Apple iPhone 5 vs Apple iPhone 4S

When the iPhone 4S was unveiled last year, feelings of disappointed started to engulf many people, as it turned out being nothing more than a revamped iPhone 4. Well, one year later, and the industry finally got what it wanted in the iPhone 5 – regarded by many as the biggest undertaking by Apple since the original back in 2007. Now that it’s finally here, we bet there are some iPhone 4S owners out there wondering whether it’s worth the investment to make the upgrade. Let’s take a peek, shall we?


Here’s the thing about these two beauties, they share the same foundational design DNA that was established with the iPhone 4 from a couple year ago. Despite the obvious that the iPhone 5 is longer, it’s remarkably lighter and skinnier than its predecessor, making it as comfortable to hold in the hand as the iPhone 4S. Plus, the iPhone 5’s brushed aluminum rear sports a cleaner overall look, as opposed to the glass surface of the iPhone 4S, which tends to exhibit more smudges. So yeah, the iPhone 5 has enough distinction over its predecessor to stand out more.

Being iPhone and all, it’s no surprise that we find the same recessed home buttons below their displays. However, the iPhone 5’s button has a springier response – whereas the iPhone 4S has a less pronounced response.

Taking a tour around the two handsets, they share many commonalities such as their separated circular-sized volume controls, mute switches, responsive power buttons, microphones, and internal speakers. However, as we know by now, the iPhone 5 ditches the 30-pin docking port of past iPhones, which the iPhone 4S obviously packs, in favor of a tinier proprietary Lightning docking port. Additionally, the two differ as the iPhone 5 now boasts a nano-SIM slot, as opposed to the micro one from before.

In terms of camera, the newer iPhone 5 benefits from a higher count 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, versus the 0.3-megapixel one on the iPhone 4S. And even though the two are flaunting the same sized 8-megapixel cameras with LED flash, the iPhone 5 is actually outfitted with a new backside illuminated sensor, a reworked lens, and a sapphire glass encasing the entire getup.


Now this is where it gets interesting, just because as we know, the iPhone 5 moves up to a larger 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina Display – while the iPhone 4S sports a 3.5-inch 640 x 960 Retina Display, keeping the same 326 ppi. Conversely though, when it comes to color production, brightness output, and viewing angles, the iPhone 5 has the superior quality to make it the more compelling display. In fact, its colors are now  noticeably warmer, and about 44% more saturated. Furthermore, we notice that the iPhone 4S Retina Display displays more distortion at different viewing angles – whereas the iPhone 5 maintains its sharp clarity and is better looking in the direct sunlight.



1. wendygarett unregistered


5. Maddy

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

How much they paid you...!!!


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Yes, yes, 'Best Reviews Ever' of the same phone. Oh look, the one on the left is HUGER' and TALLER than the one on the right. There's also a whole (albeit empty - almost) column of apps' on the Homo'geneous screen. The one on the left has a much brighter and better screen; it's almost blinding. And, most important of all, the one on the left has a supersonic fast A47 Octo-Core processor; iMust stand on-line because iMust get me one.

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Meh. The iP5 has better data-throughput (when in LTE mode), and better noise cancellation on calls. Better chipset, but not yet showing in the overall user experience. The biggest letdown (for both 4S& 5) seems to be iOS v. 6

34. mcart123

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

This seems like Deja, Deja, Deja, Deja, Deja Vu Is it just me? Same phone just longer, more prone to scratching, crashing, freezing, light bleeding, purple tinting pictures....what else? Oh 10 dollar cables, 30 dollar connectors. They said it was iPhone 4suckers.......I agree. I wanted to ask this forum. Will PhoneArena get blacklisted if they give the iPhone a bad review? I understand that is the case from other reviewers that are friends of a friend.

2. FranksGT

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Lmao, so PhoneArena. Are you telling the world to a everyday phone user, most people wont recognize any difference in performance or the camera. So screen, 5th row of apps, and a redesigned back plate. WOW apple TAKE MY MONEY NOT!!!!!!

35. dblue45

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 26, 2009

And they give it a 9?

3. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

yeah wendy reviews are awesome at phonearena...sadly this one is of the iPhone (who is interested anyway?) By the way iPhone 4S is way better than iPhone 5... a) It does not look weird as in stretched out b) its got a finer looking finish c) it does not have front panel light leakage problem d) it does not get scuffed up like the iPhone 5 by the touch of a 2 year old (iFixit video posted on PA) e) users don't get duped into believing hey are getting earpods - revolutionary ear devices when they are actually getting sub-standard headphones All in all Rotten Apple...well is just rotten! Have a nice day :)


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

The most pAthetiC part of the above "versus", if you can call it that, PhoneArena resorted to a marketing trick used all the time, whereby to make something look bigger a lighter color (usually white) is used next to something of a darker color (usually black), to make the latter appear much smaller. It's a "Visual Illusion" used in graphics all the time. They probably started out with two white iPhones side-by-side, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S, respectively, and realized that the looked the same. To make the iPhone 5 appear humongous they used a white iPhone 5 next to a black iPhone 4S (but, for all we know, the black iPhone in the "visual graphic" could just as well be an iPhone 4 and not a 4S)!!


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

iOS Arena is not that clever lol

24. jimjam unregistered

They probably couldn't afford another iphone already had a black 4S and a white 5. I mean who can??

31. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

UPDATE ON POST (and its different unlike iOS updates which is basically the same crap)... f) no touch responsiveness issues (believe it or not it actually lags in registering touch)...BURNED! g) no purple tint on screen on certain colors h) apps not optimized for screen (even apple controls how the apps can appear) i) keybooard same size as 4s in landscape - not optimized to take advantage of larger real estate! Oh just ban this piece of garbage already!!!

32. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

oh yeah a few more updates:) j) static lines on keyboard k) wi-fi bug This just keeps gettin better and better!

4. Yositokotukukita

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Seen several Iphone 5 reviews and they say that the camera app is much faster both opening and taking several pics one after the other, but in this review theres nothing about that.... Also I noticed that the Iphone's 5 lens is maybe wider? or am I crazy?

41. molanjames

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 11, 2012

I bought my iphone 5 two days ago, and I really regret I did it so late. The device is the best one I ever touched and used.

6. tkvdog

Posts: 46; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Another Fine Review By John V&Right On Acessement by PhenomFaz..

12. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Thank you! I thought I would do the Sheep a favor by summing up the review and opening their eyes (lost cause)!

7. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Was surprised on John V.'s look :D I thought he looks like the one in the technobuffalo :D Regarding the review, okay :)

9. ikkuh

Posts: 42; Member since: May 22, 2011

a last Apple learned from android that 16:9 format is the way to go. Now there are only 99 changes left :)

11. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Best words to describe iphone 5.... "best iphone5 since iphone 5" Lol...

13. uknick

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Doesn't the iPhone 5 also take photo's while shooting a video - don't think the 4S does this? Quite a big deal I think??

14. animeware

Posts: 32; Member since: May 14, 2012

my option if you have 4S device not worth the upgrade if it's time to upgrade wait for the NOTE 2 device....

17. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

It's simple really. If you want the taller one, get the 5. lol

19. danny_a2005

Posts: 365; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

I cant believe I read the review... Its the same thing edcept larger... IPhone 4 design was awesome but Its time to change it

20. ram1337

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

The bottom line i5 has a larger ........... than 4s :), if you want larger and thinner go for it

21. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

So my question is what is actually is new in iphone5 that it was creating so freaking hype. doesnt even looks different :|

22. iGREGG

Posts: 66; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

for the people like MYSELF that has had each model of the iPhone.. there is a difference between the 4 and the 5....although the width of the phones are the same the height and weight are different & very noticible.... for those who were 1st time users with the 4....i wouldnt be surprised that they wouldnt be able the tell the exact differencesin the 2 devices... but it has a new feel to it

23. jimjam unregistered

The Iphone 4S looks better. Apple really messed it up with the long stretched out design. They should have kept the aspect ratio and bumped it up to 3.8-4"

25. dabuck84

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 02, 2012

The funny thing about this is that the HTC LTEVO has a aluminum backing also but they did it right and did a powder coating on the aluminum this makes it hard to scratch. I'm not dissing apple hell I am posting this on the new iPad. Both apple and android have there ups and downs. I have the EVO and the iPhone 4S but I think I'm going to wait on the iPhone 5 until it has an S on the end of it and has an even better camera, faster processor and more internal memory also all of the quirks that are going on with the iPhone 5 will hopefully be fixed.

26. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

You traded in your iPhone4 for an extra half inch? Hope your girlfriend doesn't do the same.

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