iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: do you need to upgrade?

Camera

Again, the iPhone 5 and 5C appear to, to all intents and purposes, share the same camera hardware: an 8MP sensor, F2.4 aperture and LED flash. It’s a good setup that works well.

The 5S also features an 8MP sensor, but with pixels that are physically larger by 15 percent. Coupled with a wider F2.2 aperture and a dual-LED “True Tone” flash, this will improve performance over the 5C’s shooter, particularly in low light.

On the video front all models capture 1080p HD, but the 5S is also able to film 120fps slo-mo videos, and features improved video stabilisation (via software).

Winner: iPhone 5S

Battery life

The iPhone 5S and 5C have increased battery life over the 5: Apple claims 10 hours of talk time, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback or 250 hours of standby per charge. The iPhone 5 battery delivers around 8 hours of talk time or 225 hours of standby (video and music playback claims are the same).

Winner: iPhone 5S and 5C

More after the break...

Pricing

The iPhone 5 isn’t on sale anymore, so it’s dropping out of this round.

While many (us included) predicted that the iPhone 5C would be a “budget” iPhone, it really isn’t: it starts at £470 for the 16GB version (32GB is £550), which is only a little cheaper than the £550 you’ll pay for a 16GB iPhone 5S (32GB and 64GB 5S models are £630 and £710 respectively). When viewed like this the iPhone 5S, with its faster processor, better camera and fingerprint scanner, looks like quite a tempting upgrade.

Winner: iPhone 5S

Verdict: go for the iPhone 5S

While the iPhone 5C is a fine handset with sturdy build quality and plenty of power, the 5S is the model that has got us really excited: a fingerprint scanner, improved camera and double the processing power make it the obvious choice for iPhone thrill-seekers.

Read our full iPhone 5S preview here, and our iPhone 5C preview here.

Read our hands-on review of the iPhone 5S here, and iPhone 5C here.