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Apple iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 5C and iPhone 5

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Apple iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 5C and iPhone 5

The updates seem less than revolutionary and the significance of the 5C is hard to spot.

After almost one year of waiting and many months of leaks and rumors, Apple has recently lifted the veil on the latest iPhone lineup. As you may already know, the company based in Cupertino held a press event on September 10, when both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C were made official. In addition, there have been further changes to the existing lineup, as the iPhone 5 has been discontinued. The latter is expected to be replaced by the iPhone 5C, which – as the rumors suggested – is aimed at the more affordable market segment.

This is a great time to compare the two devices and today we’re going to do just that. Has Apple managed to innovate? What can you expect from the “budget-friendly” 5C? Find out below.

iPhone 5S vs. 5C and iPhone 5

Since the iPhone 5S is destined to become the company’s flagship smartphone for the next year or so, it’s only natural to give it priority in this comparison.

Spec-wise, the iPhone 5S features a 4 inch display with a resolution of 640 x 1136 and a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. Interestingly, these are the same screen specifications of the iPhone 5C and the now-discontinued iPhone 5.

Although the similarities don’t end here, Apple has made several updates to its flagship, including a new 64-bit A7 dual-core processor with a frequency of 1.7 GHz. For an understanding of what a 64-bit CPU could mean for smartphone and tablets, check out this helpful article.

The camera has also enjoyed a few updates, and despite the fact that it’s still an 8 megapixel unit, reports indicate that the sensor has 15% more surface area than the iPhone 5′s, and it also features an f/2.2 aperture instead of f/2.4. Those wishing for better low light camera performance will be interested to know that the iPhone 5S also comes with a “True Tone” dual-LED flash with different color temperatures on each LED, which should help with the unnatural washed-up colors specific to classic flash LEDs.

Interesting as these updates may be, we can’t ignore the fact that there are many other devices out there that run on Android or Windows Phone OS, which come equipped with astonishing cameras. The 20.7 MP Sony Xperia Z1 and the 41 MP Nokia Lumia 1020 are prime examples of that. It remains to be seen how the iPhone 5S will fare against the aforementioned devices.

The number of storage options has remained the same, as the iPhone 5S will be offered in 16 / 32 or 64 GB of storage, just like its predecessor. No 128 GB unfortunately.

There are, however, a handful of other additions, including the presence of iOS 7, a new color option (gold), and a fingerprint scanner which has been fitted inside a home button covered in sapphire crystal.

As for the iPhone 5C, the handset in question is depicted as being the iPhone 5 replacement, so it’s quite important to see what it has to offer when compared to its sibling.

The device features a dual-core 1.3 GHz Apple A6 processor, 1 GB of RAM and either 16 or 32 GB of storage. An 8 MP camera is to be found on the back panel, complemented by a 1.2 MP front-facing sensor (as on the iPhone 5 / 5S). There is no fingerprint scanner on the budget-iPhone, but it does come with iOS 7.0 out of the box.

In terms of design, the iPhone 5C seems to be a lower-quality product compared with the device it has replaced. The body is built out of polycarbonate instead of aluminum, but on the bright side, there are five colors to choose from (for the body) and six colors for the protective bumper. The design of the bumper, however, is questionable. It features a “round hole” pattern which partially covers the “iPhone” logo located on the back panel, in a rather crude manner.

On the bright side, the iPhone 5C will be offered at the price of $99 and $199 for the 16 and 32 GB model respectively; evidently, on contract. Unlocked, the device will set you back $550 or $650. As for the iPhone 5S flagship, the handset will be offered on-contract, at $200, $300 and $400 for the 16, 32 and 64 GB variants respectively. The off-contract prices are set at $650, $750 and $850.

While the iPhone 5S is not available for pre-order, Apple has revealed that the device will go on sale on September 20. The iPhone 5C however, will be available for pre-purchase starting September 13. The handset is expected to hit the shelves on the same day as the iPhone 5S.

This pretty much concludes the comparison between these devices. At the end of the day, the iPhone 5S is not revolutionary, but it might start some new industry trends with its 64-bit processor and True Tone dual-LED flash.

The iPhone 5C on the other hand, is Apple’s first attempt at the more affordable smartphone market segment. Is it a successful one? We’ll have to wait and see, but we can’t help but notice that the 5C is just an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning on buying a new iPhone? Let us know in the comments section.

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.