At first glance, there's very little to tell the Apple iPhone 5S smartphone from the iPhone 5. However, the iPhone 5S remains a beautifully made and desirable smartphone and it's an improvement on its predecessor in practically every way. Apple doesn't skimp on premium materials here, as the metal body and Gorilla Glass covered screen still look and feel fantastic. You’ll feel like you really have a premium smartphone in your hands.
But it's not just the materials, the attention to detail also catches the eye. The iPhone 5S features a precision-cut aluminium rear which sits absolutely flush with the glass panels that sit at the top and bottom of the phone. The smartphone's neat bevelled edges are perfectly formed and the 7.3mm thick phone feels incredibly comfortable in the hand. Weighing just 112g, which still feels almost impossibly light when you pick up the smartphone for the first time, the Apple iPhone 5S is incredible to look at and hold.
The iPhone 5S is hard-wearing, too, thanks to its tough aluminium body. This is a phone that feels sturdy, despite how light it is. We've been using the office iPhone 5S consistently since launch and, aside from the odd minor scratch (mostly around the bezel), it looks as good as the day it was taken out of its box. We keep the phone in a sleeve case to protect the sides and screen, but the quality is still impressive to behold.
Rather than up the pixel count for the new iSight camera, Apple has got the same 8-megapixel resolution but gone for a sensor that's 15 percent bigger than the one on the iPhone 5. This means that the pixels are larger at 1.5 microns. In layman's terms, larger pixels means more light per pixel, which means better low-light performance. Add in the new f/2.2 aperture lens, which lets in more light than the iPhone 5's f/2.4 lens, and the new model should be able to shoot more detail in low light.
In bright light it makes less of a difference, with both phones producing similarly-as-detailed shots. We'd say the colours and exposure on the iPhone 5S are better, and you get better dynamic range.
Since the iPhone 5S came out, there's been some stiff competition from other Android phones, but there's still a lot to love about this handset, even if it's several years old. If you're after an iPhone that doesn't cost a lot, then the Apple iPhone 5S is a great option that won’t let you down.
It's neat, easy to use one-handed and slips neatly into any pocket. Performance wise, the iPhone 5S still stands up well and it's aged very well. However, if price and size aren't as important and it's a pure decision of whether to get this or a newer iPhone 6S, we'd advise that you buy the 6S. This larger handset looks better, has a better screen, better camera and a faster processor. It may be more expensive, but it certainly feels like the more modern phone.