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Apple officially announces the iPhone 5S, featuring a fingerprint scanner and revamped camera

Apple has finally announced the successor to the iPhone 5, simply known as the iPhone 5S. Just like past “S” releases, Apple has chosen to issue a minor refresh with improved specifications and minor hardware tweaks instead of radically overhauling the phone’s design.

The company says that the iPhone 5S is equipped with a new Apple A7 processor, the world’s first 64-bit mobile chip. Apple claims that the phone has a “desktop-class architecture” that’s up to 40 times faster than the original iPhone. Graphics performance has seen a huge boost too, with Apple saying that the new GPU is up to 54 times faster than its 2007 handset.

Apple has also radically changed the camera system. The sensor now features larger pixels that capture more light – potentially leading to better low-light pictures – as well as a five lens element system. In addition, there’s a dual LED module that shoots a different type of light depending on the surrounding conditions. One LED has a cooler, whiter colour temperature, while the other is much warmer.

There’s also an automatic image stabilisation feature that will take multiple photos and select the sharpest of the bunch, plus a burst mode that can take 10 pictures at once. Video recording has seen an upgrade too. The iPhone 5S is capable of capturing 720p videos at 120 frames per second, leading to slow-motion footage that can be shared out to social networks.

But just like the iPhone 4S, Apple has reserved a special addition just for this new model. The world was introduced to Siri two years ago, and now they’ll have to get to grips with a fingerprint scanner called “Touch ID”. Apple says that the part will make the iPhone even more secure, with owners able to briefly touch the home button to unlock their device. The scanner is capable of reading 500 pixels per inch, and takes data from your fingerprints on a sub-epidermal level. And Apple has added a new ring around the home button too that serves as a detection tool for scanning.

iOS 7 will come pre-installed on the iPhone 5S too. The new version of Apple’s mobile operating system has been radically overhauled, featuring a cleaner and simpler design, with particularly emphasis placed on flat elements such as icons. Other improvements including tweaked ringtones, improved Siri searches, an all new Gallery and Photo experience, and AirDrop, a Wi-Fi sharing feature. Apple says that iOS 7 is 64-bit too, allowing for faster performance when paired with the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5S.

Apple says that the iPhone 5S will launch in multiple countries on September 20th. Pricing remains unchanged, with the 16GB model expected to cost £549 here in the UK. The handset will be available in the usual black and white colours, as well as a new champagne gold option.

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