Apple officially unveils the iPhone 5s, coming September 20
Just as expected, the newly introduced Apple iPhone 5s looks the same on the outside (if you don't count the new white with gold/champagne color option). It still has the same thin 7.6mm profile and it still weighs merely 112g. However it comes with a number of changes under the hood where pretty much all the work has gone into this time around.
The A7 chipset
The iPhone 5s makes use of a radically re-engineered new chipset, called A7, which is twice as fast in CPU and GPU computations as the one in the iPhone 5.
Based on 64-bit architecture for the first time, the new iPhone 5s is said to be up to 40 times faster than the original iPhone with graphics being up to 53x faster. iOS 7 is now a 64-bit OS, but it's backward compatible with all the currently available 32-bit apps.
The A7 also supports OpenGL ES 3.0, which opens the door to even higher-quality graphics, allowing for real-time computation of effects such as depth of field, blur, full screen vignettes and lens flares.
The processor is accompanied by the M7, a motion co-processor, which measures motion data continuously from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. Along with the new motion sensing API in iOS7 will enable a new generation of sports and fitness apps, which can read and monitor your physical activity much more accurately. The advantage of its presence is also directly related to the battery life as these apps will only "talk" to the dedicated M7 processor instead of reaching to the power-hungry main CPU.
What's more, regular apps will now have more information about things such as your mode of transportation. Thanks to the M7 processor, the Maps app, for instance, would be able to automatically switch to pedestrian mode as soon as you pull over your car and get out.
The new camera has a wider f/2.2 aperture (as opposed to f/2.4) and a 15% larger image sensor, which however is still 8MP. The larger surface has allowed for larger, 1.5 micron pixels (as opposed to the usual 1.4 micron ones). A larger camera sensor provides the benefit of lower image noise in low-light conditions and better tonal dynamic range in high contrast scenes.
There is also a new double LED flash on the iPhone 5s, which Apple has dubbed True Tone, called this way because it allows to achieve more accurate colors tone. It consists of two LEDs, with each having a different color temperature. By analyzing the scene, the iPhone 5s would decide what mix of the LEDs' color temperatures is needed to achieve a naturally lit scene. The dynamic mixing of the LEDs color temperature allows for up to 1000 variations of the light output temperature.
The camera also comes with new image stabilization, albeit digital one. It works by taking four photos with a short exposure time. Then the best parts of those photos are combined into one image with as little noise, subject motion, and hand shake as possible.
There is also a Burst mode, which would shoot up to 10fos for as long as you keep the on-screen shutter pressed. Best of all, it would analyze the stack of burst photos and would automatically offers the ones it finds to be the sharpest. It will even rule out the ones on which your subject(s) has blinked.
The iPhone 5s camera will also capture 720p videos at 120fps, allowing it to create slow-mo videos. Another new feature in video recording is the addition of 3x zoom, accessible with the well-known pinch gesture. Our favorite digital video stabilization has been even further improved.
The industry-leading Panorama functionality has been improved, too. The Panorama would reach up to 28MP and exposure will adjust automatically as you pan with the phone instead of being fixed on the initial values, which get set at the start of the shooting of each panorama. This way all areas of the panorama image - both shadows and highlights - come out nicely exposed. Plus the Panoramas on the iPhone 5s are captured at 30fps, twice as fast as on the iPhone 5.
As plenty of rumors suggested before, the new iPhone 5s indeed sports a touch sensor embedded into the Home button. It's called Touch ID.The Touch ID sensor is hidden behind a sapphire crystal lens. Around there is a metallic ring, which would detect the presence of your finger and activate the sensor without you pushing anything.
The concept behind Touch ID is providing enhanced security in the sense that you can set it up to work instead of a passcode lock (which half the iOS users never use, as Apple's Phil Schiller said on stage).
The scanner supports multiple fingerprints and since it recognizes the owner, it can allow you to log on more securely to various services and even make purchases from the iTunes store, for instance, without the need to enter your password.
Touch ID can store multiple fingerprints and can read them at various angles.
The iPhone 5s will offer 10 hours of 3G talk time, up to 250h of standby, up to 40h of music playback. These numbers are the same as on the last year's iPhone 5, which is a nice achievement, considering the twice as fast CPU and GPU.
The new iPhone 5s will be available in black and white fronts as before. The new option for a Golden back adds a third variety. The newly available colors are Space Gray (Black+Gray back), Gold (White+Golden back), and Silver (White+Silver back)
As expected the iPhone 5s will be priced just as the iPhone 5 - in the US, at least, it will cost $200 for the inadequately equipped 16GB version, $300 for the overpriced 32GB version and $400 for the splurge 64GB edition.
The iPhone 4S 8GB will be heavily discounted and will be selling for free on a two-year contract. Sadly, the iPhone 5 will be discontinued, obviously to make way for the iPhone 5C.
Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C will launch on September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. China is in the first wave for the first time.
By December the new iPhones will be available in over 100 countries, including for the first time NTT DoCoMo carrier on Japan.