iPhone buyers guide

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C buyers guide

Everything you need to know before choosing your perfect iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c color, capacity, carrier, and more!

There are a lot of decisions involved when it comes to buying or upgrading to a new phone, even a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. Which model? High-end or less-expensive? Which color? There are a lot to choose from this year! Which capacity? Keep it small or go all out? And on which carrier? There's never been more to choose from! Then there's when to buy and where, and host of other small but important things to consider, including, what do you do with your old phone when your hot new one arrives?

Enter iMore's 2014 iPhone buyers guide. If you need help deciding what to buy, we've got your back. And if you've already decided, just bookmark, email, Facebook, or Tweet this so we can help your friends and family and you can get on with enjoying your new iPhone!

2014 iPhone buyers guide podcast

Rene, Peter, and Richard talk everything about Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, including iPhone vs. other phones, iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c, color, capacity, carriers, and more! If you'd rather watch or listen before you read, start here!

iPhone spec comparison

Since its introduction in 2007 the iPhone has improved steadily over the years, adding higher density, bigger displays, faster Wi-Fi and cellular networking, better cameras, and new features like Siri and Touch ID. The above chart shows the evolution of the iPhone from the original to the latest iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, including pricing and capacity at launch. While what you paid for it when you got it might vary, you can check your current model and see how it compares to the ones available now.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: Should you upgrade?

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: Should you upgrade?

When a new iPhone is introduced - or this year when two new iPhones are introduced - one of the toughest decisions to make is whether or not to upgrade to the latest and the greatest. If money is no object, it won't matter. If you're due an upgrade on contract, it comes down to whether or not the new features in the iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s are compelling enough to be worth $100 or $200 or more to you. If you're not due an upgrade, or if you don't buy on contract, then that decision escalates to $550, $650, or more. So what are the pros and cons of upgrading to the iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, and when does the cost get overwhelmed by the value? Let's take a look...

How to sell your old iPhone

How to get the most money for your old iPhone before upgrading to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c

Selling your old iPhone (or any old phone) can help offset some, if not all of the cost, of a new iPhone, especially if you're not yet eligible for an upgrade and have to pay a premium. Odds are you've already decided which capacity and color you'll be getting when the iPhone 5 drops so you have some idea of how much money you need to get out of your current iPhone to cover the purchase.

So if you don't fancy handing it down for free to a family member or using it as a backup phone, we can guide you in the right direction when it comes to selling your old iPhone and getting top dollar for it.

iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?

iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?

While everyone here at iMore certainly believes the iPhone is still the best phone for most people, most of the time, we're lucky that every major platform now has one or more great phones for us to choose from as well. The iPhone may have the best overall user experience, the highest quality apps and games, the widest range of services, the biggest selection of accessories, and the best customer support, but there are also things the iPhone doesn't offer that other phones do, like much larger screens, physical keyboards, high power cameras, greater hardware options, or simply no Apple about them. How do you know which one is for you? Keep reading!

If you're considering any other, specific phones:

What's the difference between iPhones?

What's the difference between iPhones?

While 'iPhone' often sounds like one, iconic thing, Apple has fielded many different models, and an incredible array of variants over the years. This year there's the state-of-the-art iPhone 5s, the pop-art iPhone 5c, and the held-over iPhone 4s. Sure, 5 sounds higher than 4, but what's the real difference between all these models? Does more money really get you more features, does saving up-front cost you in the long run, and how much phone do you really need? If you're looking to get your first iPhone, or looking to get one for family or friends, figuring it all out can be confusing. Here's what you need to know!

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c vs. iPhone 4s: Which iPhone should you get?

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c vs. iPhone 4s: Which iPhone should you get?

Once you know you're getting an iPhone and now, you need to decide which iPhone you want to get. While some might consider the the latest, greatest iPhone 5s a no brainer when it comes to their next purchasing decision, others might think the funner, less expensive iPhone 5c, or even the hold-over iPhone 4s is a much better value. If you're on-contract, you'll be paying a couple thousand dollars over the next couple of years anyway, so a few hundred for up-front may not matter to you. However, if you don't have that couple extra hundred up front, especially if you're going off-contract, up-front cost really will matter. It's important to really run the math on this and see what suits you best. So, premium, popular, or passé, which one should you get?

Gold vs. silver vs. space gray: Which iPhone 5s color should you get?

Gold vs. silver vs. space gray: Which iPhone 5s color should you get?

Color is one of the most visually distinctive - and personal - things about a new iPhone, which makes it one of the most important choices you'll have to make. Originally there was only one color, aluminum and black, but Apple eventually went to black and white, and now they're offering three choices for their high-end iPhone 5s: silver and gold, silver and white, and space gray and black. (The space gray and black replaces last year's slate and black, likely because it's an easier color to anodize). If you're on the fence about which color you should get, here's what you should consider.

Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should get?

Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should get?

More than any iPhone in history, the iPhone 5c is all about color and personality. It comes in hard coated polycarbonate - think plastic, but way classier! - in fun, vibrant shades of green, blue, yellow, pink and white. Color is so personal, so distinctive, but more colors mean more to choose from, and can also mean a more difficult choice! If you're having trouble picking your particular spot on the iPhone 5c rainbow, we're here to help!

16GB, 32GB, or 64GB: Which iPhone 5s storage size should you get?

16GB, 32GB, or 64GB: Which iPhone 5s storage size should you get?

One of the biggest decisions you have to make - literally! - when it comes to buying your new iPhone is how much storage capacity you get. The way Apple's pricing works, you get double the storage for every extra $100 your spend, which isn't really as straightforward a deal as it seems. While the iPhone 5c only has 16GB and 32GB options, the iPhone 5s has a 64GB option as well. Get more capacity than you need and you'll waste some money. Get too little and you'll experience no end of frustration. So, it's really important to weigh all the options and figure out the best price/storage ratio. Here's how it works!

Speed vs. reliability vs. value: Which iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c carrier should you get?

Speed vs. reliability vs. value: Which iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c carrier should you get?

AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile in the U.S. Rogers vs. Bell vs. TELUS in Canada. Three vs O2 vs EE vs Vodafone in the U.K. And many more around the world. Then there are various discount carriers, regionals, and MVNOs. It's a mess! How do you know which carrier will give you the fastest data speeds, or the most reliable connections, or simply the best value for your money? It all comes down to where you live, work, or go to school, and what options work best in your specific area. However, there's a lot of broad generalities that can apply. Here are some of the most important, broken down by country!

AppleCare+ vs. insurance vs. nothing: Which iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c protection plan should you get?

AppleCare+ vs. insurance vs. nothing: Which iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c protection plan should you get?

One of the last things you have to decide on when buying a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c is whether or not to pony up for the optional AppleCare+ protection plan. It's an additional $99 but it gives you an extra year's warranty as well as a much lower deductible if you damage and need to replace your iPhone. If you're not buying from Apple directly, you might also have the option of getting retailer, carrier, or other third-party insurance. And, of course, you have the option of getting nothing at all. Before deciding which is the best choice for you, here are some factors to consider!

Need more help?

If there's any detail you're still not 100% sure about, or any question you'd still love to get answered before you buy your brand new iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, we have fantastic information pages that are always kept up-to-the-minute, and amazing community forums filled with experts for you to talk with. Bookmark them and check back often! And once you've decided, let us know in the comments - which iPhone did you get and why?

More coverage

How do you protect your iPhones and iPads?

Almost everyone has been in this situation at one point or another. You pick up a new iPhone 5s or iPad Air, maybe a iPhone 5c or Retina iPad mini, you use it for a while, and then it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Maybe you banged it against the wall and got a little ding on it, maybe it was knocked out of your hand by a clumsy friend and fell to the floor. Whatever happened, you know the feeling of that first blemish — it sucks.

More →

8
loading...
0
loading...
54
loading...
0
loading...

Charming new iPhone 5c 'Every Color has a Story' ads show up... on Tumblr?

The iPhone 5c enjoyed one of my favorite Apple commercials of 2013 — Designed Together — but we haven't seen more of those pop-art inspired ads, at least not until now, and not until... Tumblr? The log is called isee5c and claims Every Color has a Story. The videos are called Porte des Lilas, Vivo a Carnival, Enjoy the Show, Showtime, and Skating Love. There's also an additional spot that simply says Coming Soon. They all feature a series of dots playfully falling into place and then zooming out to reveal an iPhone 5c in its dotted Apple Case. The animation is charming and reminiscent of the Designed by Apple - Intention spot from WWDC 2013. But did Apple make them?

More →

7
loading...
0
loading...
39
loading...
0
loading...

What's on Peter's iPhone right now!

Following my Mac dock inventory, I thought I'd share with you what my iPhone looks like. If you want more of this sort of thing, check out how Ally has her iPhone set up and how Rene has configured his iPad Air.

More →

10
loading...
0
loading...
44
loading...
0
loading...

DODOcase leather wallet for iPhone review

The DODOcase leather wallet for iPhone is everything you love about the DODOcases for iPad made pocket-sized. Made in San Francisco, the DODOCase leather wallet for iPhone combines fine, old world leather sewn onto sturdy book backing with three "slash" pockets and one window pocket to hold your credit and ID cards, and a tray to hold your iPhone. So how does it stack up?

More →

6
loading...
0
loading...
55
loading...
0
loading...

BookBook wallet case for iPhone review

Twelve South's BookBook wallet case for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 looks, for all intents and purposes, like a gorgeous old leather-bound book. Like something out of a pulp-fiction library or fantasy role-playing game, magic bound within. And indeed there is! Open the BookBook up and your iPhone — and cards and cash — are safe and secure inside!

More →

8
loading...
0
loading...
71
loading...
0
loading...

iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy S5: The battle years in the making!

The iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5 are going to be two of – if not the two – hottest smartphones of 2014. Or likely until Apple launches the iPhone 6 at least. There are going to be more than a few folks due upgrades, or just generally looking for a new phone that are going to be looking at choosing between these two. Especially leading up to April 11, the global availability of the Galaxy S5.

It's not a 100% fair fight just yet, since we've had 5 months to get to know the iPhone 5s and a grand total of a couple of hours at a trade show with the Galaxy S5. So, maybe consider this round 1. There'll be much, much more – like software – to dive into when we actually get a Galaxy S5 in hand. But even from a quick early look, there are some similarities, and some big differences.

More →

11
loading...
0
loading...
53
loading...
0
loading...

Samsung Galaxy S5 gets waterproof: Should iPhone 6 do the same?

Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy S5 was announced at Mobile World Congress this week and rightfully garnered a lot of attention — it's Samsung's next flagship smartphone. Among the new features one jumped out at me as something I'd love to see Apple add to their next iPhone: waterproofing. Yeah, that's right, waterproofing. Think I'm crazy? Hear me out.

More →

17
loading...
0
loading...
65
loading...
0
loading...

Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5s: Which phone should you get?

The Galaxy S5 has only just been announced while the iPhone 5s has been available since September 2013. However, until the iPhone 6 launches — presumably in September of 2014 — they'll be the two top phones on the market. They'll also be very different experiences, from hardware to software to services and back. Some people will know immediately which one they want. Others will be pouring over every review, watching every video, sweating every detail, second guessing every decision. If you're one of those, if you're on the fence, I'll keep this short and sweet — if you're stuck between the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s, here's the one you should get...

More →

9
loading...
0
loading...
85
loading...
0
loading...

iPhone 6: Six things I'd like to see!

iPhone 6 fantasies will no doubt reach fetishistic levels at some point, but we're far enough out from the fall, and from the inevitable leaks that will come as fall approaches, that many possibilities, many dreams, remain open to us. What with the all the new Android phones at MWC dropping like cluster bombs this week, I'll admit I'm incredibly eager to see what Apple has planned for this year as well. I'll preface it by saying all I've heard so far is that there'll likely be two iPhones this year, a 4-inch model and a bigger than 4-inch model. Whether that's the iPhone 5s dropped down, an iPhone 5sc made unabashedly plastic, or simply a smaller iPhone 6 remains to be seen. As does the size of the larger phone, from 4.3 to almost 5-inches. So let's begin there...

More →

11
loading...
0
loading...
77
loading...
0
loading...

booq Boa squeeze bag hands-on!

The booq Boa squeeze packs five accessory pockets spread along the sides and the back, an iPhone compartment on top, and an iPad and MacBook Air or MacBook Pro pockets inside. And yet it still manages to look sleek and sexy! Thanks to a 1680 denier ballistic nylon exterior and ultra-soft nylex interior, it'll repel tears and water, and keep all your gear safe and secure as well!

More →

6
loading...
0
loading...
35
loading...
0
loading...

Pages