“The iPhone 5s is quite possibly the biggest S-update we’ve ever seen from Apple. I remember walking out of the venue during Apple’s iPhone 5 launch and being blown away by the level of innovation, at the platform/silicon level, that Apple crammed into the iPhone 5,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech. “What got me last time was that Apple built their own ARM based CPU architecture from the ground up, while I understand that doesn’t matter for the majority of consumers – it’s no less of an achievement in my eyes.”

“The A7 SoC is seriously impressive. Apple calls it a desktop-class SoC, but I’d rather refer to it as something capable of competing with the best Intel has to offer in this market. In many cases the A7’s dual cores were competitive with Intel’s recently announced Bay Trail SoC,” Lal Shimpi reports. “Web browsing is ultimately where I noticed the A7’s performance the most. As long as I was on a good internet connection, web pages just appeared after resolving DNS. The A7’s GPU performance is also insanely good – more than enough for anything you could possibly throw at the iPhone 5s today, and fast enough to help keep this device feeling quick for a while.”

“Apple’s move to 64-bit proves it is not only committed to supporting its own microarchitectures in the mobile space, but also that it is being a good steward of the platform,” Lal Shimpi reports. “Apple must plan ahead for the future of iOS and that’s exactly what it has done. The immediate upsides to moving to 64-bit today are increased performance across the board as well as some huge potential performance gains in certain FP and cryptographic workloads.”

Lal Shimpi reports, “Apple’s Touch ID was the biggest surprise for me. I found it very well executed and a nice part of the overall experience. When between the 5s and the 5/5c, I immediately miss Touch ID… the iPhone 5s won’t disappoint. In many ways it’s an evolutionary improvement over the iPhone 5, but in others it is a significant step forward. What Apple’s silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while – the 5s is as good a starting point as any.”

Tons more in the (very comprehensive, as usual) full review – highly recommended – here.

Related articles:
TechCrunch reviews Apple iPhone 5s: The best smartphone available – September 18, 2013
Apple’s new iPhone 5S likely to be in exceptionally short supply – September 18, 2013
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘Makes the best smartphone even better’ – September 18, 2013
Mossberg reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – September 18, 2013
iPhone 5s pre-orders quickly sell out in China; gold iPhone 5s sells out quickest of all – September 17, 2013
Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c arrive in stores on Friday, September 20th – September 17, 2013