Apple’s best yet: iPhone 5S reviewed

Like other flagship smartphones, there is minimal lag when jumping between applications, nor is there much of a wait when you’re trying to load software.

Essentially, it’s a smartphone that flies, and while you might see some slowdowns in a year or two, today it’s absolutely awesome.

The 4G performance is equally strong, and we found high speeds as we travelled across Sydney.

Provided you have access to a 4G provider – of which every major telco in Australia now supports – you’ll be be able to achieve speeds between 30 and 80Mbps in cities across this big nation of ours.

Apple’s changes to the camera appear to have helped too, and while it doesn’t have the biggest number of megapixels on the market, the eight megapixel shooter in this camera still holds its own rather nicely.

Images shot at both day and night provide a decent amount of detail, and its the latter of these which surprises us most of all, with clear imagery when light is more of a concern.

Night image shot on the iPhone 5S camera.

If you’re in close quarters and desperately need to use a flash, Apple has provided a new type of flash capable of creating colour combinations as it samples the available light and tries to come up with a better flash colour to light your scene with.

Called True Tone, the technology is made of two different colour flashes that seek to make the addition of light to an image more balanced and natural.

But while this seems like a great idea – and it does, and even reminds us of some of the ideas Holga and Woca cameras came with – our results were less than impressive. Testing against out dogs, we found the light would still often blow out, and even in the open, the light would be discoloured and still too harsh.

iPhone 5S image with both True Tone flash on and off. We think off looks better.

We’re still fans of the idea, and your experience might turn out differently to ours, but overall, we think we’ll just stick to shooting in low light on the iPhone 5S without the flash, as the images produced this way were stronger and featured better colour.

More features are also offered from the 5S, if you need them, such as a burst mode which lets you fire images quickly and then narrow down which ones you actually want to keep, as well as a slow-mo movie capture, which fires off a movie at 120fps and lets you change the points later on as to where the slow down starts and finishes.

Used effectively, you can easily create a tiny movie that shows someone doing something in real time – such as jumping into a pool – and then stop the video down at the climax, letting slow motion mode take over, finishing it when all the fun is over.

It’s a neat concept, and is really easy to use.

Daylight image for the iPhone 5S.

Another neat feature is the fingerprint scanner, which sits below the home button and relies on advanced analysis of your fingerprints to do functions.

The plural form of “fingerprint” is also part of the equation, because it’s not just about keeping one fingerprint registered on your device, but many, as you can keep several fingers and thumbs registered so that you can use whatever digits you rely on most to unlock that smartphone of yours.

At present time, those functions are quite limited, and include unlocking your smartphone and making purchases on the iTunes Store, but when you do try this, it’s next to impossible to swing out with the system.

Every time we wanted to gain access back into our iPhone 5S review unit, the mapped fingerprint would let us in, whether we switched the phone on and held our finger against the scanner, or launched the phone on standby with that button.