iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5 vs iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S vs iPhone 6 – Comparison (Jan 2015)

iPhone 5S iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus

Three months since the release of the Apple iPhone 6, and by now there are enough used iPhone 6’s on the market in order to have an affect on the prices of all previous generations. In this post we will explore the specifications and prices of the iPhone 4S right the way up to the iPhone 6 to see which one is most worthy of your hard-earned cash.

All prices and details mentioned in this article were collected throughout December 2014 and may have changed slightly upon reading this post. As always, if you are in need of some up to date information feel free to tweet us your questions!

Head-to-head comparison

iPhone 4S iPhone 5 iPhone 5C iPhone 5S iPhone 6
Released  Oct 2011  Sep 2012  Sep 2013  Sep 2014
Display Size  3.5inches  4inches  4.7inches
Display Resolution  640 x 960
 640 x 1136
750 x 1334
OS  iOS 8.1.2
Chipset Apple A5  Apple A6 Apple A7  Apple A8
CPU  Dual-core 1GHz  Dual-core 1.3GHz  Dual-core 1.3GHz Dual-core 1.4GHz
GPU  PowerVR  PowerVR triple-core  PowerVR quad-core  PowerVR quad-core
Memory  8/16/32/64GB
Primary Camera  8MP
1/3.2″ sensor
1/3.2″ sensor
1/3″ sensor
1/3″ sensor
Secondary Camera VGA 1.2MP  1.2MP  1.2MP
3.5mm Jack  Yes
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n  802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP
NFC No Yes
Radio Tuner No
USB v2.0
Sensors  Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer
Internet  HTML5
Battery  1432mAh  1440mAh 1510mAh 1560mAh 1810mAh

Hopefully the table highlights that there has been a general improvement in iPhones since the iPhone 4S (which is compatible with the latest iOS 8.1.2 update). However, there has been very little improvement in terms of everyday features between the iPhone 5 and 5S. Below, we’ll take price in to consideration and see which one of the above devices is most worth buying, selling or keeping.

Google Maps On iPhone

iPhone 4S


If we are to follow Apple’s usual procedure with dropping update supports, the iPhone 4S is next in line to be cut off. It’s likely that this device will not get Apple’s next major update (iOS 9), and reports have shown that it struggles with the current iOS 8 operating system.

If you’re not looking for a bigger screen and mange to keep your 4S on iOS 7 you’ll bag yourself a very good phone for it’s price on the used market. The only thing that might make you feel left out is the VGA, front-facing camera which is miles behind the iPhone 5 and co.


At the time of writing, the iPhone 4S is available for between £90-£120 used and in good condition with a box and all accessories. Given that the iPhone 4, which is very slow and out-dated, sells for around the same price it’s a pretty good deal.

Look out for

A lot of the earlier iPhone 4S’s had WiFi issues. Be sure to check that the WiFi on any iPhone 4S you purchase still works and connects to the network. They still cost around £20 to network-unlock so take that into consideration if purchasing one that has not been unlocked.

Finally, it comes without saying, the first iPhone 4S’s were shipped four and a half years ago. Though Apple’s build quality is usually impressive, most high-end smartphones fail to last much longer than this.

iPhone 5


Probably the best all-round deal you can pick up in the first half of 2015. Good specs, runs iOS 8 well, likely to get two years of Apple updates and available at a very good budget.


The iPhone 5 16GB will set you back around £170 on eBay for one in fairly good condition. If you shop around a little more, people will be letting them go for as low as £120 boxed. If you find one for £140, consider it a very good deal.

Look out for

The very early models had antenna issues, and we wouldn’t  be surprised if Apple dropped update supports as early as next year. The iPhone 5 was discontinued in September 2013 and replaced with the iPhone 5C. The table above shows the iPhone 5 is identical to the 5C, just cheaper (and better looking!).

Some models of the iPhone 5 are also eligible for a free replacement by Apple due to faulty power buttons. If you manage to get hold of one, it may be well worth your time taking it to your closest Apple store and having it replaced with a refurbished unit!

iPhone 5C Colours Back

iPhone 5C


Most definitely the worst deal you can pick up. Identical to the cheaper iPhone 5, uglier and a lot more expensive. Prices for these start at £200 and there’s enough demand to keep these selling at £250 right now. Personally, we’d stay away unless you desperately want a bright coloured iOS device.


The 5C is currently fetching par £250 on eBay though you may be able to steal one for the £200 mark. We’d recommend you save some money and pick up a cheaper iPhone 5 instead, unless you’re lucky enough to find a 5C still under Apple warranty.

Look out for

High prices! Apple devices depreciate very slowly and the 5C is still less than 18 months old! Oh, and did we mention it’s identical to the iPhone 5!

iPhone 5S Home Button Gold

iPhone 5S


Apparently a TouchID that got hacked within two weeks was enough to make the iPhone 5S break selling records for the fifth consecutive year. Really, we don’t see the hype. Specs-wise it’s the usual slight improvement over the iPhone 5 with a new CPU and more volatile RAM but you’ll probably feel you paid too much for a device that doesn’t have iPhone 6 features.

The camera quality remains as it was since the iPhone 5.


A good iPhone 5S will set you back a minimum of £250, though you’re more likely to pay around £310 for a device that isn’t too much better than the 5 nor anyway near as prestige as a 6. If you have one, sell it while it’s hot and pick up a 6 for around £150 on top.

Look out for

Nothing really. A very good launch for Apple with no major issues reported. A good, quick, solid and snappy device though it isn’t really that much better than the 5 (depending on how you expect to use it) but costs a whole lot more!

Apple iPhone 6 Silver Banner

iPhone 6


Ah, the best iPhone Apple have made. Until five minutes later when they announced the 6 Plus. The 6 Plus is far too big which is why we didn’t include it in this list. Currently, the flagship Apple phone is the one to have, even four months after release tariff-locked devices will cost you the best part of £40 a month with budget allowances.


A used iPhone 6 will cost you around the £450 mark. Since it’s still new, we’d recommend putting in the extra money and getting one brand new, direct from Apple with the full year’s warranty to avoid any issues.

Look out for

Bendgate. Don’t put it in your back pocket for fear of bending.

Oh, and one more thing…

When purchasing used smartphones it will be your responsibility to ensure it is not stolen. Check the IMEI number of the device through your network carrier to ensure it has not been barred. You can do this by going to Settings > General > About > IMEI.

You should also check the features and condition of the device before handing over any money. Make sure you keep your witts about you when purchasing from individuals and online since there a plenty of scams around.

And on a final note, iCloud locked devices are useless and cannot be unlocked. Hey, I forgot my iCloud password but otherwise the phone works fine is usually code for THIS PHONE IS STOLEN. No matter how cheap, or how good the deal is, walk away from any iCloud-locked devices. These may ask for the iCloud/Apple upon unlocking the device or may show a Connect to iTunes screen.

Good luck with your hunt for your shiny, new(ish) Apple iPhone. If you need any additional support, opinions or have any feedback for this article be sure to tweet us using the links below.

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