iPhone 5S Reviews Are In: For Apple Lovers, Signs of a Bright Future

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-09-18 Print this article Print

The OS benefits from a 64-bit processor, the first in any smartphone.

Anand Lal Shimpi, in his thoughtful and thorough review on Anandtech, calls the A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC) "seriously impressive."

"Web browsing is ultimately where I noticed the A7's performance the most," he wrote. "As long as I was on a good Internet connection, Web pages just appeared after resolving DNS. The A7's GPU performance is also insanely good—more than enough for anything you could possibly throw at the iPhone 5S today, and fast enough to help keep this device feeling quick for a while."

From a CPU and GPU standpoint, Shimpi added, "the 5S is probably the most future-proof of any iPhone ever launched."

That is to say, the iPhone 5S features technology Apple can build on, and Shimpi said he wouldn't be surprised to see the A7 in an iPad Mini with Retina display—which was another common theme across reviews.

Jaroslovsky pointed out that Touch ID, with last year's Passbook feature, takes another step toward establishing Apple in the growing mobile payments market, and Mossberg calls the same feature the "biggest step ever in biometric authentication for everyday devices."

After using it, Mossberg found it annoying to have to type passwords into older devices—a sure sign of a coming evolution.

Jaroslovsky concluded that those who already love iPhones will love the iPhone 5S (and 5C) and those who don't care will continue not to. The more passionate Shimpi said much the same, but putting himself in the former group, added, "there's quite a bit to be excited about."

Mossberg summed up his week with the 5S by calling it "a delight" and, in both hardware and software, "the best smartphone on the market."

The Times' Pogue, offered a final point, built on his first two: Apple is very much still building something.

"If we're reaching a point of diminishing returns in hardware breakthroughs, the software breakthroughs are only just getting under way," wrote Pogue.

His single, final thesis, he added, is this: "Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract—but it's still among the few that will."

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.


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