Thoughts on the iPhone 5s and 5c

iPhone 5S Side

With most major news outlets offering comprehensive reviews of Apple’s flagship device, there isn’t much more to be said. Frankly, both the 5s and 5c are iterative devices. Both add something unique to the iOS playing field, but neither reinvents the wheel.

What follows are some of my thoughts about both the iPhone 5s and 5c — I’ll try to keep it short. Be sure to share your experiences with the devices in the comments!

iPhone 5s

  • It’s fast. The A7 chip powers through iOS 7 beautifully — if this device feels slow in the next year or so, it isn’t because of a lack of power (Apple, optimize, please!).
  • The camera is surprisingly better than the 5. This is probably the biggest change, aside from TouchID. Think of as being the HTC One camera, but sharper and with better color reproduction. The improved flash is also immediately noticeable.
  • TouchID works, and well. There is a slight learning curve — mostly, you have to use the home button to unlock the device. Duh. But coming from Android devices, I was used to hitting the top (or side) wake button and unlocking from there. TouchID is also accurate enough to use full-time, which surprised me.

iPhone 5S Front

  • Battery life is fine, but don’t expect to make it through more than a day with any amount of web browsing/social networking/navigation. If you just use the phone and text people, maybe. When (because, let’s be honest — it’s going to happen) Apple releases a larger iPhone, I’m sure battery life will be amazing, just like the Galaxy Note or LG G2 have amazing battery life. But that just isn’t the case here. Still, battery life is admirable and completely workable. A full day of use? Easy.
  • I really like space grey. The lighter aluminum back and sides look great to me. But, who am I kidding — my phone will be in a case.

iPhone 5c

2013-09-10 16_39_47-Official Apple Store - iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad, MacBook Pro, and more

  • The plastic is fine. I tend to hate glossy plastic and prefer its matte brethren, but the 5c feels solid. It’s high-quality.
  • The chosen colors are also nice — none feel too flamboyant, or else too intrusive. Interesting, given the color palette of iOS 7 and tendency to use bright, noticeable colors.
  • It’s an iPhone 5, and that’s still a very good thing. It’s fast — iOS 7 is fluid. The A6 chip is, by no means, a slouch. The camera is still as great as it ever was. In all, it feels like a solid device for everyone else.
  • Regarding sales: the 5c was never going to be flying off the shelves for launch week. It’s a phone for the masses, and isn’t targeted at the crowd that pre-orders devices, or lines up for phones. It’s also the face of this generation of iPhone, just because it looks new.

iOS 7 on iPhone 5C

Overall, the 5s and 5c represent a solid update for the hardware side of the iPhone lineup. But that’s only ever at most half of the equation — iOS 7 and its facelift represent the other half. Coupled with the deluge of app updates that have been issued and will be released over the coming months, it seems that Apple is just hitting its stride. Unlike the release of iOS 6 (and 5, and to some extent 4…), iOS 7 isn’t boring or expected — in fact, it’s exciting, and opens up an entirely new realm of app development and design. And it’s an exciting time for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners.

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