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Right after its big iPhone event last Tuesday, Apple gave a select group of journalists early access to the final build of iOS 7, along with its two new handsets: the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s.

The move is a familiar one for the company, who typically gives out products for analysis ahead of launch. And tonight, right on schedule, the embargo lifted on this week’s round of reviews…

As usual, we’ve put together a roundup of excerpts from a number of the just-released reviews in an attempt to paint a picture of what the general consensus is towards Apple’s new products.

iOS 7

Since iOS 7 will be making its way to millions of devices tomorrow, we figured we better start here. It’s the biggest update to iOS since its inception, and has thus far received polarizing feedback.

David Pogue for The New York Times:

“The look of iOS 7 may grab you or not. But once the fuss about the visuals dies down, something even more important comes into focus: the work that’s been done on making iOS better. The longer you spend with the new OS, the more you’re grateful for the fixing and de-annoyifying on display.

For example, you no longer have to burrow into infinitely nested Settings screens to adjust your control panels. Now you can just speak what you want, using Siri: “Open Wi-Fi settings,” for example, or “Open brightness settings.”

Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD:

“Then there’s the new operating system on this phone, called iOS 7. Its new look, new user interface and new functions represent the biggest overhaul to the iPhone’s core software since the original model launched in 2007. Nearly everything has been improved, including multi-tasking, notifications, access to common controls, email, Web browsing and Siri. Like any big change, it’s a shock at first, but I have come to like it and consider it a step forward, despite a few issues. “

And Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:

“iOS 7 isn’t a big change functionally from what we’re all used to with iOS 6. Apple kept most of things we know about how to use the operating system and integrated them with the design.

Of course, that is the big change with the new iOS—the look and feel are newer, some would say flatter. While we were all a bit shocked with the look when it was first introduced, it doesn’t take long to adapt. In fact, there are many things I like better.”

iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c represents a bold new strategy for Apple. It’s plastic, it’s less expensive than the 5s, and it comes in an array of bright colors. Many pundits, though, are skeptical it will succeed.

Edward C. Baig of USA Today:

“f that second new model, the iPhone 5c may have a cheap price, relatively speaking, but there is nothing cheap about the phone. Plastic be damned — the phone feels good in the hand. Apple says it is built around a steel frame that doubles as an antenna. And, yes, the color designs — my test unit is blue — look cool, too, complemented by matching wallpaper.”

Scott Stein for CNET:

“A brightly colored plastic iPhone: it sounds like something new, doesn’t it? Not exactly: Apple’s had brightly colored iPods for years, and the iPod Touch got its multicolored refresh in 2012. The iPhone 5C just feels like the extension of that bright-color philosophy into the iPhone line.

It doesn’t feel like cheap plastic, though; the smooth, shiny polycarbonate shell around the back feels like a candy lacquer coating. It’s a dense device, heavier than the iPhone 5 by nearly an ounce, but it has a comfortable feel — maybe even better than the more hard-angled metal iPhone 5/5S.”

And Myriam Joire of Engadget:

“We’re not going to lie. The iPhone 5c is gorgeous – we’d even argue that it’s the most beautiful iPhone since the 4 and 4s. It instantly makes the iPhone 5 and 5s look staid in comparison.

Sure, we prefer materials like aluminum and glass over plastic, and we appreciate the intricate craftsmanship that goes into building the iPhone 5 and 5s, but still, we can’t help it – the 5c just triggers some reptilian part of our brains that screams, “OMG, color!”

iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is exactly what you’d expect from Apple on an s-model year. It looks the same as its predecessor, and has a number of new features and improvements tucked underneath its surface.

David Pogue of The New York Times:

“The most heavily promoted feature is the 5S’s fingerprint sensor, which, ingeniously, is built into the Home button. You push the Home button to wake the phone, leave your finger there another half second, and boom: you’ve unlocked a phone that nobody else can unlock, without the hassle of inputting the password. (And yes, a password is a hassle; half of smartphone users never bother setting one up.)

The best part is that it actually works — every single time, in my tests. It’s nothing like the balky, infuriating fingerprint-reader efforts of earlier cellphones. It’s genuinely awesome; the haters can go jump off a pier.”

Anand Lal Shimpi from AnandTech:

“At the end of the day, if you prefer iOS for your smartphone – the iPhone 5s won’t disappoint. In many ways it’s an evolutionary improvement over the iPhone 5, but in others it is a significant step forward. What Apple’s silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while – the 5s is as good a starting point as any.”

And Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:

“Setting up a fingerprint is as easy as resting your finger on the Home button and following the onscreen instructions. The button will vibrate when it’s reading; lift your finger and rest it on the button again; and repeat until it’s done. Very simple.

Speed increases are something we expect with new Apple products, but the iPhone 5s goes above and beyond expectations. In addition to the faster processor, the iPhone 5s is also the world’s first 64-bit phone. These changes make the 5s up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5—that’s a significant increase.”

So there you have it. Overall, reviews have been fairly positive for iOS 7, as well as both the iPhone 5c and 5s. But what is really going to matter is what consumers think of the new software/devices.

The iPhone 5c is available for pre-order now, and will be available in-stores this Friday alongside the iPhone 5s. iOS 7 officially launches tomorrow.

  • Adnan Mosali

    … Waiting for the update

    • Moi

      what time iOS 7 drops in the UK ? waiting sucks

      • Adnan Mosali

        no idea ..

      • Lawry

        Get Idea!!!
        Lol 😉

      • UK will probably be around18:00. Usually it’s 10:00 AM in the U.S.

      • Mohamed Ahmed

        8:00 pm on my country

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Iraq? Kuwait? SA? or Syria?

      • Mohamed Ahmed

        yes and iam in kuwait

      • flowjbx

        this depends what part of U.S. you live

      • Hermès Vainstar Chu

        6pm hopefully

      • flowjbx

        iOS 7 Will become available approximately

        1:00 PM Eastern

        12:00 PM Central

        11:00 AM Mountain

        10:00 AM Pacific

        6:00 PM London

        9:00 PM Moscow

        2:00 AM Tokyo (Next Day)

      • James

        You’ve confirmed this?

      • ℤ̵̪͊α̵̢͆ḉ̴̢̒Ħ̸͕̒α̸̺̌ḉ̵̭̆к̶̫͠

        I read somewere 6:00pm but it may not be true

  • Vijay Panjwani

    Waiting for those bastard shamesnug paid trollers to comment on this! XD
    i was just fed up by the same and same comments on these brilliant phones!

    • Then stop reading the comments!

      • leart za jmi

        stop reading in a blog?? most logical is to stop trolling for money

      • Joseph

        I guess it’s a good thing that no one here is getting payed to like a device. I don’t see how it’s so hard to believe that a user of both mobile OSes wants to read a blog about one of them.

      • I said comments, you’re the one putting words in someone else’s comment.

      • CryptoCoin420

        yeah because that makes sense……..Stop reading your computer screen!

    • Joseph

      It’s called having a different opinion. Stop being a jackass and accept that not everybody is a clone of you, and just because they have a different opinion than you doesn’t mean they’re paid for it. I most certainly am not, I legitimately like both Android and iOS devices, regardless as to how unacceptable that is to you.

      It’s the people like you that I hate to see in a blog post about a review of two new iPhones and a new iOS. It had absolutely nothing to do with Samsung, so I fail to see why you even brought it up. Troll much?

      EDIT: Dislike me then, will you. You know that I’m right. What part does Samsung have in this right now, and why would you believe that someone is getting paid to like a device? I might as well say that all of you are getting paid to be Apple fans, hm?

  • Sokrates

    Interesting that the 5c got so many great reviews about the look and feel. I really wanna put hands on that little piece of hardware!

  • Ethan Loh

    i was wondering when will Malaysia get the update?

  • Cody Lloyd Cullen

    IOS Copying jailbreak ideas since the jailbreak.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Since when has the control center been available on a jailbroken device? It’s news to me…

      • lemonhead

        That’s also a pretty bad move on apple side too.
        It would have been better to add it to the NC, but samsung has the patent for that I think.

      • Joseph

        More like Android in general. Samsung has more options in their Notification Center, but Android in general (up to 4.1 JB) has had it. Now it’s still technically there, on some devices, just in a second shade. If you’ve ever used an Android device thoroughly you’ll probably know what I mean.

      • Joseph

        The control center is a reimplementation of SBSettings and NCSettings. It’s not exactly the same, obviously, but the general concept is there.

        Can’t really blame them since it’s so useful, though. I’m fine with them implementing jailbreak tweaks, if it can hold me over until the actual thing.

      • James

        Plus I’ve found that when Apple implements a jailbreak tweak, it tends to be much more stable.

      • Butch Danes

        SBSettings is where control centre comes from. It’s not the same, but it functions the same. Swipe the top and you can toggle your settings and if you wanted, you could add and remove toggles you don’t use. The jailbreak tweak Auxo also has a control centre function so control centre isn’t new. When they finally add a quick reply option for texting, are you going to say it’s news to you and that you’ve never seen that on a jailbroken device as well?

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        In regards to quick reply I’d say its new although like most people that have jailbroken in the past would acknowledge the fact that BiteSMS and others did it first. As far as control center originating from SBSettings and Auxo I think that’s just plain wrong. I’ll acknowledge the fact that those tweaks and others (e.g NCSettings) brought toggles to iOS however that’s it as far as I’m concerned. Auxo is a beautiful tweak which I hope gets updated for iOS 7 but still is nothing like control center. Also in terms of NC Settings it’s awesome and works well but at the end of the day is extremely lightweight and limited by the notification center space. That’s why in my opinion I feel Apple has done something dissimilar to any jailbreak tweak so far. There have been many different toggle implementations over the years but none have the elegance of the control center and Auxo aside the majority are very cumbersome.

      • Butch Danes

        Fair enough, but you’re missing the whole point. Control centre allows you to control your toggles and music. Apple’s version may or may not have come directly from SBSettings and other tweaks like that, but it is the same concept and does exactly the same things minus being able to control music. The only difference is Apple has changed the design and how it works and it’s more stable because they actually have people who can work, test and continue to work on it.

        People have been using tweaks that function as control centre since the iPhone 4 came out so this is not new for most of us. That’s what my first comment was getting it. It is the same ideas most of us know and have been using for years except now it has a different name, looks better and is more stable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on it. It’s a much welcomed change and saves me time from having to re-download SBSettings.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Point taken and for the most part I agree with you. I just don’t like people saying Apple ripped off XYZ tweaks since Apple has clearly taken inspiration from tweaks such as SBSettings but they haven’t blatantly ripped them off since that’s just not Apples style…

      • Butch Danes

        I know what you mean. People are always going to be saying Apple ripped off this tweak, stole the idea from here and did this and that. I think what get’s so many people going is when they introduce features that have been out for years already whether be from the jailbreak community or on other phones and market it as “new”. When the iPhone 4 was introduced, they talked about finally having a 5 megapixel camera and a camera on the front of the phone and made it out to be something new. At that time, my LG phone I had two years before the iPhone 4 already had two cameras and a 5 megapixel camera. So ya.. not to drag on this topic any longer, but hopefully you know what I mean.

        We’ll probably have this talk again next year for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6.

    • James

      I have to say that from my own experience, the control center seems to work much, much better than auxo’s. I was constantly having issues with adjusting the brightness using auxo’s tweak; it was like you had to touch the slider just right. Hopefully if and when a jailbreak comes for iOS 7, there will be a tweak to add another page of toggles and app shortcuts to the control center, among other things.

  • Archit

    Its 3:30 pm in India!!
    Will have to wait another 6 hours… 🙁

  • how late will the update release??

  • Guest

    waiting for update… am here at kuwait… she will get the update here? cant wait more

  • Apanizo2

    Ios 7 is a copy of my jailbreak and tweaks.

    • batongxue

      So you developed all those jailbreak tweaks?

      • Moi

        I think he meant that they copied the tweaks that he uses on his jailbroken device !

    • Yujin

      Actually, patents and leaks may argue that apple had these features years ago, just didn’t real ease them. As usual with apple they may be sitting on a google glass with apps and sleek interface but since noon have seen it if ever release, people will say they rip off google, but apple has patents that may predate many of googles products…why do you think google bought Motorola….to cover their a$$

      • Joseph

        We all knew the reason Google bought Motorola. That’s not new news at all, actually.

    • James

      Not exactly. I think they’re still missing a few. 🙂

  • Carlos

    I have to agree with the good reviews about iOS 7. I’ve been jail breaking since 2008 and can honestly say, I hardly miss it. I was skeptical at first about the colors but like the reviewers, I adapted quickly. Of course, I’ll still jailbreak when it becomes available for iOS 7 but for now, I’m perfectly happy.

    As for the new iPhones, I can’t really say anything since I haven’t seen them up close but I will say that regardless what iPhone I use, with iOS 7, my phone feels new.

    • D.

      Completely agree. Been using ios7 in my iPhone 5 for a week and can honestly say it feels new. I’m double thinking even upgrading.

  • mehrab

    EVERY SINGLE TROLL SAID THE 5C was cheaply designed. WELL YOU WERE WRONG! Eevry one had good things to say about the design.

    • Joseph

      …It *is* cheaply designed. It’s made out of plastic.

      Obviously, that doesn’t make it bad, though, now does it?

  • mehrab

    New os new hardware new features=new expirirence
    These are the best iphones
    All reviewers always had poositives to say about hardware but bashed on ios being old and feature less but not anymore.

  • anilkirugavalu

    may be 6pm ist……

  • kay appleseed

    “the haters can go jump off a pier”. a statement worth million dollars

  • Sandeep

    Wat time in India ios7 vll b release

    • mehrab

      In 5-6 hours.

      • Arjhay™

        in the philippines. what time ? thanks.

      • batongxue

        Should be 10 a.m PST.
        That would be 1 a.m. in Philippine
        5 hrs and 40 minutes to go

      • Moi

        What about the uk ?

      • batongxue

        = =
        Do a little calculation, and you should know it should be 6 p.m. GMT.

      • Arjhay™

        thanks sir. very much. i appriciate ur concer. thanks a lot.

      • Arjhay™

        sir last question. ihave my ip4s. the version is ios 7beta 6. can i update by OTA ? please answer. thank u very much.

      • batongxue

        Well, I’m not so sure about that. I am on iOS 7 GM and hope would OTA to Final as well.
        I did not go for beta during iOS 6 so there is no reference here.
        Just a few hrs, be patient.

      • Arjhay™

        thank you sir.

      • Lakhwinder Singh

        No you cant update via ota. You have to update by using itunes

      • Moi

        What about uk please ?

  • Arjhay™

    Still Waiting For The Update #iOS7 Public Released.

  • batongxue

    Always Anandtech, THE best.

  • Thotsa

    What time can I update in Switzerland ??

  • Anthony Nguyen

    So, if I upgrade to iOS 7, do I get iWork’s apps and iLife’s apps free? Or it’s only when I buy a iPhone 5S? Also, what time iOS 7 coming out EST?

    • Mohamed Ahmed

      8:00 PM

    • ℤ̵̪͊α̵̢͆ḉ̴̢̒Ħ̸͕̒α̸̺̌ḉ̵̭̆к̶̫͠

      I think if you have new devices (iphone 5 iPad mini touch5) etc

  • Anthony Nguyen

    iPhone 5C is what iOS 7 is like. It’s colorful. Even though its a old phone, it’ll feels like new. But one you already know how to use.

  • Guest

    Remember that once you update to the official iOS7 release, there is no going restoring to previous versions at all. Hense why I plan to stay on iOS6 until a jailbreak is released. That’s if one is released at all..

  • on3simpleclick

    Remember that once you update to the official iOS7 release, there is no restoring to the previous versions at all. Hense. why I plan to stay on iOS6 until a jailbreak of some sort is released. That is, if one is released at all..

  • Ko Wunna

    Jailbreaking is still essential for me. That’s because we can’t use (read or write) our language ( Burmese/Myanmar font) on iOS. Suck.

  • RV

    Release date of iOS 7 in all countries. (c)redmondpie

  • Yunsar

    4 more hours!!!!!!!!

  • rnorthboy

    damn; give me two phones to test too. i want have nothing but good things to say too apple. bet they felt like they won the lottery.

  • ConduciveMammal

    Has any current iOS 7 users on the smaller iPhone 4(s) noticed a slight drop in screen size? I’ve noticed over all over iOS versions, the displayed screen is now smaller, just by a millimetre or so on all sides that wasn’t there before.

  • Lakhwinder Singh

    Ios Release Timing for all around the world. Cheers.

  • Interested in seeing the benchmarks for speed on the 5s versus the other phones out there.

  • James

    My mom is getting the 5s. She said, “Now I’m going to have a better phone than you!” 🙂

    • David Villamizar

      I told that to mine, she got the 5 last year, and I’m having the 5s now 😀

      • James

        Haha, well that’s usually how it goes. I’m just glad she’s getting her first iPhone. And being the awesome son that I am, I’m going to go to Verizon early on Friday morning and hold her place in line.

      • James

        Correction: I will be ordering it online now.

  • Singed

    Now I know to immediately disregard any Engadget’s opinions. Thanks!

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    I’ll try to post this on this discussion, but

    So I’m stupid. I forgot you cant update via OTA if you have a jailbreak and I’m at work right now. My question is, I see an Evasi0n jailbreak Cydia package. Can I remove that to unjailbreak my device or will I have to wait until I get home to use Itunes?

    • Mohamed Ahmed

      home use itunes

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Crap…thanks though

      • Mohamed Ahmed

        if you deleted the package it will make your iphone tethered not untethered

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        ahhhh ok. Gotcha. Well I’ll know this for the future. Guess I forgot. Now I gotta wait until I get home later tonight. lol

    • Singed

      I’m pretty sure you have to use iTunes.

  • Guest

    Byebye iphone 4 lol..

  • BR

    Bye bye iphone 4 lol hello iphone 5s .. Rusty ass iphone 4..