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Comparing iPhone vs iPod touch: The Top 7 Differences

In which we compare and contrast iPhone and iPod touch

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The iPhone and iPod touch are closely related—and not just because they look alike. Starting with the iPhone 4 and 4th-generation iPod touch, they share the same OS, support for FaceTime video conferencing, Retina Display screens, and the same type of processor. But, even though the touch is often called an iPhone-without-the-phone, there are some significant differences between the two devices.

This article compares the iPhone 5S, 5C, and the 5th generation iPod touch.

Last Updated: Feb. 24, 2014

1. Camera Resolution

iOS 7 camera app icon
image copyright Apple Inc.

While both the iPhone and iPod touch have two cameras, the iPhone 4's camera is substantially better than the 4th-generation iPod touch's. The cameras break down this way:

iPhone 5S & 5C

  • Back camera: 8 megapixels, records 1080p HD video
  • User-facing camera: 1.2 megapixels, records video at 720p HD

5th Gen iPod Touch

  • Back camera: 5 megapixels, records 1080p HD
  • User-facing camera: 1.2 megapixels, records video at 720p HD

As you can see, from a photo-quality perspective, the iPhone 5S and 5C's back camera is substantially better than the 5th-generation iPod touch's.

2. Camera Burst Mode

iOS 7 camera app
image copyright Apple Inc.

The iPhone 5S offers a cool new feature for people taking action photos: burst mode. Burst mode lets you take up to 10 photos per second by simply holding down the shutter button in the Camera app.

Neither the 5C or the 5th gen. touch support burst mode.

3. Slow-Motion Video

iOS 7 camera app icon
image copyright Apple Inc.

Like with burst mode, the 5S has another camera feature the other models don't: slow-motion video. The iPhone 5S can record video at 120 frames/second (most videos are captured at 30 frames/second, so this is much slower). Neither of the other models can.

4. 4G LTE/Phone

4G LTE icon

While the iPod touch can only access the Internet when there's an available Wi-Fi network, the iPhone 5S and 5C can get online anywhere there's phone service. That's because they have a 4G LTE cellular data connection that uses the phone network to provide Internet access. And, as that indicates, the iPhone has a phone, while the touch doesn't.

And though this gives the iPhone more features, it also costs more: iPhone users have to pay at least US$70.00/month in service fees, while iPod touch users don't have to pay any subscription fees.

5. Size and Weight

iPhone 5S
image copyright Apple Inc.

Since it packs in more features, the iPhone 4 is a bit bigger and heavier than the 4th generation iPod touch. Here's how they stack up:

Dimensions (in inches)

  • iPhone 5S: 4.87 tall x 2.31 wide x 0.30 deep
  • iPhone 5C: 4.90 tall x 2.33 wide x 0.35 deep
  • iPod touch: 4.86 tall x 2.31 wide x 0.24 deep

Weight (in ounces)

  • iPhone 5S: 3.96
  • iPhone 5C: 4.65
  • iPod touch: 3.10

6. Cost

iphone price
iPhone image copyright Apple Inc.

This is an interesting situation. In some ways and with some models, the iPod touch is more expensive than the iPhone 4 even though it offers less. The only instance in which it doesn't offer less is when you take into account the iPhone's monthly fees - in that case touch owners are saving.

Upfront Cost

  • iPhone 5C - 16GB: $99 (with two-year contract)
  • iPhone 5S - 16GB: $199 (with two-year contract)
  • iPod touch - 16GB: $229
  • iPhone 5C - 32GB: $199 (with two-year contract)
  • iPhone 5S - 32GB: $299 (with two-year contract)
  • iPhone 5S - 64GB: $399 (with two-year contract)
  • iPod touch - 32GB: $299
  • iPod touch - 64GB: $399


Monthly Cost

  • iPhone 5S/5C: $70.00/month and up
  • iPod touch: none

7. Reviews & Buying

5th gen iPod touch
image copyright Apple Inc.

Now that you know what the differences are, check out the reviews and then comparison shop to find the best prices on the device you prefer.

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