As expected, Apple has announced today its latest flagship smartphone – the iPhone 5S. The new iPhone 5S looks exactly like the iPhone 5 but comes in different colors: a new ‘space gray’, silver and the much anticipated and rumored ‘elegant tone’ of gold.
As far as features go, the one that stands out the most is the Touch ID feature – an integrated fingerprint sensor located under a new sapphire home button that will scan your ‘sub-epidermal layers’ at 500ppi. You can use the Touch ID feature to either unlock your iPhone or to authenticate purchases when buying apps, movies, music in the App Store and iTunes store.
The home button now features a capacitive ring that activates the sensor and it can read your fingerprint in any orientation. You can also choose to authenticate multiple fingerprints so you can use both hands or share the device with other people without the need to reveal your passcode.
The fingerprints that you ‘register’ are encrypted and locally stored on the new A7 chip inside the phone itself. In fact, Apple said today that the fingerprints will NOT be available to apps and they WON’T be sent, stored or shared with any servers or iCloud.
As mentioned earlier, the iPhone 5S features a new A7 chip which is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone… ever. With the new chip, Apple has optimized iOS 7 and all the stock apps to 64-bit.
Apple claims that the new chip adds up to a 40x bump in CPU speed and a 56x bump in graphics performance (compared to the original iPhone), as well as support for OpenGL ES 3.0.
iPhone 5S also ships with a new M7 “motion co-processor” which continuously measures motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass and works with a new CoreMotion API in iOS 7 that identifies user motion. Apple says that the M7 is there to enable “a new generation of health and fitness apps.”
Apple has also improved the battery life: up to 250 hours of standby, 10 hours of browsing on LTE, and 10 hours of talk on 3G.
Price and Availability
The iPhone 5S will be available for $199 ( 16GB ), $299 ( 32GB ) and $399 ( 64GB ). Pre-orders will start September 13th and it will go on sale on September 20th.