Apple iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5c vs iPhone 5 specs comparison: spot the differences

Apple iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5c vs iPhone 5 specs comparison: spot the differences
Today's Apple announcement of the annual iPhone 5s edition would be business as usual if it wasn't for the executive decision not to leave the midrange market mostly in Samsung Android hands, but rather assault it with a more affordable iPhone 5c for the first time.

Apple's cheaper iPhone edition uses most of the components that last year's iPhone 5 utilized, meaning it is quite further down the specs ladder compared to the iPhone 5s. What are the subtle and not so subtle differences between the three, though? Check them out in the table below for the dry numbers, but here are the main takes what Apple did to keep its venerable profit margins intact with the iPhone 5c.

First off, both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c share last year's A6 chipset - while no slouch it can't be a match for the brand new scorching 64-bit A7 that is in the iPhone 5s for the first time ever in a smartphone. All three handsets share the same 4" 640x1136 pixels screen panel with true sRGB color representation, high brightness and wide viewing angles.

Here we commence with the subtle differences, though - while all handsets have an 8 MP camera with LED flash tech, the iPhone sports a sensor with larger, 1.5 micron pixels, which means more light intake, and it also features a True Tone flash - basically a dual unit that fires up in many different color combos to make skin tones look natural, for instance. The frontal FaceTime HD cam is also upgraded in the 5s and 5c alike, with even larger, 1.9 micron pixels, plus backside illumination.

All three exteriors are different as well - the iPhone 5c wraps iPhone 5 specs in a one-piece polycarbonate chassis in multiple colors, while the 5s shares a similar premium metal/glass housing as last year's flagship, but with a brand new sapphire crystal home key with built-in fingerprint reader. Play a bit of spot the differences in the specs table below.

Check out the short version of the specs cagematch below, or visit our Apple iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5c vs iPhone 5 comparison tool for the full rundown.


Device typeiPhone 5siPhone 5ciPhone 5
OSiOS (7)iOS (7)iOS (6.1, 6)
Dimensions4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm)4.90 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches (124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm)4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm)
Weight3.95 oz (112 g)
the average is 4.4 oz (127 g)
4.66 oz (132 g)
the average is 4.4 oz (127 g)
3.95 oz (112 g)
the average is 4.4 oz (127 g)
Body materialAluminiumPolycarbonateAluminium
Design featuresFingerprint sensor  
Side KeysLeft: Volume control, OtherLeft: Volume control, Lock/Unlock keyLeft: Volume control, Other
ColorsGold, Gray, SilverYellow, Green, Blue, Red, WhiteBlack, White

Physical size4.0 inches4.0 inches4.0 inches
Resolution640 x 1136 pixels640 x 1136 pixels640 x 1136 pixels
Pixel density
326 ppi326 ppi326 ppi
Peak brightness500 cd/m2 (nit)500 cd/m2 (nit) 500 cd/m2 (nit)

Stand-by time  9.4 days (225 hours)
the average is 18 days (444 h)
Talk time (3G)10.00 hours
the average is 10 h (582 min)
10.00 hours
the average is 10 h (582 min)
8.00 hours
the average is 10 h (582 min)
Stand-by time (3G)10.4 days (250 hours)
the average is 24 days (564 h)
10.4 days (250 hours)
the average is 24 days (564 h)
Music playback40.00 hours40.00 hours40.00 hours
Video playback10.00 hours10.00 hours10.00 hours
Capacity  1440 mAh

System chip
Apple A7 with 64-bit architectureApple A6Apple A6
  Dual core, 1300 MHz, Apple Swift
Graphics processorYesYesPowerVR SGX543MP3
System memory

 1016 MB RAM (Dual-channel, 1066 MHz) / LPDDR2
Built-in storage 16 GB16 GB16 GB

Camera8 megapixels8 megapixels8 megapixels
Aperture sizeF2.2F2.4F2.4
Camera sensor size  1/3.2"
Camcorder1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps), 1280x720 (720p HD) (120 fps)1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)
Front-facing camera1.2 megapixels1.2 megapixels1.2 megapixels
Video capture1280x720 (720p HD)1280x720 (720p HD)1280x720 (720p HD) (30 fps)
Visit our Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5 comparison tool for the full rundown.



30. rightcue805

Posts: 55; Member since: Jul 08, 2013

It kills me that apple refues to upgrade there camara and there processer.Why in the hell can you ( apple) let your customers customize your homescreen I.E move your icons around the way you want them instead of having them in a row. If i take a pic and put it as my background, I would like to be able to see my picture and not have to look through my icons. WHY don't doesn't the iphone have expandable memory? why is this such a hard thing to include to your phones? I just dont understand why any of this is diffculte for apple.

28. tucutucu

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 03, 2013

Why ppl complaining at the 64bit processor? It'll be the natural evolution at the smartphone's industry...When Android reachs the 4Gb of RAM, it'll also cross to the 64bit architecture for sure...ARM architecture won't surprise the market, it will become like Intel with TDP improvements but no real upgrade in the scale's performances. So, Apple was smart and though in Q1's 2015. Expensive? Yeah! The same sh1t? Ofc. Innovative? Yup, the 64bit processor is, even if there's no real advantage vs. 32bit ones.

27. Kir6y

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 15, 2013

iPhone 5c is exactly the same as the iPhone 5 with improved battery and colorful accents. The iPhone 5S is a step up from both 5 and 5c but people still expect more? Its not a iPhone 6 just an improya'll. What more would you like changed to it? And apple wont really do drastic changes to the iPhone unless ya'll stop buying there product and give them the idea the hard way.

21. jaxson983

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

Still really don't know anything about the 5s or c until they come out. 64 bit processor wont mean a lot without at least 4g of ram. kinda surprising though they will have older iphones running only parts of the new os, the phones in the middle running the full os and one on the end that runs the full os and maybe has apps that only work for it but not for their other phones. Seems like the very thing they fought for so long.

20. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Why would anybody paid $800+ to upgrade from an iphone 5 to an iphone 5S? The only differences i can see is a fingerprint scanner, dual flash and an A7 system chip. As Dr.Tom says above, the S stands for same but the C doesnt stand for cheap but stands for cheaper. $735 does not make it cheap but cheaper

19. Cha7520

Posts: 222; Member since: Oct 31, 2010

How the hell can Apple make a phone a year later with 95% of all aspects of the phone the exact same as the iphone 5 and then sell it as "innovation?" I mean...this is just so laughable and its so sad the iShe()#ple will buy it just so they can have the "new updated" iphone. I'm SO glad I am with Android!

18. Dr.Tom

Posts: 47; Member since: May 11, 2013

I keep thinking about that Apple was funny at first.....but then it just turned out to be real....and now its not so funny, when its the truth! Man! Apple is going to get buried when people realize its the same phone as before, with no major improvements. I guess that the S really does stand for SAME! and the C for CHEAP!

23. JJGotit

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

What I really think is that the "C" stands for "COLORS". Think with me... iPhone "5 Colors" (White, Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink).

12. Srinivas

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

Some iphone 5s/5c trivia - Q. What does the c in the iphone 5c mean Ans - Cheap Q.What did apple come up with gold and silver colours for iphone 5s Ans - So that people don't mistake it for iphone 5 Q Why did apple use a 64 bit architecture in iphone 5s They wanted to show that their is atleast something which iphone 5s has which no other smartphone has Q. Why did apple stick to the 8 MP camera for iphone 5s Ans They are saving the 12MP innovation for iphone 6

22. JJGotit

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

In my humble opinion the "C" doesn't stand for cheap, because it is not even close to cheap on price. I don't care if it is like $99.00 on a 2 year contract, because it is in fact $600 ~ $700 off contract. What I really think is that the "C" stands for "COLORS". Think with me... iPhone "5 Colors" (White, Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink). I don't like iPhones. The software is too far behind in time. Specs are not really what matters if the phone can handle the OS (See, for instance, the new Moto X). Compare iPhone 5 to iPhone 5C and see that, let alone the design and gorilla glass, they are the same phone! Peace for y'all.

9. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

As expected: (a) faster processor; (b) longer battery life, (c) improvements in both cameras / camcorders, (d) more RAM, etc. These changes aren't de minimis at all.

26. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

The battery life ain't really longer. Nothing is confirmed about the RAM. The camera has a really tiny improvement. And yes these are minimis.

8. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1291; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

S stands for SAME... Oh Sorry, there is another LED near the camera...

7. darkknight

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Any one how want to upgrade fron IP2 to IP5S,,, no need, no big difference,,by the way app store has 0 app for IP5S as it is 64bit processor and not 32 :)

10. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

32 bit apps will work with the 64bit arch....but newer apps designed for the 64bit will no unless they make 2 different apps....well 2 apps for 64 and 32bit, and two verisons for the two screen sizes of the 32bit, and a tablet version...well, 2 tablet versions for the different screen 5 versions of the same app.

11. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

It\'s probably multiarch. Actually, that sounds like a storage killer. Twice the system libraries. Yay.

6. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Im curious on the battery capacity to have it maintain the same, if not better, battery life with its new found 64-bit arch and multitasking....curious indeed. Also, if you buy any previous iphone, be prepared for new apps to not work on your device if they make it for the new 64-bit and not 32

5. SmartPhoneStream

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

The only difference I can see between the 5C and the 5 is the 5C has a plastic body. Somebody explain to me why this phone was made, the $450 dollar price tag does not warrant last years phone with a polycarbonate body. They should have kept making the 5 as its metal body is more appealing than a polycarbonate body.

17. tdubs329

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

They made the 5C so that people can by last years model and still be able to tell everyone they have the latest iPhone. Over the last year the iPhone 5 has only accounted for around 50% of iPhone sales. This means that people were still purchasing the 4S, and even the 4. When the iPhone 5 released the 4S received a $100 price cut Turning the iPhone 5 into the 5C allows Apple to make even more money off the phone by reducing the quality of the materials used to manufacture the phone thus widening their profit margin

3. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Didn\'t think a plastic phone would weigh more. 2MB RAM confirmed?

14. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

2MB of RAM? Good luck turning the device on. Lol jk. We all know you meant 2GB. From what I read, it does have 2GB.

25. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

No ,Apple never annouces the amount of RAM. The 5C will surely have 1GB

2. kalloud

Posts: 155; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

The most noticeable changes are in RAM, processor and battery..

16. Dr.Tom

Posts: 47; Member since: May 11, 2013

What battery! Its still way below average/terrible on standby time and below average on talk time. I expect better from Apple.

1. GeekMovement unregistered

apart from maybe 2 or 3 small spec differences, they\'re the same!

4. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Don't forget the price difference!

13. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

For 95% of the customers who know little about spec they are the exact same phone.Most however will still buy the iphone 5s despite this because its the 'new' handset

29. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

No, who knows litte about specs will see a huge difference on price, deciding to buy the most expensive of the three , thinking :"the performance is proporcional to the price, so higher is better."

15. Dr.Tom

Posts: 47; Member since: May 11, 2013

That\'s why the Apple Parody is so funny, but so true!

24. jncryer

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

And to think that people got so upset about the GS4 being only an "incremental update", or the ~300+ ppi resolution on the Moto X being "mid-range". Nobody's going to say a thing about the Iphones' "lack of specs".

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