iPhone 4s vs. iPhone 5c (first cell phone)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dj64Mk7, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    Hello to everyone. This is my first post on MacRumors; I hope you will welcome me. With that being said, I have one question for you.

    [For tl;dr: scroll to bottom of post.]

    My parents and I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to get my first cell phone. Due to certain factors (accessibility being one of the biggest,) we have decided than an iPhone would be appropriate for me.

    Please help me to make an informed decision based on the following prices (all require 2-year contract):

    - iPhone 4 for $0.10 with an $100 gift card
    - iPhone 4s for $0.97
    - iPhone 5 for $79
    - iPhone 5c for $79

    Also, please keep the following in mind: I'm very tech savvy, and I'll feel like crap if I have a 3 year-old phone (it would be 5 years-old when the contract is up); and I'm a freshman in high school, so I need a phone that is somewhat safe (glares at iPhone 4/4s)

    Thanks for all your help.

    tl;dr: should a freshman in high school get an iPhone 4s (for $1), or an iPhone 5c (for $79)?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Don't get the 4. The 4S would work well, depending on your carrier. If it's a GSM carrier, get the 4S. If it's a CDMA carrier get the 5. The 4S still has two years left in it and is a good phone.
  3. Vetvito macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
  4. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    I'd go with the 5c. You will have a bunch of people that come here and say "get the 5 due to premium materials!" but I wouldn't listen to them due to the 5c having increased battery life and sturdier materials than soft, scuff prone aluminum.
  5. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    Forget the 4 and 4s. I would get a 5 or 5c. $79 isn't too much money considering you'll be using the phone every day. That's the price of a tank of gas!,
  6. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    Thank you all for your helpful answers (so far).

    To add to the discussion:

    - the carrier of choice is Sprint, if that affects your suggestions.
    - you'll notice that in my last paragraph, I implicitly state that the glass-backed iPhones would not be a good choice, because they're, well, glass-backed!

    P.S. - At what point am I allowed to start making Polls (this thread is practically begging to be a poll)?
  7. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    If you are worried about the 4s glass breaking... wait till you get a load of the soft aluminum on the 5! :p
  8. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    Maybe this just me being stupid, but when you say that, do you mean that the aluminum on iPhone 5 breaks easier than the glass on iPhone 4s? Or vice-versa?
  9. Tthomas612 macrumors 65816


    Aug 24, 2013
    With Sprint forget the 4S. Not only that it's glass and it's two years old next month. That leaves the 5 or 5C. The 5 is soft aluminum and discontinued as well. Being a freshmen in high school the 5C has nice colors to choose from and personally I think it'll be a better phone for you. Also with Sprint your only gonna get good speeds with the 5 or 5C and the 5C "might" be faster since it has more LTE bands.


    He means that the aluminum on the 5 is soft and it scuffs very easily. Much easier then the 4S's back glass will break
  10. King Shady macrumors 6502

    King Shady

    Aug 22, 2010
    Princeton, NJ
    Durability wise, the 5C is gonna win this round. The aluminum doesn't shatter (obviously) like the 4 or 4S did, but it is very scratch prone. So, if you are highly concerned about durability, the 5C is going to work best for you. To be honest, out of these choices I'd probably go with the 5 for the more premium design (I like the aluminum feel); I'm a sucker for the matte black/slate model.
  11. fedecape macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    Miami, FL
    like the inside or not, the 5C is a 2013 phone. And you can choose a cool color.
  12. ben123456 macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2012
    I am a sophomore in high school, I've dropped my phone at least a hundred times and i have never broke the back glass(over exaggerated but you get the point). But it seems the 5 has a scratching issue on the back. But the 5c is better than the 5 in general and has a plastic back which should be more durable anyways. So i would go for the 5c
  13. Eyden macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2013
    although 5c has many color choices, I still think iphone 5 is better.
  14. safdar macrumors newbie


    Jul 31, 2013
    I think 5C is the better option, because this is new (released in 2013).
  15. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    iPhone 5c by a long shot. The 4 and 4S don't even have LTE. That's kind of like getting computer with a dial-up modem vs. broadband. Being a freshman in high school, I wonder if you even know what dial-up modem is. :eek:

    With the 5 and 5c prices being a wash, always jump at the "newer" model. I know, they're mostly the same. But the 5c has a radio that make it a "world phone," whereas the 5 had separate LTE radios.

    Plus I'm guessing we will come to a time in a few years when Apple won't support the 3.5-inch displays in some fashion. Like maybe app compatibility or something. This is why I don't understand the survival of the 4S (why not an 8GB iPhone 5 or 5c to do away with the smaller screen now?).

    Anyway, 5c.
  16. Glassman macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2006
    I can sense that the reason you're posting is that your parents want you to deliver convincing arguments in favor of getting you the 5C :)

    I'd completely disregard the iPhone 4 - it's very much outdated, basically a slightly faster 3GS with better display. It will be choking with iOS 7 and I'd be surprised if it ever saw iOS 8. Since you're about to get a phone with 2 years contract, just forget about it.

    4S is a much better phone than 4, but it's relatively fragile and you'd really miss the extra screen area. Soon it will feel just as outdated and outclassed as the 4 does now. Again you're making a 2 year commitment.

    Of the 5 and 5C, the latter is arguably the better phone. Unless you obsess about owning what used to be a flagship model once, I'd no doubt recommend you getting the 5C due to it's durability, performance, improved battery life (so your parents have greater chances of reaching you in times of impeding crisis :D) and being a current model it's bound to be supported over the whole tenure of the contract.

    It is important to stress that the subsidized cost of the phone itself is a small, almost insignificant part of the total expense of having a phone service over the 2 years contract. It makes little sense to reach for the older devices based on the upfront cost.

    Good luck with your parents!
  17. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    The 4s looks better but the 5c has more power
  18. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    It Has Been Decided

    Thanks for all the help!

    As it turns out, I'm going to end up getting a 4s. My Dad had to pay the Sprint bill before he could add a new line, and then he put the phone on reserve for me (at Wal-Mart, which is where the sale was.)

    So, tomorrow, I will be the owner of a brand-new iPhone 4s! Does anyone have any tips, comments, or suggestions for me as a first time iPhone (and cell phone in general) owner? What are some of the best cases for the 4s?

    If you would, please continue to help me. Thanks! :)
  19. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    There is an accessories subforum with some excellent cast threads. Just spend an hour perusing them.

    Otterbox is the king of very protective cases.

    Mophie makes cases with batteries in them so you get some protection and extra battery life.
  20. LithePanther macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2011
    I would recommend the Speck Candyshell Satin. It's what I had on my 4 for the longest time.

    It's bulkier than all the slim cases, but much slimmer than the high-protection cases while offering great protection itself.

    The button covers are very responsive and it has a big lip lay-on-table design.

    I prefer the satin over the regular candyshell because the normal candyshell get scratched up easily while the satin is harder to scratch.

    It is rather expensive as far as cases go through so that might be a problem.

  21. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    If you are concerned about the durability of the back, you can buy replacements made from a variety of materials. You could even replace it at home.
  22. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Mr. Curious asks: Why?
  23. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    You have excellent grammar for a freshman in high school.

    Without a doubt, get the 5C out of those choices. If you prefer aluminum over plastic, I'm sure many places will have a nice sale on their remaining iPhone 5 stock.

    EDIT: Didn't read all the comments before posting. Get this case. It's absolutely perfect for the iPhone 4/4S.
  24. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The 4S is limited to CDMA's poor 3G speeds of around 3 Mbps. The GSM version has HSPA+ which has the much higher 14.4Mbps capability.

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