iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5: Let’s get real

The iPhone 5 is likely to sell like hotcakes this holiday season but if you are after a new smartphone you shouldn’t automatically disregard the iPhone 4S as it’s still a very impressive phone and of course is now cheaper than the iPhone 5. While many people will always prefer the latest device on the market we shouldn’t automatically assume that newer is better so we thought we’d look at the iPhone 4S vs. the iPhone 5 so you can see if it’s worth going for the iPhone 5 or saving a bit of money with the 4S.

This is always assuming you’ve made up your mind that you want an iPhone of course as there are many other notable handsets around at the moment such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the LG Nexus 4. Both of these examples are Android devices though and we know that many people who have previously purchased an iPhone are likely to stick with Apple’s iOS platform. The iPhone 5 released on the latest iOS 6 operating system but of course as the iPhone 4S is also an Apple device this has also received the update. So what key differences are there between the two specs-wise?

One of the major differences is that the iPhone 5 has the new A6 processor as opposed to the A5 chip of the iPhone 4S and Apple claims this is twice as fast so that really is a consideration we should take into account. The iPhone 5 also stepped up in display size to 4-inches instead of the 3.5-inches of the iPhone 4S and many have appreciated the larger screen on the latest iPhone. Resolution of the display has also increased from 960 x 640 to 1136 x 640. The iPhone 5 also has LTE connectivity too but apart from these factors many things are exactly the same.

For instance storage options are the same on both phones and both have an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture. There’s a slight difference with the front-facing camera though as the iPhone 4S only had a VGA camera while the iPhone 5 has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter. Battery life is around the same for both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 so you can see that the iPhone 4S still has a lot to recommend it.

Apart from specifications the appearance and feel of the phones also comes into play though and for some this can be even more important than specs and features. The iPhone 4S comes in black and white while the iPhone 5 is two-toned in either black and slate or white and silver. Because of the display increase in the iPhone 5 the phone has got longer so dimensions of the newest iPhone are 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and it weighs only 112g, despite the extra size. The iPhone 4S on the other hand measures 115.2mm x 58.6mm x 9.3mm and weighs 140g.

As you can see then, the iPhone 5 is longer but quite a bit slimmer and is also much lighter. Many consumers will no doubt appreciate the high quality materials used and it being slimmer and lighter but there are others who have said that the newest iPhone now feels so light that it almost feels like a toy and some simply seem to prefer the more solid feel of the iPhone 4S in the hand.

Looking at the facts it’s certainly not time to write off the iPhone 4S and some don’t consider the differences worth upgrading to the iPhone 5 for. If you’re considering buying either right now though, Apple is selling the 16GB for $99 on the usual two-year contract with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint while the equivalent iPhone 5 model is $199 with a two-year contract. The 32GB iPhone 5 is priced at $299 while the 64GB version is $399, both with contracts. The difference in up-front price of the 16GB iPhone 4S and 16GB iPhone 5 is $100 and hopefully our look at the two phones may help you decide if it’s worth you paying the extra for the latter model.

On a personal note I currently use an iPhone 4S and didn’t consider it worthwhile upgrading to the iPhone 5 on release. If I was choosing between them now though then I would probably decide that paying the extra $100 was worth it but of course this is based on my personal requirements from a smartphone and we all vary in this. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the iPhone 4S vs the iPhone 5.

If you were buying the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 now would you pay the extra for the newest model because of the specs? Maybe you prefer the feel and design of the iPhone 4S and so will opt for that one and save some money? Send us your comments about this.


21 thoughts on “iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5: Let’s get real”

  1. Valtheri says:

    Now I bought new iphone 4s without contract because it did not see fit to add another 200 € for iphone 5 was not worth that price. There are no major changes and has some defects. I am very happy with the 4S probably change with 5S or 6 when release.

    1. Hi that’s what I’m thinking my contract end beginning Feb get unlocked 4S will sim card of current phone (samsung wave 2) work in unlocked 4S? if so then once contract ends go month to month until 5S or 6 shows up then sign on for 2 year plan

  2. I had an iPhone 4 & bought an iPhone 5 at the beginning of this month but am considering downgrading to a 4S because I feel that the money difference is more important than the spec differences. I also have really small hands so it’s surprisingly difficult to hold the phone in one hand & reach my thumb to swipe the notification center down without having to awkwardly adjust my grip on the phone (which comes with the momentary fear of oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-shatter-my-phone). I feel that the 5 is very light which makes me paranoid (I shattered my 4 from a drop from my hip to concrete in June) so the heftiness of the previous models is desirable. The 5 is fast, don’t get me wrong, but I feel that jumping from the A4 to the A5 might be enough for me without having the A6 or LTE.

    1. Allex says:

      I spoke to a Sprint rep who worked for Apple and he said that the 4S is a better made phone. He said Apple has had way more returns with the 5 than the 4S. I just purchased the 4S tonight for my daughter for Hanukkah. Best Buy has it for $49.99 until December 15th.

      1. You Dummy says:

        What the hell would Paco from sprint know about anything?? Much less the quality of the parts inside an iphone!!!

  3. Nillie says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the major downside of the 5 needing a ridiculous charger-adapter piece. What were they thinking?? We are all used to every I device working with the same charger, now with the new 5 we are asked to adapt??

  4. dousetheflames says:

    I am from the UK and the price of the handsets are double from the 4S to the 5 plus another £10 per month!
    I know this is my first iPhone so I let the budget decide and opted for the 4S, I’m really glad I did 2 of my friends have the new 5 and both have been returned because the handsets were getting extremely hot.

  5. emre says:

    i bought 4S in February and i’m pretty happy with this device. Mr brother has Iphone 5 and more or less it has the same features. Ok its lighter and bigger but yet Im fine with my 4s

  6. Cami says:

    I am asking for an iPhone 4S for my birthday, and I just wanted to double-check a couple of things, and thanks to you, I am sticking with asking for the iPhone 4S. 🙂 I read the whole review by the way!

  7. Vegas Girl 101 says:

    I had the iPhone 5 and did NOT like it at all. I gave it to my older sister who doesn’t appreciate it much either. I instead, got the iPhone 4S which I love!!! I think the problem was that the iPhone 4S was made by Steve Jobs however the iPhone 5 wasn’t because it was made AFTER his sad but true death. And Apple’s new creater cannot copy the amazing work of the original.

    With sincere XOXO,
    Caitlyn, a 15 year old from Las Vegas

    1. YODIGGITY says:

      Steve Jobs did not have any direct roles in executing the design of these products. He was a great leader and a business man, and he knew what people wanted. That is why he was so great. It’s almost like giving a train conductor credit for building the train.

  8. jason says:

    I have a 3gs currently and have upgraded to the 5. The contract price is the same and the phone is the 5 which has not cost me anything nor would the 4s have. I very rarely get the latest phone models just hope i have made right decision in getting the 5 as opposed to the 4s ?

  9. despa19 says:

    i have an iPhone 4s love it but one question thou, does anyone else have a problem with a no service issue. when i’m on the road and reach a drop zone the phone signal dont automatically pick up back signal unless i switch it to airplane mode on and off then it will pick up back the carrier signal.

  10. steve says:

    In the past I have had a couple of iphones but went to Android I’m pleased to say I’m coming back . I have just bought a 4s as my previous iphone was a 4g and I just loved the feel of it although I did consider the five I didn’t feel the extra was worth the money