iPhone 4S Vs. iPhone 5: What You Need To Know Before Buying

The iPhone 5S is nearing its unveiling and it gets the maximum of attention on the Internet, whether in the form of daily rumors or people talking about it on various social networks. However, there are some smartphone users that thanks to the iPhone 5S’ imminent arrival, have set their eyes on the two previous models of iPhone, that maybe they couldn’t have afforded if the iPhone 5S wouldn’t have been so near.

Both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 are very good smartphones and truth be told you can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose. However, there are many details that you should know before deciding on buying either of the two smartphones from Apple.

Almost two years ago, Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, an iPhone model that kept its predecessor’s design, but brought a series of upgrades and new features¬† that would become standard for the iPhone line. One of these new features introduced in the iPhone 4S was Siri, the intelligent personal assistant from Apple. While normally in the smartphone industry a two years old smartphone is obsolete, the iPhone 4S manages to continue to be an attractive option, especially after the price drop caused by the iPhone 5′s launch in September 2012. When the iPhone 5 was launched, the iPhone 4S was discounted from $199 to $99.

As mentioned above, the iPhone 5 was released last year in September and replaced the iPhone 4S as Apple’s flagship smartphone. It also introduced a series of upgrades and new features, among which we note a bigger display (of 4 inches), a new aluminum design and 4G LTE support. The iPhone 5 continues to be Apple’s flagship smartphone and it is also one of the best smartphones available on the market today.

For some time now there have been numerous rumors suggesting a new iPhone is about to be released by Apple. The rumored smartphone is supposed to be the ‘S’ version of the iPhone 5. It is speculated that it will replace the current iPhone 5, but as the iPhone 4S didn’t become irrelevant when it was replaced by the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5 too will continue to be an attractive option even after being replaced by a newer iPhone model. And the iPhone 4S too will still be a good choice even after the iPhone 5S’ release. With the arrival of the iPhone 5S and of the new iteration of Apple’s mobile OS, there are a few things that anyone who considers buying an iPhone 4S or an iPhone 5 should know. In this article we will analyze the seven most important things you should know before deciding on an iPhone 4S or on an iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S is expected to be released soon

Of course, the first thing that you need to know (in case you never heard any of the rumors) before deciding on the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5, is that a new iPhone is rumored to be released soon. The next Apple flagship smartphone is rumored to be the iPhone 5S and it is said that it won’t be a redesign, but it will come with a number of new features and upgrades, such as a better SoC and a better camera.

On very interesting rumored feature is the fingerprint reader. It is said that it will come with unique software that will help it differentiate itself fro the iPhone 5. The particular details are unknown; in fact not much is known about this rumored unique software, but it is believed to have something to do with the fingerprint reader or with the slow motion capable camera (that will be able to record videos at 120 frames per second).

The iPhone 5S is speculated to be launched at the end of September, so if you are not in a hurry to buy an iPhone you could do good to wait a couple of months, to see what the iPhone 5S will bring to the table. And it is best to wait not just for the hardware or software improvements the iPhone 5S will come with, but for the price cuts that will follow as both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 are going to get a price cut.

iPhone 5 price cut

As mentioned in the above paragraph, if you are considering getting an iPhone 5, you might want to wait until the iPhone 5S is released. The iPhone 5S is rumored to keep the same design as the iPhone 5, the same display size and the same LTE data speeds, bringing only better performance via newer hardware, plus a few unique features that we discussed above. If you don’t need the extra performance you might not need the iPhone 5S but the reason to wait for its release is the price cut that the iPhone 5 will receive.

When the iPhone 5S will be available you can expect Apple to drop the price of the iPhone 5 to $99 on contract. That means a price cut of $100 for the current flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 will still be a very powerful smartphone when the iPhone 5S will be released and it will be even more attractive at a price with a hundred bucks lower than what the iPhone 5S will probably cost. You can also expect deals from retailers for the iPhone 5 as they will try to sell the older iPhone models from their stocks.

iPhone 4S price cut

If you are thinking of buying the iPhone 4S, the above advice applies to you too: wait for the iPhone 5S to be released, for the same reason. The iPhone 4S is also going to receive a price cut as Apple keeps three iPhone models on sale. That means that when the iPhone 5S will be launched, the iPhone 4S will get a price cut from its current $99 price, to the unbeatable price of free (on contract, of course), taking the place that s now occupied by the iPhone 4.

So when the iPhone 5S is released, to get an iPhone 4S all you need to do is sign up for a two year contract and you will receive the iPhone 4s, which even though old by industry standards, it is still a very good smartphone. And while it won’t have the upgrades introduced in the iPhone 5 and in the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 4S does come with Siri, a Retina display, a good camera and a pretty good battery life.

iOS 7 for both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5

If you are thinking about buying either the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5, you should know that iOS 7 will come to both smartphones. However, while both iPhone models will get the new version of iOS, the updates will not be the same. The iPhone 5 is the most fortunate of the two smartphones, as it will get all iOS 7 features (including AirDrop and Filters in camera). The iPhone 4S on the other hand won’t be getting all iOS 7 features.

The two features mentioned above for example, AirDrop and filters available in the camera app, won’t be available on an iPhone 4S running iOS 7. The other features exclusive to iOS 7 however seem to all be available on the iPhone 4S. While the two absent iOS 7 features are not deal breakers, they show a clear tendency of less updates for the iPhone 4S, especially if you compare it with the support that the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S will receive.

Longevity

In terms of longevity, the iPhone 5 is guaranteed to outlast the iPhone 4S. Apple usually updates its iPhone smartphones with new OS versions for about three years which means that iOS 7 is the iPhone 4S’ second major Operating System update, since it was launched two years ago. That would make iOS 8 its last update.

The iPhone 5 will last longer than the iPhone 4S and by ‘last longer’ we mean it will receive updates by Apple for a longer period of time. It will probably receive one more iOS version than the iPhone 4S – we are talking about what will probably be iOS 9. This an important thing to keep in mind while deciding on one of these two smartphones, so before singing up for a two year contract you should know that the iPhone 4S is getting near the end of its life.

Accessories

Besides the earlier mentioned features (such as LTE support, a bigger display and a redesign) the iPhone 5 also included the new Lightning dock connector while the iPhone 4S still uses the old 30 pin dock connector. So why does this matter? It’s quite simple actually: it means that the iPhone 5 will be compatible with all the Apple iPhone accessories that will be released in the near future. Which can’t be said about the iPhone 4S.

So that leaves the iPhone 4S owners unable to use accessories that use the new Lightning dock connector (so basically every new accessory that Apple will release for the iPhone), having to rely on accessories compatible with the old dock connector. Which still leaves it with many compatible accessories, as there are many iPhone accessories that are compatible with the old 30 pin standard. However, if a new innovative or impressive accessory will be released in the near future, iPhone 4S owner will not be able to use it.

LTE support

The last thing you might want to know about is the fact that the iPhone 4S does not support 4G LTE data speeds. The iPhone 4S relies on HSDPA and HSPA+ besides 3G. While this won’t be a big deal for most users, the difference from 3G to 4G LTE is pretty big as anyone with an iPhone 5 can tell you.

Verizon and AT&T offer LTE support for many markets and almost every new smartphone adopted the standard. That says something about the quality of 4G LTE – many describe it as WiFi on the go. It offers very fast speeds (over anything the iPhone 4S can offer) and even though it drains the battery almost as fast as the speeds it offers, the iPhone 5 has a pretty good battery life, enough to sustain 4G LTE.

You should really take into account LTE support as it represents the future and if you will opt for an iPhone 4S you won’t have access to such speeds. At least not officially.