Halfway through the era of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, those just now getting around to upgrading are still left with the unresolved issue of which model is the better overall value. The iPhone 5S is the more advanced and powerful of the two, but it’s also more expensive; Apple positioned the iPhone 5C as more of a value play. The difference between the two goes beyond mere color choices and comes down to details like camera quality, speed and specs, and available accessories. Here’s a look at what stands out as most vital in the iPhone 5C vs 5S debate:
Speed and Specs
The iPhone 5S is notably faster in terms of loading apps and processing power, thanks to its pair of more advanced processors inside. The iPhone 5C has a less powerful processor, but still runs circles around anything from the iPhone 4/4S era. When it comes to internet speeds and downloads, both the 5S and 5C offer 4G LTE network speeds, which are dependent on your carrier. Both new iPhones offer a bit more battery power than the previous iPhone 5 did. The iPhone 5S and 5C both have the same powerful built in camera and camcorder, but the 5S offers fancy new features like slow motion video clips. And of course there’s the iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint censor which the iPhone 5C lacks.
Price and other factors
Apple offers the iPhone 5S starting at $199 and the iPhone 5C starting at $99, but some carriers and retailers are offering both for significantly cheaper. These deals tend to come and go intermittently, with Walmart and Radio Shack often offering the most aggressive discounts, so the key is to shop around. The iPhone 5S has been periodically seen as cheap as $119, and the iPhone 5C as cheap as $19. Other contributing factors include available accessories. If you’re just looking for a case, you’ll find plenty available for both. But some specialty accessories such as battery cases or camera accessories have come to market for the 5S before the 5C.