Here They Are: The iPhone 5C And 5S


iPhone 5C

Apple’s cracking down on new product leaks is as leaky as ever. Today at their iPhone keynote, Apple took the wraps off of their latest and greatest, starting with the iPhone 5C. And guess what? It’s exactly as the numerous leaks have claimed and shown. Color is big with Apple’s new polycarb iPhones: Blue, White, Pink, Yellow and Green. So is affordability: $99/16 GB or $199/32 GB. Spec wise, things aren’t terrible either. The processor is the same A6 as the iPhone 5 and wireless is similarly identical with 802.11 a/b/g/n support on both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands. LTE, however, is more robust with Apple claiming that the iPhone 5C supports the most LTE bands of any phone in the world. The 4-inch Retina Display retains the same size as Apple’s last-gen iPhones and iPods. Finally, the camera (rear) clocks in at 8-megapixels and features a backside illuminated, 5-piece lens and IR filter while the front facing camera is bumped to 1.9 megapixels and also gains FaceTime HD support.

It’s interesting to note that while Apple has moved to polycarbonate plastic for the 5C, the inside of the phone is reinforced by a metal frame which also doubles as an antenna.

For the iPhone 5C Apple has designed special “soft feel” silicone rubber cases for the 5C in a number of colors which will cost $29/each when they go on sale.


iPhone 5S

The iPhone 5C is the newest Apple hardware model to come along. However, the 5S is just as important if not more-so because let’s be real, it is the flagship device.

No surprise here, the iPhone 5S is to the iPhone 5 what the iPhone 4S was to the iPhone 4 - a tweak of internals. But this time around, the outward design is getting a minor addition in the form of a new color - Gold. Silver and “space gray” round out the 3-piece team.

Similar to the iPhone 5C, many of the rumors for the 5S were indeed real. First, the aforementioned gold color. but also, the CPU type. The new A7 on the iPhone 5S is the first 64-bit processor on a phone. Some nerd stats to chew on: the A7 features over 1 billion transistiors and a 102mm squared die size. Helping the hardware is iOS 7 with a native 64-bit kernel, libraries and drivers, re-engineered built-in apps and 32-bit/64-bit support. According to Apple, the 64-bit CPU will allow for up to a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56x increase in GPU performance. It also helps that OpenGL ES 3.0 support is built-in now. According to Epic Game’s Donald Mustard, the iPhone 5S is a solid 5x faster where gaming is concerned.

Also new in the 5S and tag teaming the A7 processor is the new M7 motion co-processor. This new chip will handle the monitoring of the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and other motion data.

Upgraded performance aside, how’s the battery life? That’s one of the biggest crutches still. Apple claims 250 hours of standby time (better than the iPhone 5′s rating), 10 hours of 3G talkl time, LTE web browsing and video and up to forty hours of music playback.

Apple got into the CPU business several years ago with the A-series processors which they helped design in-house. Now the camera is getting the same treatment too with the iPhone 5S. The new, five-element lens features an F/2.2 aperture and 1.5 micron size pixels. (For what it’s worth, these are bigger than your average image sensor pixel and ultimately, *should* lead to better images than simply stuffing in more pixels.) Also new in iOS 7 and tied into the new camera hardware is a best shot feature that mimics some other options already available on other platforms. Simply put, the phone takes multiple photos and picks the best. “Skin tone flash” is another software feature that will aim to make the camera flash more lifelike thanks to a dual-LED design that features one cool/white LED and a second warm/amber LED. Also, a 10-shot burst mode is now built in as is auto image stabilization. Once again, like rumors suggested, a new slo-mo feature is built into the video recorder that will capture video at up to 120fps @ 720p resolution.


Fingerprint sensor. It’s here and it’s real. There’s no denying the pain/false security that passcodes, passphrases and all other common types of security provide. Yet a fingerprint sensor, so simple, so pervasive hasn’t cracked the mainstream smartphone world yet. There have been a few attempts. But they were poor at best. On the iPhone 5s and iOS 7, Apple has introduced Touch ID. The guts of Touch ID include a 170 micron thin capcitive sensor built into the home button with 500ppi resolution. It scans sub-epiderman skin layers in 360 degrees. The metal ring around the home button/sensor combo detects skin and turns the sensor on/off as needed.  Finally, the home button at it’s furthest level is saphire and won’t scratch either. Whever a passcode or password was/is needed, iPhone 5S users can now simply rely on their fingerprint. One nice feature of Touch ID: It supports multiple fingerprints.

For those of you hoping Apple would break new ground in storage, keep waiting. The same 16/32/64 GB split is once again available at the same respective price points ($199/$299/$399). The iPhone 5S is the flagship, 5C the ‘tweener and the 4S the free-on-contract option. The iPhone 5 is dead.

Pre-orders for the 5C and 5S begin on Friday, September 13th and go up for sale on the 20th in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. By the end of the year Apple is aiming to have the new 5C and 5S available in over 100 countries spread across 270 carriers.

Images property of The Verge