Samsung and HTC have gotten very good at making smartphones, but few would argue that Apple’s iPhone creations always raise the bar. The iPhone 5 may not be the stunner that we were hoping for, but it is a wondrous phone. Focusing on the Apple world for a minute, we were wondering how the iPhone 5 stacked up against the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 5 case has a sleek two-tone glass and aluminum look. While it’s more drop-resistant, the aluminum scratches and shows fingerprints more easily than the 4S shell.
Dimensionally, the iPhone 5 is markedly different than its predecessor. It’s lighter — 112g compared to 140g. It’s also 1.7mm thinner than the 4S, measuring 7.6mm.
The screen is a full 4” and has a 1,136×640 resolution – an expansion that was necessary due to the popularity of watching movies and playing games on mobile phones.
The iPhone 5’s change in aspect ratio is 16:9 compared to the previous 3:2, and has become a problem for both running the current apps and the urgency for designing new. Some apps will show a black bar at the top and bottom until they’re updated.
The speakers seem to have lots less distortion, or at least they seem louder than they were on the 4S. There is still nothing better than sound from a good pair of headphones.
Neither the 5 nor the 4S has a removable battery or SD card. The batteries are very similar – the 4S has a 1,432mAh and the iPhone 5 has a 1,440mAh. This means around 40 hours of music and eight hours of talk time – similar times for both models.
They both come in 16, 32 and 64GB versions.
The iPhone 5 has 4G LTE support, a huge upgrade over the 4S 3G limitation.
The A6 chip is twice as fast as the 4S’ A5. The A5 chip is 1GHz and the A6 is 1.3GHz, which in real life use is a noticeable boost. The iPhone 5 also has 1GB of RAM compared to the 512MB in the 4S.
The new 9-pin Lightning connector significantly shrinks the footprint of the ancient 30-pin connector, but the change has irritated many because the new dock connector is necessary to using old Apple equipment. Get over it.
The 4G LTE capability is terrific, but unless you’re a Verizon subscriber, you’re still stuck on some version of 3G/4G.
Both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S are amazing phones. Hopefully, this comparison has provided lots of reasons to upgrade — or not.