Perhaps you saw our blow-by-blow comparison of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5. Now that the devices our in our hands we wanted to revisit the topic and see on a closer level how last year’s model compares to the 5S, since they both share a nearly identical build.
The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S are indeed very similar at first glance. There are only two major (some might even consider them minor) aesthetic changes to the exterior of the device. The biggest is the Home button, which sheds it’s familiar icon in favor of fingerprint scanning technology.
It’s amazing the result such a seemingly small change has on the overall look of the device. Call us crazy, but it does look a bit more sleek and stealthy, especially in a Space Gray finish. The button is flat instead of concave and sits flush with the rest of the phone’s face, highlighted by a metallic ring that is functional to the Touch ID fingerprint scanner while adding a bit of aesthetic flair.
The other change that folks might notice is the phone’s flash. Instead of a single, circular LED bulb, we now find Apple’s TrueTone flash. It’s an oval encompassing two LED bulbs of different color temperature. With the iPhone 5S, the camera itself loses the metal accent ring around the lens that was found on the iPhone 5. A VERY minor change can be found directly between the two: the microphone cutout has gone from oval to circle.
And that’s not even touching on the color options of the iPhone 5S. The Space Gray model keeps the black accents of last year’s handset, but the metal casing takes on a much lighter graphite appearance. Silver is the most similar to the iPhone 5, while the rarest model, gold, wasn’t even available for the last generation.
These mostly aesthetic changes don’t even touch on some of the other major differences between the phones. While the 4-inch Retina displays are identical, the iPhone 5S gets a bump in processing with Apple’s A7 chip. The iPhone 5 carries an A6.
Of course, the reasons to upgrade will be based less on the phone’s outward appearance and more on how these changes make it an overall better device — if they do at all. That’s a question we hope to answer with our full review and in depth comparisons, which will be headed your way in a matter of days.