First off, I must tell you that I am an Android user who has never had an Apple device. When I say never, I mean zero – nada - nothing, not even an iPod Shuffle! A friend felt greatly about Apple’s new devices and wanted me to try them out – they’re no other than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c! Could these be the devices that will draw me to the dark side (or the light, whichever side you're on)? Read on...
The iPhone 5s is pretty much identical to its older sibling, the iPhone 5, but with a dual flash and missing printed square of the home button. The iPhone 5c, on the other hand, retains the printed square, but exchanges the iPhone 5's brushed aluminum body for a high-grade plastic shell.
To set the iPhone 5c apart, Apple decided to give it a smoother, rounder body and a bright new paint job. It in fact has a lot of cool colors, which we Filipinos would definitely love to match with our fun and hip personalities. The iPhone 5s on the other hand kept its cool aluminum finish.
Although the iPhone 5c sports a plastic body, it by no means felt cheap and definitely did not give the impression that it scratches easily.
On the weight department, the iPhone 5s felt lighter to carry around than the iPhone 5c, but is perfectly okay.
Overall, both iPhone’s felt natural in the hand.
The iPhone 5s and 5c are equipped with the same Retina display of its predecessor. What this means is incredible color reproduction and amazing viewing angles! Add to that the high PPI count and you've got a winner.
Display sharpness was pretty much consistent on both devices, though I did notice that the iPhone 5s' screen was a bit brighter than the iPhone 5c's (I could be just nitpicking).
The new 64bit, A7 processor on the iPhone 5s will, like most Apple devices do, likely set a precedent in the smartphone industry. Higher bit means more complex computations; which equate to better multi-tasking; which translates to better speed. However, until developers take advantage of this higher bit (it isn't automatic), it is unlikely we will "feel" the difference anytime soon. Personally, I didn’t notice any.
Here's where I saw the most difference. The upgraded hardware on the iPhone 5s produced noticeably sharper images in good and low light conditions than the iPhone 5c. White balance was also much more accurate with the iPhone 5c producing a yellow-er image when tested from the same distance and angle, shooting the same object.
iPhone 5s (left) vs. iPhone 5c (right)
100% Crop. iPhone 5s (left) vs. iPhone 5c (right)
The best new feature of the iPhone 5s has to be the slow-mo video recording. It can really add a layer of drama to those precious moments. Imagine being able to re-live that minute when your baby takes his first step or when your mother blows out the candles on her 60th birthday cake… in slow-motion. Priceless!
The iPhone 5s does this by recording everything at 120 frames per second. When played at normal speed (30fps), this makes everything appears 4 times slower. There’s also an option to “limit” the portion of the clip to slow. Awesome!
Both iPhones were pretty loud, unusual for devices with such small speaker holes.
Each device produced tones reminiscent of their construction. The iPhone 5s has sharp and metallic sound. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5c brings a soft and round tone to the melodies that come out of it. Something that is really prevalent, just from their sound. In fact, both produced sounds which were clearly discernible.
Another new feature of the iPhone 5s is the much-hyped fingerprint reader that can be used to unlock the phone, as well as to authorize payments to the iTunes store (I also used it to impress my friends though this feature is totally optional).
Unauthorized fingerprint. Try again!
I was pleasantly surprised at how sensitive the hardware was, most of the time taking only a second to recognize my print. Registering a new finger was also very simple.
Another nice idea was how the device asked me to make slight variations in finger placement during print registration. That way, no matter how I held the device, it would recognize my print. Good one, Apple, good one – this shows how the brand takes into consideration the minute details like this!
It is important to note that finger print functions can be turned off and that fingerprint unlocking is not available after a reboot.
Who is it for?
The first time I saw the iPhone 5s, I said to myself, “That thing has class written all over it!” It was sharp without being too edgy, elegant without being proud, stylish without being flashy. In a word, it was COOL!
The iPhone 5c, on the other hand, advertises youth. It says to everyone, “I’m hip, I’m cool, I’m colorful.” Its simpler construction says “I may be laid-back, but I am definitely capable.”
As a final word, here’s what an Android user like myself has to say about the new iPhone’s:
- Both devices are extremely well-made;
- Apple has maintained its good construction and ecosystem with both phones;
- Both devices capture exceptional images;
- Both are simple to use; and,
- Apple has continuously shown its innovation with the finger-print scanner and 64-bit processor.
- A bit pricey, but can still probably be affordable with a good plan;
- Compared to other brands and OS, we are limited by what Apple thinks we should be able to do (Jailbreak aside); and,
- Size can make typing a bit difficult for those with big fingers.
To upgrade or not to upgrade from an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5? Whatever your budget, now there’s an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c to choose from! And if you ask if it has drawn me to the dark side, hmmm… let’s just say it really got me thinking! As a matter of fact, I’m excited to find out what Globe’s plans will be.