Smart iPhone 5s
Gadget Pilipinas

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After 2.5 months of waiting, the most forward thinking product of Apple – the iPhone 5s – just landed on my sweaty hands. I just can’t wait to try and maximize this new iPhone using Smart Communication’s advanced network. Just so you know guys – this is my first time to get a postpaid plan from Smart. Since I’m heavy on data consumption, I decided to get the PhP1,500/month Unlisurf plan.

Anyway, let’s get on to my unboxing photos and first impressions.

Unboxing Photos

The iPhone 5s is almost the exact replica of its predecessor. No changes has been made on hardware keys, cameras and home button placements. There are 2 notable changes though in the looks department – the Home button and the LED flash.

The Home button, which houses (haha… pun intended) the sapphire crystal-protected TouchID looks very different compared to its predecessor. It doesn’t show any icon on the home screen. It is also flat unlike the iPhone 5’s home screen, which looks and feels a bit more concave.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5

During the initial setup, I was asked to place my preferred unlocking finger on the sensor. The sensor first captured the inner part of right thumb in different conventional directions. During the second obligatory session, the sensor captured my thumb’s outermost parts.

TouchID, by the way, works excellent. When unlocking the phone, I only had to press the home button once and let my thumb rest on it for less than a second. Voila! I can even purchase or download apps from App Store using TouchID. There are times though that I had to manual type my iTunes password in order to authorize TouchID to download certain apps.

iPhone 5s Smart


Moreover, the new phone’s flash boasts dual-LED  True Tone flash. When camera is used with flash enabled, the 2 LED flash and Apple’s sophisticated camera driver will automatically asses the color and temperature of the environment where the subject is located. These hardware-software “teamwork” will result to capturing vivid and true skin tone color even when using LED flashes.

iPhone 5s Smart

Just look at how the iPhone 5s’ LED and camera work. The differences between the photos below are quite striking.

dual-LED True Tone

(left) iPhone 5: flash enabled, f/2.4; (right) iPhone 5s: flash enabled, f/2.2

The iPhone 5s is lightning fast; it’s practically lag-free! Thanks to its A7 processor. Apple even sweetened the deal by including an M7 co-processor which is responsible for collecting sensor data. This is now where all the sensors are placed! I still have yet to test all of these new huge improvements so stay tuned with my review soon.

On Using Smart’s Network

I can initially attest that Smart’s network is reliable. Call quality is insanely clear and I did not experience any drop calls during my initial use.

Smart’s LTE spots are quite scarce from Makati to Cubao though (route: Ayala Ave. – Chino Roces – Kalentong – N.Domingo – Cubao). I’ve seen the LTE sign on the iPhone for at least 4 times during my trip.

I am just warming up! There are lots of things to cover in the next few weeks! Let me know what you want me to cover on my review. Off the bat, I’m thinking of focusing my review on its camera and gaming performance. What do you think?


Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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