iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 Review, Features And More

Posted On 13 Mar 2019
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iphone 5s vs iphone 6

If you are looking to buy a new iPhone right now, you have some awesome options to choose from. From the state-of-the-art iPhone X to the small-but-resourceful iPhone SE, the current iPhones on the market offer a wide range of functionalities at different price points.

So which is the best budget-friendly iPhone to buy? When you look at the prices, screen sizes, and storage options – the iPhone 5 and 6 series are still strong contenders today. Even though a lot has changed since their release, these iPhones are still very reliable.

If you are undecided between the two, here is a comprehensive guide that compares two affordable iPhones – iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 is bigger and looks quite different from the iPhone 5s – both the internal and external features are different. Even though iPhone 6 is more powerful, the iPhone 5s is available at a fraction of the price of its 6 series counterpart.

But before going through the detailed review, here is a quick side-by-side comparison of their specifications and features:


iPhone 5s

iPhone 6

Launch Date




Operating System


Display Screen Size

Rear Camera

Front Camera


Fingerprint Sensor

SIM Slots



Audio Jack

FM Radio



November 2013

Dual Core 

16GB, 32GB, 64GB


iOS v7

4.87” x 2.31” x 0.30”

4 inches



1560 mAh


Single, Nano SIM

4G, 3G, 2G


Yes, 3.5 mm


 Silver, Grey, Gold


October 2014

Dual Core

16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB


iOS v8

5.44” x 2.64” x 0.27”

4.7 inches



1810 mAh


Single, Nano SIM

4G, 3G, 2G


Yes, 3.5 mm


Silver, Grey, Gold, Rose Gold


A Comprehensive iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6 Review

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone​​​​ 6: Design

iphone 5s and iphone 6

Compared to its predecessors, the iPhone 6 is a big phone. It measures 5.44” x 2.64” x 0.27” (138.1mm x 67mm x 6.9mm) and weighs 4.55 oz (129grams). The iPhone 5s, on other hand, measures 4.87” x 2.31” x 0.30” (123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm) and weighs 3.95 oz (112grams). This makes the iPhone 6 heavier and 0.5mm thinner than the 5s – an impressive feat considering that it has a 4.7” screen, compared to 5s’ 4” screen.

When it comes to the feel and usability, iPhone 6 is a one-handed phone that fits seamlessly in your front pocket or bag. The phone strikes the perfect balance between usability and physical size. So don’t hold off buying the iPhone 6 just because you don’t want a device that’s too big to carry around.

In fact, most iPhone 6 users say that the iPhone 5s feels tiny.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Materials and Construction

iPhone battery

iPhone 5s was one of the sleekest devices of 2013. However, this changed when Apple released a more modern-looking model in 2014 – the iPhone 6. The newer model comes with an anodized aluminum rear, a stainless steel apple logo, and a curved front glass that slickly swoops down the metal casing. The curved edges are comfortable to hold and grip.

iPhone 5s also has an anodized aluminum cover but with diamond-cut chamfered edges. Its tough metal body looks great even after years of use and feels fantastic to hold. Its squarer edges might not be as sleek as those of the iPhone 6, but they suit a phone of its size.

Both of these Apple handsets are made from high-quality products and are well-designed for their respective sizes. In this regard, buying the iPhone 6 certainly does not give you a better-made product – it all comes down to your personal preferences.

While iPhone 5s is small and easily portable, iPhone 6 does not lose out by being bigger – it strikes the perfect balance between usability and size.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Features and Functionality

iPhone black

The iPhone 5s was the first iPhone to have an inbuilt fingerprint scanner in the form of a Touch ID sensor, so it was only right for the iPhone 6 to follow suit. However, the Touch ID is slightly improved and faster on the iPhone 6. With the iPhone 5s, the fingerprint scanner is not easily recognized especially after washing your hands.

This sensor allows you to unlock your phone and make payments on iTunes using your fingerprint in less than a second. You can also authorize payments via Apple Pay using this method.

The iPhone 6 goes further to have in-built Near Field Communications (NFC) and Secure Element (SE) chips installed that allow you to make “contactless” or “tap and go” payments. With the iPhone 5s, you will need an Apple Watch to complete these transactions (it doesn’t have NFC and SE chips).

The iPhone 6 is equipped with a 64-bit A8 processor that is more efficient and faster, resulting in longer battery life. Additionally, it has an M8 co-processor that upgrades its ability to collect sensors so that you have no problem with the influx of sporting apps.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 5s’ A7 processor is still efficient and capable of running a wide range of apps and games from the store. While the iPhone 6 is faster, it isn’t visibly different from the 5s.

Graphics performance on the iPhone 6 is also better, scoring 17506 on 3D Mark’s Ice Storm Unlimited Test, compared to iPhone 5s’ 14,506.

As you would expect from a modern Apple handset, Siri comes as a standard feature. Apart from using both phones hands-free, Siri’s voice recognition feature allows users to send messages, identify songs, and set reminders.

Both phones have accelerometers that keep track of the number of steps you take per day. However, iPhone 6 can tell the difference between running and cycling, and shows more accurate results in Apple’s iOS Health app. The iPhone 6 also comes with a barometer to take account of the elevation while exercising.

Nonetheless, for even more accurate results, a dedicated fitness tracker will be more accurate than either phone.

Both iPhones are compatible with the Apple Smartwatch and they all come in beautiful finishes of Silver, Grey, and Gold. The iPhone 6, however, also comes in Rose Gold.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Camera

iPhone Camera

The iPhone 6’s camera is certainly an improvement of the iPhone 5s’ – though not vastly.

Both cameras have a focal length of 29mm, dual LED Flash, 8MP back camera, 1.2MP front camera, f2.2 aperture size, 1.5 µm pixels, face detection, digital stabilization, and enhanced low-light photography.

When you set the camera to camcorder mode, the iPhone 6 has increased frames per second of 240fps and can record videos in slow motion.

On the other hand, the iPhone 5s has 120fps. While it’s a good camera, it isn’t what most photo enthusiasts are expecting. However, it’s perfect for capturing low-light images and can be set to slow-motion and burst modes.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Battery

hand holding iPhone Battery

The iPhone 5s comes with a 1560mAh battery that can last up to 10 hours of talk-time, more than 14 hours on continuous video playback, and up to 250 hours on standby.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, has a larger battery capacity of 1810mAh that can last up to 14 hours of talk-time, more than 12 hours of continuous video playback, and up to 250 hours on standby.

Generally, both iPhones have reliable battery capacities for day-to-day use. However, with a more powerful processor and better graphics, the iPhone 6 tends to consume more energy quicker than the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Storage

The iPhone 5s is available in 64GB, 32GB, and 16GB. These models do not support micro-SD cards for extra storage.

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The iPhone 6, on the other hand, is available in 128GB, 64GB, 32GB, and 16GB models. Just like the iPhone 5s, these models do not support micro-SD cards for extra storage.

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iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Display

3 iPhone

The iPhone 6 has a large 4.7” screen. Whether your hands are big or small, it is easy to reach all parts of the display screen.

This model was the first to have the Apple’s reachability feature, which is activated by tapping the Touch ID button. This feature makes the whole screen slide down to the lower half of the display screen.

The Phone 5s has a smaller 4” screen and it’s efficient for one-handed control.

When it comes to the screen resolution, the iPhone 5s has 1136x640 resolution, while the iPhone 6 has a 1334x740 resolution. Even though the numbers may show some difference, the clarity and sharpness of both phones are nearly the same since both displays have the same pixel density of 326ppi.

Apple utilized the extra resolution on iPhone 6 to offer users a wider keyboard with extra buttons and a home screen that fits an extra row of icons.

With extra space and a larger screen, apps are faster, photos look better, and pages are easier to navigate. The iPhone 6 manages to strike the perfect balance between physical size and screen display. The iPhone 5s feels a little bit cramped in comparison.

Apple used IPS LCD technology for both the iPhone 6 and 5s screen displays. Unlike LCD screens, IPS produces better viewing angles and more accurate colors.

The iPhone 6’s screen has a contrast ratio of 1456:1 and brightness of 543cd/m2, while the iPhone 5s has a contrast ratio of 972:1 and brightness of 502cd/m2. Both of these phones offer great brightness for light and dark parts of an image or video.

Side-by-side, the iPhone 6 resolution is better – there’s no contest. It comes with a dual-domain pixel structure that enhances the viewing angles of images. This means that the subpixels in the display are slightly skewed making the screen look the same from all angles. While most of the viewing angles of the iPhone 5s are great, at some angles the screen appears slightly tinted.

Apart from the size and resolution, there is not a lot of difference between the two phones when it comes to the display.

Common Problems with iPhone 5s and iPhone 6

Phone on hand

As with any cutting-edge tech, the iPhone 5s and 6 have their fair share of problems. Here are some of the common issues raised by users of these phones.

Common Issues of iPhone 6

  • The screen can easily get scratched.
  • Occasionally, the camera can fail to focus.
  • Impulsive phone reboots.
  • Inconsistent backlighting.
  • There have been numerous complaints about a gap between the aluminum casing and screen in which dirt and hair get caught and ripped out.
  • Persistent messages to sign into iCloud, which is followed by the inability to do so.
  • Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) problem where the phone shows a dreaded blue screen that doesn’t disappear.

Common Issues of iPhone 5s

  • Clattering and noisy Power and Home button.
  • Some users complain that the microphone does not pick up voice clearly.
  • The Touch ID sensor sometimes does not work properly or fails to work.
  • Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) problem where the phone shows a dreaded blue screen that doesn’t disappear.
  • Early battery discharge and overheating.
  • Easily scratched body.
  • Purple glare on images and light leakages.
  • Easily runs out of space, especially if you are using the iPhone 5s 16GB model.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6: Which Phone is Better?

Iphone 6s on Rack

Overall, the iPhone 5s and 6 are both brilliant Apple handsets. Since you have narrowed down to these two specific phones, you are most probably looking for a good phone at a budget-friendly price. So, is the iPhone 5s as good as the iPhone 6?

If you are worried about camera and speed capabilities, the iPhone 5s should serve you well. However, it does not have a big screen size, sleek design, and NFC features. Moreover, the iPhone 5s does not come in 128GB and 64GB models. So if 64GB is not enough storage for you, then the iPhone 6 will be a better choice.

All in all, it all comes down to your personal taste. If you do not mind the small size, iPhone 5s is really a great choice. So, which one will you go for?


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