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iPhone 5 vs 4S: Should You Skip Getting The 5?

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While the iPhone 5 may be Apple’s idea of the next evolution in the iPhone world, the question is, is it worth upgrading to if you already own the iPhone 4S?

iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S

The jump up from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 was a large one when it came to design. However with the iPhone 4 and the 4S this wasn’t so apparent. Now the jump up from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 is an interesting one. Some things have changed, yet in another sense everything remains the same, as the iPhone 5 still has the classic iPhone 4 look about it. It is still a blend of lines that are precise, metal and glass, which gives off a sense of refinement and high quality and there is the ever present Apple logo on the back of the device in the same spot and finish.

The new iPhone 5 is very thin at just 7.6mm, when the iPhone 4S is 9.3mm. the new device weighs 112g, while the 4S comes in at 140g and the iPhone 5 is a lot lighter than the iPhone 4S and it is also taller.

The iPhone 4S is made of glass on the back, while the iPhone 5 has two tone glass and aluminum on the back. Both of the devices are available in black or white. Aluminium does away with the risk of breaking the glass, however it is more prone to scratches and scuffs than the glass.

The jack for the headphones has been moved to underneath the handset close to the microphone and speaker grille and the device has a new connector port.

The iPhone 5 is a lot faster than the iPhone 4S thanks to a new A6 processor which comes with 1.2GHz and it is dual core. The iPhone 5 also has 1GB RAM as opposed to the 512MB seen in the iPhone 4S.

Apple have included a slightly higher battery, the iPhone 5 has a 1440mAh battery and the 4S the 1432mAh battery. However the iPhone 5 has 4G, so it needs the larger battery and 4G provides fast data speeds.

The iPhone 5 has iOS 6, which Apple said has many new features such as Passbook and Apple maps, along with better mail and web browser. Some apps have not been updated and this means a black bar in shown top and bottom on the screen of the iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S also has the iOS 6 update ready for download and it has all the features the iPhone 5 has since Apple left nothing exclusive for their latest model.

The 8 megapixel camera on the iPhone 5 is updated and there is a panorama view. Photos are colourful and vibrant and the sapphire crystal lens provides clarity in the photos. The camera on the front of the iPhone 5 is iSight and is better than the one on the iPhone 4S. It shoots video in 720p.

The iPhone 5 looks great and Apple has managed to shave their profit margins while at the same time enhancing the device.  With the iPhone 5 you do benefit from the slightly larger display and 4G LTE support but the rest is all questionable. Here’s why:

Battery life: real world tests show both devices have similar talktime
Storage: same 16,32 and 64GB options available
Design: The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 share the same design language so both look great
Software: Both run iOS 6
Camera: You would be hard pressed to tell the difference in picture quality
Screen: It is bigger but still small in comparison to other smartphones out there.

While the iPhone 5 is a great product, I wouldn’t recommend iPhone 4S users to upgrade unless they plan on getting on LTE. It may be wise to hang on for the “iPhone 5S” or consider other products on the market like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or Nokia Lumia 920. At the very least, you will fell like you are getting something different.

Dwayne is a jack of all trades. Not only is he an executive editor and collaborates on many stories here at Autoomobile, but he also does artwork and handles the running of the website on a daily basis. We’re not sure what we would do without Dwayne, especially on those days when we have a great scoop and our servers can’t handle the influx of traffic.