large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

iPhone 5S Review - Call Quality and Verdict Review

iPhone 5S – Call and Sound Quality

The iPhone 5S provides excellent sound quality via its noise-cancelling microphones to the person on the other side. The quality of the ear speaker is also great with voices clear even on a windy high street or noisy station. 

The speakers on the iPhone 5S have also had an upgrade, providing much clearer sound with less distortion at maximum volume. You won’t be throwing any raves and the stereo speakers on the HTC One are still in a class of their own, but the 5S speaker works perfectly for hand’s free calls and watching videos.

Should I buy the iPhone 5S?

If you’re a convert to the plethora of phones with big screens on the market you may initially struggle to go back to the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5S, excellent though it is. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though. The iPhone 5S is more of a phone than some of the Android behemoths that straddle the realm of tablets, and it’s a pleasure to use day-to-day.

Performance is superb and its camera performs very well. iOS 7 feels fresh and vibrant and the App Store has by far the best selection of apps you know are safe.

It is undoubtedly the best phone with a screen smaller than 4.7 inches. 

But it comes at a price. 

The iPhone 5S starts at £549 for the 16GB model, rising up to £709 for the 64GB one with the 32GB model making the piggy in the middle at £629. If you want it on contract you’ll be looking at around £40 a month for two years.

That’s a lot of money, the same as the Sony Xperia Z1 which offers great performance, waterproofing, a solid camera and a microSD card slot for cheap additional storage. However many will find that too bulky. 

The Galaxy S4 has fallen behind in terms of performance and is not nearly as well formed as the iPhone 5S, but the amount of functionality and features Samsung has managed to pack into the svelte body is impressive. 

Then there’s the HTC One, arguably the best looking of all. It, however, suffers from an indifferent camera and average battery life. 

It’s a tough decision but you won’t go wrong with the iPhone 5S, especially if you’re thinking of upgrading from and iPhone 4 or 4S. The benefits you will see upgrading from the iPhone 5 are fewer. 

And, while iPhone 5S is pricey, there’s another thing to consider, iPhones retain their value very well with used 16GB 4Ss still selling for around £250.

Verdict

The iPhone 5S may look like an iPhone 5, but it’s better in all the right ways. If you are very comfortable with a bigger screen you might want to look elsewhere, but the iPhone 5S is a consummate performer that puts very few steps wrong.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.