I usually upgrade every other generation of the iPhone. The question this fall is was the upgrade from the iPhone 4s to the 5s worthy? Here are my impressions after about 2 weeks with the 5s. I have the Verizon 32GB model.
- Not having LTE/4G cellular speeds on the 4s was becoming a drag. As I travel a fair amount, the 5s model now has 13 international bands of LTE, so it’s networking speed should be good in more places. I also use my iPhone as a router at home and use the personal hotspot with my Verizon data sharing plan. The hotspot setup works seamlessly all the time.
- With the A7 chip, the device is about 3x times faster than a 4s model.
- With the extra M7 chip which can handle location processing constantly without accessing the main A7 chip, battery life will be better with apps like Strava which will be reprogrammed to use this extra processor.
- The scanned fingerprint entry works well and using it keeps my personal data more secure. I used to be security-lazy and turned the passcode entry off. Probably not wise.
- Better low light camera (aperture). Great, low light situations occur all the time.
- Better flash and night shots. I don’t do much flash photography but maybe this will change now.
- Half inch more screen height. Good I’ll take it.
- Free iWorks apps. This only saves $30 bucks, but with Maverick OS coming, having these three apps icloud-enabled will mean synced documents on all my devices, including my Mac.
- After two years of use, your battery life declines. This is probably the biggest complaint from iPhone owners. Having a new battery, and which is advertised to give me an extra 20% charge is a plus.
- AirDrop (which is not available on the 4s) allows me to pass files to others in the room and to my other device (an ipad).
- Lighting cable port is an improvement over the old 30 pin connector, one of which, failed on me.
- The 5s is one ounce lighter than the 4s and you can really notice it.
- The Verizon iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s are all unlocked GSM phones. This is great news for travelers using their phones outside of the US (they are locked inside the US to Verizon). I can’t speak for AT&T and the other carriers.
- The 5s is optimized for iOS7, including the kewl new compass.
You have heard it before, upgrading from the iPhone 5 to 5s is probably not worthy, but I am happy with the technology leap from the 4s to the 5s.