Tested: the iPhone 5S

Published on 11/05/2016 in Bits & Bytes

Tested: the iPhone 5S

Does it still sit well with today's youngsters...?

© Tom Rich

Apple has been producing high-quality smartphones for quite some years now. However, we have to be honest: iPhones are not exactly cheap. But if you don't go for the very latest version, there are good deals to be had. After all, even these devices can still hold their own against the latest high-end devices on the market.

At least, that's what we've been told. The question is, of course, whether that is in fact that case. We investigated for you.

The results: standing the test of time


We can be brief where design is concerned. The device has the familiar, recognisable look of an iPhone. This also means the use of high-quality materials and a light weight, which sits nicely in the hand. What's more, the front panel is finished with Gorilla Glass, so it can take a beating. What did strike us, however, is that the phone scratches quite easily. So make sure you buy a case and a screen protector.

One of the nice features of this iPhone is the fingerprint scanner. This is built into the Home button. This security features offers even greater protection for your expensive device. It also lets you open your smartphone in a second: faster than having to enter a code. In any event, we think it's more than just a nice gadget.


The iPhone 5S has a 4-inch Retina screen. However, there are already some competitors that use screens with a better pixel density. But still, the image on this iPhone is razor sharp and smooth. You cannot see individual pixels with the naked eye. Also, the colours are not overly vivid, as with many AMOLED screens on competing devices.

On the other hand, there's the size of the screen. Compared with many other smartphones, 4 inches is a quite bit smaller. The flip side of this is that the iPhone is very compact. It's therefore something you have to weigh up yourself: do I need a big screen? In our opinion, 4 inches will be more than enough for most users.


The iPhone 5S has an 8 megapixel camera. Apple is therefore deliberately not getting involved in the megapixel race. Instead, they are focusing on other camera qualities, such as the sensor. And it's mainly the photos in lower light conditions that came as a pleasant surprise to us. This is mainly due to the dual LED flash in the device. The colours are more than acceptably natural.

In addition, the device has a front 1.2 megapixel camera for selfies. It takes these fairly well, certainly in normal daylight. But there are better front cameras on the market.

Another nice feature is the Burst mode. Your camera automatically takes 10 photos a second, and selects the best shots. Super handy.

You can also count on the iPhone 5S where video is concerned. The device allows you to produce moving images in Full HD. There is also the option of filming in slow motion, at 120 images a second.


The battery life of the iPhone is more than enough for most of you, but not spectacular. With average use, you won't have anything to worry about: you'll always get through the day.

Multimedia and games

Thanks to the fast A7 chip, you can play games and watch films without problems. When launched, this processor was an absolute leader in the sector. And for this reason we believe it is still very strong today. We also don't foresee any problems with updates to iOS in the immediate future.

The highlights

A number of nice features stood out for us. Here's a summary:

Fingerprint scanner

© Tom Rich

Always nice to have a bit more protection for your precious phone.

Burst mode

© LooneyTek

Your camera takes 10 photos a second and selects the best shots. No more unsuccessful photos!

In short …

The iPhone 5S may not be the most recent version of Apple's smartphone. But it still sits well with today's youngsters. The camera is very good, and thanks to the fast processor it is very easy to use. And the fingerprint sensor adds the finishing touch. It has everything, but at the same time has a very acceptable price. In short: a perfect deal.

iPhone 5S

A complete smartphone with great looks? Yes please!


  • Crystal-clear image
  • Fast processor
  • Good camera, even when taking photos in low light
  • Battery life with intensive use
  • The screen may be too small for some

What do our customers say?

But hey, it's at least as interesting to hear what you have to say about the iPhone 5S. Read here what our customers think.


A lover of technology in the Mobile Devices team. Every day I'm busy with smartphones. Besides surfing on technology blogs I brew beer in my spare time.

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