So, I managed to get my sweaty little apple-fan fingers on an iPhone 5S for a test drive.

Its about blinkin’ time too – like a lot of people, my time is nearly here for an upgrade of my handset, the new ones are out and I couldn’t wait. My trusty 4S is on its last legs, scratched and battle scared from a life of Facebook, Twitter and blog updates….it needs and deserves a rest.

However, and this is a first for me, I was a little let down. I skipped the 5, thinking that as I was tied to contract, I’d wait and see what was available when my contract finally ended.

I think, having read reviews, headlines, seen the ads, lapped up the keynote speeches, I was expecting something radical but didn’t get what I wanted.

In terms of design, it isn’t a major departure of whats gone before – which isn’t a bad thing, but it seems that the minor changes in design are changes for changes sake? The split into 5S and 5C doesn’t make much sense for me. The garish colours of the 5C don’t appeal, and the 5S seems a smidge ’80’s. I have to admit to being a little unsure of the size – its feels like it going down the route of others in trying to increase screen size at the sake of portability? It isn’t an iPad, mini or otherwise, so please Apple, don’t make the 6 any bigger. This is a phone, and I for one hope it stays a phone size!

The 5S I got to try out was the white screen one, perfect for my stilettos on a Saturday night. Its nice enough but, and heres my big issue, the major update from Apple was the iOS, with its overhaul, new fresh looks, new icons, new features – and all these are available on my old handset. I have these, I can play with them – and don’t need to fork out for a handset that offers nothing else. I really don’t care about fingerprint technology – I’ve seen the Man From Uncle (as your dad) and don’t really care that much! If my phone is stolen or lost, I can track, wipe and lock it from my iPad or MarBook (told you I was an apple geek).

If I’m honest, there simply isn’t anything radical enough here to make me want to upgrade at a cost. Give me a free handset and I’ll upgrade tomorrow – who wouldn’t, but with phone companies increasingly charging you for handsets and an arm and a leg for data, is it worth it?

I wonder when we’ll get to the point where there isn’t anything new they can do with phones? We hear stories about intelligent glass phones, simple screens without cases as the tech is inside the screen. We have Google glasses, so why not glasses that act as a phone as well? We have watches that link to phones…so why not a simple watch that does it alone? Who knows where we’ll end up – maybe by then I’ll be a true grumpy old man and have given up trying to keep up and want a phone that does something radical, like make phone calls?

The Positive
▪ It’s sleek
▪ It’s shiny
▪ It’s Apple

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The Negatives
▪ Nothing new
▪ Silly new charging pins!
▪ too big for my phone case

Price: iPhone 5s, (white) available from £79 on Vodafone Red 4G-ready price plans for £47 per month
Or Sim Free available from AMAZON from £508

Maybe I’m just too used to Apple breaking rules, creating ground breaking designs, products that change your life – and lately they haven’t done this. Now, they may be consolidating their business, building on what’s gone before and ensuring that Mr Jobs legacy continues with a strong business base, solid products, and worldwide appeal. However, this former garage start-up seems to be more about big business and tying you into its products than innovation and interest. They make more and more upgrades, and make more and more of their older items obsolete in the process and this worries me.

£500 for a handset that may be out of date in a year for two – not just in terms of style, but in terms of support for the iOS……makes you think

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Our Rating: ★★★

iPhone 5S
Colours: gold, silver and space grey
Size: 16, 32 or 64 GB
Height: 123.8 mm (4.87 inches)
Width: 58.6 mm (2.31 inches)
Depth: 7.6 mm (0.30 inches)
Weight: 112 grams (3.95 ounces)

Fingerprint identity sensor built into the Home button
Retina Display
8-mega pixel camera
True tone flash
Siri (watch the trailer for “Her”!)
and many, many more but Apple list them better than me…..

About the author: Chris Jones
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