Roundup of Early iPhone 5S Reviews

Wow, the headlines in my RSS reader suggest the new iPhone 5Ss is being very well received, with lots of superlatives. Here's the respected John Gruber on the Daring Fireball website: "This is what innovation, real innovation, looks like." He rebuts arguments that Apple has lost the ability to innovate and argues that the refinements in the iPhone 5S show real innovation. He offers a very detailed review of the camera, Touch ID, and the 64-bit architecture, including benchmarks showing how much faster the iPhone 5S is than the iPhone 5.

And here's TechCrunch: "With the iPhone 5S, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available." The review covers the phone's basics, design, features (Touch ID, M7 motion coprocessor), display, software, camera, performance, and battery.

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Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal also raves about the new phone, calling it the "best smartphone on the market," praising both the hardware and the software. He finds the Touch ID fingerprint sensor reliable, and says this version of Siri is much improved.

USA Today takes a look at the new features and new software and concludes, "The iPhone 5S makes the best smartphone even better." The review says the biggest change with the new phone, though, is iOS 7.

And if you want an encyclopedic review of the iPhone 5S, check out the one by AnandTech—all 13 pages of it. You get an analysis of every last detail, but especially the processor. A number of benchmark tests show that the iPhone 5S is indeed the speediest phone on the market, with the review referring to the A7 processor as "seriously impressive." The review refers to the phone as "future proof," meaning that the processor is so powerful that it will be a long while before the phone becomes obsolete.

David Pogue of the New York Times is equally bullish: "Apple still believes in superb design and tremendous polish. The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract—but it’s still among the few that will." He reports that in his experience so far, the Touch ID works flawlessly and is superior to other fingerprint sensors he's tried.

Engadget says that the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5S isn't large enough for some people. But for those who like a phone with a screen smaller than 4.5 inches, the 5S is "the best small phone you can get." The review particularly praises the camera and the 64-bit processor.

Apple has done well. It's great to see the appreciation these reviewers have for Apple's focus on refining the phone and making it the best. And it's fun to see the benchmark tests showing that it is indeed the fastest phone out there.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.