2. iPhone 5S - the best iPhone yet all over again
Surprised? You shouldn't be. The iPhone 5S is an undeniably excellent phone. While the Verizon and Sprint versions have a slight disadvantage to the AT&T model in that they can't make calls and do data at the same time (no checking Facebook while you pretend to listen to your friends), nothing goes better with Apple engineering than a little 4G LTE.
Why you want it
Stellar build quality. Let's be honest: we care about the look and feel of our phones, and the iPhone 5S looks and feels great. Made from aluminum and edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass, it's like a phone from the future, and not some scuzzy Blade Runner future. We're talking Stanley Kubrick's 2001 here. It's like having your own sleek, shrunken monolith in your pocket.
The 64-bit A7 processor. The 5S offers several key improvements over the last model, the now retired iPhone 5. First, it's faster, with a blazing performance from Apple's 64 bit A7 chip. You can really only tell just how much faster the 5S is from raw benchmarking numbers, as there aren't really any apps that take advantage of its full power. That may sound like a knock, but it means that you'll have a phone that'll stay sharp well through your two-year contract.
New iPhone features. Touch ID lets you unlock your phone with a fingerprint. Passwords are so passe, and were never exactly mobile optimized. Your fingerprint can now serve as your iTunes password, making media and app purchases even easier. Good for you, bad for your wallet, right?
A fantastic camera. iPhones have long had powerful, reliable cameras. An improved sensor and dual LED flash have given the 5S one of the most versatile snappers on the market. The camera's interface has been improved as well, letting you see previews of your photos with Instagram style filter before they're even applied.
Why you may not want it
You have an iPhone 5. Last year's iPhone runs iOS 7 very well, and while you may be jealous of Touch ID and that upgraded camera, there's not really enough here to merit an upgrade just one year later.
No display upgrade. The screen still packs the same Retina pixel density of 326, which has been bested across the board by Android flagships like the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. The display is also quite small compared to the competition. That makes it nice manageable size in hand, but for extended reading and watching TV, it can be a bit cramped.
It's pricey. A 16GB iPhone 5S from Verizon is $199. A 16GB Galaxy S4 is the same price, but consider the fact that you can bolster the storage with microSD and there's a valid value argument to be made. Also, the 32GB iPhone 5S is $299, while the same size S4 is $250. That's all with a two-year contract. Off contract, it goes from unaffordable to astronomical, with 16, 32 and 64GB versions selling for $649, $749 and $849. A premium product at a very premium price.
Read our full iPhone 5S review