Yesterday my new iPhone 5S arrived at my doorstep.1 That means that I’ve now owned and used an iPhone 5S little over a full day. I thought it might be fun to write down some first impressions of it. This is not meant to be a comprehensive review. Nor is it meant to answer the question whether you, dear reader, should buy an iPhone 5S. I’ll happily leave those kinds of decisions to you.
Background information for context
iPhones have been my primary phones since the fall of 2008 when I bought an iPhone 3G.2 I used that phone happily for two years until I made the catastrophic mistake of ”upgrading” its OS to iOS 4. That mistake resulted in a super slooooooooooooow phone and pushed me to buying an iPhone 4 instead.3 That iPhone 4 has then been my one and only phone up until yesterday.
Because of the terrible ending of the 3G I’ve been hesitant to upgrade the OS too much on the 4. I waited almost a year to go from iOS 5 to iOS 6 and I decided not to upgrade to iOS 7 at all. Still, the phone has gotten slower and slower, probably because of a mixture of wear and tear on the components and apps that are increasingly resource hungry. Since it’s been a gradual slowdown of the phone I don’t think I realized just how slow it had become, until now.
The iPhone 5S 4 is fast. Really fast. This seems to be a mixture of much faster hardware and the ability for apps in iOS 7 to do data fetching in the background.
I am a bathroom twitter reader. I mean, aren’t we all? Up until yesterday a bathroom twitter session was as following:
- Launch Twitterrific5 and wait for 15-30 second while it showed its splash screen and tried to launch.
- Silently curse when Twitterrific crashed (due to low memory?).
- Re-launch Twitterrific. Wait for another 10-20 seconds.
- Curse again.
- Re-launch once again.
- Smile happily as the timeline finally displayed.
- Wait for another 10-30 seconds while the timeline refreshed.
Now, the procedure has been shortened:
- Launch Twitterrific.
- Immediately be presented with a newly refreshed timeline.
- Start reading tweets.
Same goes for other apps, for example Instagram.6
Even things that I didn’t think was unnaturally slow on the iPhone 4 (things like launching new podcast episodes in Downcast) has been sped up significantly on the 5S.
The value proposition of Touch ID seems fantastic and when it works it really is great. However in my use so far it fails more often then succeeds. (Something like a rate of 60% failure, 40% success.) I’ll likely come back to this in a future blog post.
I think iOS 7 looks great. (Apart from Apples icons, that is.) Since it is not a new OS on the same old phone I don’t feel that almost vertigo-like feeling and frustration that some seems to feel when upgrading their old phones. The whole package, phone plus OS, just feels fresh and interesting.
As mentioned above the ability for apps to fetch data in the background also makes the whole phone feel faster.
That’s just some quick thoughts. I’ll probably write more once I get more familiar with the phone.
- Well technically my workplace, since you can’t really get the delivery companies to make deliveries at a convenient time, but that’s a completely different story. ↩
- A.k.a. the second iPhone model. ↩
- A sane person might have considered a different phone manufacturer after such an event. I did not. ↩
- Yes, I will keep using the uppercase S. The lowercase iPhone 5s just looks stupid. ↩
- I love Twitterrific, even when it has been slow. Just felt like pointing that out. ↩
- Instagram did not routinely crash the way Twitterrific did, but it sure as hell was slow. ↩