iPhone 5S Finger Print Scan

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The latest generation iPhone was unveiled by Apple at a glitzy event in California earlier this week.

Pairing the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, this is the first time the technology giant has released two handsets on the same day, in what many think is a change of direction for the company.

Despite all the fuss surrounding a possible new budget-friendly version, it’s the latest 5S model that has made all the headlines as phone enthusiasts wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve next.

With the iPhone being Apple’s single biggest product in terms of income, the announcement is a vital part of their strategy for the next 12 months when it comes to seeing-off competition from the likes of Samsung and Nokia in the cut-throat world of smartphones.

So, after all the razzmatazz of this latest Apple announcement – you may find yourself asking: “What exactly is the difference?” and “Why should I upgrade or buy Apple’s latest model?”.

Well, here is a rundown of what you need to know.

Appearance

To the untrained eye the new iPhone 5S looks extremely similar to its predecessor, maintaining the sleek appearance that has made all previous models so recognisable.

However, there are some subtle differences of note.

Firstly, the colour options. The “space grey” and gold options are a break from Apple’s traditional black or white options and certainly break the mould. An approach the company have embraced more so with the scaled-down 5C with a multitude of brightly coloured variations.

A minor detail that many people may not notice is the start button. Yes, it now has a silver ring around it, but if you look carefully there is no longer the iconic square printed on the button.

Fingerprint recognition

Probably the most talked about feature that might help this handset stand out against its Android competitors is the fingerprint recognition system. This can be used to unlock the 5S and provide authentication for purchases from Apple’s iTunes online marketplace – replacing the process of re-entering a password time and again.

“Touch ID is actually quite an elegant solution to an ever more significant problem: namely, the theft of mobile devices and, perhaps even more critically, the information stored on those devices,” explained Windsor Holden from the tech consultancy Juniper Research.

Although it may appear revolutionary, this is not the first time such a system has been used. In 2011 Motorola used similar technology, but soon discovered users had problems using it.

Processor

The new A7 chip in the 5S will be at least twice as fast as the iPhone 5 according to Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller. The chip will also run 64-bit architecture, making it “desktop class”.

There’s also a new suite of motion-tracking sensors routed through a separate chip named the M7, which monitors users’ movements; making the data available to third-party software.

The camera

Apple has made efforts to improve the phone’s photography capabilities over previous generations of iPhone and this model is no exception.

This new camera has gone for bigger pixels rather than more of them, with a 15 per cent larger sensor and a wider f/2.2 aperture. It’s hoped the larger sensor should help the device cope with low-light situations.

The 5S also has two LED flashes providing different types of light, which can be combined to help improve colour balance, not to mention the automatic image stabilisation – to prevent shots being ruined by shaky hands.

So, should you invest in one?

With prices starting from £549 for the iPhone 5S and £469 for the 5C, the new handsets are not as cheap as expected, though, as with all Apple products, they are bound to prove popular with their loyal followers when they hit the shelves in late September.

What users have to ask themselves is, does a more advanced camera and the novelty of finger print recognition justify such a hefty price tag or signing up to a costly upgrade, or are they better off sticking with what they’ve got?

Well, that is purely dependent on whether a few extra features is worth your cash.