Since the iPhone 4S is often sold free with a 2-year contract, and the iPhone 5S starts at $200, deciding between these two phones is really hard. Not because they both have advtanges, but because the playing field is so uneven.



The iPhone 4S is an outdated (or soon to be outdated) phone, while the 5S is a phone powered by cutting-edge technology that will not be outdated in even two years.A better comparison would be the iPhone 5C vs the iPhone 4S, since they are more similar and closer price-wise.  However, we understand that some people would still like to compare the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 4S, so we put together this article.


Most carriers sell the iPhone 4S with a two-year contract for $.01-$50, while others give it out for free. The iPhone 5S on the other hand costs $200 with a two-year contract. There is a huge price difference here, so you can only imagine there will be a huge feature diffidence between these phones as well.

Size, Color and Weight

The iPhone 5S has a dimension of 4.87 x 2.31 x .30 inches and weighs 3.95 ounces, while the iPhone 4S is 4.5 x 2.31 x .37 inches and weighs 4.9 ounces.

SNAG-0039 SNAG-0038















You can get the iPhone 4S only in black and white, whereas the iPhone 5S is available in silver, gold and space gray. Is the iPhone 5S worth the money just for the bigger screen, thinner body and beautiful looks? I think it is definitely worth it. Not to mention that the iPhone 5S has a more durable back than the glass back of the iPhone 4S.


The iPhone 4S has a an outdated display with a diagonal size of 3.5″ and a resolution of 960 x 640. The iPhone 5S on the other hand has a 4″ screen and a resolution of 1136 x 640. Another interesting thing to note between these two phones is that the 4S has an aspect ratio of 3:2 while the iPhone 5S has an aspect ratio of 16:9.


Photo from The Verge

Both phones have a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.


The iPhone 4S has a single LED on the rear camera, which shoots at 8MP. The front camera of the iPhone 4S shoots in a measly .3MP resolution. The iPhone 5S has two rear camera LEDs, and still shoot at 8MP. However, the iPhone 5S camera quality has been significantly improved. Instead of jam packing more megapixels into its camera, Apple has focused on improving the aperture of its lens and color representation.

Photo from PCmag

Photo from PCmag

The iPhone 5S can record in 1080p HD video, and can even record up to 120 frames per second in slo-mo video. You can even take a photo while recording a video with the iPhone 5S. However, the iPhone 4S enjoys none of these features. It shoots at a maximum of 30 frames per second and can’t take a photo while recording.


The iPhone 5S has the most powerful mobile processor in the world. In fact, it’s a 64-bit processor which is as strong enough as the processors seen in laptops and computers. The iPhone 5S Apple A7 dual core 64-bit 1.3GHz processor blows the iPhone 4S Apple A5 dual core 32-bit .8GHz processor out of the water. Keep in mind that the iPhone 4S came out two years ago and is quite old in terms of technology.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S

The iPhone 4S is half as fast as the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are half as fast as the iPhone 5S. That should give you something to think about.

Another thing you should know about the iPhone 5S, is that it has an M7 motion coprocessor. This coprocessor takes a lot of gyroscope, accelerometer and compass workload off and handles it more efficiently. If you use fitness apps or sleep pattern tracking apps, then the iPhone 5S will save a lot more battery when running those apps than the iPhone 4S.


Whereas the iPhone 4S has only half a gig of RAM, the iPhone 5S has a full gig. This makes the 5S way more powerful when it comes to multitasking and handling memory-hungry applications.



The battery life of the iPhone 4S comes in at a maximum of 8 hours of 3G talk time, while the iPhone 5S gets up to 10 hours of talk time. When it comes to internet usage, the iPhone 4S gets up to 6 hours of 3G and 9 hours on Wi-Fi, while the iPhone 5S gets up to 8 hours on 3G and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi.


The iPhone 5S comes with the newest Apple headphones called EarPods, whereas the iPhone 4S comes with the old and uncomfortable Earphones.


When it comes to LTE wireless, you will be bummed to know that the iPhone 4S doesn’t support it. If you’re on a carrier that offers LTE and you buy the iPhone 4S, you will be effectively paying for something you don’t use. Might as well get the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C to make use of that LTE coverage you pay for.

Cool Perks

The iPhone 5S has a fingerprint scanner in the home button while the iPhone 4S does not. The fingerprint scanner can be used to unlock the phone without a passcode as well as purchase apps without a password. At the moment, the fingerprint scanner can’t be used for anything else, but we hope Apple gives 3rd party apps access to it in the future.


If you can afford the iPhone 5S then it would be more cost-effective to buy it. Why would it be more cost-effective? You’re already paying for LTE so might as well get a phone that supports it. Not to mention that the iPhone 5S  won’t be outdated for another 2-3 years, while the iPhone 4S is already at the end of its life.

Your contract already includes expensive phones, so if you don’t buy the iPhone 5S for $200 (instead of the $650 retail price) then you’re just missing out. If you can afford the large fees Sprint and Verizon charge for talk and data these days, then changes are you can also afford the iPhone 5S. In that case, the decision is easy.

iPhone photos from Apple and Apple’s compare page.

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