iPhone 5s full review

iPhone 5S gold

As expected, Apple announced the iPhone 5S, it's new flagship smartphone. So what's the difference between it and the old iPhone 5? We find out in our iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 comparison review. (See also: iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S comparison review: what's the difference between iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S?)

It's been a pretty quiet year for Apple, until now that is. The iPhone 5S has arrived in time for Christmas and has brought with it a cheaper plastic iPhone 5C. We've compared it with the previous generation iPhone 5 to highlight the differences, upgrades and new features.

Read on to find out what's new and which is the best iPhone.

See also: Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5 comparison review: What's the plastic iPhone 5C got?

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Price (UK)

Apple has decided to change the pricing line-up of the iPhone 5S compared to the iPhone 5. It now starts at £549 and check out the table below for full pricing details. The price difference varies between the three models.

The iPhone 5S will be available to order from 20 September.


iPhone 5

iPhone 5S

16 GB



32 GB



64 GB



Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Design and build

As is traditional for an 'S' model, the iPhone 5S uses the same design and build as the iPhone 5. The dimensions and weight are exactly the same. Is the colour options which are different. Black is now called 'Space Grey', white is 'Silver' and there is a new 'Gold' colour.

iPhone 5S colours





Apple iPhone 5

59 x 124 mm



Apple iPhone 5S

59 x 124 mm



Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Screen

There's absolutely no difference in the screen department. Apple is using the same 4 in Retina display for the iPhone 5S which was found in the iPhone 5.




Pixel Density

Apple iPhone 5


640 x 1136


Apple iPhone 5S


640 x 1136


Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Processor

One of the major upgrades to the iPhone 5S is the processor. The phone has an A7 chip which is the first 64-bit processor in a smartphone. Apple says its up to twice as fast in terms of CPU performance and graphics compared to the A6 processor found in the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S also has a new M7 motion co-processor which handles specific tasks to make iPhone 5S even more power efficient. It takes advantage of all the sensors and continuously measures the data coming from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass without having to wake up the A7.

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Storage

There's no shock surprises when it comes to storage. The iPhone 5S is available in three different storage models just like previous iPhones. There's still no microSD card slot for expansion so you'll want to pick wisely.


Storage options

microSD slot

Apple iPhone 5

16/32/64 GB


Apple iPhone 5S

16/32/64 GB


Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Camera

The camera is the second area which has had a major upgrade on the iPhone 5S. It's still an 8Mp iSight camera but various changes and features make it better than the iPhone 5's.

It has a larger sensor, larger pixels (1.5 microns) and a larger aperture (f/2.2). All this means more light and a better picture as the result. The camera is accompanied by a 'True Tone' flash which is essentially a dual-flash – one is white and one is amber. It automatically adjusts to over 1,000 settings to create the correct light for your shot, says Apple.

iPhone 5S iSight camera

New features include a burst mode at 10fps, slo-motion video which can be shot at 720p resolution at 120fps and auto image stabilisation.

Apple's front FaceTime HD camera has been improved compared to the iPhone 5's. Larger pixels and an improved backside illumination sensor give it better performance in low-light situations, according to Apple.

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Connectivity and 4G support

The iPhone 5S still has the same Lightning connector, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS as found on the iPhone 5.

However, a key difference is support for more 4G LTE frequency bands. Apple states that the iPhone 5S is compatible with EE and Vodafone's networks in the UK but O2 and Three have confirmed that the smartphone will run on their respective 4G networks too.

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Software

Software is an area where there is little difference. The iPhone 5S will come pre-loaded with iOS 7 but the iPhone 5 will be updated to the latest operating system. See also: iOS 7 release date, new features, which iPhones, iPods, iPads get it.

The difference is that the iPhone 5 won't get Touch ID software (see below).   

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Touch IDiPhone 5S Touch ID

We've given Touch ID a section of its own here as it's a major and key feature of the iPhone 5S which the iPhone 5 doesn't have and can't be updated to. Integrated into the home button is a fingerprint scanner which can be used to unlock the iPhone instead of a passcode. It can also be used to authenticate your Apple ID.

Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5: Battery life

Apple strangely said the iPhone 5S will deliver 'equal or better' battery life than the iPhone 5. It will be able to manage (individually, not total) 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of 4G LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing or up to 250 hours of standby.

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iPhone 5s: Specs

  • 4.0-inch (1360 x 640-pixel, 326 ppi) capacitive multitouch IPS display
  • 1.3 GHz Apple A7 dual-core 64-bit ARM SoC
  • M7 motion coprocessor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16, 32 or 64 GB NAND flash storage
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor Home button
  • 8Mp rear iSight camera, 1920 x 1080-pixel video, dual-LED flash
  • 1.2Mp front FaceTime HD webcam
  • A1457 UK model: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)
  • Lightning port
  • 3x microphones
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • mono speaker
  • EarPod earphones
  • USB Lightning cable
  • USB mains charger
  • 5.92 Wh lithium-polymer non-removable battery
  • 124 x 59 x 7.6 mm
  • 112 g

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