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The best features of Apple’s new iPhone 5S

Apple finally unveiled its next-gen iPhone line-up this week, and the handsets go on sale on 20 September. The colourful iPhone 5C got a lot of attention, as it will replace the iPhone 5 and break with tradition thanks to its pink, blue, green, yellow, or black backing. But the iPhone 5S is Cupertino's newest flagship phone, and Apple added a few bells and whistles to make it a more luxurious option than the iPhone 5C.

That includes a brand-new colour option for the iPhone 5S, too, but don't expect to see any pastels here. Meanwhile, at first glance, the 5S does not differ too much from the iPhone 5 – the 4in Retina display is still there. Fire it up, and you'll get to explore a whole new operating system – iOS 7 – though that will also roll out to older iDevices on 18 September.

As with the upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the 4S, many of the changes on the 5S are internal. But Apple promises that its upgrades will result in a phone that runs faster and more efficiently – boosting performance on everything from fitness gadgets to mobile games.

Finally, as rivals like Samsung, Nokia, and Sony release smartphones with souped-up cameras, Apple has done the same with the 5S.

Read on for a complete rundown of the features that help the iPhone 5S stand out from the crowd. You might also want to see our hands on with the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, as well as our Apple iPhone 5S versus iPhone 5C spec comparison.

Touch ID fingerprint sensor

One of the most interesting aspects of the iPhone 5S is the fingerprint sensor, which means you can unlock your gadget with the touch of a finger rather than entering a PIN. You can also make purchases via iTunes with your fingerprint, so no more resetting your password just to download an app.

For the security-minded, Apple says fingerprints will not be stored on its servers or captured via iCloud. An encrypted version will instead reside on the phone's A7 chip.

A7 chip

That A7 chip, meanwhile, will make the iPhone 5S the first and only 64-bit smartphone in the world (though not for long, if Samsung has anything to say about it). The average consumer probably won't care if something is 64-bit or not, but Apple promised that the A7 will provide CPU and graphics performance that is up to twice as fast as the A6 chip in the iPhone 5, which should make a difference on the gaming front.

M7 coprocessor

Joining the A7 will be the M7, which Apple described as a "sidekick" for the A7. The M7 focuses on measuring motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass (so will be a definite boon for fitness-related apps). As a result, the M7 can handle those tasks without taxing the A7, helping battery life.

Upgraded camera

The camera in the iPhone 5S gets a nice boost. Among the upgrades are a 15 per cent larger sensor, an f/2.2 aperture, and larger pixels that measure 1.5 microns across.

Slow motion

The average consumer, however, will probably notice some of the bells and whistles within the camera app, like the ability to videotape in slow motion.

True Tone Flash

Though camera phone technology has improved dramatically in the past few years, it's still easy to take a bad photo with your phone. With True Tone Flash on the 5S, Apple boasts that: "A white LED and an amber LED work with intelligent software algorithms to adjust the flash intensity and colour temperature, using over 1000 unique combinations to light your subject perfectly.”

Free iWork

In a jab at Microsoft's Office Suite (which landed on the iPhone in June), Apple announced that its iWork suite of productivity tools will be free on new iPhones and iPads. That includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – Apple's version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – which normally run £6.99 each from the App Store.

Gold colour option

Apple is expanding its colour horizons with its latest iPhone line-up – from the pastel tones of the 5C to the champagne-hued iPhone 5S. Specifically, the iPhone 5S will come in silver, gold, and space grey.

iOS 7

The upgraded mobile OS will be available to most iOS device owners starting 18 September, and it will come preloaded on the iPhone 5S (and 5C). Colour also plays a big role in the revamped OS, which features a more "flat" look and feel. Also on tap are new ringtones and wallpapers. For more on what’s packaged with the refreshed OS, check out our article entitled Before and after: What’s changed with iOS 7?