What’s wrong with the level on the iPhone 5S?


posted Friday, October 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM EDT


If you do any photography with an iPhone, there's a pretty good chance that you've used an app that has a built-in level, to make sure your images are perfectly straight. But if early reports are anything to go by, a number of the new iPhone 5S have internal sensors that are completely wrong, which could mean your photographs come out at a truly bizarre angle.

As shown at Gizmodo, users of the newly released iPhone 5S are complaining that the built-in level, gyroscope, compass, motion sensors are seriously miscalibrated. Gizmodo's own testing showed a discrepancy of 2-3°, but other users have had it off by up to 6°.

While this might not seem like much of a problem for making phone calls or browsing Facebook, but if you're relying on that level to get a perfectly level shot, it'll cause you to tilt dramatically. Many camera apps, for instance Camera+, have a level tool in the app, and if that's as off as these reports indicate, good luck lining up your shot right.

Unfortunately, it's not clear what the real culprit is here. If it's truly a hardware fault, that might mean having to take your iPhone back for a replacement — and they're already in short supply. Hopefully it's something Apple can correct with a firmware update, and it won't require swapping the entire device.

For our readers out there who are early adopters, and already have the iPhone 5S: have you encountered this problem?

(Image from Gizmodo)