Review Roundup: iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s

The embargo has lifted and while we’re in the process of reviewing both new iPhones, various tech-related sites have published their thoughts on newest Apple smartphones. Below is an extensive list of what reputable sites are saying:

iPhone 5s:

“Is the 5s the best iPhone ever made? Yes, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Apple took a good product and made it better through hardware upgrades, new features and a completely revamped operating system. In what would otherwise be considered a mundane update to the iPhone 5, Apple somehow managed to appeal to both the geek (64-bit support, M7 coprocessor, Touch ID) and the average Joe (a fresh, colorful iOS 7), all while laying the groundwork for the company’s future.” – Engadget

“At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the fingerprint sensor as a whiz-bang feature designed to attract eyeballs and do little else. But this isn’t that. The fingerprint sensor, unlike some other questionable recent smartphone tech like gesture control or eye-tracking, doesn’t feel like a gimmick or tech demo; it feels like a mature feature that actually enhances the overall experience of using an iPhone in a noticeable way that you encounter very frequently. – TechCrunch

“With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available.” – TechCrunch

“In many ways Apple has released a phone for tomorrow rather than today. That’s a hard sell, in truth.” – Pocket-Lint

“Taken in totality, the features new to the iPhone 5s make what I consider to be the best smartphone on the market even better, helped enormously by Apple owning the entire end-to-end experience.” – USA Today

“The New York Times: “Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it’s still among the few that will.” – New York Times

“The fingerprint sensor solved a problem and makes my handling of the iPhone more efficient. That’s what a feature should do.” – The Loop

If I had one wish for the camera it would be better night and low-light pictures. I always find them to be grainy, which makes taking pictures at concerts and other events problematic.” – The Loop

“External design is identical to that of the iPhone 5, including a 4-inch screen that looks downright tiny next to Android competitors… The iPhone 5S is not a required upgrade, but it’s easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date.” – CNet

“The iPhone 5S boasts something called a 64-bit processor, which means the system can process data in bigger chunks, and thus much faster. But I didn’t notice any dramatic speed improvement, partly because few apps have yet to be rewritten to take advantage of it.” – Walt Mossberg – AllThingsD

“the best smartphone on the market” – Walt Mossberg – AllThingsD

Personally I’d prefer the iPhone 5s simply because of its more modern platform, even if I were recommending a device for someone else not as concerned with performance. Supporting the latest ISA (which will probably stick around for a while) and OpenGL ES 3.0 are both important if you’re going to be keeping your phone for a very long time and plan on using it for more than just the basic first party apps.” – Anandtech


iPhone 5c

“It’s easy to be cynical and dismiss this handset as just an iPhone 5 in a colorful plastic shell, but that’s missing the point. There’s no doubt that the 5c looks gorgeous and feels wonderful in hand. It inherits tried-and-true features from the iPhone 5 and also gains a few new ones, like the improved 1.2MP front-facing camera. Still, that’s only half the story. It’s iOS 7 that truly sets the 5c (and the iPhone 5s) apart.” – Engadget

“What Apple has delivered is far from a “cheap” device, in terms of both quality of experience and hardware, and in terms of price. The 5c is probably more broadly appealing than the iPhone 5s just by virtue of its lower cost of entry, but it’s still premium hardware and is likely better thought of as an analogue to the iPhone 4S relative to the iPhone 5 back when that device launched.” – TechCrunch

“The iPhone 5c doesn’t actually feel like plastic. It’s strange when you first pick it up, but it almost feels like ceramic or a similar material that is glossy and hard.” – LoopInsight

“This phone is 2012 tech dressed up in a brighter package for 2013; the four-inch Retina Display feels small compared with most Android phones.” – CNet

“While the 5C looks and feels very familiar, it’s still a good phone and an improvement over the 5. But its improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary.” AllThingsD