iPhone 5S pictures and fingers-on
Apple's flagship phone is now the iPhone 5S, an upgrade of sorts to the current iPhone 5 and, if you are an early adopter and into your iPhones, the one that you'll want now. But is it really that easy? We took a look at the new model at the European launch event in Berlin.
On the surface not much has changed. As history has shown us, the "S" upgrade is always a refinement of what Apple launched the year before and many will see the iPhone 5S as just that.
Combined with a new, fresher-looking iOS 7 and some new tricks this is Apple continuing to play it safe: marching forward with its offering but not making such a departure that the iPhone 4S users who've been waiting to upgrade will be happy finally to do so.
To say that it is the same is wrong, of course. There are plenty of changes. It has got a faster processor, now works on Vodafone's and O2's 4G in the UK, and comes with a fingerprint scanner that Apple has dubbed Touch ID.
Starting with the processor, it's faster, much faster, and while we found that made very little difference in swiping between menus it does instantly make a difference in games. We had a quick go with Asphalt 7 and it loaded almost instantly. We can't wait to see how it handles Real Racing 3.
That extra processing power also helps when it comes to letting the iPhone 5S do more with the camera, and the new smartphone adds Burst Mode that lets you take up to 20 pictures at a time before helping you to chose the best one, and Slow-Mo for video which does exactly as it sounds.
We've yet to see (at time of writing) whether these new camera features will come to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and other models in the range but if they don't it will give you yet another reason to upgrade.
Aside from the new A7 processor, Apple has added the M7 processor into the mix that deals with all the motion stuff on the phone. In our hands-on we weren't able to test this or how it works, but will certainly do so when it comes to our full review.
But if the processor bump was expected perhaps surprisingly Apple has included a fingerprint reader to the phone hidden in the home button. It's the one feature that is going to get the most chatter, especially when you show it to your friends, and one that you'll use the most. Let's face it, how often do you unlock your phone?
Now instead of typing four digits you can simply place your finger on the home button to unlock your phone or confirm payment with the Apple App Store.
We tried the new feature with one of the demo phones at the Berlin launch and we couldn't open the phone. Luckily a demonstrator who's finger had been registered was on hand to open it up. So it works.
Interestingly the feature will record and store up to five fingers and we've been told those fingers don't have to be yours - handy if you want your partner to open your phone while driving. Of course at any point you can revert back to the pin number to access your phone. We're not sure whether the finger needs to have a pulse. Think about it.
As for the new colours? The white looks identical obviously, the black now has a lighter side which may be less prone to scratches, while the gold we're still not too sure about, but we just know some people will love it.