This smartphone was a huge leap forward in terms of performance. If you compare the original iPhone with the 5s, you will see that there is a huge difference in performance. Now this smartphone was the first smartphone in the world to incorporate a Desktop Level Architecture chipset which even though was not that fascinating as Apple advertised it to be, though it was worth mentioning. Then the smartphone boasted of a fingerprint scanner which was first on any smartphone to be incorporated with such precision. One common assumption is that the fingerprint sensor was invented by Apple which is utter nonsense, though they were the first company to incorporate it into a smartphone with precision, the fingerprint scanner was invented by Motorola Mobility way back in 2011 in their flagship model 'the Atrix. Reportedly Apple has paid a huge sum of money for acquiring the technology; I am leaving the topic for good, because that is not my area.
Now the smartphone had more of a same look like the previous iPhone, but looked more premium to say the least. Now this was the last generation of small iPhones, after which Apple too has stepped up the game in terms of size to get into the act with the increasing competition in the smartphone arena. Though the iPhone 5s came with the same 8 MP camera, it came with a more polished camera with a Dual Tone flash. The camera too was a great performer.
Now the topic I am going to discuss here is, is the IPhone 5s good enough to be used as a daily driver in 2016? I am going to answer this question in the end of this article, before that I would review this phone in depth. I would like to say that, having used the smartphone I consider myself ideal for writing a review and help you in understanding the phone and deciding whether to go for it or not. Apple has released 5 other iPhones after the iPhone 5s, but I still feel the phone has in it everything to challenge even the midrange smartphones of today and even some flagships of lesser known companies. The only reason why this question is being raised is that the price of the iPhone 5s has been dropped so much that the price doesn't do any justice to the phone at all. Let's get started.
The Design: This is how a premium smartphone be like, one of the best crafted and designed smartphone from Apple. Having used the phone I would say this is a very good design. The square shaped designs looks premium and a bit more Apple like than the latest rounded iPhones. The buttons, the brushed aluminium back, the premium colour and texture and a very gorgeous screen makes this phone a good bet. Now there are downsides here as well. The only thing I don't like in this smartphone design is the positioning of the power button at the top of the device which makes it a little awkward to access every time. If you are an Android user I would say, getting used to it would be a problem at the initial stages. Apart from this there is nothing bad about the design of the device. One thing which I like is the handiness of the device. You can do pretty much anything with one hand, and that is not a bad thing. If you want a bigger screen device then this is not your cup of tea, but if you are content with a 4 inch smartphone this is one of the best out there, even though smartphone with a 4 inch screen are a rarity nowadays. So design wise this is an excellent device. Never forget that this was the company's flagship and was sold for around Rs. 50 to 60ks. Even if you buy it today, it looks premium like a 50k phone no doubt about it.
The Screen and the OS:
I have already written a review about the latest iPhone from the Apple iPhone SE and have given its specs which are the same on the iPhone 5s as well. The iPhone 5s has a 4 inch LED backlit IPS LCD display with a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels generating a PPI of 326 pixel density. The viewing angles and also the colour reproduction is excellent on the device like on any other premium smartphone. One thing I would like to say is that this kind of a small sized smartphone screen is no match to the large screen phablets when playing games and also watching High Definition videos. But overall speaking the phone is brilliant enough for everyday use. The colours are natural and not like the bluish tinge you have on the normal LCD panels. Now the screen is smaller and I have found people saying that typing on this 4 inch screen is a lot difficult, to be frank these guys have never used an iPhone 5s. The truth is my typing experience on this is pretty good.
Even though the screen is small the precision is so clear that typing becomes flawless, but at the same note I would say that people with big hands may find it difficult. If you buy it in the market today you will get the latest iOS version 9.3.3 and this phone is going to get all the latest iOS updates for almost 2 years from now so that is not going to be a worry.
The Performance, Battery and Storage:
Well this is the most important parameters because of which you are going to decide on whether or not you are going for it.
Performance wise this is a beast. The specs may look a bit tame here with a Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v-8 based) processor with a PowerVR G6430 (quad core) GPU with a 1GB DDR3 RAM. The reality is the phone is snappy and performs really well with no lag or stutter apparent. Now let us take it this way, if you compare the iPhone 5s to the latest iPhones for performance the iPhone 5s lags way behind, but comparing with any other budget smartphone of today this fares quite brilliantly. So using it without comparing to the latest iPhones could be a thing you should do otherwise you are in for a disappointment. There will be software updates for the next 2 years for your iPhone 5s so that is not a case of worry but to be frank, updating software on a 2013 smartphone regularly will no doubt slow it down. The thing is, the software and hardware go hand in hand and if you burden hardware with a lot of latest software it is going to be problematic, so I suggest you to be careful before going for an update, even though the updates are not going to threaten your iPhone 5s's existence. One thing I should mention here is that this phone gets heated up pretty quickly and can be very annoying. What makes matters worse is the metal back which adds to the misery. It happens when you use it on 4G LTE connection for longer period of time or talking for long hours. I suggest you to go for a case.
The fingerprint scanner incorporated on the home button though is of the first generation it is superb and does the job almost 99 times out of 100. Then once again I will say, don't compare it with other latest iPhones.
The iPhone comes with a 1560 mAH battery. The battery is small and is not that good either. If you are power user you are in for a nightmare but, if you are a moderate user you may get precariously close to one day of normal use. That's it.
The iPhone comes in three storage variants, the 16GB, 32GB and the 64GB versions. Now you can decide where you want to go considering the storage, 16GB is pretty much a joke nowadays on any smartphone so I recommend you to go for a 32 GB or a 64GB version.
Camera is one of the best in performance. Launching is pretty quick and the quality of the pictures and the videos are excellent. The 8MP shooter is really good. The camera is capable of capturing videos in full HD. The best thing about the camera is the slow motion feature and the dual tone flash. I love the camera of this phone and is way better than any other camera in the 20k budget.
Price: Price is the only reason why I have chosen to write this review. The iPhone 5s's price has been dropping and is expected to drop further with the introduction of the SE. So if you need want an Apple experience at a good mid-range budget you can go for this smartphone. The 16GB variant is priced around Rs. 20000/- and the 32 GB variant is priced around 27ks. So if you can live with the small screen, you can go for it, if not you are in the wrong place.
Pros and Cons: Pros:
Snappy performance, excellent build quality, great camera, handy to use, good value for money.
Average battery, gets heated quickly.
The Verdict:Want the iPhone experience in a low budget? Go for it, if not then the Android market is flooded with fantastic devices. One thing I would promise you, the phone does its job well and is still a relevant option. Don't try to compare with other latest iPhones and you are going to be happy. The cons I really reminded you is the battery and the heating issue. If you can live with that, go ahead. One important thing I would like to remind you is that every day the landscape is changing, you can use it for a couple of years from now but not more than that.
So that sums up my review of the iPhone 5s. Hope you liked it. Enjoy life. God Bless.