We’ve already digested a good number of details on the iPhone 5s, but there’s even more information for you to consume. Now that the press event is out of the way, select bloggers who were at the event have been able to get some hands-on time with the device. Read on to find out what they have to say about it.


Because they only had a short time with the device, these first impressions focus on a small part of the package, most notably the fingerprint sensor and the new camera. Some offer comments on the performance based on observation and not benchmarks. The real reviews will come when the phone lands in the hands of reviewers and they get some quality time with device.

TechCrunch: “It’s not very surprising that Apple has delivered a new iPhone that seems at first glance to be among the best smartphones in the business, if not definitely the new overall king. But what is surprising is that something like a built-in fingerprint scanner can make such a difference to overall device experience – I think adoption of this will definitely be much faster than you might expect.”

Wired UK: “In the hand it feels identical to the existing iPhone: the design, screen, weight, thickness and materials remain almost entirely unchanged.”

Slash Gear: “It’s early days – both the biometrics and the camera features will take real-world use to properly assess – but it already feels like a solid upgrade over the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S’ camera focus echoes comments by other smartphone manufacturers that mobile photography is a key buying factor, while the biometrics could reduce the roughly half of current iPhone owners who, Apple’s research suggests, don’t bother PIN-locking their handset.”

CNET: “How good the camera and A7 processor are, really, remains to be seen. The real question in our minds is this: will more people pick the 5S or the 5C, or another phone entirely? It looks like Apple is using this year to refine peripheral technology around the iPhone rather than heading in a bold new direction. That said, if Touch ID makes the iPhone 5S more secure, it’ll be no small feature. We’ll also be keeping an eye on the M7 chip: Apple might be making a play for iOS health-tracking apps and gear to beat competitors to market, or, failing that, to just plain beat them.”

CNET also took the fingerprint scanner for a spin and here is how it works:


Engadget: “Once everything is set up, the unit we played with worked flawlessly, as all we had to do was place our finger on the button to unlock the screen. It made for a much faster and enjoyable experience, one that will likely appease plenty of users who aren’t happy with the idea of putting passcodes on their phone.”

The Verge: “Apple has pursued a “Tick Tock” strategy with the iPhone even since the 3GS: innovate in a big way one year, refine the next. This is definitely a refining year for Apple, but all of the refinements on the iPhone 5s are solid. That fingerprint reader might end up being a bigger deal than you’d think … Even if you think the 5s is a minor upgrade, it’s one that’s easily worth it for people still using an older iPhone like the 4S or the iPhone 4.”

The Loop: “Unlocking the iPhone 5S was very slick—just rest your finger on the Home button and the phone unlocks immediately. You don’t have to press or move your finger around waiting for it to be recognized—it just worked.”

Mashable: “Apple’s new flagship phone, the iPhone 5S, follows in the grand tradition of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S. It offers subtle, almost imperceptible changes on the surface, and a complete brain transplant underneath.

While I can’t pretend to truly know the iPhone 5S –- we had maybe 45 minutes with it, total –- I can tell you that the transplant appears successful.

AnandTech: Brian Klug used a video to summarize his experience. Check it out below.


When you are done reading the early first impressions, you  can voice your opinion on the iPhone 5s in the comments. Do you like it, hate it or don’t care?

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