Mon, 14 Oct 2013 iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C comparison review: what's the difference between the new iPhones UPDATED
What's the difference between iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S? Find out as we compare the iPhone 5C with Apple's iPhone 5S
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Pros: The iPhone 5C offers a larger range of colours; the iPhone 5S has many powerful features including a more powerful processor
- Cons: The iPhone 5C is only £80 cheaper than the iPhone 5S; in fact, both phones are expensive if purchased from Apple
- Price: iPhone 5C from £469, iPhone 5S from £549
- Star rating:
Apple unveiled the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on 10 September. Both phones are available to buy now, although you may have a long wait for the iPhone 5s, espeicially if you want it in the gold finish, as supply is very tight and currently delivery in November looks likely
For advice on How to get a gold iPhone in the UK, read this article: How to get iPhone 5s in UK: 5 ways to beat the gold iPhone 5s shortage
In the run up to the announcement the rumours suggested that the iPhone 5C would be a cheaper iPhone, but the price difference is really minimal there's about £80 difference between the entry-level models for each new iPhone. So how do you choose the right iPhone for you?
In this iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S article we'll be putting the two new Apple iPhone head-to-head. We compare the new iPhone 5C's features with the features found in the iPhone 5S, to help you find out what's new and decide which new iPhone is right for you.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: colours
These new iPhones mark the first time the iPhone has comes in anything other than black and white.
The iPhone 5C is available in pink, yellow, blue, green, or white. The colours are bright and vibrant. According to a Macworld poll the most popular colour for the iPhone 5C is likely to be blue (43% of the vote).
The iPhone 5S looks a little more like the iPhone 5, but there is a new colour option: gold, along with silver and gray (or Space Gray as Apple is calling it). The silver is comparable to last year's White & Silver option, and the Space Gray reminds us of the Black & Slate iPhone 5 option last year, only with a lighter shade of graphite to its back and edges.
We were dubious about the gold option for the iPhone 5C when the rumours of the iPhone 5s colour emerged, and while we're still not completely convinced by it, it's definitely not as 'blingy' as you might imagine. The poll mentioned above suggested that black would be the most popular colour for the iPhone 5S, although grey looked more popular option than white. Perhaps if we'd called it Space Grey it would have been even more popular.
There are eight new colours available across the new iPhone ranges, suggesting that there will be something for everyone. It certainly makes a change, competitor smartphones are predominantly black or grey.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: design & build quality
The iPhone 5C is constructed from a polycarbonate shell, crafted from a single piece of plastic. The plastic coats a steal frame so it's certainly not flimsy. The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, is precision crafted from aluminum and glass.
The iPhone 5C feels good to hold. It’s got a nice, solid build, without seeming heavy. The polycarbonate surface is grippy – we didn't feel as if it would slip out of our hands (which may mean that smashed screens are a thing of the past.) The iPhone 5C also features curved edges that feel a little more comfortable to hold than the diamond-cut chamfers on the 5 and 5S.
In addition to the new colours, you'll be able to spot the difference between the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s thanks to the metallic ring around the iPhone 5S's Home button, which is part of the new fingerprint sensor feature (see more on that below).
The iPhone 5S looks very similar to the now discontinued iPhone 5, and feels similar too, with no noticeable added weight.If you have an existing case for your iPhone 5, you may be pleased to hear that the same external design means that you'll be able to use the same cases for your iPhone 5s.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: cameras
The iPhone 5C offers an 8MP camera and the same f/2.4 aperture as the iPhone 4S (and the iPhone 5). Like the iPhone 5S it sports a Sapphire crystal lens cover (this sapphire cover also featured on the iPhone 5, it is not available on the iPhone 4S).
Apple's iPhone 5S has had a significant camera boost. While it remains 8-megapixels, it features a new five-element Apple-designed lens with a larger f/2.2 aperture instead of f/2.4 which helps with indoor and dusky shooting too.
The camera's new sensor has a 15 per cent larger active area, and the pixels on this sensor are 1.5 microns in size, larger than the iPhone 5 and larger than other smartphones. Larger pixels yield greater electrical output, leading to clearer images in low-light conditions without resorting to messy noise-reduction techniques.
Apple has designed iOS 7 to take advantage of the iPhone 5S camera and A7 chip's imaging capabilities. Before you take a picture, the iPhone 5S will perform auto white balance and auto exposure, and will create a dynamic local tone map around the image to get better highlights and shadows. The camera will also take multiple images and analyze them in real time to see which is the sharpest.
iPhone 5S also has a dual-LED flash while the iPhone 5C only has an LED flash. This new 'True Tone Flash' features one cool LED and one warmer one, which aims to give you the right colour flash for the situation you're in. By mixing the two light sources of different temperature to more naturally light your subject, the iPhoen 5s should avoid the washed-out glare of most simple flash units.
The iPhone 5S also offers improved image stabalisation when compared to the iPhone 5C. This auto image stabilisation aims to give users a much sharper image.
There's also a new Burst mode, which will take photographs at 10 frames per second until you let go of the shutter. You can take burst mode style shots on the other iPhones, but not as many in a second.
Apple has also designed the Camera app in iOS 7 to take advantage of the new camera and the A7 chip's imaging capabilities. Before you take a picture, the iPhone 5s will perform auto white balance and auto exposure, and will create a dynamic local tone map around the image to get better highlights and shadows. The camera actually takes multiple images and analyses them in real time to see which is the sharpest.
There is also a new Slo-Mo video mode which lets you capture video in slow motion. This is possible because faster processing allows the camera to capture more frames every second when filming. Switch to Slo-Mo in the camera app and it shoots at 120 frames per second - then replays at a more familiar 30 fps, giving the illusion of slow-motion. Where normal video is shot in full-HD, Slo Mo captures 1280 x 720-pixel video.
Both phones sport a new FaceTime HD camera that Apple claims provides better low-light performance.
Both cameras will be able to take stills while recording video.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: specifications
On the inside of the iPhone 5C is an A6 chip, the same processor as the iPhone 5 featured.
The iPhone 5S has a new A7 processor. The A7 is a 64-bit desktop class architecture – the first ever 64-bit phone - with a modern ARM instruction set that's more efficient, 2x general-purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, over 1 billion transistors. According to Apple, it is up to two times as fast as the iPhone 5.
The real boon for Apple’s new A7 chip and its architecture is what it will do in other, future Apple devices. Given the possibility of more than 4 GB of memory.
The A7 chip offers 'up to 2x’ speed increases, compared to the A6 found in the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. For many the A6 will be plenty fast enough though.
In addition to the A7 chip, the iPhone 5S has a brand new part called the M7. The M7 is a motion coprocessor, which takes advantage of all of the sensors and continuously measures the data coming from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass without having to wake up the A7. This will open up lots of new opportunities for fitness apps.
The M7 is also one of Apple's strategies to prolong battery life. To offload some of the low-level background duties, which nonetheless would keep the main CPU busy enough to deny it power nap moments the M7 chip’s role is to process incoming sensor data from the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope, some of the components that give the phone its orientation. For example, iOS 7’s wallpaper parallax effect, where the background image seems to slide behind as you wiggle the phone, is driven by the M7 chip.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: battery life
According to Apple, both new phones offer 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and LTE networks and up to 8 hours on 3G networks, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
The company claims they provide an equal or greater battery life than the iPhone 5.
In our tests, we found the iPhone 5 would typically last for something close to 48 hours between charges, after a routine that typically comprises 4 hours of web surfing combined with playing music through earphones; a few dozen text messages per day; ditto Mail message writing, sending and reading; some GPS sensor use from Apple Maps; and various other minor app usage, including two overnight stretches of 7 hours phone sleep.
With the iPhone 5s and effectively the same usage pattern, the phone would last a little less than 36 hours, including two overnight dormant spells.
Fewer hours of battery runtime is a shame.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: storage
The iPhone 5C is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities.
The iPhone 5S is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. There had been some expectation that Apple might offer a 128GB version of the iPhone, but the company launched no such product.
For many extra storage will be the deal breaker. However, with iCloud, and the potential offered by external storage devices, you may not need as much storage as you think.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: 3G/4G/Wi-Fi
A change of cellular RF chipset means the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c should work across any upcoming 4G LTE service in the UK, unlike the iPhone 5 which only runs on EE's brand of 4G.
Unfortunately Apple has not taken the cue from its own upgraded AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule routers to add 11ac wireless to the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: dimensions
The iPhone 5C measures 124.4mm by 59.2mm, and is 8.97mm deep. It weighs 132 grams.
The iPhone 5S measures 123.8mm by 58.6mm, and is 7.6mm deep. It weighs 112 grams.
This means the iPhone 5C is slightly longer and thicker than the iPhone 5S, and a little heavier.
In addition, the iPhone 5 measurements were 123.8mm by 58.6mm and the depth was 7.6mm, so you may find that your existing iPhone 5 cases are compatible with the iPhone 5C.
Both phones are a lot lighter than the iPhone 4S which weighs in at 140 grams.
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: features
There are a number of features that will only be available on the iPhone 5S. Most obvious is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This is built into the iPhone 5S Home button and is designed to eliminate the need for passcodes.
The following will only be available on the iPhone 5S:
The M7 motion coprocessor
The f/2.2 aperture
True Tone Flash
Improved image stabilization
iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: price
All the rumours had the iPhone 5C pegged as the 'low-cost', 'budget', or 'cheap' iPhone, while the iPhone 5C is slightly cheaper than the flagship model, it's not that much cheaper than the iPhone 5 was.
The 16GB iPhone 5C costs £469, where the 16GB iPhone 5 was £529. The 16GB iPhone 5S is just £80 more at £549, a £20 on the iPhone 5 starting price
16GB iPhone 5C is £469
32GB iPhone 5C is £549
16GB iPhone 5S is £549
32GB iPhone 5C is £629
64GB iPhone 5C is £709
It looks like the iPhone 5C is the choice for those who want a bit more colour in their life. It is not Apple's cheaper iPhone, that accolade goes to the 8GB iPhone 4S (currently £349). When the features are compared the additional £80 is a small price to pay for the iPhone 5S.
Thinking of buying an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on Friday? Our latest issue of iPad & iPhone User answers all your questions about Apple's new phones including UK pricing.
Just £2.49 on Apple's Newsstand, get your copy here.
The Complete Guide to the iPhone 5s & 5c is on-sale now. Click here for buying information.