Should You Upgrade Your iPhone 4s?

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Every Autumn for the last several years, Apple has released a new update to its line of popular iPhone’s. Whether you are a hard-core devotee to the Apple brand or just a casual user trying to juggle your latest two-year contract, it can be difficult deciding when is the right time to upgrade to a new phone.

After all, what's cutting-edge now will be passé in just a year. This September, Apple came out with two different versions of the iPhone for the first time in the company's history.

The iPhone 5s includes the latest and greatest technology and a familiar design while the iPhone 5c is a slightly less expensive version. The 5c makes up for the price, in part, by using plastic components on the iPhone casing, but it is still a very worthy addition to the iPhone line.

So what do you do if you are currently using an iPhone 4s? Should you upgrade your phone at all, and if so, which new iPhone should you buy?

iPhone 4s to iPhone 5c

The cheaper iPhone 5c has several benefits that make it a step up from the iPhone 4s. If you are in the market for the least expensive iPhone you can get while still making an upgrade, the iPhone 5c is definitely a worthy investment at £469.


Here are some of the most notable changes.


  • Display Size – The first major difference you will notice between the iPhone 4s and the 5c is the size of the display. Beginning with last year's iPhone 5 (which Apple discontinued after this year's new releases), the screen size was upped from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. The result is a display that gives you room for another row of apps on your home screen as well as providing a better canvas for watching widescreen video.
  • Construction and Colour – The next major change when switching to the iPhone 5c will be the overall feel of the phone. Apple did away with the glass backing that characterized the iPhone 4s because it was so prone to shattering when dropped. For the iPhone 5c, the entire casing of the phone is actually made of plastic. You will notice, however, that despite being plastic, the phone still feels like it has a hearty, solid construction. As an added “feature,” the iPhone 5c is available in five different colours, so you can choose the one that best fits your personality.
  • Speed – The iPhone 4s has a processor that contains Apple's A5 chip while the iPhone 5c contains the A6 chip. The internal components of the iPhone 5c are, for all intents and purposes, identical to those from last year's iPhone 5, so the 5c is faster than the 4s, though definitely slower than the 5s.
  • New Plug – Beginning with the iPhone 5 (and continuing with the 5c and 5s), the standard Apple 30-pin connector plug has been replaced with the much smaller Lightning connector. While you will receive one new charging cord in the box with your iPhone 5c, you will need to replace all of your accessories or get an adapter that allows them to be used with the new plug.

iPhone 4s to iPhone 5s

For more tech-savvy iPhone users, the iPhone 5s offers all the latest and greatest technology to come out of Apple's Cupertino headquarters, starting at a price of £549.

You will notice several big changes between the 4s and the 5s, but you may not consider any of them to be “game-changers.”

Here is a look at some of the new features.

  • Display Size – The display for the iPhone 5s is identical to the one on the 5c. You will still notice a big difference when upgrading from the 4s.
  • Construction and Colour – Instead of the glass backing on the iPhone 4s, the 5s has an aluminium casing, which holds up much better against drops or scratches. It also comes in three colours: space grey, silver, and gold.
  • Speed – The iPhone 5s has Apple's latest A7 chip as its processor. When making the jump from the iPhone 4s, you will notice a big difference in how fast the 5s feels. This improvement will be especially noticeable when performing tasks like using the web browser and playing games.
  • Camera – The camera on the iPhone 5s has been hailed as one of the best to ever be built into a Smartphone. Both the 4s and 5s have 8 MP cameras, but the one on the new phone has a better aperture and light sensor, which promises better pictures, even for amateur photographers. It also has a second LED flash to give more natural lighting to your photos.
  • Touch ID – The latest security enhancement from Apple, which has been added to the iPhone 5s, is the Touch ID. Using a fingerprint scanner that is built into the Home button on the new device, it promises to make your phone much more difficult for unwanted users to break into.


The Bottom Line

While all of the new iPhone’s are certainly a step up from the 4s, you will have to decide if they warrant upgrading.

You will have a few things to keep in mind while you make the decision, and Craig from will highlight a few factors you may want to consider:

First is the fact that the iPhone 4s is already able to run iOS 7 (the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system).

The new version of the iOS incorporates some major changes from previous incarnations, so by simply updating the operating system, it can feel like you have a new phone without actually needing to lay out any money.

The other major consideration is the fact that Apple generally makes more major changes to its iPhone’s once every two years. If history repeats itself, the iPhone 6 (which is inevitably coming in Autumn 2014) may be a more complete redesign that makes the iPhone 5c and 5s both seem obsolete.

If you are in no hurry to upgrade your 4s right now, therefore, it might behove you to wait until next year so that you can get the latest technology right when it is released.

On the whole, upgrading from an iPhone 4s to either of the new iPhone’s won't be an essential move for almost anyone, but if you do decide to make the switch, you probably won't regret it.

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