The iPhone 4S is getting on a bit now, but somewhat surprisingly it’s still for sale, slotting in at the bottom of the iPhone range, while the iPhone 5 has been replaced altogether by the iPhone 5C. So if you’re wondering just how different the top end iPhone 5S is to the now bottom end iPhone 4S, read on to find out.
Apple iPhone 5S vs Apple iPhone 4S – Build quality
The iPhone 4S has a glass back and stainless steel edges, giving it the premium look and feel that you’d expect from an Apple handset. At 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm it’s quite compact and slim too.
The iPhone 5S has a slightly different design, with a mostly metal back, albeit with a glass strip at the top and bottom for a two-tone effect. If anything it looks even better than the iPhone 4S, but they’re both great looking phones. At 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm it’s longer to account for the bigger screen, but it’s also thinner.
Apple iPhone 5S vs Apple iPhone 4S – Display
The iPhone 4S has a 3.5 inch 640 x 960 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 330 pixels per inch. It’s a very high quality screen with great contrast, but at just 3.5 inches it’s very small compared to most phones these days.
The iPhone 5S has a 4 inch 1136 x 640 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. The overall quality is just as good and it’s slightly larger. It’s also widescreen, which makes it great for watching films on.
Power and operating system
The iPhone 4S has a 32 bit 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor and 512 MB of RAM. That’s not much but it’s served the 4S well. Out of the box it runs iOS 5, but it’s upgradeable to iOS 7 which is the latest version. The only thing to be aware of is that Apple are likely to stop supporting it before too long, so it may not get subsequent versions of the OS.
The iPhone 5S has a 64 bit 1.3 GHz dual-core Apple A7 processor as well as 1 GB of RAM, making it a lot more powerful than the iPhone 4S. It also of course runs iOS 7 and is likely to remain supported for the next few years at least.
Apple iPhone 5S vs Apple iPhone 4S - Camera
The iPhone 4S has an 8 megapixel camera with a single LED flash. It can shoot 1080p video at 30fps and has a VGA front facing camera.
The iPhone 5S also has an 8 megapixel main camera, however it has a dual LED flash, auto image stabilisation and a ‘True Tone’ feature which ensures that colours look more natural. It also trumps the 4S in video capabilities as it can shoot slow motion video at 120fps (as well as 1080p video at 30fps). It has a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
The iPhone 4S has a 1432 mAh battery capable of up to 200 hours of standby time or 8 hours of talk time, while the iPhone 5S has a 1560 mAh battery which can manage 250 hours of standby time or 10 hours of talk time.
The iPhone 4S is only available with 8GB of storage, though there are also discontinued versions with 16, 32 and 64GB. The iPhone 5S comes with a choice of 16, 32 or 64GB of storage, so it has far more than the current version of the 4S.
The iPhone 4S supports Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and 3G, while the iPhone 5S supports all of those as well as 4G. So with a 4G contract mobile data will be a lot faster on the iPhone 5S and it’s far more future proofed as a result.
Apple iPhone 5S vs Apple iPhone 4S – Price
The iPhone 4S is available SIM free for £349 while the iPhone 5S starts at £549 for the 16GB version, going up to £629 for 32GB and £709 for 64GB. Obviously then it’s a lot more expensive than the 4S, with the cheapest version coming in at £200 more, albeit with twice as much storage.
Apple iPhone 5S vs Apple iPhone 4S - Conclusion
Both the iPhone 4S and 5S are fantastic phones in their own way, though the 4S is decidedly mid-range these days. The 5S is better in just about every way and is likely to be supported by Apple for a lot longer, but it’s also far more expensive and there are still those who prefer the small 3.5 inch screen of the 4S.
For us, the extra power and features of the iPhone 5S justifies the price hike, but the iPhone 4S is a great mid-range option.
By Kevin Thomas on 07th October, 2013