No more rumors. The iPhone 5s is here, and we know exactly what’s inside it. Sure, we could (and undoubtedly will) spend hours debating the value of the decadent champagne color and new fingerprint scanner, but ultimately we know you want the cold hard specs. Here’s how Apple’s latest hype-magnet really compares to other leading smartphones.
The iPhone 5s has a 1136 x 640-pixel Retina display, the same as the iPhone 5. This confirms Apple’s commitment to a compact form factor, compared to many Android flagships that are chasing the current big screen trend. The iPhone 5s is also still one of the thinner major league smartphones. At just 0.3 inches, it comes in a hair thicker than the HTC One and Droid Ulra (both .28 inches thick). At 3.95 ounces, the 5s is the lightest phone in our round-up.
One big point of departure from previous iPhones and Android competitors is the chip that powers the new iPhone. The 5S packs a new 64-bit A7 chip, which Apple describes as “desktop class”. The 5s is the first phone to run on a 64-bit chip, and Apple promises twice the speed and graphics performance as the previous handset. What does all this power mean for battery life? Apple says the 5S will have “equal or greater” battery life as the iPhone 5, which had a relatively low 1,440 mAH battery compared to Android smartphones such as the 2,600 mAh Samsung Galaxy S4 or the LG G2 which comes in at the head of the battery pack with 3,000 mAh.
Similar to way that Apple refuses play on the same quad-core field as many Android smartphones, the 5s’s camera specs are also difficult to compare using familiar metrics. Apple wants to take the focus off packing in megapixels and instead is drawing focus to bigger pixels, a 15 percent larger sensor, and a new lens with f/2.2 aperture. The iPhone 5s will also include a True Tone flash, which will automatically color balance the flash to accommodate the kind of light that’s falling on the photo subject. Apple has also thrown in a Burst Mode for taking multiple shots, similar to features already included with the HTC One and Galaxy S4.
Even with all of these specs, there are still major unknowns when it comes to how it will actually feel to use a iPhone 5s. We’re excited to run a full set of tests to see what kind of difference a 64-bit chip really makes in a smartphone. Apple’s new camera improvements also sounds promising, but given the recent trend in leaning hard into smartphone camera power (exemplified by the 41-MP Nokia Lumia 1020 and 20.7-MP Sony Xperia Z1), the iPhone 5s will have some stiff competition in the next Smartphone Camera Shootout. The iPhone 5s will be available in stores starting at $199 on September 20th.