iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5, is it worth the upgrade ?

The new iPhone 5 was launched not long ago. But what if you already have an iPhone 4S? Is it worth it to make the switch, to invest some more to have a new product. How much do the two differ? We’re here to find out.

Size

What is the size difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S? If you take it vertically, it’s just half an inch. The iPhone 5 is much thinner and lighter than the 4S and it has a longer display.

Due to the screen size of the iPhone 5, video files can be enjoyed better on the device since they will be displayed in full on the screen.

The winner of this round is the iPhone 5 because it’s lighter and thinner than its predecessor. it also has a widescreen display that is much more in line with nowadays trends in screen dimensions.

iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5 Size1 728x397 iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5, is it worth the upgrade ?

Design

The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S have a glass back and that makes it appealing in terms of design. The iPhone 5 makes use of a partial alluminium back. If we inspect deeper we see that the iPhone 5 is more refined in terms of design – the overall shape of it, the finer edges. This makes the iPhone 5 stand out among other older designs that left the Apple manufacturing line. The iPhone 4/4S still looks great but there’s a new kid in town and it’s more beautiful.
The winner of this round is the new iPhone 5 which brings a new design that is more appealing to the eye of the customer.

Display

Besides a boost regarding contrast and the screen size, there’s not much difference between the two devices. The screens use the same technology so the only factor that really counts here is the screen size. The iPhone 5 has a bigger screen which makes it better suited for multimedia files and web browsing.

The winner of this round is the iPhone 5 because it has a 16>9 display that is widescreen.

Software

There are differences between the iOS 5.1.1 currently running on the iPhone 4S and the new iOS 6 of the iPhone 5. The new iOS 6 has a lot of new features but it also has downsides. It enjoys a larger Siri database, has social media functions that have been improved and it also has Twitter and Facebook integration. It has a panorama mode when it comes to the Camera app.

The major downside of this new update is the fact that it ditched the Google Maps app in favor of the Apple Maps application that has been developed by the company. Not many people enjoy it and it clearly lacks behind the well-established Google Maps.

Anther thing to take into consideration is the fact that when you upgrade to iOS 6, most apps will upgrade along with it: iBooks, Cards, Find My iPhone. If you stick with your old iOS, these apps will remain functional but they won’t enjoy the newest features.

The winner of this round is the iPhone 5 with its iOS 6.

Processor

iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5 Processor iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5, is it worth the upgrade ?

The new chip in the iPhone 5 is way better than the one in the iPhone 4S. Same brand, same technology but with improvements from Apple. It registered high digits in two different benchmarking apps: 182755 in Browsermark and 1024.3 in Sunspider – two scores that are the very bes we have ever seen when it comes to smartphones.

The winner is the new iPhone 5 because the A6 chip inside performs admirably.

Storage

The storage space in the iPhone 5 is exactly the same as the one found in the iPhone 4S. It’s a tie in this round because the storage capacities are the same.

Connectivity

The iPhone 4S and all previous iPhone versions only had 3G while the GSM iPhone 4S could do HSPA+ (4G). LTE is faster when on AT&T but if you are on Verizon you’d better get an iPhone 5. Although the Verizon network is not as widespread as that of AT&T, it has a very good signal and it also is the fasted-growing LTE network in the United States. So even if you aren’t yet able to enjoy LTE, you probably will be able to do so soon.

Sprint users ca enjoy LTE in about 5-6 cities of the USA so if you’re thinking of getting an iPhone 5 while on Sprint, think about it again.

The winner is the iPhone 5 because it has LTE support.

Camera

The cameras in both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S are about the same. Same megapixels, same lenses. You won’t feel a major improvement while taking pictures with an iPhone 5, but there is some to be found there.
The winner is the iPhone 5 with only a slight margin of improvement.

Battery

Although the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S have almost the exact same battery type, the iPhone 5 has a better processor and larger display and should – in theory – last fewer hours. But in practice the two devices have almost the same battery life. Either is the iOS 6 less power-hungry or the guys at Apple did some magic on how the CPU deals with applications.

We didn’t have time to test this thoroughly and since the two devices have the exact same battery it’s hard to believe there will be any real difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S.

It’s a tie in this round.

Carriers

Also a tie because the two devices use the same carriers and do so at no charge.

Price

This is where things get interesting. The price of the two devices are exactly the same. Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that the iPhone 5 uses a new type of connector that is pricier in the long term. You won’t be able to use your current iPhone 4S accessories on the iPhone 5 without a $30 adapter. Furthermore, there aren’t that many new accessories to begin with. So while the price is the same, the new iPhone 5 will probably cost you more in terms of accessories.

The winner of this round is the old iPhone 4S that has a better compatibility with older accessories.

Conclusion

It may have been obvious from the beginning that the iphone 5 will be the winner because it’s a new and improved device that is not cheaper or more expensive than the iPhone 4S. But the question here is “is it worth it to upgrade?”

See the chart below to decide. If there’s a 10% improvement, one device will display as a 1 and the other as 0.9.

There’s a difference between the two and now it becomes obvious. It’s not a question of which device is better but of the worthiness of upgrading your hardware.
While the iPhone 5 may look better due to advertising and specs, when it comes to investing money we can see that it doesn’t differ that much from the old iPhone 4S. When it comes to improvements, the biggest ones relate to the CPU and screen size, plus the availability of LTE.

If you’re on AT&T and have an iPhone 4S you should stick to it. If you’re on Sprint you won’t have to make the switch because the LTE network of the company is not yet fully developed. If you’re on Verizon you can get an iPhone 5 because you will have a better speed with it, but if that’s not a good enough reason or you, you’d better stick with the old iPhone 4S.