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iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S: spec comparison

For starters - yes, it is indeed called the iPhone 5 as anticipated. Apple's iPhone 5 smartphone is also taller and thinner than the previous device, and features an improved engine room by way of the new A6 processor. But what's the whole picture with regards to the iPhone 5? And, just as importantly, how does it match up to its predecessor, the 4S? We've compiled a provisional comparison between the new and old generation devices - bear with us as more information will continue to become available.

Size and weight

As expected, the iPhone 5 is a much more slick device than the 4S, though Apple's keynote claim that its new handset is the "world's thinnest smartphone" is highly contestable - unless the iconic US firm has patented the term 'smartphone,' of course. Still, at 7.6mm, it's a pretty slender beast, and at 112 grams, the iPhone 5 is also 28 grams lighter than its older relative.


Apple's new handset is again in line with popular speculation here, featuring an expanded 4in display. Retina has predictably stayed on, and the device now boasts a 16:9 aspect ratio, which will go a long way to improving the smartphone's media experience, specifically its gaming capability and video playback. In other words, even if you find much about the now-real iPhone 5 to be underwhelming, you'll still have a better smartphone experience with the new product.

Storage and memory

Apple has doubled the amount of RAM, from 512MB to 1GB. Storage for apps and music also retains the same capacity as the iPhone 4S: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB; no 128GB iPhone 5 just yet, to the disappointment of some.

Once again, there is no microSD slot, so post-purchase expansion is a no go, and you're stuck paying Apple's prices for any jump in capacity rather than opting for a cheap SD card. The micro-SIM present in the 4S has been replaced by the even small, new nano-SIM spec.


The new-gen Apple A6 chip powers the iPhone 5 - as opposed to the A5X used in new iPad. It is still "only" dual-core and the clock speed has not yet been confirmed. Apple claims it is up to twice as fast as the A5 in the iPhone 4S, with a similar doubling in graphics performance. With the CPU based on the venerable ARM architecture, the GPU is expected to be based on a new-spec PowerVR chipset from British-based Imagination Technologies, providers of pixel-pushing goodness since the first iPhone.


No surprise here: the new iPhone 5 will run on Apple's latest mobile OS, iOS 6. Apple has ventured that it boasts more than 200 new features including native mapping and improved interaction with Siri, though we'll have to wait until we get hands on with the latest iOS iteration before we can pronounce definitively on whether it's a genuine step-forward or just shallow marketing hype.


The iPhone 5's camera features the same 8-megapixel sensor as the 4S, but Apple has said tonight that the improvements to the new handset's snapper run deeper than base spec.

There's a new dynamic low light mode and backside illumination to partner the optimised five-element, sapphire lens, on top of a hybrid IR filter and f/2.4 aperture. In other words, focusing should be improved and photo capture should run faster.

It also catches up with competitors by offering a Panorama Stitch mode, up to 28 megapixels.

Video mode carries forward the 1080p HD capture from the iPhone 4S but Apple claims that file sizes are reduced by 20 per cent while maintaining quality thanks to some new-fangled compression.


An incremental improvement at best, it looks unlikely that the iPhone 5 is offering what many fanboys really want - more longevity. Claimed battery life - based on 3G talk time - is still being cited at eight hours.


The difference between the iPhone 5 and the 4S here is clear cut but hugely significant: 4G vs 3G, respectively. For more on what 4G and how it's going to revolutionise your digital life, head to Will Dalton's guide to EE's new 4G LTE network in the UK.


The iPhone 5 16GB is now available to around £361 SIM free. By contrast the 16GB iPhone 4S price has dropped to £269.

For a closer look at both smartphones, check out our reviews of the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.

iPhone 4S iPhone 5
Screen size 3.5in 4in
Resolution 960 x 640 pixels 1136 x 640 pixels
Pixel density 326 PPI 326 PPI
Type IPS LCD; 4:3 IPS LCD; 16:9 widescreen
Processor and battery
Family Apple A5 Apple A6
Cores Dual-core Dual-core
Clock speed 1GHz 1.2GHz (speculative)
Battery 8 hours (claimed 3G talk time) 8 hours (claimed 3G talk time)
Storage and memory
Internal memory 16 / 32 / 64 GB 16 / 32 / 64 GB
Card slot Micro-SIM Nano-SIM
Megapixels 8MP 8MP
Video 1080p 1080p
Size 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 123.8 x 58.5 x 7.6mm
Weight 140g 112g
Original Operating System iOS 5.1.1 iOS 6
Price (SIM-free unless otherwise stated) £269.99 (16GB) £361.99 (16GB)
Availability Available Available