My Space Gray iPhone 5S arrived early this morning from Apple in China, and upon first opening the box, I was amazed to see how much longer, and lighter weight this 5S phone is compared to my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s. Janna’s new iPhone will arrive tomorrow. We’re both on the 4G Verizon network.
The first thing I noticed is that the Space Gray iPhone 5S would not turn on at all! I was perplexed. Then I did the traditional “hard boot” by holding down the “on” button and the Home button at the same time until the phone turned on with the White Apple logo. I picked Space Gray because it has a black face. I prefer a neutral black on a smartphone. A white face is just too aesthetically jarring.
The phone started and already had a 91% battery charge. After setting up and restoring the phone, I was immediately prompted to download an 7.01 iOS 7 update.
As you can see in the screenshot below, I have a whole “extra row” for four more App icons in my Home screen! That is a delightful and welcome change from the 4s.
The fingerprint scanner, Touch ID App — really, a thumb scanner — is just as easy and fun to use as advertised.
You repeatedly touch your thumb to the home button in all different angles and planes to register the print — the tip of the thumb is the most important — and you’re done and in without having to always input a passcode to use your phone.
Now that’s real, sustained and objectified progress!
Here are some other quick review thoughts I have on the iPhone 5S fresh out of the box.
4G network speed and connectivity is magnificent and amazing. 4G has served us well on our iPads, but we’ve been waiting a long time for that significant network performance enhancement to touch our iPhones. Now we’re set, not in the future, but back in the now.
The 5S is definitely faster than the 4s — especially when processing and sending mail and attachments.
The colors are richer and deeper.
The new camera is excellent. I will be taking some photos in the field to test the features and I’ll share the results with you.
I like the revamped “flat” look of iOS 7. It’s clean and capable and stays out of your way — though Apple did ruin the clock. The clock is now a thin and unreadable, ordinary, bleck of an experience.
I used to use the Google Chrome browser and Gmail and Google Voice Apps on my iPhone, but with the iOS 7 update, those Apps now feel slow and wonky and ugly. The Apple Mail App is quick. Messages look and work better than Google Voice SMS. The Phone dialer is better looking and works more efficiently than the Google version. Safari is just natively a better and more robust browser on iOS 7 — a win by closed design default.
I’m realizing that you pick your basic smartphone Apps based on your phone. Android users will love the mobile Google Apps. Apple users will likely prefer the speed and design enhancements in the new iOS bundled Apps.
It makes sad sense that, to get the best user experience, you need to still be bound by native OS Apps — but I now accept that’s the way of the online world, and I’m fine with “going Apple” as much as natively possible.