The iPhone 5s And 5c Reviews You Should Read [Roundup]

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The iPhone 5s and 5c go on sale this weekend, and as usual, earlier reviewers have weighed in. AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg thinks that the 5s’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor is “game-changing,” and everyone seems impressed with the 5c’s build quality.

We’ve complied a roundup of the best iPhone 5s and 5c reviews out there for you to check out. Cult of Mac’s official reviews will be posted after the devices go on sale Friday.

Mossberg thinks the 5s is a “delight:”

“The biggest step ever in biometric authentication for everyday devices”

The iPhone 5S is the first digital device I’ve seen with a simple, reliable fingerprint reader—one you can confidently use, without a thought, to unlock the device instead of typing in a passcode. You can even use this fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, to authorize purchases from Apple’s App, iTunes and e-book stores.

It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s a real advance, the biggest step ever in biometric authentication for everyday devices. After using Touch ID, I found it annoying to go back to typing in passcodes on my older iPhone.

You can read his full review on AllThingsD. They also have a 5c review.

The 5s’s fingerprint sensor apparently works with toes as well as fingers, according to The Telegraph. The main theme in these reviews is that Touch ID rocks and is super easy to use, which is very good for Apple considering that it’s the tentpole feature of the 5s.

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop also likes the fingerprint sensor, and he believes “what we’ll see in the coming months is that customers who would have purchased an Android phone will buy the iPhone 5c instead.”

For plenty of photos and video, check out TechCunch. Here’s what they have to say about the the 5c:

The iPhone 5c is an improvement, even if slight, to the smartphone I’d still call the best available if Apple hadn’t also released the iPhone 5s. I’ll say that with the caveat that I believe the iPhone is still the best smartphone available for the largest number of smartphone buyers, in terms of both usability and design, even with the dramatic changes wrought by iOS 7. Given the choice, I’d choose an iPhone 5c over an iPhone 5, based on design alone, and ignoring its other benefits. In other words, if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, Apple’s iPhone 5c should be right near the top of your list.

And the 5s:

“Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available”

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.

Most reviewers noticed a considerable boost in battery life with the iPhone 5s when compared with the iPhone 5. Apple continues to make strides with battery life, but the industry is still waiting on a real breakthrough.

Engadget has a good video review of the 5s:

The iPhone 5s And 5c Reviews You Should Read [Roundup]

New York Times reviewer David Pogue has lamented Siri’s shortcomings in the past, but he is impressed with the virtual assistant on iOS 7 and the new hardware. His whole review of the two phones is definitely worth a read. There are three “lessons” he explains:

  1. “Apple may have set its own bar for innovation too high.”
  2. “The smartphone is mature.”
  3. “If we’re reaching a point of diminishing returns in hardware breakthroughs, the software breakthroughs are only just getting under way.”

CNET has good stuff to say about 5s’s camera:

The iPhone 5S suffers on physical megapixel count, but its speed/quality ratio are hard to beat. Adding slow-motion recording is gimmicky but works really well, and the improved flash technology is nice to have. But, overall, it’s the extra speed and hardware-software-processor integration on the iPhone 5S that produced the best results. The camera is really the iPhone 5S’ biggest improvement and feature, even without added megapixels…but it doesn’t feel like as dramatic a leap as last year’s iPhone 5’s camera.

“The smooth, shiny polycarbonate shell around the back feels like a candy lacquer coating”

Of the 5c, CNET says “the smooth, shiny polycarbonate shell around the back feels like a candy lacquer coating.” Yummy?

One glaring negative review amidst all of the positivity is from Bloomberg. The headline is “Solid New iPhones Fail to Excite.” The review boils down to this conclusion:

There’s nothing wrong with either phone. But there’s not much that’s pulse-quickening about them either.

But don’t let that line sour you out. To top off your review reading, make sure to check out AnandTech’s incredibly extensive review of the 5s. It’s for the geeks, and it’s awesome. The site says that the 5s’s flagship feature is the A7 processor. Apparently it’s blazing fast. There’s also a handy chart of specs and price configurations for both the 5s and 5c.

Both phones go on sale this Friday at 8 a.m. local time.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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