iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5: 5 Things Buyers Need to Know

Those tasked with trying to decide between keeping the iPhone 5 or buying an iPhone 6 to replace it are in for a pretty tough decision. While we can’t make that decision for you, we can provide you with details that could help to make you come to a quicker, better decision. This here iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5 comparison addresses the most important differences that buyers need to know.

Two years ago, the iPhone 5 was one of the best smartphones money could buy. The revamped iPhone 5 delivered a brand new industrial design, a larger 4-inch display, a brand new camera, new processor, more carriers, iOS 6, the new Lightning dock standard, and 4G LTE data speeds in an effort to better compete against top Android smartphones.


It’s hard to recommend the iPhone 5 now, especially with the iPhone 5s down to $99 or less on-contract, though we imagine most people aren’t weighing the iPhone 5 against this year’s iPhone. No, a vast majority of people comparing the two are most likely current iPhone 5 owners looking to make the switch after two years with Apple’s aging former flagship. As we’ve pointed out, it’s not going to be an easy decision.

Thanks to its hardware and its updated software that’s soon to include Apple’s iOS 8 update, the iPhone 5 is still a solid smartphone. In other words, many users don’t need to rush into an upgrade. We can’t blame you if you’re at least taking a peek at the iPhone 6 though.

Last week, Apple debuted its new iPhone 6. The new iPhone 6 comes in two different sizes with two different names. The smaller of the two is called iPhone 6 while the other is called iPhone 6 Plus. Both come with some significant upgrades including high-powered hardware, updated iOS 8 software and a brand new look. They’re tempting, to say the least.


We can’t tell you what to do but we can push you in the right direction and here, we want to do exactly that. Here, we take a look at the five most important things buyers need to know about the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5.


iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5 Size

The iPhone 5 design was a huge step up from the glass and plastic found on the iPhone 4s. Instead of those materials, Apple infused metal with glass to create an industrial design that put competitors to shame. With the iPhone 6, Apple ditched the glass and has shifted to a pure metal design that looks a whole lot different than the iPhone 5’s.

iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus.

This year’s iPhone sports a new design in addition to a larger design that accommodates the increase in screen size. Apple’s iPhone 6 is large but the iPhone 6 Plus is actually much larger. Here’s how it compares.

  • iPhone 6 Plus – 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm – 172 grams
  • iPhone 6 – 138.2 x 67.1 x 6.9mm – 129 grams
  • iPhone 5 – 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm – 112 grams

Both devices are larger than the iPhone 5 though they are both thinner than Apple’s iPhone from two years ago. The iPhone 5 is, however, lighter than both of Apple’s new models.


iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5 Display

When you start to compare the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5 screen size and specs there are some very distinct differences that upgraders need to be aware of. The iPhone 5 display is much smaller than the displays found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It also does not come with the same high resolution Retina HD display that Apple’s tacked onto the new iPhones.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • iPhone 6 – 4.7-inch 1,334 x 750 – 326 pixels per inch
  • iPhone 6 Plus – 5.5-inch 1,920 x 1080  – 401 pixels per inch
  • iPhone 5 – 4-inch 1,136 x 640 – 326 pixels per inch

Essentially you’re looking at a bigger displays that deliver better looking images and video thanks to advancements in screen technology and a higher resolution. Keep the trade off in mind though. The larger displays mean that the overall size of these phones is going to be bigger, something that makes them a little harder to use with one hand.

iPhone 5

To better accommodate those making the switch, Apple added a one-handed mode called Reachability that allows you to slide the top of the display down to reach the upper edge.


iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5 Specs

Not every iPhone 5 owner wants to compare specs of an older phone to the specs of a newer phone, but if you do, the iPhone 6 is a clear winner. Apple adds faster WiFi, a new 64 bit processor that unlocks better performance and gaming and more. All of these features should make an upgrade look pretty tempting in the days ahead.

iPhone 6 Specs

  • Apple A8 64-bit Processor
  • iOS 8
  • 4.7-inch display / 5.5-inch display
  • 16GB / 64GB / 128GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera (iPhone 6 Plus comes with Optical Image Stabilization)
  • 2,915 mAh (iPhone 6 Plus) / 1,800 mAh battery (iPhone 6)
  • 4G LTE
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
  • NFC

iPhone 5 Specs

  • Apple A6 Processor
  • iOS 7.1 (will get iOS 8)
  • 4-inch display
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,440 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a,b,g,n,n WiFi
  • 4G LTE

The iPhone 5’s specs are trumped by the specs found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 5 still sports some solid specifications but the A8 processor and the larger battery sizes should help the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to deliver better all-around performance.

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5 Features

Apple’s new iPhone always comes with a ton of new features and Apple’s new iPhones both offer some likeable new features that might make the upgrade worth it to many iPhone 5 users.

iPhone 6 Colors - Advice


When you upgrade to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll get a much better camera, faster internet and now the option to make payments using Apple Pay by tapping the iPhone to a credit card reader.

  • Camera – The new iPhone 6 includes an 8MP camera with a better sensor that will take better photos than the iPhone 5. The iPhone 6 Plus features Optical Image Stabilization that minimizes shakiness for better quality photos and video.
  • Apple Pay – NFC in the iPhone 6 will allow you to pay for things with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. This does not come with the iPhone 5.
  • Storage – The Phone 6 is available with up to 128GB of storage and 64GB is now $100 cheaper.
  • Touch ID – The fingerprint sensor inside the home button provides added security and convenience.
  • ColorsThe iPhone 6 comes in gold, white and gray.

One thing that we should also point out is that the iPhone 5 will be compatible with the Apple Watch that’s coming to shelves in early 2015. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be compatible as well.

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5 Software & Updates

iOS 8 represents the iPhone 5’s second major iOS update. Apple typically outfits iPhones for three years before casting them off to the side. This means that the iPhone 5 should get next year’s iOS 9 update before Apple kills support. This is something that’s going to make the upgrade to the iPhone 6 especially tough for iPhone 5 users.

On the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, support is just starting.What this means is that you can expect three or more years of support for new software updates. It also means that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will likely get better versions of upcoming iOS updates. Apple will often strip out features in an effort to improve performance on older devices.

In other words, the upcoming iOS 9 updates for this trio of devices may not be created equal.