iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison review

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled during a special event on 9 September, meaning the iPhone 5s got a significant price cut. Potential iPhone buyers will be considering whether to opt for the cheaper iPhone 5s or the newer iPhone 6, and current iPhone 5S owners will be wondering whether it's worth upgrading. Here, we put the two iPhones head-to-head in our iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison review to help you decide. 

Read next: iPhone 6 hands-on review | iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: Price & availability

The iPhone 5s was released back in September 2013, so has been available to buy from Apple for about a year. At launch, it would set you back from £549, but the iPhone 5s price in the UK now starts at £459.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, has yet to be released by Apple. It's available to pre-order now, but won't hit the shelves until 19 September. It costs £539 for a 16GB model, £619 for a 64GB model or £699 for a 128GB model.

So you'll save at least £80 if you buy the iPhone 5s, which could make all the difference to you. See also: How to buy an iPhone 6 in the UK


iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: design

One of the first things you'll notice about the iPhone 6 is that it has a brand-new design. It's more rounded than the iPhone 5S, it has new and repositioned physical buttons (the lock button is now on the side of the iPhone), it's thinner and – most obviously – it's bigger.

The iPhone 5s is thin, at 7.6mm, but Apple has managed to make the iPhone 6 even slimmer, at just 6.9mm. The screen is now 4.7in compared with 4in, so that's made the iPhone 6 heavier than the iPhone 5s, at 129g compared with 112g.

Colour options for both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 are Space Grey, Silver and Gold.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: Specs

That aforementioned 4.7in display offers the same 326ppi pixel density as the 4in display on the iPhone 5s, so Apple has added more pixels rather than simply stretching them to fill the bigger screen.

The iPhone 6 also has a higher contrast ratio, and dual-domain pixels that it says will help improve the viewing angles of the display.  

The iPhone 6 has a new A8 processor that improves upon the already powerful A7 processor in the iPhone 5s.

That new processor can apparently deliver 25 per cent more CPU power and 50 per cent more GPU power, as well as 50 per cent better efficiency than the iPhone 5s's A7 processor. In real life, that's probably going to be almost unnoticeable because the iPhone 5s's processor is extremely smooth and speedy, but more power is never a bad thing (at least when it comes to technology). Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6's processors are 64-bit, too.

The co-processor in the iPhone 6 has been given an upgrade too. The iPhone 5s has an M7 co-processor, while the iPhone 6 has an M8 co-processor that can determine whether you're walking, cycling or running, for example, and can also estimate distance and elevation.

When it comes to connectivity, both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 have 4G LTE support, though Apple has added extra support for 20 LTE bands rather than the 13 supported by the iPhone 5S.

There's also a new feature in the iPhone 6 called VoLTE (voice over LTE), which should help you make better quality calls, but you'll only get that feature on EE in the UK.

Other new connectivity features in the iPhone 6 that aren't present in the iPhone 5s include 802.11ac WiFi and NFC, which will work together with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to help Apple introduce a new Apple Pay mobile payments system that's coming to Europe next year.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: processor, performance

It's pretty much a given that Apple will improve the processor and performance of the iPhone with the next version. Currently, the iPhone 5s sports a 64-bit A7 chip, but we expect an A8 chip to feature in the iPhone 6. How that'll actually translate to user experience, though, is another question. The iPhone 5s is already so powerful that a boost won't be obvious to the general iPhone user.

One area that could be significantly improved, though, is RAM. The iPhone 5s only has 1GB of RAM whereas some competitors have up to 3GB, which would make for an even smoother experience, particularly when multitasking.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: storage

Then there's the matter of storage. The iPhone 5s is now only available in 16GB and 32GB options, but a 64GB model was available before the arrival of the iPhone 6.

In a bit of a strange twist on things, Apple has decided to only offer the iPhone 6 in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, so the addition of the 128GB model has meant the end of the 32GB option rather than the 16GB model that we expected would get ditched.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: battery life

We haven't yet had a chance to test the battery life of the iPhone 6, but Apple claims that the talk time has improved from 10 hours to 14 hours for the iPhone 6. Internet use has apparently increased to 10 hours compared with 8 hours for the iPhone 5s, and there's an extra hour of video playback and an extra 10 hours of audio playback.

We'll update this article will full battery tests once we get the iPhone 6 for testing in the Macworld UK labs.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: camera

On to the camera now, which is a tricky one because both the iPhone 5s and iPhone have an 8Mp rear-facing iSight camera with an f/2.2 aperture and 1.5 micron pixels, though the iPhone 6 does have some tweaks and improvements.

Apple has added new 'focus pixels' to the iPhone 6, for example, which means you'll get much better autofocus. There's also digital image stabilisation and slo-mo recording.

The front-facing camera on the iPhone 6 has a better aperture: f/2.2 like the rear-facing camera. It's also designed to be better at capturing photos in low-light, and has Burst mode as well as improved face detection for those ever-popular selfies.

The improvements to the camera on the iPhone 6 aren't as impressive as we'd hoped, but we're looking forward to carrying out some comparison tests between the older iPhone and its successor.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: software

The iPhone 5s is about to get an update to iOS 8, which is the same operating system that the iPhone 6 will ship with. Apple will be releasing iOS 8 to the public on 17 September, two days ahead of the release of the iPhone 6 itself.

On the iPhone 6, though, Apple has added 'Reachability,' which helps users reach the entire screen with one hand by tapping twice on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This will bring whatever's on your display down to be within reach.

You can find out more about iOS 8 in our iOS 8 preview.

iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6: battery life

One of the most called for improvements for the iPhone 6 is battery life. We wholeheartedly agree that battery life is an issue that Apple is battling with and needs to be addressed. It's no mean feat, as the slim nature of the iPhone means it's tricky to cram in a super battery that's able to power the device for longer.

Apple could introduce a power saving mode similar to Samsung's and Sony's instead, though. This software feature would shut down any unnecessary applications and features that may be draining battery when the power is dangerously low, and could even go as far as to turn everything black and white and dim the display.

Pre-order the iPhone 6 here,

iPhone 6 Gold
iPhone 6 Silver
iPhone 6 Grey

Pre-order the iPhone 6 Plus here,
iPhone 6 Gold
iPhone 6 Silver
iPhone 6 Grey


was released. It's still a great phone, with specs and features that should satisfy most. Of course, the iPhone 6 is even better, but you'll now save £80 if you opt for the older phone.

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