iPhone 5S review

Faster, new camera and a clever fingerprint reader. But is it enough of an upgrade?

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T-Mobile, the Uncarrier, has had its iPhone 5S for some time now. What we love about the T-Mobile version, however, starts with T-Mobile's pricing scheme.

Assuming you have pretty good credit, you walk into a T-Mobile store and walk out with an iPhone 5S for next to nothing. Of course, it means you'll be on a payment plan to pay off that phone, but that's another perk. You're buying the phone outright, rather than having to commit to a contract.

iPhone 5S for T Mobile

When you buy a contract-free phone from T-Mobile, you're just paying for the device monthly on top of your service plan. For some folks, this is more enticing with an iPhone, especially those who always upgrade to new iPhones. It's easy to just sell off the phone you already own and jump onto the next one.

With that said, there are some drawbacks to having an iPhone 5S on T-Mobile. While T-Mobile is still expanding its LTE network, it's not nearly as mature and widely available as AT&T's and Verizon's networks. However, where T-Mobile LTE is available, it is reliable and blazing fast.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where T-Mobile coverage can get very spotty, we still saw speeds of 14Mbps down and 13Mbps up consistently. In areas where we had solid coverage, we got up to around 30Mbps down and 18Mbps up. That is just ridiculously good.

Another thing to note when buying a T-Mobile iPhone 5S is that the brick and mortar carrier stores typically have limited stock. We've found that the stores carry 16GB models, so if you want the 32GB or 64GB versions, they'll have to order them for you, further delaying your instant gratification!

If you're in an area with good T-Mobile coverage and you're considering an iPhone 5S, we highly recommend it. AT&T and Verizon have their Next and Edge programs, respectively, but they're more of a ripoff than T-Mobile's JUMP program.

With an iPhone 5S on T-Mobile, you'll enjoy good battery life, good network coverage and the peace of mind knowing you're not being yanked around by a dishonest carrier who's just squeezing every last penny out of you.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory64 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyiPhone 5s
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemiOS
Brand NameApple
Battery Talk Time10 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution1136 x 640
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)112 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerApple
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersioniOS 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, iMessage
Pixel Density326 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.2 Megapixel
Height123.7 mm
Width58.7 mm
Depth7.6 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time250 Hour
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPhone 5s Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Product LineiPhone 5s
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Fingerprint Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberMF359X/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

Unrealized until now. Indispensable from now on.

A chip with 64-bit architecture. A fingerprint identity sensor. A better, faster camera. And an operating system built specifically for 64-bit. Any one of these features in a smartphone would make it ahead of its time. All of these features in a smartphone make it an iPhone that's definitely ahead of its time.

The gold standard. Also available in silver and gray.

iPhone 5s is precision crafted down to the micron. And it's evident throughout. The beautiful aluminum housing. The sleekness of metal and glass. Sapphire crystal in the Home button. And more sapphire crystal protecting the iSight camera. Design and construction of this level is unmatched. As a result, iPhone 5s looks and feels unbelievably thin and light. And it's available in three elegant expressions: gold, silver, and space gray.

Package Contents
  • iPhone 5s Smartphone
  • EarPods with Remote and Mic
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • 5W USB Power Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year