What Does the iPhone 5 have over the iPhone 4S?

Posted on November 6, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

In the world of smartphones, the iPhone is definitely one of the most popular options to consider. Every few years, Apple comes out with a new version of the phone, and the latest one to come out is the iPhone 5. If you bought the iPhone 4S previously, you may be trying to decide if it’s worth it to upgrade. If you don’t have either one, you might be in the process of trying to choose which one to get. If you went with the 4S, you’d be able to save a little bit of money, but at the same time you’d be missing out on some features that only are available with the 5. Here are a few key differences to consider about the iPhone 5 and the 4S.

iphone 5 vs iphone 4s

Phone Size

One of the most noticeable differences that you’ll see right away is the size of the phone. With the iPhone 4S, the size is the same as previous iPhone models. The basic shape of the phone is very familiar because it has been seen for years. With the iPhone 5, Apple decided to go in a different direction with the shape and size of the phone. The iPhone 5 is taller and thinner than its predecessor. This makes the screen longer, so that an extra row of icons can fit. It also changes the way things look when you watch videos or look at pictures on the phone. It also gives you a slightly bigger screen to use when you are reading content on your phone.

Storage and memory capacity

The storage has not changed a great deal in iPhone 5 as compared to its predecessor other than the fact that the RAM has doubled to 1GB from the 512MB in iPhone 4S. Apple fans were expecting a 128GB iPhone 5 to be released but only to their disappointment. It comes in three variants – 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.

Also Read: What Makes iPhone 5 Special

LTE Network

Another big difference between the two phones is the access to the LTE network. LTE [Long Term Evolution]  is a special type of data network that is available for the iPhone 5. Several years ago, 3G was the big thing that every smartphone had to have. Now LTE is the latest buzzword in this regard. It is a lot faster than 3G, and you’ll notice it when you navigate to a website. In some areas, LTE is actually faster than being connected to WiFi. This makes connecting to the Internet while you are on the go much easier, and allows you to get to the pages you need much faster overall.


With the iPhone 5, the connection to the device is slightly different. While all of the previous iPhone models all use the same USB charger, the iPhone 5 has a different charger. This means that you won’t be able to share chargers if one of your family members uses the 4S or one of the older versions of the iPhone.


The processor in the iPhone 5 is also improved compared to the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S has the A5 chip, which was considered to be very fast at the time the iPhone 4S came out. With the iPhone 5, the new A6 chip is included. It is quite a bit faster than the A5 chip, which makes everything on the phone run faster and smoother. From opening applications to pulling up websites on the Safari browser, you’ll be able to do things faster with the A6 chip.


iPhone 5 runs on the latest iOS 6 as compared to the iOS 5.1.1 run by the former one. It also boasts of over 200 features with the native map system and the improved Siri interaction feature being the main highlights.

Video Recording

While the video cameras are largely the same between the iPhone 5 and the 4S, there are a few differences. For example, with the iPhone 5, the video camera has facial recognition technology. It also makes it possible for you to take still photos while you are recording a video on the phone.


While it may not seem like a big deal, the headphones are also different with the iPhone 5. The headphones are shaped differently, which makes it easier for them to fit in your ears. They also come with a storage and travel case, so you don’t have to just stick the headphones loosely in your pocket or in a bag.

The Verdict

As expected, the iPhone 5 is obviously better than the iPhone 4S. It’s Debatable whether it is worth it to upgrade from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 if you already have the 4S. This is an even bigger question if you are not eligible for an upgrade yet.

If you have not yet purchased a smart phone and you are looking at the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S, you’ll probably be happier with the iPhone 5. It’s faster, it has a bigger screen, and it has a few more bells and whistles. You’ll just have to decide if the iPhone 5 is worth the extra money that it takes compared to the 4S.

About the Author: This article was written by Jet Russell. Jet does outreach for a mobile network optimization company, and likes blogging on trending topics like that of the iPhone 5.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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