iPhone 5S Review for Travelers

iPhone 5S

Apple announced the new iPhone 5S last week. As I’ve done with the past couple iPhones, I’m going to give an iPhone 5S review with regards to travel. Is it worth the upgrade or should you wait for the iPhone 6? Read on to find out!

iPhone 5S Touch ID

Touch ID

The biggest new feature of the iPhone 5S for me is the addition of a fingerprint ID sensor built right into the home button, called Touch ID. This will allow you to eliminate the use of a password to unlock your phone and make purchases in the App Store. This could also be a bit of a time saver when your trying to pull up a boarding pass really quick while hurrying through an airport to catch a flight that you may or may not have overslept for. You simply place your finger on the home button and you’re in.


iPhone 5S isight

iSight Camera

My favorite thing about my current iPhone 5 is the iSight Camera. There are many times when I’m out and about without my camera and it allows me to capture cool moments with the click of a button. The best camera is the one that you always have with you. With the iPhone 5S, Apple took the best smartphone camera on the market and made it even better. How you ask? Rather than jamming more pixels into the phone, they decided to increase the sensor size by 15%, pixel size to 1.5 microns, and aperture to f/2.2, all increasing the amount of light that can be brought in. This results in brighter, more colorful images. Another feature added is a dual-LED flash setup. One of my gripes about camera phones in general has been the performance of flash in low-light conditions. With the new 5S, there is a white flash as well as a second flash that adapts to the lighting conditions around you to give more clarity, more natural skin tones, etc. A couple other new features that may not be revolutionary, but are definitely useful, are a 10 photo-per-second burst mode for action shots, auto image stabilization, and an enhanced panorama mode.

iPhone 5S iSight Video

Video Recording

The new iPhone 5S finally shoots video in full 1080p HD, or at 120 frames per second in 720p. Either way you can can shoot some great videos. You also have the option to do slow-motion video at 25% playback speed, which could be a cool effect for some videos. One thing I think is particularly cool is live video zoom, being able to zoom in 3x while recording. They’ve also included a Facetime HD camera on the front of the phone for better quality video chatting.

iPhone 5S wireless

Global LTE Coverage

This is a big one, especially as LTE networks are rolling out more broadly around the globe. The new iPhone supports up to 13 LTE bands, so that when you’re traveling abroad you’re more likely to be able to buy a SIM card and use ultrafast LTE networks.

iPhone 5S iMovie

Free iLife & iWork Apps

This is not necessarily iPhone specific, but all new Apple devices come with free copies of iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. This should help your travel budget a bit.

iPhone 5S iOS


So, the final question: Should you run out and wait in line this week to get a brand new iPhone 5S? For me, the combination of the higher quality camera, global LTE coverage, and the convenience of the fingerprint sensor, make this a worthwhile purchase for frequent travelers. Good thing iPhones have a great resale value on eBay.

Photos courtesy of

Nick Huggins
written by: Nick Huggins
Follow me on Twitter: @MrNickHuggins or at!


  • I found out the 5s was coming out two weeks after finally upgrading to my iPhone 5. Grr! I couldn’t wait any longer because it totally crapped out on me and wasn’t working properly. Now I’m wondering if I should shell out the $$ for the newer version. The camera alone sounds like it might be worth it!

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