1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Which iPhone Model Should You Buy: The Bottom Line

By

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
  Phone 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
Carriers AT&T
Sprint,

T-Mobile
Verizon
AT&T
Sprint,

T-Mobile
Verizon
AT&T
Sprint,

T-Mobile
Verizon
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

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. iPhone / iPod
  4. Before You Buy iPhone or iPod
  5. Which iPhone Model Should You Buy: iPhone 5S vs 5C vs 4S

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.