So on Friday I ended up queuing to buy my wife a 5S to replace her ageing 3GS. Her 3gs would not get iOS 7 so she felt it was time to update. She was all geared up for the gold 5S. Alas by the time Apple got to me in the queue only space grey or silver was available. I got 2 tickets. One for the pink 5C and one for a silver 5S. However, even though the 5C looks nicer the pink was a unpleasant salmon pink. So silver it was.
So I have used my wife’s iPhone 5S for 3 days. The last time I had an iPhone was with the 5 back in March before I sold it for the HTC One. Regular readers will know that I have a Sony Xperia Z1.
So on paper the 5S is a 5 with a few extra bits and labelled a 5S and with iOS 7. First up what a shock that was seeing a totally different look. In fact it has taken nearly 2 days to get to grips with the new look.
The 5S screen feels small. Every time I hold the Z1 it just oozes appeal in its screen size and hardware. Shame Sony didn’t spend the time making sure it released its flagship with a camera that could take photos correctly.
And here’s the reality. Yes the 5S has a small screen compared to its competition. But it’s the most powerful and pocketable device out there. It is also extremely comfortable to hold and use in one hand. It is faster to enter text than the Z1 or even my nexus 4. The keyboard is so fast and it’s auto correction is fantastic.
The new features in iOS 7 make a big difference. Background syncing is so overdue. The control centre, spotlight search and notification centre is so well implemented. Apps are far more polished and often slightly more feature rich. What iOS lacks is the full sharing capability of its android phone counterparts. I like seeing badges on my apps. I know at a glance what has activities.
The 5S finger print scanner just works. The improved camera makes the 8mp camera probably the best and easiest to use. It’s auto mode just gets a great shot most times without any effort. Slo Mo mode on video is hilarious. No idea what the improved A7 processor and co processor M7 does for the phone but it’s super smooth and fast with no slow downs. The camera is very fast at taking shots which is where the processor is making a difference.
My Sony QX10 which was meant to be used with the Z1 also works really well with the 5S. And strangely it looks like Sony designed it with the iPhone in mind.
So my summary views on the 5S. It is probably the most polished phone with the best hardware and software integration. Everything just works. But to get the most you need to use Apple’s own services and Eco system. I’m not saying you can’t use Google or a combo of both but more and more if you commit to using the Apple Eco system you will get more from the phone.
The phone is so perfect it sometimes feels mundane. But my wife is happy. She is not a tech person. The phone just works and that is what most people want.