iPhone 4S vs 5: Tougher Choice Than You Think

The iPhone 5 is the latest Apple phone to hit the market and as such if anyone considering an iPhone would naturally think that is the best buy. Well it isn’t, not necessarily that is. So today we are going to take a look at the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S to check out their merits as well as disadvantages.

iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 come with an all new redesign and no longer resembles the iPhone 4 and 4S. Compared to the iPhone 4S, it also has a larger display, faster processor and LTE connectivity. However that is where it stops as these other changes aren’t as major that you need to take them into account when comparing it to its predecessor, the iPhone 4S.

Both the iPhone 5 and 4S are evenly matched when it comes to software and their camera. Sure, the iPhone 5 has a better camera as it does a design, but it isn’t such a big upgrade as you will soon see.

Starting off with the redesign, the iPhone 5 now features an aluminum back instead of glass. Now if you own an iPhone 4 or 4S and have taken care of it the past year or so, you will notice how it looks almost brand new. This is thanks to the hard glass. The same can’t be said about the new aluminum shell which is prone to scuffing. After all, metal is “softer” than glass. Our test iPhone 5 is just a month old now and there are already microsocopic cuts on it. Now this doesn’t necessarily make it look bad but in the long run, it is more likely to show signs of wearing than the iPhone 4S.

On the topic of materials, this swap has meant that the iPhone 5 is also lighter. How light? It’s lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S3. This too is a matter of personal preference whether you would like it or not. When the S3 launched and we compared it to the iPhone 4S, I did mention that its light body made it fee cheap and flimsy and almost had you feeling like you could break it if it was in your back pocket. So on that note, it would be wrong for me to say that the iPhone 5 feels more luxurious than the iPhone 4S. As I mentioned, this is a matter of personal preference.

This aside, the iPhone 5 is fantastic. It has a larger display which is great especially as it is now supporting a 16:9 ratio. You would be surprised how big of a difference an extra half inch makes. It also has a faster processor but given that iOS 6 is smooth as butter on the iPhone 4S, we can’t really say more about the iPhone 5.

Then there is LTE. You either use it or you don’t. If you’re with Verizon and to a lesser extent AT&T, then you will want an LTE enabled iPhone. Otherwise not really as coverage may only become decent around the time of the iPhone 6 or even possibly 7.

Camera wise they are evenly matched as you can only tell the difference if you put the images captured by both devices side by side. And then too, it is nothing to sing about.

So I guess what it came down to me as the screen size. At 4-inches, the iPhone 5 looks like a better bet than the iPhone 4S. But whether I would like to pay around a $100 extra for that is unclear as in terms of sacrifices I would have the less resilient-to-wear body, harsher vibration motor (Apple had to make some sacrifices due to the thinner design), no option to jailbreak yet and of course the price tag as mentioned earlier. And personally, if it was the screen size that became the selling factor for me for the iPhone 5, the 4-inch display is considered puny in respect to other options out there like the Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC One X+ and Motorola DROID RAZR HD, all of which cost the same or less.

So my suggestion would be that if you’re no rush to upgrade, wait for the iPhone 6. If you are looking to upgrade now, opt for the iPhone 4S if you don’t need LTE or are still fine with the 3.5-inch display. It is important to note that many major apps have yet to be updated to support the new 4-inch form factor.

The iPhone 4S will set you back $47 via Walmart and it still remains as the second best-seller of the year right behind the Samsung Galaxy S3.

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