So Apple smartphone lovers, the time of reckoning has come. The iPhone 5 is available to pre-order and the hardcore masses are already lining up outside Apple Stores to buy one as soon as the doors are opened by a man in a bright blue shirt.
The question is, will you join them? Apple’s new smartphone has received a mixed response since it was officially announced earlier this week, but of course it’s early days, and as our hands-on time suggests, we are not ready going to cast judgement just yet.
If you are wondering whether to make the upgrade from the iPhone 4S or wondering whether to embrace the iOS world for the very first time, we see how the new iPhone 5 and its predecessor the 4S shape up against each other in the specs department. Let battle commence…
Apple iPhone 5 vs Apple iPhone 4S: Build and design
Apple iPhone 5
At 112g and 7mm thick, the iPhone 5 unquestionably feels lighter and thinner than the 4S which is interesting considering it packs more power than the last iPhone. The aluminium/glass construction is gorgeous to look at, but the reduction in weight also makes it feel less industrial and less sturdy.
A nano-Sim on the side replaces the old style micro-SIM which forms part of the reduction in size with the new Lightning connector replaces the 30-pin model once again helping to shave off some of the millimetres and is of course 9mm taller than the iPhone 4S with the bigger screen but maintains the same width.
The headphone socket is now on the bottom with a two-tone design in both black and white, while the back is crafted from the same anodised 6000 series aluminium material used in Apple MacBooks. It perhaps also worth noting that the earphones sport a new design, which Apple claims will be more stable and durable than the current ones and should minimise the kind of sound leakage that is synonymous with the current buds.
Apple iPhone 4S
Looking near identical to the iPhone 4 from handset to earphones, the 4S is obviously shorter than the iPhone 5 and thicker at 9.3mm while there is a significant change in the weight department with the 4S landing on the scales at 140g.
It was a dramatic design change when compared to the 3GS having become 24% slimmer with a stainless steel band separating the handset’s scratch-resistant glass covered front and back. The band which was also the aerial is of course where the whole antennagate issues stemmed from and revealed a bizarre reception flaw, that Apple did eventually deal with.
Apple iPhone 5 vs Apple iPhone 4S: Screen
Apple iPhone 5
The Retina display is now upped to four inches and brags a 1136x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. Real-estate is noticeably bigger, with a extra line of apps added to each screen and movies now playing in 16:9 without letter-boxing. It also means that there's simply more to look at when browsing websites, playing games and using apps.
Apple says apps built for the old screen will work just fine but it will allow developers to create new apps specifically for this screen. It didn't seem brighter in our short hands-on, but we were smitten with how much more information is now available to look at.
Apple iPhone 4S
The pin-sharp 3.5-inch Retina Display remains from the iPhone 4 with the same 960 x 640 resolution and 326 ppi as the previous handset. The iPhone 4S screen didn't jump up to 4 or 4.4-inches as it had been rumoured, but still retained its clarity and performance, which was market-leading if not at the very least market-matching.