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


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 5SiPhone 5CiPhone 5
Operating systemiOS 7iOS 7iOS 6
Display4-inch IPS LCD; 1136×640 pixels, 326 ppi4-inch IPS LCD; 1136×640 pixels, 326 ppi4-inch IPS LCD; 1136×640 pixels, 326 ppi
Price$199, $299, $399$99, $199, $549 off contract (16GB)No longer sold
4G LTEYesYesYes
Camera8-megapixel rear facing, 1080p front-facing, dual-element flash8-megapixel rear facing, 720p front-facing8-megapixel, 720p front-facing
ProcessorProprietary A7 CPU (64-bit)Proprietary A6 CPU (32-bit)Proprietary A6 CPU (32-bit)
Memory16GB, 32GB, 64GB16GB, 32GB16GB, 32GB, 64GB
BatteryTalk time up to 10 hours on 3G; embeddedTalk time up to 10 hours on 3G; embeddedTalk time up to 8 hours on 3G; embedded
Fingerprint scannerYesNoNo
Dedicated fitness trackingYesNoNo
ColorsGray, gold, silverBlue, green, pink, yellow, whiteBlue, white
CarriersVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, SprintVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, SprintVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint

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 3LG G2Samsung Galaxy S4Moto X
Operating systemAndroid 4.3Android 4.2.2Android 4.2.2Android 4.2.2
Display5.7-inch HD Super AMOLED; 1920×1080, 423 ppi5.2-inch HD Super LCD; 1920×1080, 423 ppi5-inch HD Super LCD; 1920×1080, 423 ppi4.7-inch HD AMOLED; 1280×720, 316ppi
Price$299 Contract, $199 Contract, $199/$249 Contract, $199/$249 Contract, 
4G LTEYesYesYesYes
Camera13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera13-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front camera13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera10-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera
Processor2.3GHz 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
Memory32GB.64GB, MicroSD slot32GB.64GB32GB.64GB, MicroSD slot16GB.32GB
BatteryTalk time up to 10 hoursTalk time up to 10 hoursTalk time up to 17 hours24 hours usage
Fingerprint scannerNoNoNoNo
Dedicated fitness trackingNoNoNoNo
CarriersVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US CellularVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, SprintVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US CellularVerizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular

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.

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.

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