Which Apple iPhone should I buy? The iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C or iPhone 4S? In this article we hope to help you answer that question by bringing you a comparison of the price, specs, features and cellular plan prices from major carriers like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile on each device.
Apple launched the iPhone 5S and the economy iPhone 5C on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and while the new iPhones each bring some nice specs and features, for those who don't keep up with all the latest news surrounding these smartphones, trying to understand the differences can be a bit daunting. To help you choose the Apple smartphone, which will best suit your needs, we've done a thorough breakdown of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and iPhone 4S to bring you the best comparison of each device in terms of price, specs, data plans and features so you can make an educated decision about your next iPhone purchase. So if you are ready, let's get started.
iPhone 4S Price, Specs And Features
Okay, so in terms of specs, obviously the newer and more expensive the iPhone is the more power, storage and features it will incorporate. Though the iPhone 4S isn't going to blow anyone away, it is solid device and performs quite nicely for everyday users. The reason we want to kind of give the iPhone 4S a bit of a push is because not only has Apple made it their "free" phone, the phone is also FREE.
Okay, so "free" may not always mean "best," but we can honestly say the iPhone 4S is a solid device. It comes with 8GB of storage, has a 3.5-inch LCD touch screen with a 960×640 pixels resolution and 512 GB of RAM. The iPhone 4S also comes with both a front .3mp camera and 8mp rear camera capable of taking HD photos and videos.
Who Should Buy The iPhone 4S
For the power users who enjoy constantly streaming movies away from home, play high definition video games while roaming, or need super snappy internet connection speeds while on the go, the iPhone 4S is not going to be their first pick. However, for the person who primarily uses their smartphone to make calls, check email, text friends and browse the web, this phone is perfect. With so many apps like Dropbox, Facebook, and Shutterfly for storing your photos, the 8GB of storage space won't be a huge issue. The other nice thing about the iPhone 4S is when Apple updates everyone to iOS 7 next week, the iPhone 4S will be able to access the update as well. If you don't mind speeds being a little slow when you are out and about browsing on the web, this phone should suit your needs as it is capable of connecting to 2G or 3G networks but no LTE networks. If you need to browse quickly just find yourself a Wi-Fi hotspot and you are good to go. When you consider the iPhone 4S is now Apple's free iPhone, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck. This has been a favorite Apple smartphone since it was released and so they must be doing something right. We would definitely recommend buying the iPhone 4S for light smartphone users or it would even make a great first phone for a teen or preteen. Many companies offer great family data plans (listed at the bottom of the article) which are quite affordable and so the iPhone 4S would make a great back-to-school or Christmas gift.
iPhone 5S Price, Specs and Features
Okay so for those on the other end of the spectrum — the power user spectrum — and the iPhone 5S as definitely the phone for them. The only downside is, you're going to have to wait a little while for it. Apple has decided not to do pre-orders on its latest iPhone 5S, so Sep. 20, 2013 is the earliest an iPhone 5S can be ordered or purchased in store or online. In store supplies are going to disappear quickly so not only will you be in for a fight, don't be too disappointed if Sep. 20, 2013 rolls around and you're still without the iPhone 5S.
In terms of price, specs and features, the iPhone 5S is definitely the primo model. Coming in at $199, $299 and $399 depending on the amount of storage you choose — 16GB, 32 GB or 64GB,power users will love this device. It has the same 4-inch screen size as the iPhone 5 — this is a step up from the iPhone 4S which has only a 3,5-inch display. The resolution on the iPhone 5S is 1136x640 pixels. Both the rear camera on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 4S are exactly the same at 8MP, though the front-facing camera on the iPhone 5S has been upgraded to 1.2MP. The iPhone 5S will come equipped with the latest Apple operating system, iOS 7. Now, besides the sizable update to the internal storage, the iPhone 5S also has two pretty remarkable new features: The Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the 64-bit A7 chipset. The iPhone 5S is the first device to feature these new technologies and they will certainly set the smartphone apart from everything else on the market. With the new Touch ID fingerprint scanner built right into the physical home button, users reap the benefits of increased security on their iPhones. In 2011, roughly half of all crimes committed in the U.S. were related to iPhone theft. Therefore, increased security became a number one concern of Apple with this new device. Not only will the Touch ID allow for greater security on the device, it will also open the doors for businesses to make mobile payment systems to accompany the new sensor, as the human fingerprint is excellent for identity authentication. For those who worry about having to "thumb in" every time someone wants to use their new iPhone, the iPhone 5S Touch ID does allow for setting up other trusted users' fingerprints inside of the database, if the user so chooses.
In addition to the increased security, the other groundbreaking thing about the iPhone 5S is the incredible 64-bit A7 processor. This new chipset boasts astounding power and speeds of up to 31 percent faster than the old chipset, and allows the phone to process at least 5 times faster than the iPhone 4S. No other phone on the market currently has a chip which can match the A7.
Who Should Buy The iPhone 5S
For the powers users who like to play graphic-heavy games, stream movies regularly away from home or spend a ton of time browsing the web on their smartphones, the iPhone 5S definitely the one to look to. With the generous amount of storage options available, it's also great for those who like to store a lot of music and photos on their devices as well. Many users who have had smartphones for a long time and use them heavily will find the iPhone 5S a very attractive choice with pricing that falls right in line with other top devices on the market. The iPhone 5S also comes in three color choices: standard black, a new "space" grey and champagne gold color.
iPhone 5C Price, Specs, and Features
The iPhone 5C — known as the budget iPhone — was largely developed to pitch in the Asia markets, but has been getting interest all around the world. Pre-orders on the device begin Friday, September 13, 2013 for the official release date of Friday, September 20, 2013. The iPhone 5C breaks a lot of the rules as far as Apple is concerned, but we can definitely see why some users would opt for the device. While offering some powerful upgrades, it also alters some of the aesthetic features in order to make it more affordable. The iPhone 5C has the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5S and the same resolution of 1136x640 pixels. This is an improvement on both counts over the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5C has the same battery life as the iPhone 5S, which is roughly 10 hours. This is two hours more than the 8-hour battery life of the iPhone 4S. It has the exact same 12MP front camera and 1.3MP rear camera as the iPhone 5S — another upgrade over the iPhone 4S — and it will come equipped with the latest iOS 7 firmware. In terms of storage, the iPhone 5C is available in 16GB and 32GB models and starts at $99. In looking at this, you are probably thinking, "The iPhone 5S and 5C seem to have identical specs." This is mainly true. In terms of features though, there are some differences. The iPhone 5C is obviously not sporting the new 64-bit A7 processor. Rather it works off the A6 chip-set. This is the same chipset found in the soon to be discontinued iPhone 5, and we can tell you from experience, it's quite snappy. It also is an improvement over the A5 chipset found in the iPhone 4S.
Other featured differences are the casing. Apple has always been known for its aluminum encased iPhones that come in Black or White. While the iPhone 5S bent the rules a little bringing in two new colors and throwing out the classic white, the iPhone 5C is going for broke. The iPhone 5C features five pastel color choices of white, yellow, pink, blue or green. The iPhone 5C also has six color choices available for covers. These covers come in white, pink, green, blue, yellow and black. In addition, the casing and covers are made of plastic — a drastic change from the all aluminum builds of previous iPhones.
Who Should Buy The iPhone 5C
In terms of the price, specs and features, we can see this phone being very attractive to many consumers. Practically anyone will spring for a phone that is only $99 and while I don't see too many guys being thrilled with the pastel color choices, at least the classic white is available and can be cased in a black cover if desired, allowing for more classic color options. The iPhone 5C is very powerful and should easily keep up with some of the better smartphones on the market, while keeping things affordable. I would say the middle of the road consumer who's never owned an iPhone, or isn't particularly attached to the classic "look" of the iPhone, this new economy model would be quite attractive.
Okay, last but not least, let's take a look at the talk, text and data plan deals available for the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and the iPhone 4S. Looking at the four major retailers, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, here is how the plans break down.
Unlimited Talk, Text And Web Individual Plans For iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 4S
T-Mobile $50–$70 Prepaid Monthly (depending on speed chosen)
Sprint $80 2-Year Contract
AT&T 125 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 6GB Data)
Verizon $120 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 6GB Data)
Unlimited Talk Text Web Family Plans For iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 4S
T-Mobile $50–$70 Prepaid Monthly (depending on speed chosen) NO Family rate
Sprint $120 for 2 additional lines.
AT&T $125 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 6GB Data) + $35 per additional line
$150 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 10GB Data) + $35 per additional line
$190 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 15GB Data) + $35 per additional line
$230 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 20GB Data) + $35 per additional line
$330 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 30GB Data) + $35 per additional line
$199 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 5GB Data) Up to 5 additional lines
Verizon $120 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 6GB Data) + 40 per additional line
$130 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 8GB Data) + $40 per additional line
$150 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 10GB Data) + $40 per additional line
$170 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 16GB Data) + $40 per additional line
$180 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 18GB Data) + $40 per additional line
$190 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 20GB Data) + $40 per additional line
$230 (Unlimited Talk And Text, 30GB Data) + $40 per additional line
Want to know more about the latest iPhones and their specs and features?
WATCH: Apple September 2013 FULL Keynote: iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S Keynote event