iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S, The Battle Of Two Generations


30.09.2012

iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S, The Battle Of Two Generations

Since 2007, when the first iPhone debuted and revolutionized the concept of smartphone Apple has constantly tried to improve its products each year. The same happened this year, with the iPhone 5. But is it way better than its predecessor, or only a minor upgrade meant to squeeze some more money from the Apple fanatics?

That’s why we though that the iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S battle should be interesting, as they are both amazing phones running on the same operating system.

Apple’s smartphones are outselling their predecessors each year, and, now, the Cupertino-based company receive over 5 million pre-orders in the first weekend after the launch, making the iPhone 5 the fastest selling smartphone in the world.

The iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S fight will maybe decided by small margins as both devices are running on the same version of Apple’s mobile operating system, the iOS 6. That’s one of the reasons why many you are asking whether is it worth to upgrade to iPhone 5. Well, that’s what I will try to answer in this article.

That’s not to much to say about the operating system underpinning the two smartphones, as most of have tryed the iOS experience before. Each new iOS major update brings new and interesting features. This year, with the launch of iOS 6 we got Facebook integration, the Do not Disturb feature, Facetime over 3G an improved camera app with Panorama, a faster Safari and many other treats.

Unfortunately, the iOS 6 Maps application is a huge disappointment. I’m not saying it, but millions of Apple fans and even the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, who publicly apologized for the quality of their mapping service, recommending the users to go for rival maps applications until he Apple Maps are upgraded to a decent level.

I will start the comparison by looking at the design and the dimensions of iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. The new model continues the elegant design lines introduced in 2009 by the iPhone 4, of course bringing some changes, too.

The back of the phone is no longer made of glass, being a two-tone combination of aluminium and glass, making it look shiny, glossy, premium. It seems that because Apple used aluminium for the back of the iPhone 5, the smartphone is now more resistant than its predecessor when it comes to physical shocks.

I’m not saying that the iPhone 4S isn’t cool, but the iPhone 5 is cooler. It’s also thinner, lighter and taller, and because Apple kept the same with it can be easily operated with one hand. The old iPhone 4S is 9.3 mm thick and weighs in 140 grams, while the iPhone 5 is 1.7 mm thinner than its predecessor, and even though it accommodates a bigger display, it’s 28 grams lighter than the 4S.

Apple also upgraded the display of its new smartphone. So far, all the iPhone models had 3.5-inch displays, but this year, the Cupertino-based phone maker installed a 4-inch touch panel using Retina technology and a resolution of 640 x 1,136 pixels. It’s better when it comes to watching videos and browsing the webs and still as comfortable as the 3.5-inch one when it comes to typing.

The iPhone 4S outmatches the iPhone 5 when it comes to pixel density, 330 ppi vs 326 ppi, but the new smartphone has 16:9 aspect ratio, ideal for watching videos.

Still, the new aspect ration will give headaches to the developers, as they will have to update their applications to fit the new display. That’s why, for the time being, some of the applications in App Store will not be displayed in “full screen” on the new iPhone 5, and it will take some time until the devs change them for resolution of the new terminal.

As usual, Apple opted for a unibody design, with a non-removable battery and no microSD card slot. Both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 come with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage.

One of the new major features of the iPhone 5 is the 4G LTE support. As you probably know, the iPhone 4S was only compatible with 2G and 3G networks. The iPhone 5 also packs a better WiFi antenna. Besides the iPhone 4S’ Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and WiFi hotspot standards, the iPhone 5 brings dual-band WiFi, for faster connections to your local network.

At the press conference where iPhone 5 was unveiled, Apple also introduced a new dock connector for its smartphone, dubbed Lightning. The cool thing about this connector is that it can be plugged in on any side. The annoying fact is that it isn’t compatible with your old Apple accessories, unless you buy an adapter, priced around $30.

By looking at the 8 megapixel sensor you would be tempted to say that the iPhone 5 comes with the same iSight camera installed on the iPhone 5. You wouldn’t be too far from the truth, but the small details are the ones making the difference.

iPhone 4S’ camera comes with Touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, panorama, HDR, LED flash, autofocus, and of course full HD video recording. On the other hand iPhone 5 comes with all those aforementioned features, plus support for taking photos while recording HD videos and an advanced BSI sensor that is doing a great job in low light conditions.

When Cook presented the iPhone 5 a couple of weeks ago, he said that its processor is “twice faster than the A5″ and that it has “twice A5′s graphic processing power.” The benchmark tests have proved the Apple CEO was right.

The iPhone 4S sports an A5 chip based on two Cortex A9 cores at 1 GHz, borrowed from the iPad 2 and helped by a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU. The new iPhone boasts a dual-core A6 processor that can climb up to 1.3 GHz developed by Apple on ARMv7 architecture with tri-core graphic processing provided by a PowerVR SGX 543MP3 unit.

Even though on paper the differences between the two are minor, the benchmark tests have proved the contrary. The iPhone 5′s processor is indeed twice faster than iPhone 4S’. Moreover, the iPhone 5 brings 1 GB of RAM, compared to iPhone 4S which only has 512 MB of RAM.

Even though the batteries of iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are similar, 1,432 mAh and 1,440 mAh, respectively, and the new iPhone packs a bigger display and more processing power, the autonomy of the two devices is the same. They both can withstand 40 hours of music playback and 8 hours of 3G talktime.

Just like Apple’s rivals, Samsung, said “it doesn’t take a genius” to figure out which smartphone will win the iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S fight.

But is it worth to upgrade from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5? Well, that’s up to you. What I can tell you for sure is that you would definitely enjoy a slightly bigger display. The old iPhone 4S will still run the iOS 6 smoothly and since the LTE is not that widespread outside the US, you won’t be able to enjoy the smartphones 4G capabilities if you are reading this from, let’s say, Europe.

The launch of the iPhone 5 didn’t make the iPhone 4S worse, it just brought a more powerful alternative for the Apple enthusiasts.

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