Which iPhone should you get — iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c or iPhone 4S?

iphone-5s-5c-hero
Customers looking to jump to the iPhone have a big decision to make, which phone do they buy? Do they go with the colorful iPhone 5c, the high-end iPhone 5s of the inexpensive iPhone 4S? It can be a tough decision, especially if you are not familiar with these iOS devices. We are here to help with a guide that’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of each iPhone.

iPhone 4S

iphone_4s_black
The iPhone 4S was introduced back in October 2011 as the successor to the iPhone 4. It shared the same form factor and some hardware improvements. It includes Siri and will run iOS 7, which makes it capable phone for non-power users. The 8-megapixel camera takes photos that’ll please most consumers and front-facing camera supports FaceTime. It ships with 8GB of storage, which is on the low side, especially if you listen to a lot of music.

Its free price tag is its selling point, which will appeal to the customer who is looking to get their first iPhone and not spend a lot of money up front. It’s also great for a teen’s first phone as it won’t cost as much to replace when it gets lost or broken. One caveat about this model is its future upgradeability — while it will run iOS 7, it probably won’t be compatible with iOS 8. You’ll be buying the phone as it is and shouldn’t expect to see updates beyond iOS 7.x.

iPhone 4S is available only with 8GB storage, so if you’re looking for more storage space then you will have to either buy an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c.

iPhone 5c

iphone_5c_blue
Before the iPhone 5c was announced, everyone assumed the “c” in the name meant “cheap.” As it turns out, the “c” really meant colorful. The iPhone 5c is the first iPhone to be available in colors outside the standard black and white. It’s also the first iPhone to sport a polycarbonate shell. Though it is a plastic and not aluminum phone, early impressions of the device were very favorable with reviewers saying it did not feel like your typical, cheap plastic phone.

The innards of the iPhone 5c are lifted from the iPhone 5, which means performance will be rock solid. It should be able to run just about anything you throw at it. It’ll appeal to customers who don’t mind paying a bit extra for solid performance ($99), but don’t really need all the bells and whistles of the iPhone 5s, which run up the price. If I didn’t already own an iPhone 5, I’d be tempted to buy one and if my responsible teen or tween needed a new phone, this would be the model I would choose.
iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are the only option if you’re looking for 32GB storage.

iPhone 5s

iphone_5s_black
The iPhone 5s is the flagship phone for Apple with premium features and a premium price tag to match. It keeps the same form factor as the iPhone 5 and is tad smaller, but the hardware is radically different. First, it has a fast, new A7 processor with an M7 coprocessor that’ll track your movement. There’s a better camera on the back, improved camera software and a fingerprint sensor that reportedly works very well. Some new color options (space gray, gold and silver) set it apart from other iPhone models.

The iPhone 5s will appeal to the customer who wants the best iPhone Apple has to offer and doesn’t mind paying extra for those features. Its fingerprint sensor adds a level of security and convenience that’ll make the 5s attractive to everyone from corporate executives who store sensitive business files on their device to truck drivers who will no longer have to fiddle with a pass code to unlock their phone just to change their music.

The iPhone 5s is also the only option if you want an iPhone with 64GB storage.

The iPhone 5s is also an excellent choice for the person who wants longevity in a phone. The 5s will likely receive a continuous stream of updates for the next few years. Each new version of iOS will add something new to the phone and keep it fresh for the duration.

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with any of the iPhone above. It really comes down to price and features. The less features you need, the less you will have to pay. If you’re happy with a capable phone that’ll take great pictures, browse the web and get your email, then stick with the 4S.  If you want some color and a bit of a boost in performance, then snag the iPhone 5c. If you want it all, then spend that extra cash and get the iPhone 5s. If you are still undecided, then check out the table below and compare some of the specs. You can also go into an Apple store or a retailer like Best Buy and do a side-by-side comparison when the iPhone 5c and 4s hit retail shelves on September 20th.

Model
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 4S
5s-smallest-175 5c-smallest 4S-smallest-175
Capacity and Price
  • 16GB – $199
  • 32GB – $299
  • 64GB – $399
  • 16GB – $99
  • 32GB – $199
  • 8GB – Free
Colors
  • Silver
  • Space Gray
  • Gold
  • White
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Black
  • White
Chips
  • A7 chip with 64-bit architecture
  • M7 motion coprocessor
  • A6 chip
  • A5 chip
Display
  • Retina display
  • 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
  • 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  • Retina display
  • 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
  • 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  • Retina display
  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
  • 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
iSight Camera
  • 8 megapixels with 1.5u pixels
  • f/2.2 aperture
  • True Tone flash
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • Burst Mode
  • 8 megapixels
  • f/2.4 aperture
  • LED flash
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • 8 megapixels
  • f/2.4 aperture
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Hybrid IR filter
Video Recording
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • True Tone Flash
  • Slo-mo video
  • Improved video stabilization
  • Take still photo while recording video
  • 3X zoom
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • LED light
  • video stabilization
  • Take still photo while recording video
  • 3X zoom
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 30 fps
  • LED light
  • video stabilization
FaceTime Camera
  • 1.2MP photos (1280 by 960)
  • 720p HD video recording
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • 1.2MP photos (1280 by 960)
  • 720p HD video recording
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • VGA photos
  • VGA video recording
Video Calling
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 5s to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi or cellular
  • Initiate video calls over LTE, DC-HSDPA, HSPA+, 3G, and 2G
  • HVGA-resolution (480 by 368) calls over Wi-Fi
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 5c to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi or cellular
  • Initiate video calls over LTE, DC-HSDPA, HSPA+, 3G, and 2G
  • HVGA-resolution (480 by 368) calls over Wi-Fi
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 4S to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi-Fi or cellular
  • Initiate video calls over HSPA+, 3G, and 2G
  • HVGA-resolution (480 by 320) calls over Wi-Fi
Audio Calling
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 5s to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi‑Fi or cellular
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 5c to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi‑Fi or cellular
  • FaceTime
  • iPhone 4S to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi‑Fi or cellular
Cellular and Wireless
  • GSM model: GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+, DC-HSDPA
  • CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B
  • LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GSM model: GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+, DC-HSDPA
  • CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B
  • LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GSM model: GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+
  • CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
SIM Card
  • Nano-SIM
  • Nano-SIM
  • Micro-SIM
Connector
  • Lightning
  • Lightning
  • 30-pin
Power and Battery
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
  • Talk time: Up to 10 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
  • Talk time: Up to 10 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 200 hours
Size
  • Height: 4.87 inches (123.8 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.30 inch (7.6 mm)
  • Height: 4.90 inches (124.4 mm)
  • Width: 2.33 inches (59.2 mm)
  • Depth: 0.35 inch (8.97 mm)
  • Height: 4.50 inches (115.2 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm)
Weight
  • 3.95 ounces (112 grams)
  • 4.65 ounces (132 grams)
  • 4.9 ounces (140 grams)
Like this post? Share it!

Categories: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s