How do the iPhone 5S and 5C stack up against the competition

Posted by Emory Kale

After today's launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C we have tabulated the specs and compare the new phones to the old iPhone 5, Galaxy Note 3, Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4, and LG G2. Does it really all boil down to a handful of colors, and fingerprint scanners versus NFC?

Full disclosure: We are NOT fanboys for either Apple, Samsung, Google, LG or anybody else. We are just phlegmatic when it comes to Apple, and sanguine when it comes to schadenfreud. So, now that we that out of the way, let the games begin.

Let's get the trite stuff out of the way first: Apple's getting into the phone case business and they are jumping on the Nokia color bandwagon or the Moto X customization thing. Is that important? Meh. We're not teenagers, girls, hipsters, or people who watch Sex and the City re-runs.

The camera on the iPhone 5S is supposed to be the shnizzle. It's not the Lumia 1020, but it has some nice features. Apple has always been better than anyone else at graphic, video and photos. On every platform they have produced. So, kudos on the feature set here. It doesn't make us salivate, but we are not Instagram and have never taken a selfie.

We are not attractive people here at TGD. Sorry.

  iPhone 5S iPhone 5C iPhone 5
Operating system iOS 7 iOS 7 iOS 6
Display 4-inch IPS LCD; 1136x640 pixels, 326 ppi 4-inch IPS LCD; 1136x640 pixels, 326 ppi 4-inch IPS LCD; 1136x640 pixels, 326 ppi
Price $199, $299, $399 $99, $199, $549 off contract (16GB) No longer sold
4G LTE Yes Yes Yes
Camera 8-megapixel rear facing, 1080p front-facing, dual-element flash 8-megapixel rear facing, 720p front-facing 8-megapixel, 720p front-facing
Processor Proprietary A7 CPU (64-bit) Proprietary A6 CPU (32-bit) Proprietary A6 CPU (32-bit)
Memory 16GB, 32GB, 64GB 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Battery Talk time up to 10 hours on 3G; embedded Talk time up to 10 hours on 3G; embedded Talk time up to 8 hours on 3G; embedded
NFC No No No
Fingerprint scanner Yes No No
Dedicated fitness tracking Yes No No
Weight 112g 132g 132g
Colors Gray, gold, silver Blue, green, pink, yellow, white Blue, white
Carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint
Network LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi

The fingerprint scanner thing is cool. Apple had purchased AthenTec and we all knew this was coming. It is creepy. With all the brouhaha about the NSA, this doesn't wow us the way it would have if we hadn't had Snowden on our mind.

The fitness tracking stuff and the M7 co-processor? Well, Nike and Apple have been in bed for a long time in the same way as OpenTable and Apple got together on Siri. So, this is a check-off item for mobile. It will become a standard item in all wearable computing devices. But Samsung has S Health. They're not lagging here. The hardware is going to be a commodity. 

NFC is just as important as fingerprint scanners and fitness trackers, in our opinion.

 

  Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LG G2 Samsung Galaxy S4 Moto X
Operating system Android 4.3 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2
Display 5.7-inch HD Super AMOLED; 1920x1080, 423 ppi 5.2-inch HD Super LCD; 1920x1080, 423 ppi 5-inch HD Super LCD; 1920x1080, 423 ppi 4.7-inch HD AMOLED; 1280x720, 316ppi
Price $299 Contract,  $199 Contract,  $199/$249 Contract,  $199/$249 Contract, 
4G LTE Yes Yes Yes Yes
Camera 13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera 13-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front camera 13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera 10-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera
Processor 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 (quad-core) 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 (quad-core) 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 (quad-core) 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro (dual-core, with X8 mobile computing
Memory 32GB.64GB, MicroSD slot 32GB.64GB 32GB.64GB, MicroSD slot 16GB.32GB
Battery Talk time up to 10 hours Talk time up to 10 hours Talk time up to 17 hours 24 hours usage
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fingerprint scanner No No No No
Dedicated fitness tracking No No No No
Weight 168g 140g 130g 130g
Colors        
Carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular
Network LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi LTE, LTE-Advanced, CDMA, GSM, WiFi LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi LTE, CDMA, GSM, WiFi

So, today's announcement is going to keep Apple fans happy, and excited, and the stock price is going to go up with irrational exuberance. Advantage Apple.

As MacObserver concluded following the launch today:

This event was well-balanced. The right products and the right messages (with closing music) were delivered, as expected.
 
What was unexpected by many was the technical acumen of Apple that allows it to always offer a product whose whole is more than the sum of its parts. Technology should always delight and assist us -- as demonstrated by the new iPhone 5s camera system.
 
Plus, there is plenty of pent up demand, and just because managed leaks allowed daily observers a glimpse of what would come doesn't mean that customers won't be excited about these new iPhones. I think it would be a mistake to predict that that these products won't set sales records.
 
In all these respects, Apple scored brilliantly.
 
Today's launch of the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C did enough to assuage the concerns of the company's fans

On the other hand, the rest of the world is going to be perfectly happy not being on Apple and won't feel any envy. In the cold harsh light of day, Apple is catching up in some places, and treading water in other places. It's not going to scare off the competition.