Apple is launching two new iPhones, the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s, and the big question for many is going to be which is worth their hard-earned clams. Both present attractive packages, as detailed in our reviews, but is there a strong reason to choose one over the other? Here’s a breakdown of the main considerations for those facing that choice.
The iPhone 5s improves the smartphone camera experience enough to make this a key point in its favor. While all flash photography that doesn’t involve expensive umbrellas, off-camera units and softboxes is inherently evil, the 5s True Tone flash really is loads better than the one in the 5c.
Flash aside, the 5s camera sensor and lens assembly is much better, and the processor means faster autofocus and faster shutter activation. Slo-mo video and burst mode are also big positives in favor of the iPhone 5s. If you’re really into mobile photography (or any kind of photography), the iPhone 5s is worth the premium.
Value and Cost
For the money, Apple’s iPhone 5c is a very capable device. It’s $100 cheaper than the 5s at equivalent storage sizes, and it’s not missing too many tricks at the moment compared to the 5s, besides the camera features mentioned above, and the secret payload of the A7 and M7 processing components.
The iPhone 5c’s design is surprisingly appealing, and were the 5s available in both finishes, I’d be hard-pressed to choose one over the other. Bottom line, if you’re currently happy with an iPhone 5, 4S or 4 but are looking for a change or have an upgrade coming, but aren’t overly concerned with being cutting edge, the 5c is the phone to get.
The 5s has a secret payload, as mentioned above, which is built-in to the A7 system-on-a-chip and M7 motion coprocessor. App developers will start designing software intended specifically to leverage the A7’s 64-bit processing power, and power-saving/motion tracking features made possible with the M7. If you want to make sure you have hardware that can take full advantage when these titles start to hit, you’ll need the iPhone 5s.
Ultimately the phone that’s right for you is the one that holds the most appeal to you personally – and yes, before you comment, I fully realize that might be an Android phone. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Apple’s new strategy of releasing two new iPhone devices means a lot more people will be trying to make up their minds between them. Hopefully the considerations above help that decision along.