. There are over 1000 combinations for the phone to choose from to make sure you always get the perfect shot. Considering that the flash hasn’t always been up to the standard of other smartphones, this is definitely a welcome and overdue addition.
The last new camera feature is slo-mo. The iPhone 5s is able to film at 120fps in 720p HD with the ability to pick and choose which parts get played back at quarter speed. What does this mean? You could film someone jumping into a pool and then slow down the moment when they hit the water. It won’t be used as much as other features of the phone, but it’s still pretty cool to have.
Colour, so much colour
For the first time in its history, Apple are releasing a range of phones that aren’t the normal black or white (or gold) option. It’s available in Red, Green, Blue, Yellow or White. What I really like about the 5c is that Apple have designed dynamic wallpapers for iOS 7 that match the colours of the phones. It gives it another level of depth and attention to detail that Apple have with their products – nothing is overlooked.
The iPhone 5c doesn’t have the same processing power as the iPhone 5s – it’s more like an iPhone 5 in its best Sunday dress. The same A6 processor with an 8mp iSight camera and ultra fast wireless but with a bigger battery. Will that bit of extra battery power sway people from the 5S? Only time will tell!
The 5c isn’t about spec though, it’s about design and look.
Apple wanted bright, vibrant colours for the 5c and that level of richness couldn’t be achieved by using metal. Plastic was the only other alternative, but they didn’t want it to be like the cheap plastic smartphones on the market today. The 5c is built around a steel reinforced frame which is then added to the shell in pieces and laser-welded together for a complete 1 piece shell – no seams or gaps. It’s beautiful. The reinforced frame makes the phone feel solid unlike with other smartphones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 which, in my opinion, feels cheap).
Availability & Pricing
Both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c will go on sale on the 20th September. Not one for queuing? Well you can preorder the 5c on the Apple website from the 13th September but sadly they won’t be offering the same service for the 5s. That may seem annoying but I can personally say that launch day queues at the Apple Store are so fun – everyone chats to each other and Apple usually provide food and drink (in my case Costa Coffee and Krispy Kremes) so go and give it a go! The pricing for both phones are as follows;
- 16GB – £549
- 32GB – £629
- 64GB – £709
- 16GB – £469
- 32GB – £549
We’ll hopefully get our hands on either the 5s or 5c in the coming weeks to review so make sure you keep checking out The Strand’s website. What do you think of the new iPhone lineup? Love it or loathe it? Let me know in the comments below!