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Slight update in mobile communication

iPhone5SGroupIt was time to upgrade my cell phone as the iPhone 4 was on it’s way to
complete the 4th year of service. Don’t get me wrong – the iPhone 4 is
still an outstanding device. But you notice that iOS7 is giving it serious
headache. Apps start sluggish and iOS7 drags power as hell.

Time to give Cupertino’s newest gadget a chance to proove itself to me!

As I use my cell phone mostly at work and need a reliable and versatile PDA (yes, I know that PDAs are dead and smartphone is the correct term for the iPhone 5S, but it is still a PDA, for heaven’s sake!), the iPhone 5S needs to fill a big footstep and proove itself as the worthy successor to my iPhone 4.

So let’s have a sneak peek, shall we?

5SFront First of all, the body of the iPhone 5S has a worthy touch althoug h I still would have preferred the glass back, the iPhone 4 series had. Okay, new model, new ways to go. simple as that! The new color “Gold” was for sure one thing for me to lay hands on and to date, the gold version with 64GB is still hard to obtain here in Switzerland.

To protect my new companion against scratches and harder impacts I decided to spend it a booklet case. To cover the display from scratches, I ordered a nano slim glass from Spigen to apply on the display. More about that later on.

So how was the “Restore process” running. Nothing is more annoying than a device change as it often means copying over all your stuff from the old device onto the new device. Apple found an innovative way to circumvent this problem. Using iCloud, all your settings (even the icon groups and their positions), your contacts and calendar appointments, your WhatsApp messages, SMS… are all saved into a Backup file from which you can restore your new device in no time. Now THAT’s cool as it meant setup my new iPhone within minutes.

Now back to the phone itself. Equipped with the latest technology, a 64bit processor named A7 and the gyromotion sensor coprocessor M7 speed up things a lot… again. The really new feature, namely the fingerprint sensor is THE eyecatcher. Don’t struggle again typing and probably mistyping your iTunes-password over and over again. A simple touchdown on the fingerprint sensor and you’re authenticated. For those who are unsure if you can trust TouchID… let me assure you that Apple has put up lots of effort making things as secure as possible. There’s no 100% security warranty – nowhere! But TouchID makes things a lot more secure than a simple password.

Since one’s fingerprint is as unique as the gene sequence, this feature might protect your phone very well. At least I am using TouchID frequently backed by a very strong password. While my iPhone 4 was only secured by the 4digit password (because unlocking with a 16digit password is a bit a pain in the ass especially when things have to go fast!

But why consider using TouchID when it’s not so secure as media has already stated? Well… to be honest, I was a bit uncertain, too but the info from Apple that after initial Logon to your device, you still have to type in the standard password once in order to gain access to iTunes Store. The unlock process of the phone is always TouchID.

And what about if your finger(s) are injured or your fingerprint is temporarily not readable due to a cut? Well, then you can still unlock your phone using the standard method by simply keying in your password.

The WLAN component now understands 5GHz networks as well and is extremely fast. Speed tests via WLAN brought up speeds up to 120 Mbit/s – that’s 3 times as fast as the iPhone 4 could digest.

5SBackWith this results, I am dazzled to see what LTE could fire up. My price plan covers full LTE speed. So let’s get full LTE signal and fire up Speedtest. And *zing* – At Bern – Central station I got full LTE signal. The test confirmed 85 Mbit/s downstream and 20 Mbit/s upstream. Impressive numbers for mobile connection. If we think back about GPRS where the downstream began struggling at roughly 800 kbit/s, these new results are outstanding. But if you think, you always have these speeds, then you’re wrong because just 200 metres away from Central station, speeds have dropped to a mere 20 Mbit/s (this measured with a signal strength of 3 from 5). Okay, LTE coverage is still not big but if you happen to have LTE, the speed is just fantastic and even lets you digest large downloads in no time.

You’d better make sure to have a price plan that covers a lot of data or you’ll find yourself back in reality with a really high phone bill. Especially when you’re in a roaming zone, then even 200 MB might be gone in no time. whatever is ahead on the mobile highway, the roaming tariffs have to drop or the included traffic amount should be increased in order to make people use LTE more frequent. High price plans should include a big(ger) amount of included traffic already but the truth is that only in your home country you either have a flatrate or at least a big traffic package included. Swisscom for example grants 5GB a month at highest speed then starting to flick the brake. Don’t get me wrong. 5GB to reach is extremely difficult even for a frquent phone user like me who’s always on. Probably the streaming of several HD videos might drain the amount quickly. But especially in Bern, where you also can benefit from public WLAN access in a handful of bars, restaurants and other event locations, you are mostly on the safe spot.

But if you’re on the road and outta your home country you’d better have an eye on your used data contingent or consider deactivating Roaming until you really need it. In most cases the usage of a WLAN at your hotel might be the cheaper option but not many hotels offer free WLAN access or WLAN at all. Better check for it when you book your hotel.

What about CPU speed, warming up and gaming performance? To be honest, the iPhone 5S performs very well in this discipline as the A7 processor itself is ways faster than the A6. Most applications fire up in half the time they used to take on the iPhone 4. I really like that as I hated it when an application stalled my iPhone 4 for several seconds.

The CPU however tends to slightly higher temperatures when heavily stressed. about 42 degrees was the hottest spot I could measure after a 30 minutes prime stress test. The battery however is still the “weakest” part of the iPhone 5S. Lots of processing power demand lots of battery power, too! So if you stress the little fracker to the extreme, you might find your phone gobbled empty in about 5 hours. The average user might survive a full work day before the iPhone cries “feed me” again.

Using the rather unusual fightmode only scenario, the iPhone might survive a full 4 days. But be honest: Why use an iPhone in Flight mode all the time? Doesn’t make much sense, eh? So see yourself confronted with a good 2 days run instead. If you fear to loose contact early, an additional battery pack, offering you some extra juice for the iPhone (and you some additional hours to use on Facebook and all the social platforms out there) is a valuable addition.

Well. And what about the other advantages of the iPhone 5S? Well, the camera now makes even better pictures (although they can’t compete with the Nokia Lumia series) and offers a Burst mode where you can hold the trigger and shoot 10 pictures a second of which you can select the best-looking ones later on.

5SLeftThe camera also offers a highspeed video mode recording 120 fps at 720p and thus allows slowmotion videos to be produced easily. But for all the new features it is recommended to have a closer look on what iOS 7 has to offer.

So what’s the final conclusion of the migration?

The hype about new Apple gadgets is still unbroken as you can see in the difficulty to get new Apple gadgets at the day they’re released. That’s one reason why I wait for a month or so and then start ordering mine. It also allowed me to bypass several kinks at the initial iOS 7 release.

The first device I equipped with iOS 7 was my iPad 4 where it ended up with no problems. Then my iPhone 4S followed also with no problems. I didn’t enroll iOS 7 on the iPhone 4 as the phone doesn’t have the capacity to digest this all-new OS without problems. Stuttering, a severe battery drainage and the lack of some iOS7 features still made me use iOS6 on the iPhone 4.

Never change a running system.

About the price tag: 999 CHF for the 64GB model is a hefty price tag alright! But you get what you pay for. The phone is doing exactly what it is supposed to and the main advantage to a branded phone is, that you can use ANY provider instead of the provider it is tied to.

Things I like:
– Classy appearance
– the TouchID sensor
– The screen
– The speakers
– The application speed
– The iCloud backup and restoration

Things I miss:
– Expandability with microSD
– WLAN ac support
– USB3.0 connection- The all-glossy glass back.

Is there a star rating from me? – You betcha:

Haptics: ★★★★☆ (10%)Connectivity: ★★★☆☆ (25%)
Speed: ★★★★★ (25%)
Stability: ★★★★★ (20%)
App store: ★★★★★ (20%)

OVERALL: ★★★★☆

December 9, 2013 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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FILED UNDER :Computer , Gadgets , News , Test&Review

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