Mobiles & Tablets

Living with the iPhone 5s

Mahananda Bohidar December 12 | Updated on December 13, 2013

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No matter how much you spend on a brand new gadget, all it boils down to is what tasks it does best. And, if those indeed are the things that you need your smartphone or tablet to be good at. A phone can come with a fast processor but I might not use any apps or games on it. A tablet might have a great camera but clicking pics might not be my priority or I might be a shutterbug and might get stuck with a smartphone that can’t take a single decent pic. So, it always pays off to know what a certain smart device does well before you decide to spend some hard-earned cash on it.

For now we have had the iPhone 5s, the super smartphone of smartphones, for a long term test and we tell you five things you need to know about the Apple handset – some good, some bad.



Positives

Snap me happy

Well, the first one really isn’t a big surprise considering how every iPhone since maybe the 4th gen one has had pretty impressive cameras built into them. This one however rules them all. I don’t know if it’s the bigger, more sensitive sensor or a bigger aperture, but at the risk of sounding pretty narcissistic, most selfies taken on the iPhone 5s make you look great! The phone excels especially when it detects warm tones. With bright daylight there’s a bit of bleeding and over-exposure every once in a while but the photos should satisfy most users. The HDR option is great too and there’s seldom reason not to have it switched on. The True Tone flash too works wonders (except when it’s held too close for comfort)!



The Ecosystem

With my slight bias towards the Android ecosystem I usually get pissed when developers decide to launch iOS-only or iOS-first apps. It feels like a “Hey, you weird-green-robot fangirl, look at this awesome app you can’t have!” But, for iOS users there couldn’t be better news, right? Most apps such as Instagram and Pocket, which have eventually ended up ruling the top charts were first released on iOS’ App Store. And, despite Android’s overwhelming popularity, this somehow continues to be the case. Apps such as Tweetbot, Clear, Infinity Blade series still remain iOS-only, and the platform still seems to be the preferred one for most developers to test the waters with their brand new launches.



The device

At a time when aesthetics is as important as the functionality of a product, Apple continues to be a brand that knows to stay sturdy, stay classy. When you use the iPhone 5S, it doesn’t feel like a flimsy smartphone that you immediately have to buy a hard cover for, the moment you take it home. Jony Ive’s roots in industrial design still hold him in good stead and this shines through the hardware of the iPhone 5s. The only niggle being, the body is the exact same as its predecessor, the iPhone 5. Fanboys have rued the lack of aesthetic innovation since the day of launch. However, the iPhone 5s still remains a sexy piece of hardware to own.





Negatives

While there are a bunch of things about the iPhone 5s that totally floor you, there are others that confirm that, you know, the iPhone 5s is only human (or the imperfection-prone human counterpart in the smartphone universe). For starters, considering how lovely you might find the phone, chances are you might not switch it off. Another reason not to be tempted to do so is the insanely long shut-down and boot times on the iPhone 5s. At its’ worst, it clocked in at an eye-rolling worthy 20 seconds of boot-up time. The average was about 17 seconds. Ain’t nobody got time for THAT!

Also, there were instances when the iPhone 5s would intermittently heat up. Sometimes it would be when it was charging, sometimes afterwards, sometimes when I'm playing a game, sometimes not, sometimes when I was on a call and sometimes when I was just responding to some pings on WhatsApp. Basically, there’s no telling when or why!

Last but not the least, no matter how appealing the iPhone is or how many apps they have in their digital quiver, nothing quite beats Android when it comes to transferring media on to your device or sharing some from it.



mahananda.bohidar@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 12, 2013

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