IPhone 5 Vs IPhone 4S: Our In-depth Comparison

Mobile Phone
Source: Anandtech.com

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are two popular smartphones that have made a significant impact in the tech industry. While the iPhone 4S introduced Siri, Apple’s voice-activated personal assistant, the iPhone 5 brought many improvements to the table. In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the key features, design, performance, and camera capabilities of both devices to help you determine which one suits your needs best. Whether you’re looking for a device with enhanced functionality or a smartphone with unmatched speed and power, this article will guide you in making an informed decision. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and discover how they stack up against each other.

Inside This Article

  1. Design and Build Quality
  2. Display and Screen Size
  3. Performance and Processing Power
  4. Camera and Photography Capabilities
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Design and Build Quality

The design and build quality of a phone play a crucial role in defining the user experience. When it comes to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, both devices have their unique aesthetics that appeal to different kinds of users.

The iPhone 5 introduced a fresh new design compared to its predecessor. With its sleek and slender profile, the iPhone 5 showcased a more refined and premium look. The device featured an aluminum and glass construction, which not only made it sturdy but also added to its overall appeal. The edges were chamfered, giving it a modern and sophisticated appearance.

On the other hand, the iPhone 4S featured a more conventional design. It had a glass back with a stainless steel frame, giving it a more polished and elegant look. The device was slightly smaller and thicker compared to the iPhone 5, but it still maintained a solid build quality.

One notable difference between the two devices is the placement of the headphone jack. The iPhone 5 moved the headphone jack to the bottom, making it more convenient for users who prefer to listen to music or make calls while charging their device. The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, had the headphone jack on the top.

Both phones had a home button, but the iPhone 5 introduced a small yet significant change. The home button on the iPhone 5 had a fingerprint-resistant coating, which ensured that it remained clean and responsive even after prolonged use.

In terms of color options, the iPhone 5 came in black and white, while the iPhone 4S came in black and white as well, but also offered an additional option of a limited edition white model.

To sum it up, the iPhone 5 had a more modern and sleek design with a sturdy build quality, while the iPhone 4S had a classic and elegant design. Both phones offer their own unique appeal, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preference.

Display and Screen Size

When it comes to smartphones, the display and screen size play a crucial role in delivering an immersive and visually pleasing experience. Let’s compare the display and screen size of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S to see how they stack up.

The iPhone 5 introduced a significant improvement in display technology compared to its predecessor. With a 4-inch Retina Display, it offered a larger screen size and an aspect ratio of 16:9, allowing for better multimedia consumption and a more spacious layout for apps and content. The Retina Display boasted a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch (ppi), ensuring razor-sharp text and vibrant colors.

On the other hand, the iPhone 4S featured a smaller 3.5-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels, resulting in the same impressive pixel density of 326 ppi. While the screen size was smaller, the display quality was still excellent, offering sharp images and vibrant colors.

One notable difference between the two models is the taller screen on the iPhone 5. This taller display allowed for an additional row of icons on the home screen, providing users with more space to access their favorite apps and shortcuts.

Another important aspect to consider is the overall display quality in different lighting conditions. Both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S offered excellent brightness levels, making it easy to use the devices outdoors or in brightly lit environments. Additionally, the IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology used in both models ensured wide viewing angles, allowing users to view content comfortably from different positions without any color distortion.

Performance and Processing Power

When it comes to performance and processing power, both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S have their strengths. The iPhone 5 introduced significant improvements over its predecessor, making it a more powerful device overall.

Under the hood, the iPhone 5 features a faster and more efficient A6 chip compared to the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S. This translates to faster app loading times, smoother multitasking, and improved overall responsiveness. Whether you’re navigating through apps, browsing the web, or playing graphics-intensive games, the iPhone 5 offers a noticeable boost in performance.

In terms of benchmarks, the iPhone 5 outperforms the iPhone 4S. It has a higher Geekbench score, indicating better overall performance and processing capabilities. The improved hardware also enables the iPhone 5 to handle resource-intensive tasks such as video editing and gaming with greater ease, delivering a lag-free and smooth user experience.

One area where the iPhone 5 truly shines is its graphics processing unit (GPU). With its PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU, the iPhone 5 offers superior graphics performance compared to the iPhone 4S. This means enhanced gaming experiences with more detailed graphics, smoother frame rates, and better overall visual quality.

Another key factor contributing to the iPhone 5’s superior performance is its operating system. As newer iOS versions are optimized for the latest hardware, they take full advantage of the iPhone 5’s capabilities. This results in faster app updates and optimizations specifically tailored for the iPhone 5, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

Overall, if you’re someone who values a fast and responsive smartphone experience, the iPhone 5 is the clear winner in terms of performance and processing power. Its faster A6 chip, improved GPU, and optimized operating system make it a powerhouse device capable of handling demanding tasks with ease.

Camera and Photography Capabilities

When it comes to camera and photography capabilities, both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S offer impressive features that can capture stunning photos and videos. However, there are notable differences between the two devices that are worth considering.

The iPhone 5 introduced several enhancements to its camera compared to its predecessor. It features an 8-megapixel iSight camera with improved low-light performance, autofocus, and face detection. The camera also has a backside illumination sensor, which helps to capture sharper images, even in challenging lighting conditions.

On the other hand, the iPhone 4S comes with a slightly lower resolution 8-megapixel camera. While it may not have some of the advanced features found in the iPhone 5, it still delivers excellent image quality and detail. The camera on the iPhone 4S also includes face detection and autofocus capabilities.

Both devices offer the ability to record high-definition videos. The iPhone 5 can shoot videos at a maximum resolution of 1080p, while the iPhone 4S is capable of recording videos at 1080p as well, but with a lower frame rate. This means that videos captured with the iPhone 5 will generally have smoother motion and better overall quality.

Another notable difference is the front-facing camera. The iPhone 5 introduced a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera capable of capturing 720p HD videos. This improvement allows for better FaceTime calls and higher-quality self-portraits. In comparison, the iPhone 4S has a VGA resolution front-facing camera, which can still be used for video calls but lacks the same level of detail.

In terms of additional photography features, both devices offer various shooting modes such as panoramic mode, HDR (High Dynamic Range), and burst mode. These modes enhance the photography experience and provide users with more options to capture the perfect shot.

Overall, while both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S deliver impressive camera and photography capabilities, the iPhone 5 offers some notable improvements. Its upgraded camera sensor and ability to record 1080p videos at a higher frame rate make it a more compelling option for those who prioritize photography and videography.


In conclusion, the comparison between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S reveals the advancements made in the world of mobile phones. The iPhone 5 brings significant improvements in terms of design, display, performance, and connectivity. With its larger screen and faster processor, the iPhone 5 offers a more immersive user experience. Additionally, the 4G LTE connectivity allows for faster internet speeds.

However, the iPhone 4S still holds its ground with its reliable performance and attractive design. It remains a viable option for those who prefer a smaller form factor or have budget constraints.

Ultimately, the choice between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S depends on individual preferences and needs. Whether you prioritize the latest features and technology or are content with a more affordable device, both options have their merits.

No matter which model you choose, both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S offer a premium mobile phone experience, showcasing the innovative capabilities of Apple’s technology.


Q: What are the main differences between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S?

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S were released in different years, with the iPhone 5 being newer. Some of the key differences include a larger screen, faster processor, improved camera, and support for faster cellular networks like 4G LTE.

Q: Can I use my iPhone 4S case with the iPhone 5?

Unfortunately, no. The design and dimensions of the iPhone 5 are different from those of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is taller and slimmer, so the case for the iPhone 4S will not fit properly on the iPhone 5.

Q: Can I transfer my data and apps from my iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5?

Yes, you can transfer your data and apps from your iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5. You can use the iCloud backup feature to transfer your contacts, photos, videos, and other data. Additionally, you can use the App Store’s “Purchased” section to re-download any apps you had on your iPhone 4S.

Q: Does the iPhone 5 have better battery life compared to the iPhone 4S?

Yes, the iPhone 5 generally has better battery life compared to the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 introduced a more power-efficient A6 chip and optimized software, resulting in improved battery performance. However, it is important to note that battery life can vary depending on individual usage patterns and settings.

Q: Is the iPhone 5 worth upgrading from the iPhone 4S?

Whether or not the iPhone 5 is worth upgrading from the iPhone 4S depends on individual preferences and needs. If you are looking for a larger screen, faster performance, better camera quality, and support for newer technologies like 4G LTE, then upgrading to the iPhone 5 could be a worthwhile investment. However, if you are satisfied with the features and performance of your iPhone 4S, you may not find the upgrade necessary.