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Which iPhone Model Should You Buy: The Bottom Line

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The Bottom Line

The general rule when making a technology purchase is to buy the most device that you can afford. That's true when it comes to deciding which iPhone to buy.

If you can afford the iPhone 5S, get it. It will last the longest, offer the best performance and features, and will hold its value longest if you want to resell it. If you're more price conscious, the iPhone 5C will serve you well, too. Only look to the 4S if cost is a major consideration. It's just getting too long in the tooth to recommend to anyone who's not closely watching the bottom line.

For a quick comparison of how all three models stack up in terms of features and price, check out this chart.




 

iPhone Models Compared

  iPhone 5S
16GB/32GB/
64GB
iPhone 5C
16GB/32GB
iPhone 4S
16GB/32GB/
64GB
Songs Held

 
4,000/8,000/
16,000
4,000/8,000 4,000/
8,000/
16,000
Screen Size**
 
4 4 3.5
Resolution
 
1136x640 1136x640 960x640
Processor
 
Apple A7 Apple A6 Apple A5
Connectivity Wi-Fi,
4G LTE,
UMTS/HSDPA/
HSUPA/3G,
GSM, CDMA,
Bluetooth
 
Wi-Fi,
4G LTE,
UMTS/HSDPA/
HSUPA/3G,
GSM, CDMA,
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi,
UMTS/
HSDPA/
HSUPA/3G,
GSM, CDMA,
Bluetooth
Carrier
 
AT&T, Sprint,
T-Mobile, Verizon
AT&T, Sprint,
T-Mobile, Verizon
AT&T, Sprint,
T-Mobile, Verizon
A-GPS?
 
Yes Yes Yes
Max. OS
 
iOS 7 iOS 7 iOS 7
Camera 2 cameras:
8 megapixel
& 1.2 megapixel
 
2 cameras:
8 megapixel
& 1.2 megapixel
2 cameras:
8 megapixel
& VGA
Records
Video?

 
1080p HD
at 30 fps/
120 fps slow-mo
1080p HD
at 30 fps
1080p HD
at 30 fps
FaceTime
 
Yes Yes Yes
Siri
 
Yes Yes Yes
Weight
(ounces)

 
3.95 4.65 4.9
Size** 4.87 x 2.31
x .30
 
4.90 x 2.33
x .35
4.5 x 2.31
x .37
Battery Life
(in hours)
Talk: 8
Video: 10
Web: 10
Audio: 40
 
Talk: 8
Video: 10
Web: 10
Audio: 40
Talk: 8
Video: 10
Web: 9
Audio: 40
Colors Slate, Gray
Gold
Pink, Yellow
Blue, Green
White
 
Black, White
Price
w/contract

 
US$199/$299/
$399
US$99/$199 Free

** in inches

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