iPhone 5S review

Apple's first iPhone with Touch ID is now a solid budget buy

iPhone 5S review
A phone that's more than a iterative update

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Originally, upon opening the iPhone 5S Photos app, you were taken through a few options. You could view your album, your Photostream through iCloud or the myriad videos you'd nabbed during your time with the device.

Once into your camera roll, you could organise by moments in time, location or just general collections, with only a couple of taps being needed to make it easier to share the content with a social network.

After a few complaints, Apple included an option to switch back to the traditional Camera Roll view in the iOS 8.1 update, and with iOS 9 the brand new iCloud Photo Library service is available, designed to make automatic online backups more straightforward.

iPhone 5S review

From the Photos app you can as create a shared photostream for the family to enjoy, or open Apple maps to see properly where the photos were taken. And if you want to zoom out a bit then all you need to do is tap the top left-hand icon, taking you from 'Collections' to 'Years' which means that if you've got millions of snaps then you can see them grouped properly together.

If you're not happy with the photos you have you can always tap the 'edit' button when viewing a particular picture to take you into an editor.

From there you have various options including crop, rotate, red-eye removal, eight filters and auto-enhance. The iOS 8 and 9 updates have beefed up the editing capabilities, and the app now supports third-party extensions as well.

As a result you can now fully tweak light and colour settings, digging into exposure, brightness, contrast, and a lot more.

With the most recent Photos update it feels like Apple is finally getting its act together in terms of images, although there's still a lot of work that could be done – it's neither as accessible nor as straightforward as Google Photos, for example.


If you're interested in sharing these photos with others, the Airdrop is your friend here. Apple's proprietary connection is one that's pretty darn good and beats the pants of the likes of S Beam on a Galaxy phone or the general need to pull one's hair out when setting up Wi-Fi Direct.

iPhone 5S review

In this option you simply tap the photo you want to share, make sure the person you're looking to share it with has a compatible Apple device (and is visible) then tap on the icon of the person that comes up at the bottom in the Control Centre – this works really well and the photo sharing times are very impressive indeed, using Apple's implementation of the Wi-Fi ad-hoc technology.

It's startling how fast photos beam across, and it's more simple than competitor methods, providing you've made yourself available or accepted other users.

It pretty much removes the need for Bluetooth, at least as far as file sharing between iOS devices is concerned.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.