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iPhone 5 vs 4S: Forget Specs, What’s Really Gotten Better?

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The iPhone 5 has been out for several days now and we’re starting to get feedback on the differences between it and the iPhone 4S. Some poor Apple fans are the victims of pre-order delays, but we’re sure they’ll wade in with comments when they finally get their treasures.

iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S

Some of the differences between the iPhone 4S and the 5 are a bit more subtle than Apple promised, but some others are worth talking about.

Screen: The screen has been one of the more hotly-debated and promoted changes. The iPhone 5 still has a Retina display, but there’s a difference in size and resolution. The 4S has 3.5” and the 5 has 4”. There’s also an increase in resolution from 960×640 to 1,136×640. The extra screen space is immediately noticeable and pleasing to the eyes. The extra real estate looks especially good when watching media, while web browsing has some improvements but nothing so signicant.

Camera: The iPhone 5 camera isn’t vastly different from the 4S’. The back camera is still 8MP. It can also record HD 1,080p videos at 30 fps, and it also has LED flash and autofocus. The front camera’s new feature is the FaceTime HD facility, which is 1.2MP, and also runs at 30 fps. Given that the 4S already has such a good camera, you would be hard pressed to see the enhancements iPhone 5 brought along.

Battery: As the iPhone 5 has 4G LTE, battery life is important. The 4S had up to eight hours of talk time, browsing time of six hours and up to 200 hours of standby. The iPhone 5 will also have eight hours of talk time, as well as 10 hours of web time and 225 hours of standby. So in other words, it feels like business as usual despite the iPhone 5 being more “productive” with your time.

Networks: 4G LTE is the big news here. This is a real bonus if you are on Verizon given their expanded coverage map.

Price and Networks: The iPhone 5 will be launching at the same price the iPhone 4S launched at – $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB if you sign up with Verizon, Sprint or AT&T. The iPhone 4S drops to $99.

EarPods: These are a freebie with the iPhone 5. Apple’s newest headphones are believed to have been in development since 2009 and feature a remote and a mic. The sound quality is as good as aftermarket headsets below the $100 range and a big step up from the original iPhone earbuds.

Durability: Glass is harder than aluminum. If you knew this then you wouldn’t be surprised that the iPhone 5 scuffs easier than the 4S. If you plan on getting a black iPhone 5 be careful not to dump it in your pocket with your keys as they could scuff off the paint and reveal the shiny metal underlayers quite easily.

Always looking for something new to learn, Mario looks at the internet as one big startup. With him at the helm, Autoomobile.com continues to head in the right direction of providing high quality and unbiased information on the latest new car models and electronics.