Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tech Time ::: First Impressions on iPhone 5S

Photos: Me, of my phone
I received my 5S last week, and immediately was hugging it with glee. I also learned that maybe next time I won't get up at 2am and will just walk my ass into the store to get it over the weekend, because I could've...

My first step after opening the box was to (flawlessly) install my Spigen Ultra Crystal Screen Protector. (That's not shown below, that's just how it is in the newly opened box!)  I might love these Spigens more than the TruProtection... Note that I didn't even remove the phone from the box before doing this. Having it in the tray in the box actually helped me keep the phone still and line the protector up, but also prevented any silly excitement-related drops. Once that sucker was on, I removed the phone from the box, inspected it for scratches or dings, and there thankfully weren't any. 

When it's in your hands, you notice immediately that this thing is ridiculously light compared to the 4 and 4S models. And even lighter feeling than the 5. I remember holding the floor models in the AT&T store and thinking "wow, not a huge difference, but definitely noticeably lighter..." Then I put the Speck Candyshell on, and powered it on to activate. That was quick and painless, for once, and I was off and running.

Since I didn't do any sort of grand "unboxing" video often seen in the nerdworld, just that photo above, here's one from Rene at iMore unboxing the Space Gray device, which is what I also have.  His video is professional and nice, and mine would be a trainwreck. So enjoy his. 

Video: iMore.com

My very first expression after it was activated was "holy shit, this thing is fast."  I mean, I didn't think my 4S was particularly slow or anything, especially after the iOS7 update, but comparatively? Well, there's no comparison. IT. IS. SO. FAST. It screams!  My husband has an iPad 4 with LTE, and it's really quick, so I knew kind of what to expect from that. But there's not much like experiencing that with an even faster processor.  It also charges very quickly, lightning, duh.

Photos: Me of my phone, you can sort of see the TouchID ring in this one. 

And so far, battery life is remarkable. I've charged it three times in a week (part of that was conditioning the battery).  My "strategy" for my crazy battery life is that I immediately went in and turned off all the things I don't care to leave on or that I don't generally use: Wifi off, Bluetooth off, control center off from lock screen or apps, location tracking off for all but Find my iPhone, background app updating off, parallax sensor (aka reduce motion in accessibility), kill notifications for almost everything other than phone, messaging and mail, turn weather off and stocks off (uhhh, I can look outside and see the weather...)

I opted to set this one up as a new phone, in part to try to avoid any of the prior drama from my stolen iPhone4 that carried over last time around. After setting up my email accounts, contacts and calendars, I went in to the App Store and downloaded the apps I wanted on this phone individually, and that was surprisingly quick. Once I got those all organized how I like them, I took advantage of the free iWork apps and downloaded those as well.  This phone is snappier and smoother all around and so worth the wait.  Eventually I will sync it to my Mac to get my movies and music loaded. 

Photo: iMore.com iPhone5S Review (it's long, but great)

As for the TouchID sensor...
It is definitely interesting and taking some getting used to. The phone will store up to 5 different prints at a time, and you can erase them as you go. The very first one I did was all sorts of wonk because I didn't put my finger down very well, so I went in and deleted it and redid it.  There's a little vibration that is to warn you when to move your finger...well, that didn't go well.  You essentially put the pad of the finger down several times and it maps the print, then they have you put down the sides and tip a few times to get the edges. It's worked fairly well and I have only had a few times where I used just the tippy tip of my finger and that doesn't let me in.  I ended up doing a total of four that I stored, two on each hand. 

I am still kind of in the habit of using the passcode (which is sort of forced on and I am using it), so sometimes I use the fingerprint to unlock, sometimes I use the passcode. I wouldn't say the TouchID is any faster, at least not yet, they're about equal. I don't know if I feel any more or less secure with it either.  I know there's talk that it has already been "hacked". That process sounds to be much more work than the average thief is going to go through, I think.

The newer, better camera:::
The camera I have only played with a small amount, and I will have to do a separate review/post about that after I have had the phone for a while.  The biggest difference I noticed is really in low-light conditions, the images just look better.  However, "burst mode" + small children who like to push buttons and play with iPhones = an insanely large collection of weird photos in your camera roll. So, just be aware of that.  

All in all this is a solid upgrade over the iPhone 5, and a giant upgrade over the 4S.  Anyone else jump on the 5S? Or even the 5C? Your thoughts?

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