iPhone 5S review

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

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

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Apple has used the same Retina display as found in the iPhone 5, and now the iPhone 5C too, in the new flagship model. It's a four-inch screen, and comes with a resolution of 1136 x 640, making it still razor sharp at 326DPI.

This is a difficult one to call in terms of recommending the display compared to the rest of the smartphone world, as there are definitely better screens out there.

The four-inch size of the screen is impressive still though, as while we might be fans of the larger screen for movies and internet browsing on the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, the iPhone 5S is a great phone for people that hate the idea of being forced to live with a bigger screen when they don't want to.

It's not perfect though, as despite what Apple would have you believe, the screen is just a tad too large to operate easily with one hand.

iPhone 5S review

With a small amount of shifting you can get the thumb all the way across, but given you have to jiggle the phone in the palm a little bit to do so, it kind of feels redundant to have to do so, making us just want a bigger screen.

In terms of the clarity of the iPhone 5S' display, we'd say it's excellent in terms of colour reproduction and general effect, but there are better displays out there.

Many people will be upgrading to the iPhone 5S from the 4S, and this is one of the few areas where, extended size aside, they won't see a large amount of difference.

iPhone 5S review

The sharpness is great, the colour reproduction still industry leading, but the brightness can be a little erratic for some low-contrast movies and isn't big enough for speedy typing. HD movies still look acceptable on the device, but we've seen a much more jaw-dropping effect on rival devices, such as the LG G2.

We like that Apple is leading the charge to stop screen sizes going too far in the wrong direction, but there could be something more that's done here.

iPhone 5S review

Even a display with a thinner bezel would have impressed (although scaling apps might have been a problem, with is something Apple is so proud of) but we still think in the face of fierce opposition there's a lot more the iPhone 6 can offer.

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.