Differences Between The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, And iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s have all been discontinued and replaced by the iPhone 6 family and, more recently, the SE range. But knowing the differences between these model can be quite helpful for anyone buying any of these refurbished models.

Aesthetic Differences

iPhone 5 5c 5s

The most immediately noticeable difference is that the iPhone 5s has a icon-free home button with an embedded "Touch ID" fingerprint sensor. Consequently, the iPhone 5s can be configured with bio-metric identification rather than just a passcode like the other two models.

The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s all have a 4" multi-touch LED "Retina" display, and the front of each is glass. But the housing is very different, particularly for the iPhone 5c.

The iPhone 5c models are offered with a unique polycarbonate over steel body design in five glossy colors -- white, pink, yellow, blue, and green.

iphone 5c colours

Whereas the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s both have a largely aluminum thick case , but the matte color options are different.

iphone 5 5c 5s back

Internal Differences

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c are both powered by a dual core 1.3 GHz Apple A6 processor and have 1 GB of RAM.

Apple notes that the iPhone 5s has a 64-bit "Apple A7" processor which also runs at 1.3 GHz. have 1 GB of RAM and an "M7 motion co-processor."

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s have 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of flash storage whereas the iPhone 5c have 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB.

Battery Life Differences

Apple reports that all three of these iPhone models provide up to 40 hours of audio playback, 10 hours of video playback, and 10 hours of Wi-Fi, but provides different numbers for other usage.

Specifically, Apple estimates 8 hours of talk time on 3G and 8 hours of Internet use on 3G and 4G/LTE alike for the iPhone 5, but 8 hours of 3G use and 10 hours on Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

Camera Differences

The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s all have dual cameras, but there are notable quality differences between them.

The front "FaceTime" cameras are similar in all three devices, and all have 1.2 megapixel sensors and shoot 720p video.

The back cameras for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c are the same. Both shoot 1080p video and have an 8 megapixel sensor. They both also support autofocus, tap to focus, face detection, Panorama mode, and photo geotagging.

The back camera for the iPhone 5s, however, is of significantly better quality. It also has an 8 megapixel sensor, but it has 1.5µm pixels, for more detail and clarity. It also has an f/2.2 aperture (for more light) and a dual LED flash that Apple refers to as "True Tone."

The iPhone 5s has all of the other hardware and software features of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c camera, but also adds a "Burst mode" for still photos and a "Slo-mo" mode for video.


If speed and camera quality are important to you, the iPhone 5s is the clear choice here. Of these three options, you also may find the iPhone 5s the best choice simply because you like the gold color option, or because you find the bio-metric fingerprint unlock option to be particularly nifty. The iPhone 5 and 5c are still good mobile phone options to choose from for those looking for a functioning device and don't care much for the extra features.

You can view our range of refurbished Apple devices in our Qucik Mobile Fix shop here

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1 comment

Whatsit Cheese

Whatsit Cheese

Yo dude that’s sick dude definitely going for the Iphone 2 man.

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