Apple iPhone 5S Gold Quick Review, Sample Camera Photos - Front and Back, Kimstore Price Schedule, Unboxing Video

Considering the fact that the Philippines is always one of the last countries to officially get fresh releases from Apple, I really didn't expect that I'd be able to play with the iPhone 5S this soon.

Apple iPhone 5s, Apple iPhone 5s Philippines, Mark Milan Macanas

But thanks to Kim Lato of Kimstore who did her best to bring the handset here on the same day of its release in Apple's key (or more like 'favored') markets including the US and China, I finally got my hands on the much-anticipated flagship handset.

Design, Camera, Touch ID, and Performance

Available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold, Apple iPhone 5S bears the same design language as its predecessor, the iPhone 5. Looks-wise, the two phones - having similar unibody aluminum frame, 4-inch 1136 x 640 pixels Retina Display, and location of ports - appear to be one and the same device except that the 2013 handset's home button has a fingerprint sensor, which last year's flagship lacks, and its camera at the back has dual LED flash versus the single bulb on the iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone 5S
I think that the Gray and Black tones of iPhone 5S Space Gray variant complement each other better than the ones on iPhone 5 Black version.

Apple iPhone 5S, Apple iPhone 5S Gold
Contrary to what most Apple fans had expected before the official announcement of iPhone 5S, the Gold variant of the handset has an anodized champagne gold finish instead of shiny yellow gold that we usually see in jewelry.

Apple iPhone 5S, Apple iPhone 5S Gold

Amazingly, iPhone 5S Gold has become the most sought after variant of the handset upon release -- immediately selling out in all countries that have received initial shipment. The demand for this particular version is so high that it has led distributors - by Law of Supply and Demand - to offer it at a higher price versus the Silver and Space Gray variants.

Apple iPhone 5S, Apple iPhone 5S Gold

Although iPhone 5S has the same 8 MegaPixel camera resolution as iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5C, the quality of photos that I got from the handset proves that it has far superior image processing capabilities. While the color replication, contrast, and clarity of details aren't quite right up there with what Nokia Lumia 920 or 925 gives, the resulting images are good enough and are more or less comparable to photos that I've gotten from other 2013 flagship releases like Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Sony Xperia Z.

All images were taken without flash.

The 1.2 MegaPixel front cam with backside illuminated sensor delivers clear and crisp images regardless of the lighting condition but you'd do well not to expect it to deliver vibrant hues and great skin tone replication.

To those who are asking, yes, the home button - despite having the new Touch ID sensor - is still clickable. Although the laser-cut sapphire crystal Touch ID comes with capacitive touch sensor, it only works for fingerprint identification, for making digital purchases or for unlocking the phone and not for navigation -- so simply touching or swiping on it won't take you to the home screen. I really wish that Apple would eventually add more functionality to this innovative feature.

Apple iPhone 5S

According to Apple, one of that things that are special about iPhone 5S is that it runs on the all-new Apple A7 processor. This chipset - having a 1.3 GHz Dual Core ARMv8 CPU, PowerVR G6430 GPU, and 64-bit instruction set - is said to be twice as powerful as Apple A6, which powers the iPhone 5. Frankly though, if you're just a casual user or if you don't really run or play specs-intensive applications and games, I don't think you'll notice any big difference in performance between the two phones. (My brother said touch response on 5S feels a bit smoother and screen transitions are snappier versus iPhone 5 but I think the difference is far too slim to be appreciated.)

Apple iPhone 5S


I got to play with all iPhone 5S color variants. As you can see, unlike iPhone 5C, 5S doesn't have generic plastic packaging; The design of the paper box matches the color of the handset that's inside it.

Apple iPhone 5S

I think the Space Gray version looks very sophisticated and elegant. However, I found myself almost magnetically drawn to the Gold variant -- maybe because it's the first time that I saw the iPhone in that color.

Apple iPhone 5S

I liked iPhone 5S Gold so much that it's the variant that I chose to feature in my Quick Unboxing and Touch ID Set-up video. Check out the clip, TP Friends. I hope you like it.

Apple iPhone 5S
Again, let's do a rundown of everything you get in the box. Of course, there's the iPhone 5S unit itself and the charger.

Apple iPhone 5S
The new Apple Earpods in their own plastic case.

Apple iPhone 5S
There's the Lightning port to USB connector cable.

Apple iPhone 5S
Finally, we have the Nano SIM tray opener, documentation, and the two Apple stickers.

So should you upgrade to iPhone 5S? If you're on iPhone 5 and you badly want that Touch ID and the slightly better camera, by all means, upgrade. But let me tell you, the differences between those two phones - even in terms of video recording capabilities and battery life - are very slim. Now, if you're using iPhone 4S and you still want an iPhone as your next handset, you should definitely get iPhone 5S; The upgrade will be worth it.

Out Now At Kimstore!

Apple iPhone 5S
Meet Ixus, Kim's very cute Shih Tzu!

Apple iPhone 5S is now available at Kimstore, my trusted online store! Here's the price schedule as of October 1, 2013: 16GB Space Gray Php 37,900, Silver Php 43,500, Gold Php 53,000, 32GB Space Gray Php 40,400, Silver Php 46,300, Gold Php 56,700, 64GB Black Php 43,800, Silver Php 49,200, Gold Php 68,000.

For more information about iPhone 5S (warranty coverage, available accessories, etc.) or if you already want to order your unit from Kim, feel free to give Kimstore a ring at +63905-320-1818, +63922-885-9799, +63908-886-9799, or (02) 904-2966. Oh, and don't forget to mention TechPinas when you talk to her staff; Who knows? You just might get a small discount!

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