iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS: Specs And Features Compared

Apple unveiled iPhone 5 – the hotly anticipated 6th generation iPhone at the media event on September 12.

It is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than iPhone 4S and comes packed with new features and improvements such as a taller 4-inch display, faster A6 chip, support for faster 4G LTE networks, improved battery life, FaceTime HD camera and more. You can check out our in-depth look at iPhone 5’s specs and new features here

But if you’re an iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS user, we wanted to make it even easier for you to figure out what has changed in iPhone 5 to help you make a decision whether or not to upgrade.

You may click on the relevant feature from the list below to find out the changes:

Weight and Dimensions:

iPhone 5:

  • Height: 4.87 inches (123.8 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.30 inch (7.6 mm)
  • Weight: 3.95 ounces (112 grams)
iPhone 4S:
  • Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm)
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces (140 grams)
iPhone 4:
  • Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm)
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces (137 grams)
iPhone 3GS:
  • Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm)
  • Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm)
  • Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3 mm)
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces (135 grams)

Back to the feature list

Display:

iPhone 5:

  • 4-inch (diagonal) Retina display
  • 1136-by-640 resolution
  • 326 ppi
iPhone 4S:
  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) Retina display
  • 960-by-640 resolution
  • 326 ppi

iPhone 4:

  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) Retina display
  • 960-by-640 resolution
  • 326 pp
iPhone 3GS:
  • 3.5-inch (diagonal)
  • 480-by-320 resolution
  • 163 ppi
Interestingly, Apple used to list multitouch as one of the features until iPhone 4 was launched.
Cellular & Wireless:
iPhone 5:
  • GSM model: GSM/EDGE
  • UMTS/HSPA+
  • DC-HSDPA
  • CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on
    2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS and GLONASS
iPhone 4S:
  • GSM/EDGE
  • UMTS/HSPA
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS and GLONASS
iPhone 4:
  • GSM model: GSM/EDGE
  • UMTS/HSPA
  • CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • GPS
iPhone 3GS:
  • UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

Back to the feature list

Chip:

iPhone 5:

  • SoC: A6 Chip
  • CPU: To be confirmed (Speculation: Dual-core custom designed CPU core)
  • GPU: To be confirmed
  • Clock Speed: To be confirmed
  • Manufacturing Process: To be confirmed (Speculation: 32-nm silicon chip fabrication process)

iPhone 4S:

  • SoC: A5 Chip
  • CPU: Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
  • GPU: Dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2
  • Clock Speed: 800 MHz
  • Manufacturing Process: 45 nm silicon chip fabrication process

iPhone 4:

  • SoC: A4 Chip
  • CPU: Single-Core ARM Cortex-A8
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX535
  • Clock Speed: 800 MHz
  • Manufacturing Process: 45 nm silicon chip fabrication process

iPhone 3GS:

  • SoC: Samsung S5PC100
  • CPU: Single-Core ARM Cortex-A8
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX535
  • Clock Speed: 600 MHz
  • Manufacturing Process: 65 nm silicon chip fabrication process

Back to the feature list

RAM:

iPhone 5:

iPhone 4S:

  • 512MB RAM

iPhone 4:

  • 512MB RAM

iPhone 3GS:

  • 256MB RAM

Back to the feature list

iSight Camera:
This is back-facing camera.
iPhone 5:
  • 8 megapixel
  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Face detection
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Panorama
iPhone 4S:
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Face detection
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Panorama
iPhone 4:
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Four-element lens
  • ƒ/2.8 aperture
iPhone 3GS:
  • 3 megapixels
  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus

Back to the feature list

FaceTime Camera:
This is the front-facing camera.
iPhone 5:
  • 1.2MP photos
  • 720p HD video
  • Backside illumination sensor
iPhone 4S:
  • 0.3 MP photos
  • VGA-resolution photos
  • VGA-resolution video
iPhone 4:
  • 0.3 MP photos
  • VGA-resolution photos
  • VGA-resolution video
iPhone 3GS:
No FaceTime Camera
Video Recording:
iPhone 5:
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • Tap to focus while recording
  • LED light
  • Improved video stabilization
  • Take still photos while recording video
  • Face detection
iPhone 4S:
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • Tap to focus while recording
  • LED light
  • Video stabilization
iPhone 4:
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • Tap to focus while recording
  • LED light
iPhone 3GS:
  • VGA video recording
  • Tap to focus while recording

Back to the feature list

Video Calling:
iPhone 5:
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 5 to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi or cellular
iPhone 4S:
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 4S to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi or cellular
iPhone 4:
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 4 to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi
iPhone 3GS:
Video calling feature is not available due to lack of FaceTime camera

Back to the feature list

Battery Life:
iPhone 5:
  • Talk time:
    • Up to 8 hours on 3G
  • Browsing time:
    • Up to 8 hours on LTE
    • Up to 8 hours on 3G
    • Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Standby time:
    • Up to 225 hours
iPhone 4S:
  • Talk time:
    • Up to 8 hours on 3G
  • Browsing time:
    • Up to 6 hours on 3G
    • Up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Standby time:
    • Up to 200 hours
iPhone 4:
  • Talk time:
    • Up to 7 hours on 3G
  • Browsing time:
    • Up to 6 hours on 3G
    • Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Standby time:
    • Up to 300 hours
iPhone 3GS:
  • Talk time:
    • Up to 5 hours on 3G
  • Browsing time:
    • Up to 5 hours on 3G
    • Up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Standby time:
    • Up to 300 hours

Back to the feature list

Connector:

iPhone 5:

iPhone 4S:

  • 30-pin connector

iPhone 4:

  • 30-pin connector

iPhone 3GS:

  • 30-pin connector

Back to the feature list

Headphones:

iPhone 5:

iPhone 4S:

  • Apple Earphones with Remote and mic

iPhone 4:

  • Apple Earphones with Remote and mic

iPhone 3GS:

  • Apple Earphones with Remote and mic

Back to the feature list

SIM Card:
iPhone 5:
iPhone 4S:
  • Micro-SIM
iPhone 4:
  • Micro-SIM
iPhone 3GS:
  • Mini-SIM  

Back to the feature list

iOS Features:

iPhone 5:

iPhone 4S:

  • Siri
  • Flyover (via all-new Maps app)
  • Turn-by-turn navigation (via all-new Maps app)
  • AirPlay Mirroring
  • Panorama
  • HDR Photos

iPhone 4:

  • Offline Reading List
  • HDR Photos

iPhone 3GS:

  • None of the features are available

Please note some iOS features are not available in all the countries. Check this post for more details.

Back to the feature list

Others features:

iPhone 5:

  • Three-axis gyro
  • Dual-mic noise suppression
  • Assisted GPS and GLONASS

iPhone 4S:

  • Three-axis gyro
  • Dual-mic noise suppression
  • Assisted GPS and GLONASS

iPhone 4:

  • Three-axis gyro
  • Dual-mic noise suppression
  • Only Assisted GPS

iPhone 3GS:

  • Doesn’t have three-axis gyro
  • Lacks dual-mic noise suppression
  • Only Assisted GPS

We’ve just listed the difference in tech specs and iOS features. It doesn’t take into consideration the overall user experience that has been enhanced with improved hardware.

Note: We realize that a side-by-side comparison chart would be even more useful. We’ll create one as soon as we can.

Like this post? Share it!

  • wade

    this iphone 5 is the next generation iphone, really?

  • HATE IPHONE5

    IPONY 5 a failure !!!

  • vineel

    Put it in a table………………..

  • SudoBash

    iPhone 5 is triple mic suppressed, not dual like the 4/4S

  • http://profiles.google.com/sebastian.rasch Sebastian Rasch

    Nice overview, thanks. I’m waiting for the CPU/GPU specs though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hukira Hukira Leonhart

    so disapointed ! i expect iphone 5 with something more unique, not only better inside, the design must also different than this :(

    • Fred

      But how? How could they improve the design?

    • solid

      I agree. 4s can do most what 5 does.

    • http://twitter.com/zhen_wan Zhen Wan

      Had the iPhone 4 for 2 years; quite disappointed about the iphone 5’s design though :/ Judging whether to buy or wait.

  • Mars

    I love it going from a 3GS to a 5!! Preordered a 32 gig white in store with no problem!

  • Gillian Nelson

    that was a great review! thank you. I am excited, because i am also going fro 3G to 5….cant wait!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mihaels3 Mihael Stojanović

    But the 3gs has the best design and sexy curves!!! No matter of what the 3gs has the best desing no matter about ticknes and display, I love it