Trying to decide between 5s and 6

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by violetpaper, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. violetpaper macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2014
    I'm hoping to get some advice on buying an iphone. This is actually going to be my first purchase of a smartphone (I know, I'm a bit late...) so I'm new to this, but I want to be able to have a cheaper, no-contract plan, so I'm going to be getting an unlocked phone. I'll probably keep it for at least 2-3 years before selling it and getting a new one.

    If I buy it from Apple, it looks like my choices are:

    5s (16gb) - $715
    5s (32gb) - 782
    6 (16gb) - 838
    6 (64gb) - 962
    (all prices in Canadian $ and include tax)

    Alternately, it looks like I could get a 5s on ebay for about $500 (also CAD)... this is appealing since it's by far the cheapest, but I'm a little concerned about the quality of the battery on a used phone.

    I tried both models in an Apple store yesterday. I loved the screen of the 6... when I was trying it, it was hard to imagine giving that up. But when playing with the 5s, the screen seemed good enough (meaning, I didn't immediately miss the larger size that I'd just tried) and I liked the way the smaller size fit in my hand.

    Though, if newer versions of iOS or apps take advantage of the larger screen more, it could feel more necessary. So getting a larger screen now could allow me to keep the phone for longer and I imagine it might retain its value longer.

    What do you think would be the best choice?
  2. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000


    Dec 28, 2009
    Go with the iPhone 5 series. Its miles better than the 6/6+ and no iOS 8. They are Apple's darkest hour. Have you considered the iPhone 5? It would be cheaper and get you iOS 6 if its new? That would make it all worth it to me.
  3. Vundu macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    If you plan to sell it later then definately the 6.
  4. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    Do you want the bigger screen or not? That's really what it comes down to. Have you tried them out? I have the 5s and like the smaller form factor. The 6 is still thin enough for reasonably easy one-handed operation and pocketability. The 6 Plus is not easy to use with one hand, and definitely not easy to stuff into a pant pocket.

    The 5s remains competitive on performance, so it more about the screen size and whether you want Apple Pay. Try them out and see what you like.
  5. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    New versions of apps do take advantage of the larger screen, and being a newer piece of hardware the 6 will have a better resale value.

    I'd go with the 6 in whichever capacity that suits your needs. I ended up with the unlocked 128GB 6+, but I liked the larger screen and I keep a lot of music and video on my phone.
  6. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Don't spend the extra money if you can't/don't have to. The 5S is still a capable device, has a comparable camera, and has a 64 bit processor with comparable performance. Of course you should go with the 6 if you can, but I don't feel it's 100% necessary.
  7. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    The 5 will be an orphaned product within the 2-3 year time period mentioned by the OP. Apple now requires that all App Store submittals support 64-bit. It's only a matter of time before 32-bit app support starts to sunset as well. Developer support has already shifted away from iOS 6 in a big way (I know because I have an iPad 3 still on iOS 6 in which close to half the apps can no longer be updated). Personal preferences don't matter. Developers target where the users are. Anyone that wants to use new and up-to-date apps has to use a newer OS than iOS 6.

    Apple's darkest hour? Were you around in 1997? I would guess that teetering on the verge of bankruptcy is a darker hour than coming off the most profitable quarter in world history just prior to a major product line launch.
  8. Ke1ington macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2009
    I can't really gather where the hate for the new iPhone models stems from but after a short adjustment period in absolutely addicted to the new form factor. The curved glass screen is a joy to use, to say the least.

    The 5s is definitely a great device. Still very capable and keeps up with the 6 in most aspects but it all comes down to longevity (if screen size isn't a factor for you). The 6 will be supported longer and will have a better resale value if you decide to jump on the upgrade cycle.

    Apple Pay is a nice perk as well.
  9. violetpaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2014
    Thanks for the opinions everyone... I will have to do some thinking.

    Do you think there are likely to be any problems (i.e. a worn out battery or other defects) with buying a used iPhone on ebay?

    According to my estimates buying a used 5s and selling after 2 years would be cheaper than buying a new 6 and selling after 3 or even 4 years, in terms of the cost-per-year for me.

    So less cost and being able to upgrade sooner would be my main reasons for choosing the 5s, and the possibilities of a larger screen are my main reasons for the 6.
  10. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    If the cost doesn't mean you can't eat, I would definitely get a 6. App developers are focusing on the 6 now so apps won't be optimized for the 5 series any more. The camera is way better too. The processor is much faster and the phone will have much more longevity, probably actually saving you money in the long term. The next update (6S) will be incremental from the 6 most likely, and you won't feel driven to update your 6 till the 7 comes out. But by the time the 7 comes out your 5 will be so out of date you will always be thinking of upgrading.

    I used to have a 3GS, then went to android, then switched back for the 6 plus. I run it jailbroken on IOS8 and couldn't be happier.
  11. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    get a 5s bro.
    i got a 6 and although the large screen is nice, it's a novelty.
    and the downsides are real - it is more cumbersome to use especially when youre on the go a lot and its a lot harder to handle (more slippery).
    the 5s does everything the 6 can, minus touch id, which isnt available in my country yet anyway.
  12. imaccooper macrumors regular


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    I have a 5S and my wife has a 6. I have said to many people that I love everything about the 6 except the fact that it is just a little too big for my tastes. With that said, many people love the bigger screen and it sounded like you liked it but weren't really tied to it.

    As far as everything else performance wise, the 5s and the 6 are fairly equal in my experience. You have already mentioned it is cheaper for you to go with the 5s so I think that makes the most sense due to overall cost and it will definitely be a solid device for the 2 years you want to keep it.

    As for buying off eBay, it all depends on your seller. You may get lucky and find one that is "like new" or a refurb or something, at which point that is a good buy. I have never had a problem buying electronics off eBay, but some people have so i would just suggest being careful. Look through all the pictures and read every word of the description carefully (even ask questions if needed). If you get a well maintained 5s off eBay, you will have a good phone for 2 years at a pretty good price.
  13. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    With the large user base, I doubt that developers will abandon the smaller screen sizes for a long time. The primary division point right now is 64-bit support, and I don't see 32-bit support starting to shut down until about two years from now.

    As far as processor speed goes, I think you have it reversed. The performance increase between the 5s and the 6/6 Plus is about 25%. The major difference was in the power consumption, and most of that gain got absorbed by the larger screen sizes and higher resolutions.

    The transition between the 5 and 5s included a major microarchitectural revision (and move over to 64-bit), and close to a 100% gain in performance. Because the A8 chip used in the 6/6 Plus did not feature a major microarchitectural change other than the memory interface and a die shrink, it's very likely that the A9 will include a more substantial revision to the chip design in addition to another die shrink.

    If anything, because the 5s and 6/6 Plus have the same amount of RAM and relatively small performance differences (aside from the screen size and resolution), the two lines could end up with roughly the same longevity.
  14. wproct macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2014
    Had the same decision to make a couple of months ago and went with the 5s. I just liked the smaller size but being thicker, just had the heft of a solid built phone. Also, I just couldn't overcome the cost differential.
  15. rugmankc Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    If you are going to keep it for 2-3 years then get the 6. Yeah, the smaller phone would feel better having held a larger one. I thought that when in the Store demoing the 6 and 6+. But, in a couple weeks the 6+ felt normal and I "needed" the larger screen. The 6 will be better on web pages and reading articles, at least for me it was a great improvement.

    Make a prioritized list of what features are more important to you. Sometimes reading them as opposed to thinking about them helps. And, pros and cons.

    I went into the Store several times and played with both the 6 and 6+. Everytime the screen size was the biggest "plus" for me. The phone has been great, no issues. And, 10's of millions of users would agree--:apple::apple:
  16. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    If you buy off eBay be sure it's not password locked. A stupid acquaintance of mine bought one that was locked (i.e. Probably stolen) and couldn't use it.

    +1 for a 5s. I'm really hoping apple comes out with something smaller than the 6 by the time I need a new phone.
  17. Appl3FTW macrumors 603


    Nov 15, 2012
    This. I would recommend going for the latest model especially if you're selling it later. You could also get higher shelf life and future proof for the 6. Other than that the 5s is basically a 6 in a small form factor with the previous design. Both still very good phones.
  18. JAG21979 macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2015
    Central Florida
    This is a shot in the dark, but I saw a Groupon deal for a brand new Apple iPhone 4s for $199. Has Siri, premium build quality, and all the Apple goodness.
  19. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2011
  20. viorelgn macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2013
    As someone who never cared much for the iPhone 5/5S design (even though I owned both phones), I was very happy when I got my iPhone 6. Its so much nicer to hold without the sharp edges. As far as performance, I’d agree that the 6 isn’t a whole lot faster than the 5S, but I am getting better battery life, despite the larger screen.
  21. JAG21979 macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2015
    Central Florida
  22. nordique macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2014
    You can find a 5S 64GB much cheaper second hand, with apple care plus and use that to get a new phone if you prefer

    or even the ebay market for a sealed 5S is better than getting it from the apple store (CAD$ context)

    With 6, you get the latest phone, bigger screen, slightly faster, slightly better battery life, more comfortable
    With 5S you get a similar powered phone (not much slower than 6) with a smaller screen, slightly lighter to hold, for much cheaper.

    I had a 6, but I ended up selling it and getting a 5S with 400$ to spare and perfectly functioning phone. My vote would be for a 5S, but you really need to balance what you want with what you need. Keep in mind, the 6 is the current model and the "latest iPhone", whereas the 5S is now an older device and will only get older moving forward.
  23. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
  24. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    The 5s has Touch ID.
  25. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2010
    I haven't had a single problem with iOS 8 on my 6. I don't see any way in which the 5 series is "miles better".


    He no doubt meant Apple Pay since why would TouchID not be available in his country?

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