The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were officially announced by Apple. The iPhone 5S is the higher-end variant of the Apple flagship while the iPhone 5C is the supposedly more affordable budget variant. If this is the best that Apple has to offer in terms of innovation then it is safe to say that any of the Android flagships blow the Apple devices out of the water. In terms of specs, features and price it's hard to find a single aspect of the new iPhone flagship that is either powerful or innovative.
iPhone 5S Specs, Features And Price
The iPhone 5S boasts a screen size of 4-inches 1136x640-inch in-cell IPS LCD at 326 ppi. It runs the new iOS 7 which is a fairly innovative software and likely the best aspect of the iPhone 5S. The device boasts the A7 custom dual-core 64-bit ARM v7s M7 motion co-processor. The RAM is still unknown, though it is likely to be 1GB. Storage options will include 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The iPhone 5S has LTE capabilities, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and fingerprint scanning. It has a 8-megapixel dual LED flash and a 1.2-Megapixel front camera wilth BSI 720p. The iPhone 5S has a low weight at 112g and the battery is 1,434mAh.The price of the iPhone 5S variants with a contract are $199, $299 and $399 with the full price being up to $750.
The only major improvements are coming from the iOS 7 software and the Apple A7 processor. Apple is basically doing what the Moto X did and using a co-processor chipset that can be used to track motion, health, fitness and other things. So while the processor is dual core, it is optimized fairly well, just like the Moto X. Comparing the iPhone 5S with each of the Android flagships shows us that Apple may have made a terrible mistake with its launch.
iPhone 5S vs. Samsung Galaxy S4
The new iPhone 5S has little to match the Samsung Galaxy S4 in terms of hardware. The Samsung Galaxy S4 outclasses the Apple iPhone 5S with the Snapdragon 600 processor 1.9GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of Ram compared to the anticipated 1GB of RAM from the iPhone 5S. This should be particularly distressing to Apple fans because the iPhone5S comes out six months after the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and despite making improvements with the A7 chips the Apple processor is still unable to match the main Android handset.
Apple is sure to claim that it has made tweaks or improvements to the hardware architecture and that the iPhone 5S will be twice as fast as the iPhone 5, but even with efficiency improvements iOS 7 users can be sure that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will win in benchmark tests. When we look at other specs, arguments become even worse for the iPhone 5S. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch 1080p 1920x1080 Super AMOLED display, perfect to watch movies, TV, games, streaming and browsing. The standard display of devices these days is undoubtedly 5-inches, the fact that Apple has failed to take this into account and alter their screen size is going to hurt them. Then there's the fact that the pixel density of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is higher and the S4 screen is sharper, brighter, and more colorful. When it comes to the screen, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is king. The Apple display is small, with low resolution and is just generally inferior to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The iPhone 5S does have an advantage with its camera despite the 13-Megapixel rear camera and 2-Megapixel front camera of the Samsung Galaxy S4, outclassing it in pure numbers. The camera performs adequately well in low-light settings, though in side by side tests we suspect the Galaxy S4 will do equally well, if not better.
The only place where Apple really has a chance in a matchup against the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with design and features. We can't deny that the iPhone 5S is a slick looking device, though not much different in appearance from its predecessors. It has an aluminum body that's light and compact. One of the main criticisms the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been the plastic body feels cheap. So perhaps the iPhone 5S could win on aesthetics. In other regard the iOS 7 software is well put together and probably is more efficient than Samsung Galaxy S4 TouchWiz UI. The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with plenty of features, but many of them aren't useful nor as well supported as the Apple iPhone 5S, which has its own unique ecosystem. Of course that may change as Samsung has its own app store now, along with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that interacts with the Galaxy S4.
However, we can't justify the cost of the iPhone 5S. A Samsung Galaxy S4 can be bought at about $500 while the iPhone 5S, with worse hardware and a smaller display, will cost upwards of $700. It's hard to understand, particularly since the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most flexible and longest-lasting devices -- having the advantage of a removable battery and expandable memory. The stock Android Google Play Edition can also give iOS 7 a run for its money.
iPhone 5S vs. HTC One
The iPhone 5S fares no better when matched up against the HTC One. Despite the screen sizes being a little bit closer with the HTC One boasting a 4.7-inch screen, the display quality that is nothing short of incredible, a full 1080p HD SLCD3 1920 x 1080 display. The HTC One screen quality is fantastic and the rear camera and front camera are both more than sufficient to surpass the iPhone 5S with an UltraPixel rear camera and 2MP front camera.
The HTC One is the device that can challenge the iPhone 5S in both designs and features. The aluminum uni-body on the HTC One makes it a well-designed device that feels premium, to go along with its high-end specs. The Snapdragon 600 processor combined with the front-facing stero pictures, excellent UltraPixel camera that can take fantastic low-light pictures and redesigned Sense UI, the HTC One is beats the iPhone 5 in pretty much every respect. The Sense UI redesign makes the HTC One among the best flagship Android phones by improving speed and efficiency, plus there is the HTC One Google Play Edition available. The common criticism that the HTC One memory can't be expanded and the battery is non-removable doesn't apply since the iPhone 5S can't do it either.
The only place where HTC has problems is providing continued software support for its device. HTC has a bad habit of abandoning the mid-range and lower-end phones like the HTC One S and HTC One V. The HTC One itself hasn't received the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update in the US and is still running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. HTC would unreservedly be the better smartphone if HTC could provide better support. Still, the HTC One is one of the best Android flagships on the market and can completely outperform the iPhone 5S.
iPhone 5S vs. Nexus 4
The Nexus 4 was released 11 months ago and is the closest device that can be considered an "official" Google flagship. Despite being released so long ago in tech terms, the Nexus 4 is more than a sufficient competitor for the iPhone 5S which should serve to illustrate just how poorly Apple bungled its new product.
The 4.70-inch 1280 x768 IPS LCS 320 ppi Nexus 4 display is inferior to the Apple iPhone 5S but not by as much as it should be, the iPhone 5S has 326 ppi to the Nexus 4 320 ppi. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor with 2GB RAM is likely on par or slightly worse to the dual-core heavily optimized A7 co-processor on the iPhone 5S with 1GB RAM. It's still a pretty close thing. The iPhone 5S doesn't really pull away from the Nexus 4 at any point. The iOS 7 software might be nice, but the Nexus 4 runs the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and will be among the first devices to get Android 4.4 KitKat. The Nexus 4 also has the same accelerometer, magnetometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, light sensor and barometer that iPhone 5S has. The fingerprint scanner is hardly enough to constitute a feature that elevates the iPhone 5S.
Even the Nexus 4 rear camera, 8-megapixel BSi f/2.4 with LED 1080p and front camera with 1.3-MP 720p is more than sufficient to rival the iPhone 5S camera. The only palce where the iPhone 5S pulls ahead is that it has LTE and more internal memory compared to the Nexus 4 which has 8GB and 16Gb internal memory. Still, the Nexus 4 currently costs an incredibly affordable $199 and $249 without a contract. That's a price that the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C can never match. The sad fact is that the Apple iPhone 5S which is supposed to be the premier flagship of the Apple brand struggles to compete against a phone that was released almost a year ago.
The iPhone 5S is inferior to pretty much every flagship Android phone when it comes to specs and price. Android flagships like the HTC One are also more than capable of challenging the iPhone 5S in terms of design, camera and UI features. The Android flagships easily give more bang for the buck and it wouldn't surprise us to see a significant number of Apple users switch to Android phones. The iPhone 5S is a modest specs bump, but lacks in pretty much anything else innovative or interesting. Its physical appearance is unchanged and its display size is the same.
Really, the only reason to stick with the iPhone 5S is if you're completely locked into the Apple ecosystem -- of course we doubt that will be a viable strategy for long. Apple has bungled the launch of the iPhone 5S flagship and the iPhone 5C is no cheap budget alternative either. There is no single aspect of the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C that really stands out or inspires user enthusiasm. We have no doubt that will hurt sales -- already Apple's share prices have dropped as a consequence. Right now the future doesn't look good for Apple.
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