Yesterday, Apple announced a pair of new iPhones – the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
The iPhone 5s is the new flagship handset, while the iPhone 5c packs in a lot of power and comes several colors for a good price.
The highlights, as I see them, are that the iPhone 5s has a faster 64-bit A7 processor, new camera with f/2.2 aperture (vs. f/2.4 in the 5c) and 120fps video capture for slow motion. The big advantage for the iPhone 5c is that you get a 32GB phone for $199 on contract (the 16GB version is only $99).
Now, let’s take a look at more specifics about the iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 5s eschews the traditional white and black options, and is available in gold, silver and space gray. The 5s introduces a new unlock feature called Touch ID, which allows you to unlock your iPhone using your fingerprint. You can also use your fingerprint to approve App Store and iTunes purchases.
The new 64-bit A7 chip is up to two times faster than the A6 chip. The A7 also supports OpenGL ES 3.0 hardware acceleration, which Apple claims will allow the 5s to deliver graphic quality on par with desktop computers. Apple’s built-in apps are optimized for the A7 chip. The Camera app takes advantage of the new image signal processor for up to 2x faster AF, photo capture and video frame rates (e.g., the new 120fps capture).
The camera itself features an 8MP sensor that is 15% larger than the previous generation with the aforementioned f/2.2 aperture. Burst mode in the iOS 7 Camera app now lets you capture 10 frames per second.
While Apple is sticking with an LED flash, instead of a Xenon flash bulb like in the Nokia Lumia 928, the new 5s flash features a white LED and an amber LED for what Apple calls True Tone flash. The new flash uses the different color LEDs to adjust the flash color and intensity in order to match the subject and scene lighting.
Panorama mode gets a nice addition with dynamic auto exposure. Something that really plagued the iPhone 5 was the inconsistent exposure in panorama mode. In the iPhone 5s, the starting point of the panorama exposure no longer dictates the remainder of the image. As you pan, the 5s will automatically adjust exposure for highlights and shadows – and it does so at 30fps.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kK0_OVn_uxA&w=640&h=360]
The 5s captures 120fps video in 720p with the ability to play back any portion of the recording at 1/4 speed for impressive slow motion accents. Additionally, you can now zoom in up to 3x while recording video by just pinching the display.
Square photos are not available as a default capture mode (thanks Instagram) and you a can apply photo filters inside the Camera app before or after capturing a photo. Apple says that you can remove filters later if you want to see the original image, which suggests the built-in photo filters are part of a sidecar file that makes the changes non-destructive.
The iPhone 5s will be available September 20 for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB).