New iPhones launch on every telco, brief hands-on

TV news stations are covering, radio stations are covering it, practically every website under the sun is covering it, and now we’re covering it: Apple has launched its new iPhones, and the good news is every telco has it if you want it.

And by every telco, we mean it: Telstra, Optus, Virgin, and Vodafone have all chimed in to say that each has both the flagship iPhone 5S and the remake of last year’s model and now in colour, the iPhone 5C.

Pricing is pretty varied between them, with Telstra starting at $60 per month, Optus at $57 per month, Virgin at $50 per month, and Vodafone at $60 per month. These are the starting prices, and each pack in their own supply of data per month, minutes per month, texts, with all four providing 4G on the networks.

Or there’s always outright, with prices starting from $739 for the 16GB iPhone 5C, while the 16GB iPhone 5S starts at $869.

A brief hands on with each of the devices today reveals a better phone than you might expect from the 5C, and a hardly surprising excellent product on the part of the 5S.

Pete’s taken the 5C for the weekend, so expect to hear about it on 2UE on Saturday, but a quick play reveals the plastic bodied – sorry, polycarbonate – is a more comfortable and solid build than you initially expect.

In fact, while it’s next to impossible not to draw parallels from the part of Nokia’s phones, the 5C takes what people loved about the 5 and puts it into a nice colourful case, improving the front camera slightly in the process.

There’s no mistaking that this is plastic, but it’s while it’s shiny, it’s also not as slippery as the plastic used on other phones.

It’s not quite up to the premium metal chassis we’ve come to expect on the iPhone 5 (and now 5S), nor is it like what HTC has created in the One and One Mini.

Then there’s the iPhone 5S, and this is really the iPhone to get if you’re itching to grab a new one. We’ve touched on the improvements in the past, both in articles and in our podcast, but the primary differences are inside this machine, and not outside.

From an exterior point of view, it’s pretty much the same iPhone we saw last year, except in three colours: gold, silver, and a dark grey. While Apple has names for these, we’re more inclined to name them after Star Wars, instead calling them C3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader.

That might just be us, though.

Accidentally Star Wars themed.

On the inside, there’s a new 64 bit processor that will be backwards compatible with the 32 bit apps found in the rest of the App Store (yes, we’ve confirmed it), a new camera and flash with the ability to sample light and provide better results, and a neat fingerprint scanner that does more than just take a picture of your prints, providing you with a new level of security for unlocking and purchasing apps.

As expected, the feeling of the iPhone 5S is excellent, and that’s not surprising at all because the body hasn’t changed a bit.

iOS 7 looks excellent with the new look, and we’re already getting into the brighter more colourful styling.

In any case, if you can wait for the new models, we should have a review early next week of the iPhone 5S first, followed by the colourful 5C.