Here’s What They’re Saying About the New iPhones
“It is the gold standard in phones,” Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said of the iPhone 5s when he unveiled it during a special event at the company’s headquarters last week. And the pundits seem to agree. The first reviews of the device and its “unapologetically plastic” sibling the iPhone 5c published Tuesday evening, and they’re largely glowing with a few minor quibbles.
Below, excerpts from a few of them:
Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD, The Wall Street Journal: After a week of testing the iPhone 5s, I like it and can recommend it for anyone looking for a premium, advanced smartphone. If you are an iPhone fan with any model older than the iPhone 5, the new 5s will be a big step up. If you own an iPhone 5, there’s less of a case for upgrading, unless you want the fingerprint reader and improved camera.
Ed Baig, USA Today: Taken in totality, the features new to the iPhone 5s make what I consider to be the best smartphone on the market even better, helped enormously by Apple owning the entire end-to-end experience. In my view, iOS is still simpler to use than Android, and made even simpler in iOS 7. Apple releases the new operating system for all of its phones at one time, while Android updates come to devices in a more scattered fashion. And Apple still claims the most apps.
Scott Stein, CNET: The iPhone 5s is not a required upgrade, but it’s easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date.
Luke Peters, T3: … The 5s has the potential to be Apple’s most game-changing iPhone since inception. Apple is clearly looking to future-proof its handset while offering developers the opportunity to take advantages of its 64-bit architecture, A7 chip and M7 Coprocessor. Right now, you won’t really experience what this phone is capable of. Give it six months and we’d expect some truly groundbreaking apps to appear..
Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch: With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available. The hardware may resemble its predecessor in many key ways, as with the 4-inch Retina display, but it improves dramatically in areas like the camera where it makes the most difference to every day users, and in the addition of the fingerprint sensor, which is already a feature I miss when I switch back to older generation devices or the iPhone 5c. And thanks to the 64-bit A7 processor, this phone, more than any iPhone before it, is likely to be the device that grows more appealing as the software ecosystem catches up, which is great news for buyers looking for something that isn’t so easily replaced by the next big thing that comes along.
Myriam Joire, Engadget: Is the 5s the best iPhone ever made? Yes, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Apple took a good product and made it better through hardware upgrades, new features and a completely revamped operating system. In what would otherwise be considered a mundane update to the iPhone 5, Apple somehow managed to appeal to both the geek (64-bit support, M7 coprocessor, Touch ID) and the average Joe (a fresh, colorful iOS 7), all while laying the groundwork for the company’s future.
Anand Lal Shimpi, AnandTech: The iPhone 5s is quite possibly the biggest S-update we’ve ever seen from Apple. … At the end of the day, if you prefer iOS for your smartphone – the iPhone 5s won’t disappoint. In many ways it’s an evolutionary improvement over the iPhone 5, but in others it is a significant step forward. What Apple’s silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while — the 5s is as good a starting point as any.
David Pogue, The New York Times: Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it’s still among the few that will.
Vincent Nguyen, Slashgear: The iPhone 5s is the best iPhone so far, by a long shot. Apple is notorious for describing its products as “magical.” The magic of the iPhone 5s is in how usable its improvements are. The updated camera is both fast and capable, with the True Tone flash proving itself to be no gimmick, while the Touch ID system feels like the first biometrics system that actually stands a chance of succeeding in the mass market.
Rich Jaroslovsky, Bloomberg: There’s nothing wrong with either phone. But there’s not much that’s pulse-quickening about them either.
Stuart Miles, Pocket-Lint: If you want a phone that just works, then this is a very good place to start. But we can’t help but feel Apple started here a year ago and while the rest of the smartphone world moves on, Apple is chugging forward at a different pace. Some might argue that much of Android of Windows Phone 8 offers up gimmicky features, but those are the devices delivering larger screens, higher resolutions and power in the here and now. And so it will come down to personal preference. The iPhone 5s is without gimmicks and it’s a nod to the future. There’s a lot to admire about that.
Jim Dalrymple, The Loop: The iPhone 5s is a brilliant phone with some great new features that help you in work and play. The fingerprint sensor, camera, and improved speed and architecture, make the 5s my favorite iPhone to date.
Lauren Goode, AllThingsD: While the 5c looks and feels very familiar, it’s still a good phone and an improvement over the 5. But its improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Myriam Joire, Engadget: It’s easy to be cynical and dismiss this handset as just an iPhone 5 in a colorful plastic shell, but that’s missing the point. … It inherits tried-and-true features from the iPhone 5 and also gains a few new ones, like the improved 1.2MP front-facing camera. Still, that’s only half the story. It’s iOS 7 that truly sets the 5c (and the iPhone 5s) apart, thanks to a delightful redesign and a dash of new functionality. With the 5c, Apple achieves an unprecedented level of synergy between hardware and software.
Scott Stein, CNET: Apple may not have set the global smartphone world on fire, but the 5c is another small step toward a more affordable iPhone. And if I were to pick an iPhone that wasn’t cutting-edge but still had everything most people needed to do everything they wanted, the iPhone 5c is it.
Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch: Apple’s iPhone 5c sparked a lot of debate prior to its launch, prompting observes to wonder what it might mean for Apple to build a “cheap” iPhone or target a new market segment. What Apple has delivered is far from a “cheap” device, in terms of both quality of experience and hardware, and in terms of price. The 5c is probably more broadly appealing than the iPhone 5s just by virtue of its lower cost of entry, but it’s still premium hardware and is likely better thought of as an analogue to the iPhone 4S relative to the iPhone 5 back when that device launched.
Anand Lal Shimpi, AnandTech: The iPhone 5c is a well built device. For all intents and purposes it is a perfect replacement for the iPhone 5. If you were planning on buying a cost reduced iPhone 5 once the 5s came out, the iPhone 5c should have no problems filling that role. Its performance, battery life and camera quality are all on par with the 5.
Luke Peters, T3: … We never expected Apple to build a cheap anything and the 5c is testament to that. … if contract prices drop a little, [the 5c] could be Apple’s best-selling phone ever. The colourful exterior is a winner and iOS 7 is a fantastic update. We think it looks better on the 5c than the 5s. However, convincing the world that it’s worth the substantial outlay, especially when compared to other makers’ deals, could be a hard sell.
Stuart Miles, Pocket-Lint: But there is no denying that the 5c is merely a lick of paint on a year-old device, a non-upgrade to the iPhone 5. Some will see that as regressive, treading water. Yet, somehow, that still works in today’s world. For all the phones we spend our time using, when we come back to Apple there’s just something eminently usable about it.
Jim Dalrymple, The Loop: I wondered how Apple would bring a lower-end iPhone to market without removing any features and still keep the costs down. They ended up adding features and still keeping the price down — no matter how you look at it, that is impressive.