iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 5

What's the Difference?

The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are both popular models from Apple's iPhone lineup, but they do have some notable differences. The iPhone 4S was released in 2011 and features a 3.5-inch Retina display, while the iPhone 5, released in 2012, has a slightly larger 4-inch Retina display. The iPhone 5 also introduced a faster A6 chip, compared to the A5 chip in the 4S, resulting in improved performance and faster app loading times. Additionally, the iPhone 5 introduced a new Lightning connector, replacing the older 30-pin dock connector found on the 4S. Overall, the iPhone 5 offers a more advanced and updated experience compared to the iPhone 4S.


AttributeiPhone 4SiPhone 5
Release Year20112012
Display Size3.5 inches4 inches
Resolution960 x 640 pixels1136 x 640 pixels
ProcessorApple A5Apple A6
Storage Options16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB
Camera8 MP (rear), VGA (front)8 MP (rear), 1.2 MP (front)
Operating SystemiOS 5iOS 6
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours talk timeUp to 8 hours talk time
Weight140 grams112 grams

Further Detail

Design and Display

The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 both feature a sleek and stylish design, but there are some notable differences. The iPhone 4S has a glass back and stainless steel frame, while the iPhone 5 has an aluminum back and chamfered edges. The iPhone 5 is also thinner and lighter than its predecessor, making it more comfortable to hold and carry.

In terms of display, the iPhone 4S sports a 3.5-inch Retina display with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels. On the other hand, the iPhone 5 boasts a larger 4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels. This means that the iPhone 5 offers a slightly taller screen, allowing for more content to be displayed without sacrificing clarity.

Additionally, the iPhone 5 introduced a new aspect ratio, moving from the traditional 3:2 to a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. This change made watching videos and movies more immersive, as they now fill the entire screen without any black bars.

Performance and Hardware

When it comes to performance, the iPhone 5 outshines its predecessor. The iPhone 4S is powered by the dual-core A5 chip, while the iPhone 5 features the faster and more efficient dual-core A6 chip. This upgrade results in a significant boost in processing power, making the iPhone 5 more responsive and capable of handling demanding tasks with ease.

Furthermore, the iPhone 5 introduced 4G LTE connectivity, allowing for faster download and upload speeds compared to the iPhone 4S, which only supports 3G networks. This improvement is particularly noticeable when browsing the web, streaming media, or downloading large files.

In terms of storage options, both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 offer 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants. However, the iPhone 5 introduced a new Lightning connector, replacing the 30-pin dock connector found on the iPhone 4S. The Lightning connector is smaller and reversible, making it more convenient to use.

Another hardware difference between the two models is the camera. While the iPhone 4S features an 8-megapixel rear camera, the iPhone 5 takes it up a notch with an improved 8-megapixel camera that captures better low-light photos and offers faster autofocus. The front-facing camera on the iPhone 5 also received an upgrade, now capable of capturing 1.2-megapixel photos and recording 720p HD videos.

Software and Features

Both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 run on Apple's iOS operating system, but the iPhone 5 launched with a newer version, iOS 6, while the iPhone 4S initially shipped with iOS 5. However, both models are capable of being upgraded to the latest compatible iOS version available at the time of use.

One of the standout features introduced with the iPhone 5 is Siri, Apple's voice-controlled virtual assistant. While the iPhone 4S was the first iPhone to include Siri, the iPhone 5 brought improvements to its functionality, making it more accurate and capable of performing additional tasks, such as launching apps and providing sports scores and movie information.

Additionally, the iPhone 5 introduced a new feature called Passbook, which allows users to store and manage digital tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards, and more in one convenient app. This feature aimed to streamline the way users interacted with various digital services and eliminated the need to carry physical copies of these items.

Another notable software difference is the inclusion of Apple Maps on the iPhone 5, which replaced Google Maps as the default mapping application. However, Apple Maps faced criticism for its initial inaccuracies and lack of features compared to Google Maps. This led to Apple eventually improving the app in subsequent iOS updates.

Battery Life and Connectivity

When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 5 offers slightly improved performance compared to the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S provides up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G, while the iPhone 5 extends that to 8 hours and 40 minutes. Similarly, the iPhone 4S offers up to 6 hours of web browsing on 3G, while the iPhone 5 increases that to 8 hours.

Both models support Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to connect to wireless networks for faster internet access. However, the iPhone 5 introduced dual-band Wi-Fi, which means it can connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. This improvement offers better performance and less interference in crowded Wi-Fi environments.

Furthermore, the iPhone 5 introduced a new nano-SIM card, which is smaller than the micro-SIM card used in the iPhone 4S. This change allowed Apple to save space inside the device, contributing to its thinner and lighter design.


In conclusion, the iPhone 5 brought several significant improvements over its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. It featured a larger and taller display, a faster processor, 4G LTE connectivity, an improved camera, and introduced new software features like Siri and Passbook. The iPhone 5 also boasted a sleeker design, with an aluminum back and chamfered edges, making it more visually appealing and comfortable to hold. While the iPhone 4S still remains a capable device, the iPhone 5's enhancements make it a more compelling choice for those seeking the latest features and performance.

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