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Apple unveils iPhone 5S: The biggest ‘S’ update in iPhone history is finally here

Updated 10 years ago
iPhone 5S Release Date

After months of speculation, rumors and leaks, Apple on Tuesday finally unveiled its next-generation iPhone 5S. Largely in line with the dozens of reports that have surfaced recently, the brand new flagship iPhone features an external design that is nearly identical to the current iPhone 5 and is comprised entirely of aluminum and glass. The home button has undergone some design changes, however, as has the back of the phone to accommodate the camera’s new dual-LED flash. While the outside of the handset remains largely unchanged, the inside is an entirely different story.

The three official colors for the iPhone 5S are gold, silver, and a “new space gray.” The phone will contain the new A7 chip, the first 64-bit chip on a smartphone. iOS 7 will run 64-bit and 32-bit apps. The A7 chip will allow the CPU of the 5S to run up to 40 times as fast original iPhone and the graphics to run up to 56 times as fast. 5S will run Open GL|ES 3.0, the most advanced mobile graphics interface. Donald Mustard of Epic Games showed off Infinity Blade 3 on stage in order to demonstrate the power of the 64-bit chip and the new graphics interface.

The M7 motion coprocessor will work alongside the A7 chip, and will measure the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope. It will be able to tell your apps if you’re on the move on standing still. In terms of battery life: 10 hours for 3G talk time, LTE and Wi-Fi browsing, and video, and 250 hours for standby.

The iPhone 5S will have an iSight camera with “a new, five-element Apple-designed lens.” It has a 15% larger active area and bigger pixels in each photo. When you snap a photo, the 5S will actually take multiples and choose the best one while combining them all for light levels. The new flash will have two LEDs for differing circumstances. The camera can also capture Slo-Mo video at 120 FPS in 720p.

For greater security, Apple has implemented a Touch ID capacitive sensor directly into the home button, which uses your fingerprint to unlock your phone. It’s 170 microns thin, 500 ppi resolution, scans your sub-epidermal skin layers, and has 360 degree readability. Plus, it can store more than one set of fingerprints. Touch ID is also sapphire so it won’t get scratched up. Along with unlocking your phone, you can also use Touch ID with apps, such as to authenticate purchases on iTunes. Apple wants to ensure customers that the fingerprint data will be stored securely: it will not be uploaded to Apple’s servers or stored on iCloud.

As for the iPhone 5S pricing structure, the 16GB model will be $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399, all on a two-year contract. The iPhone 5S will be released on September 20th in the United States, Canada, Australia, and for the first time at launch, China.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.