Samuel Bolds | Echo
Some stood in line for weeks, some for hours, some for days-when Apple's latest creation was released last Friday, millions of people were lined up to get the iPhone 5s. More than nine million new iPhones were pocketed over the weekend, selling out nearly all of Apple's initial North American stock.
The iPhone 5s looks nearly identical to the iPhone 5 released by Apple in September 2012 with one innovative difference-the main home button below the screen has a micro-thin fingerprint reader, dubbed Touch ID. This technology, which is activated the instant a recognized finger makes contact with the glass, is designed to increase security without sacrificing convenience.
"It worked just as fast, if not a bit faster, than swiping and keying in a passcode," said Megan Lavey-Heaton of The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
The sensor works behind the scenes. The fingerprint reader runs off an independent part of the processor chip, physically barring hackers from accessing the stored fingerprints, according to Apple.
"It also technically works with toes, though we're not sure why you would want to do that," Engadget said. That does sound tempting.
The design of the actual phone has stayed the same as the iPhone 5 with the flat aluminum back and an edge-to-edge piece of glass in the front. While this looks nice, the metal backing is extremely prone to scratching. It would have been nice to see Apple solve this problem in the iPhone 5s. To keep the phone looking its best until the next iPhone comes out, a case or clear plastic back protector is a must. For those brave enough to wear last year's style, most iPhone 5 cases will hug the new 5s just fine.
Playing with the camera's new features yielded impressive results. The iPhone 5s' camera produces beautiful high-resolution pictures that are detailed even after zooming and meticulous cropping. But megapixels aren't the only improvement.
The back camera wears several hats this time around, adding slow-mo, burst mode and a "low-light optimized" flash, according to Engadget. All new modes work well and are quite fun. Slow-mo will capture friends dancing to Ylvis' The Fox song at 120 frames per second. After the action, editing is as easy as dragging two bars to highlight what should be played in slow-mo and what should be played at the normal frame rate. The iPhone 5s will capture 10 frames at full resolution a second then select the best picture for your archive.
Perhaps the best feature of the new iPhone is its speed. The iPhone 5s is twice as fast at computing data than any previous generation iPhone or smartphone on the market, according to Macworld. Our test showed that on the same 4G connection and launching from start, Facebook loaded in one second on the 5s versus three seconds on the iPhone 5.
With innovative security measures, camera improvements and a speedy new processor, the advanced features in the iPhone 5s certainly justify an upgrade. This phone appeals to pocket-photographers, FBI agents and everyday nerdsters alike.