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iPhone 5s: Five key things you need to know

iPhone 5s: Five key things you need to know

The rumour-mongering is over. Well, for now at least.

Apple’s new iPhones might not be the game-changers of years gone by, but the iPhone 5s is certainly set to give key rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Google’s forthcoming Nexus 5 plenty of competition.

If your contract is up, or you’re feeling flush and are thinking of stumping-up the SIM-free price for Cupertino’s new top-end blower, then read on.

These are the five key things you need to know before busting out your credit card.

1 Touch ID won’t save a scan of your fingerprint

touch id iphone 5s

The iPhone 5s’s key feature is Touch ID, the fingerprint scanner that takes the place of the traditional home button.

The aim is to beef-up security when unlocking a device, as well as acting as a less clunky way of buying apps, music and books than trying to remember your iTunes ID.

Importantly, Apple has confirmed that the device will not stash a scan of your fingerprint, stopping hackers and handset thieves getting hold of your most personal information.

Instead, an encrypted version will be kept securely on the phone’s processor.

Apple will not keep a copy on its servers and you’ll need to use a passcode when rebooting or waking the device from sleep mode after 48 hours.

2 It’ll be 4G ready from day one on EE, but not O2

EE 4G service everywhere banner

EE and Vodafone were both listed as 4G partners by Apple when it revealed the iPhone 5s on September 10th.

O2, however, was left off of the list. The reason?

While it’ll be stocking the device and selling it on its O2 Refresh tariff, it won’t be switching on 4G access until November.

It says this is down to Apple sending it ‘new settings’, at which point it will begin switching on 4G.

EE, however, will serve up the iPhone 5s on 4G from day one, September 20th.

It’s said it’ll sell the device on its Swap tariff, so you can chop in the phone after six months if you see something else new and swanky that takes your fancy. For a fee, natch.

Vodafone’s contracts are yet to be revealed, while Three has said it will range the device, but hasn’t given details on cost.

3 You can protect it with AppleCare+

applecare+

Apple has rolled out its AppleCare+ warranty service in the UK this week.

That means for a one-off fee of £79, which you’ll need to pay within a month of snagging your iPhone, your new handset will be covered for two years.

You’ll be able to snag a new handset twice within that period if it gets damaged, but you’ll have to pay a £55 excess charge each time.

AppleCare+ will also get you full technical support, covering all of Cupertino’s native apps and services.

4 The camera’s been given an overhaul

iphone 5s isight camera

It might not match Sony’s new Xperia Z1’s 20 megapixel stylings, or the top notch Nokia Lumia 1020.

But Apple reckons its new snapper is a game changer.

The sensor still serves up eight megapixels, but is 15% larger, which means greater light sensitivity and therefore, says Apple, better snaps.

There’s a dual, ‘True Tone’ flash, burst mode and automatic image stabilisation as well, plus slow-mo HD video at 120 frames per second.

Other manufacturers might have more megapixels, but the iPhone’s camera is still excellent.

5 New processing power means snappier performance (well, that’s what Apple reckons)

a7 processor launch

The design of the iPhone 5s is essentially the same as the iPhone 5. But inside there’s a new A7 chip, along with a M7 motion coprocessor, the latter offloading work from the chip in order to boost speed.

Apple reckons this makes playing games and editing photos far easier and quicker than before.

The proof of that will come once we’ve had a proper play with Cook and co’s new flagship.

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