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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
Join The Conversation
Minh14924573 Minh14924573 3 years
Yep, iPhone still the best looking phone on the market.
James14913276 James14913276 3 years
First off 4G is 100 mbs mobile, or 1 gbs home internet. The IPHONE 5 was the first iphone capable of getting to 4G speeds.. However most companies limit the data use down below 75 mbs, which is still less than 4g.. LTE is not the second generation of 4g it is the only mobile generation, the only other version is in Kansas, where Google made 4g home internet, yes actual 4g home internet at 1,000 megabytes a second.. I understand that maybe you actually believed an AT&T add that they had 4G INTERNET 3-4 years ago,, they lied to you.. I am sorry that you fell for false advertising.. 4g is 100mbs mobile and 1,000mbs stationary/home.. LTE is the first signal capable of this mobile, and yet no company has 4g still,, they limit the MegaBytes per second (mbs) for all users. And john,, 44mbs, is still not 4g.. AT&T lied to you again,, can't believe people fall for it,,
John14912780 John14912780 3 years
Well Said John14900875, To leave out the Data speeds it just plain stupid!
John14900875 John14900875 3 years
And FYI, the iPhone 5 and 5C are the same exact phone, internal wise. Only the back is different. That is the sole reason Apple discontinued the iPhone 5.
John14900875 John14900875 3 years
Does anyone on here know anything about these phones or phones in general for that matter???? First and foremost, the 4S is only a "3G" phone! Yes, 3G! We are on 4G LTE now, which is 2 generations past 3G. Even the 4S that claims "4G" on AT&T is not even 4G, it's an enhanced 3G network. The 5 compared to the 4S, goes like this. The 4S only gets around 3.4 mbps, while the 5 is clocking around 44 mbps. That's over 10x faster, data wise. Processor wise, the 5S, is almost 3 times the speed of the 5!!! So, to act like the 4S and 5S are the same now, due to the iOS 7 upgrade is absolutely absurd to say the least.
Leo14890004 Leo14890004 3 years
@mdhummel If you really want to save money and still want to get iPhone 5S like experience, just go to Best Buy... They are offering free iPhone 5 if you trade in your old phone.
mdhummel mdhummel 3 years
I have an iPhone 4 so I am past due for an update. My game plan was to get the iPhone 5 when the next model came out, but since that is not an option I am looking to buy the 5s. The 4s and the 5c are too similar to my 4 so I'm willing to pay $199 for the better camera and the fingerprint recognition.
Jenna-Gill Jenna-Gill 3 years
Omg, in love with the gold!!!
Emily-Bibb Emily-Bibb 3 years
I'm convinced, GOLD IT IS!
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