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iPhone 5S Announced with A7 SoC, Fingerprint Scanner

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

It's been a long time coming but Apple finally unveiled its next generation of iPhone today at an event in Cupertino. The company was rumoured to be launching not one but two iPhones, and it didn't disappoint.

Apple started with the iPhone 5C (which you can read about here), but, obviously, the main event is the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S is available in black, gold and silver and made of high-grade aluminum with cut chamfered edges.

As rumors indicated, the iPhone 5S will run on Apple's A7 SoC. Apple today confirmed that the A7 is actually a 64-bit chip with 2x general purpose registers, 2x floating point registers, over one billion transistors and 102 square mm die size. The result is CPU performance that is 40 times that of the original iPhone and graphics performance that is 56 times that of the original iPhone. You can read all about the A7 here. In addition to the A7, the iPhone 5S also uses a motion co-processor called the M7. The M7 is in charge of motion data, measuring accelerometer, gyroscope and compass data continuously (Apple is eyeing health and fitness apps with this).

The camera has been upgraded, too (again, not a surprise). The iPhone 5S camera packs a 5-element lens with an aperture of f/2.2 on top of a sensor with a surface area that's 15 percent larger than that of the iPhone 5. It also has burst mode, image stabilization, and slow motion (720p at 120 fps).

Apple also confirmed Touch ID, which is fingerprint authentication that can be used to unlock your device and make iTunes purchases. The sensor measures 170 microns thick and boasts a 500 ppi resolution. You don't have to press the home button to scan, just place your finger on top, and the phone can read multiple fingerprints. Additionally, your fingerprints are never stored on Apple's servers or backed up to iCloud.

As far as battery life is concerned, Apple is promising 250 hours of standby, 10 hours of LTE browsing, 40 hours of music playback, 10 hours of talk time on 3G, though the company didn't talk about the battery's size. We're also waiting for more information on the display, RAM, and other aspects of the iPhone 5S hardware.

The iPhone 5S is priced at $199 for the 16 GB model, $299 for the 32 GB model, and $399 for the 64 GB model. iPhone 5S and 5C will be available starting September 20. The 5C will go up for pre-order on September 13 (this coming Friday), and China and Japan are also on the list of launch-day markets. This is a first for China, and Japan's NTT DoCoMo, which is getting the iPhone for the first time. That explains why Apple was streaming the event in Beijing and Tokyo (but doesn't really explain why there was no stream for anyone else).

Check out the hands-on from our sister site LAPTOP:

iPhone 5S Hands-on

iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 16 Hide
    deftonian , September 10, 2013 11:55 AM
    "The result is CPU performance that is 40 times that of the original iPhone and graphics performance that is 56 times that of the original iPhone."

    I like how they compare it to their original iPhon.... makes the numbers seem so much better. Hey, guess what guys, my PC is 100000 times better than the original PC. I want to see how it stacks up against current gen top tier phones and the iP5. Don't try and sell me with some comparison to some phone 4 generations old.
  • 10 Hide
    fyend , September 10, 2013 11:53 AM
    iYawn
  • 10 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , September 10, 2013 12:01 PM
    Does anybody else find it amazing that the consumer price of a 64 GB model is TWICE AS MUCH as the exact same phone with 16 GB of memory when you can get a 64 GB microSD card for under $40?
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    fyend , September 10, 2013 11:53 AM
    iYawn
  • 16 Hide
    deftonian , September 10, 2013 11:55 AM
    "The result is CPU performance that is 40 times that of the original iPhone and graphics performance that is 56 times that of the original iPhone."

    I like how they compare it to their original iPhon.... makes the numbers seem so much better. Hey, guess what guys, my PC is 100000 times better than the original PC. I want to see how it stacks up against current gen top tier phones and the iP5. Don't try and sell me with some comparison to some phone 4 generations old.
  • 10 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , September 10, 2013 12:01 PM
    Does anybody else find it amazing that the consumer price of a 64 GB model is TWICE AS MUCH as the exact same phone with 16 GB of memory when you can get a 64 GB microSD card for under $40?
  • -2 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , September 10, 2013 12:03 PM
    Does anybody else find it amazing that the consumer price of a 64 GB model is TWICE AS MUCH as the exact same phone with 16 GB of memory when you can get a 64 GB microSD card for under $40?
  • 1 Hide
    TechnoD , September 10, 2013 12:16 PM
    I can see battery life already being a problem. those numbers don't stack up well against the S4
  • -4 Hide
    TechnoD , September 10, 2013 12:17 PM
    I can see battery life already being a problem. those numbers don't stack up well against the S4
  • 3 Hide
    teh_chem , September 10, 2013 12:20 PM
    Tom's...2 different iphone 5s announcement posts? Come on, like this couldn't have been included in your other post sensationalizing iphone 5s as the "world's first 64-bit phone."
  • 2 Hide
    michael908 , September 10, 2013 12:20 PM
    It offers the same amount of talk time on 3g network as browsing on lte? I call BS on that.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , September 10, 2013 12:58 PM
    Disclaimer: I'm an Android guy with an S4, Note 8.0, and Sony Xperia Tablet Z

    Apple's announcements today were significant. The lower cost iPhone will be a hit as will the champagne 5s. The fingerprint scanning is cool as $*@%! and I'm looking forward to when Samsung or Sony copies it. The faster 5s is 64-bit and if it were an android manufacturer the android fangirls would be doing voodoo chants. Yeah, I would have liked to see Apple release a larger-screened phone but the fact that they refuse to do so just secures my android stance. Give Apple their props for their exceedingly simple OS and sometimes innovative tech...even if you prefer the more complex and flexible galaxy (pun intended) of android.
  • -1 Hide
    sean1357 , September 10, 2013 12:59 PM
    Good works Apple. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I would like to see if they put FPGA chip instead...
  • 8 Hide
    captainnemojr , September 10, 2013 1:05 PM
    "Additionally, your fingerprints are never stored on Apple's servers or backed up to iCloud."

    That's hilarious....but they are forwarded to the NSA?
  • 3 Hide
    JD88 , September 10, 2013 1:09 PM
    The big issue here is that they are selling $300 worth of mid range hardware for top of the line prices. iPhones are built well, but that's about it.

    If Samsung launched a phone today at $199 on contract with a 4", 326 ppi screen, 16GB of non-expandable storage, and 1GB of RAM, it would be a laughing stock, yet people will be lined up out the door for this.
  • 4 Hide
    cmi86 , September 10, 2013 1:10 PM
    I try not to be a conspiracy guy but damn common sense has to play a factor at some point. Every day a leak shows more and more about how the nsa and other alphabet agencies invade peoples privacy and steal information. Now you want to scan your fingerprint on your cell phone ??? I suppose it's OK since apple promises it wont be saved or shared... yeah right
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , September 10, 2013 1:27 PM
    Quote:
    I try not to be a conspiracy guy but damn common sense has to play a factor at some point. Every day a leak shows more and more about how the nsa and other alphabet agencies invade peoples privacy and steal information. Now you want to scan your fingerprint on your cell phone ??? I suppose it's OK since apple promises it wont be saved or shared... yeah right


    Because our fingerprints are oh-so-private? Information: If the US gov wants it, chances are they already have it or soon will. Most people's fingerprints are already on file, are they not?
  • 1 Hide
    doogansquest , September 10, 2013 2:05 PM
    @halcyon: It doesn't matter if they can or already do have it; they have no right to it. The whole "Well I have nothing to hide, so..." is the phrase of someone who has accepted the surrender of their freedoms. The government is NOT the answer to problems. They stir the pot, make things seem worse than they are (with the help of the media they control), and convince us we need to vote for them as a solution. Once in, they create a program that they tell us nothing about (without letting us vote on the bill itself), instill taxes in areas we aren't even aware of, and continue to make us more and more poor. They package it under the guise of security and organization, when it's really a means to make us dependent on them.

    The thumbprint scan is government pressure on these companies to find more ways to access and collect our information for them. Since the companies technically own the data, they can do that.

    We don't need to Occupy businesses; we need to take back our country from the government. Stop letting them shift our focus onto the wrong things. Stop granting our president a pass from everything bad that's happening as if he's out there, rolling up his sleeves, fighting for us (which he's not).

    They want us all to be poor and dependent on them.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 10, 2013 3:46 PM
    Quote:
    @halcyon: It doesn't matter if they can or already do have it; they have no right to it. The whole "Well I have nothing to hide, so..." is the phrase of someone who has accepted the surrender of their freedoms. The government is NOT the answer to problems. They stir the pot, make things seem worse than they are (with the help of the media they control), and convince us we need to vote for them as a solution. Once in, they create a program that they tell us nothing about (without letting us vote on the bill itself), instill taxes in areas we aren't even aware of, and continue to make us more and more poor. They package it under the guise of security and organization, when it's really a means to make us dependent on them.

    The thumbprint scan is government pressure on these companies to find more ways to access and collect our information for them. Since the companies technically own the data, they can do that.

    We don't need to Occupy businesses; we need to take back our country from the government. Stop letting them shift our focus onto the wrong things. Stop granting our president a pass from everything bad that's happening as if he's out there, rolling up his sleeves, fighting for us (which he's not).

    They want us all to be poor and dependent on them.

    Jesus, take off your tinfoil hat. Do you think that each time you have to input an alphanumeric or symbolic password into your phone, it's because the NSA--or anyone else--wants to have a database of your passwords for their own doing? Your fingerprint is no different. No one gives a damn about your fingerprint. Apple even flat-out said that the info for your print resides only on the device--nowhere else--so unless you find and share that file, you have nothing to worry about.

    You also make a statement that "they have no right to it." Why do you assume that? A governing body to which you're a citizen of demands your birth record info. Do they have no right to that either? What do they have rights to?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 10, 2013 3:49 PM
    How fast the cpu is doesn't tell me how butter-smooth the OS runs, supposedly the cpu in certain WP8 units is slower than the current iPhone 5, but it runs as fast and smooth, better for some tasks. So for what is meant to be a flagship device, in the face of the Nokia 1020 and a dearth of high-end Android phones, Apple have given us a "yawn" minor camera upgrade, but little else to warrant buying one. Tim Cook ain't Steve Jobs and this bullshit is exactly what the old Apple did the first time he went away. Shovelware.
  • 1 Hide
    michael908 , September 10, 2013 4:13 PM
    Quote:
    How fast the cpu is doesn't tell me how butter-smooth the OS runs, supposedly the cpu in certain WP8 units is slower than the current iPhone 5, but it runs as fast and smooth, better for some tasks. So for what is meant to be a flagship device, in the face of the Nokia 1020 and a dearth of high-end Android phones, Apple have given us a "yawn" minor camera upgrade, but little else to warrant buying one. Tim Cook ain't Steve Jobs and this bullshit is exactly what the old Apple did the first time he went away. Shovelware.


    Windows has done an amazing job for optimizing their OS to run on low end hardware. It really is underlooked and if it had a larger app ecosystem I wouldn't hesitate to give up my S4 for one of those nice Nokia phones. Apple stopped innovating to focus on patent trolling. They just hope people will buy the Iphone for brand and it's simplicity. They throw some colours around here and there, and add some gimmicky feature, and voila , they have a new product. And don't say fingerprint scanners are innovation, they are useless. Fingerprint scanners are incredibly easy to bypass (it can be done with a photocopied image of a fingerprint left on a surface), they only appear in movies for a reason. And how high quality of a finger print scanner can they include to keep their 3-500% profit margin?

  • -1 Hide
    house70 , September 10, 2013 4:23 PM
    iPhoneSame and iPhoneCheap... Yeah, a little bit more of the same.

    I am getting really concerned about Android's competition (or lack thereof). I was eyeing WinPhone, but with the lack of professional apps for it I can not even give it a serious consideration. Now Apple proves (once more) that it is only a shadow of what used to be (their great design ended with iP 3G). And that is only hardware; on software side, iOS is trying really hard to catch up with the competition, only to produce a 'meh' experience.
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , September 10, 2013 4:23 PM
    comments section....buggy and double-posting as usual.
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