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iPhone 5S or iPhone 4S?

iPhone 5S vs. 4S: Should You Upgrade?

The iPhone 5 and its black and white casings are long (as of Tuesday morning) gone. In its wake, the iPhone 5S, available in a trio of metallic shades — slate, gold, and "space gray" — is ready to have you agonizing over the age-old tech question: should you hand Apple your next paycheck for an upgrade to the latest and greatest?

If you never moved up to the iPhone 5, there's still hope — you may not have to stand in an Apple Store line after all. With iOS 7 launching Sept. 18, the iPhone 4S, still in Apple's good graces and free under contract with a mobile provider, could be the phone you wanted after all — plus it's still compatible with all your 30-pin dock accessories.

The defining features of the iPhone 5S are, arguably, its fast new 64-bit A7 processor, fingerprint recognition, and cool, though not life-changing, camera add-ons including a dual flash to avoid harsh lighting as well as slo-mo video capabilities. If you're looking for the 2013 Apple experience, it's iOS 7 you seek.


Available Sept. 18 for iPhone 4 and up, the iOS 7 mobile software will have your phone feeling like a brand-new golden device, even if it's still stuck in a glossy white time warp. The camera app will have built-in filters and a square camera mode perfect for Instagram. A new Notification Center offers the day's agenda all at once, as well as weather and traffic all from the lock screen. Siri ups its brain power with a new male voice option and the ability to search Twitter and Wikipedia.


If you don't want to break the bank, and you don't need a faster processor for gaming marathons, an iPhone 4S with contract is the dirt cheap free option you want. It may not be a glittering gold 5S, but iOS 7 will have you on a nearly level playing field as those gilded devices.

Read on to compare the full specs of the iPhone 5S and 4S.

iPhone 5S iPhone 4S
Price 16GB, $199 with contract, $649 unlocked; 32GB, $299 with contract, $749 unlocked; 64GB $399 with contract, $849 unlocked 8GB, free with contract or unlocked for $450
Colors Silver, space gray, gold Black, white
Weight 3.95 ounces 4.9 ounces
Size 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches 4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches
Processor 64-bit A7 chip, M7 motion processor 32-bit A5 chip
Display 4-inch Retina, 1136 x 640 pixels, 326 ppi 3.5-inch Retina, 960 x 640 pixels, 326 ppi
Camera Rear: 8MP with 1.5µ pixels, Dual LED flash, Front: 1.2MP Rear: 8MP, Front: lo-res VGA
Battery 10-hour talk time on 3G; up to 250 standby hours; up to 8 hours 3G Internet use 8-hour talk time on 3G; up to 200 standby hours; up to 6 hours 3G Internet use
Image Source: Getty
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