Forbes reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘The best all-round smartphone on the market’

“Seven weeks ago it reached the hands of the public, and since then Apple has struggled to keep their latest flagship smartphone in stock,” Ewan Spence reports for Forbes. “It’s hard to disagree with those sort of sales numbers, and after spending two weeks with the iPhone 5s. I haven’t found any reason to even try. The iPhone 5s is the best all-round smartphone on the market right now.”

“The iPhone 5S puts much more focus on ease of use and simple choices than an Android handset such as the Samsung Galaxy S4. Where Android opens up a world of choice in settings, layouts, launchers, and options, the iPhone 5S provides a standard platform for everyone using the handset. That reduces the appeal of the the iOS platform to the vocal power-users and hacker community who want a platform to play with, but it also makes the handset much more appealing to the general public,” Spence reports. “The iPhone 5S is designed for everyday use and to just work, not something that needs to be tweaked and maintained… but this trade-off for minimalism does reduce the configurability that many Android fans enjoy.”

“The iPhone 5S builds on the design of the iPhone 5, adding in the new 64-bit A7 processor, and introducing the M7 motion co-processor. Both of these are very much on the bleeding edge, with only a handful of applications set up to make use of them at the moment. Going forwards though, these two chips and their architecture are going to be keystones of the platform, which makes the 5S as future proof a smartphone as you could hope to buy,” Spence reports. “It is a pricey handset, but Apple’s hardware always has been. Balancing that price point is the simple fact that anyone buying the iPhone 5S is going to have a phone that is at the start of a long life, with technology in the handset that’s going to be utilised and improved on for the next few years.”

Read more in the full review here.

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16 Comments

  1. You wouldn’t think anything iOS is any good when you see all the commenters on almost every review. I just don’t get the Samsung/Android crowd. Most Mac people don’t react like these nut jobs. We only do it to put in a voice or two against the hundreds of anti Apple posters on reviewer sites…

  2. I don’t get your comment Jubei. Let people have their opinions. Android phones are great phones as stand-alone, highly configurable devices. Apple IOS is the better choice for me as I want to carry a device that happily integrates my family together and my devices with other devices. Nothing better than shooting pictures and sitting down to my computer and they’re already there. No config, just magic. It blew my dad away when he saw me do this the other night (he’s a G2 user) with PC. He was amazed that the pictures that I had taken at the car show were already on my pc and were playing as the screen saver on my Apple TV when we got home. This is what Apple does best. Let the others have their opinions and secretly smile to yourself knowing what they don’t

    1. clarification to previous comment. I meant to say, “the pictures I had taken at the car show earlier in the day were already on my Mac and were playing on my Apple TV’s screensaver when we got home”

    2. Here’s my take on Jubei’s comment: Have you ever noticed how many Android users post negative comments on Apple-centric sites? If your eyes are open, quite a lot. Now, how about the inverse of that: are Mac/iOS users posting heavily on Android forums? It’s not even close. This suggests that Mac/iOS users have better things to do with their time than post negative commentary on forums dedicated to products they don’t use, while Android users… well, not so much.

  3. Let’s face it, this so called ability to customize is blown way out of proportion. If you talk to the vast majority of users, they have very limited interest in playing around with the devices setting. Maybe changing the background and changing alert sounds is about all most users want to do. To implement a highly customizable operating system to appease a small percentage of users isn’t worth the problems that can incur from it.

    Most people aren’t that tech savvy. While for iPhone users, it’s all about the apps, for Droid users, it’s more about making telephone calls and text messaging. The average Droid user could care less about all the tweaking they can perform. Their barely able to use their phone for phone calls let alone for any advanced feature.

    Apple has removed much of the confusion you find using alternative phones. While Android and especially MS Touch phones are almost designed to be confusing. By making it easy, iPhone users will explore their device, while the users of non-Apple devices are scared and intimidated by the complexities and non-intuitive aspects of their devices, and shy away from exploring features for fear of screwing something up.

    1. “blown way out of proportion”? What data do you have to substantiate your assertion?

      Every Mac and iOS user I know makes tweaks in the control panel. The fact that Apple continues to limit the user-customization options much tighter than the competition has in fact resulted in many popular 3rd party customization software to allow users more control. You honestly believe that iOS users can’t handle it? Bottom line is that Apple software is more than ever being constrained my designers who think their extreme gray minimalism is better than the lifelike, textural, realistic, depth-creating, bordered, legible legacy styles. They are wrong, as the huge wave of disappointment in iOS7 shows.

  4. True be it! I hear people say all the time, “I’m not a fan of Apple”. I don’t understand how you can not be a fan of an entire company and hate all of their products. It’s like religion to some people. Nothing you say will change their mind and it will only strengthen their opposition. No use arguing with such stupidity. I’ll say it again…turn the other cheek, secretly smile to yourself as you walk away, and enjoy the products that you like best when they work every single time.

  5. The day another company has a better phone, and tablet, and laptop, and set top box, and ecosystem, I’ll kick Apple to the curb and switch. Until then, I’m an Apple lover. It has nothing to do with brand loyalty and has everything to do with the best product at the right time for me. And Apple knows this…that’s why they continue to innovate and integrate.

  6. So why did Forbes entitle the article:
    “The iPhone 5S Review: Probably The Best All-Round Smartphone To Date” ???

    very simply, it is the lackluster appeal of iOS7.

    “While the 5S is geared towards being a mainstream phone with appeal, it’s not perfect. Much of that is down to the software, specifically iOS 7. The reworking of Apple’s mobile operating system has been critiqued from some areas as reducing the functionality of the device, looking like a ‘My First Smartphone’ OS, and reducing the flexibility of the handset. … I could point out the countless changes as a cosmetic level, the loss of highlighting on selectable text options, and the abundance of the white backgrounds and spindly text, this is the almost modernist look that Apple’s Jony Ive has chosen.”

    Ive, you have been warned. iOS 7.1 needs to correct your “modernist look” to “legible all-conditions look”, and, since iOS7 and the 64-bit chip are power hungry, the iPhone 5S and future models will need more battery capacity. See you in 6 months.

  7. Yeah, another great reminder of the unfortunate Tim Cook era at Apple. Best phone ever – in limited supply. It would be one thing if it was by design but it’s by blunder and stupid supply line management.

    ALSO, Mike’s take is spot on. The sissified iOS 7 is a disaster “look” that obscures its great features and functions. Ive’s effort to placate Tim Cook is going down as one of Apple’s worst moments in design.

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