Are these phone models or class sections?”
That was the response of a person when confronted by the iPhone models available in the Indian market. And it certainly is a query that is being increasingly asked by Indian users who were used to having two iPhone models at most in the Indian market — the latest one, and its predecessor (an older one also was seen, mostly to add up numbers). However, this time, Apple has complicated matters a bit by adding two new iPhones, instead of the usual one, to the iPhone mix. So most users actually have three devices to choose from — two new ones, and a slightly older version. And this when we are not even getting into the discontinued-but-still-available iPhone 5 and the on-its-last-legs iPhone 4. So which iPhone suits you best? Well, here is our take on the three worthies.
iPhone 5s: The latestand greatest
Rs 53,500 onwards
The iPhone 5s is very much the jewel in Apple’s iPhone crown. And comes with a price to match. On first glance, it seems not too different from the iPhone 5, having the same anorexic proportions, weight, 4.0-inch retina display and very classy design, including a new gold colour. However, its real power lies in its innards. Lurking there is a processor with 64-bit architecture (in simple English — the type you used to get on desktops not too long ago), a much improved 8.0-megapixel camera, and also a dedicated processor for just monitoring movement. And if the home button looks different, it is because it also doubles up as a fingerprint identity sensor, allowing you to ensure that only your finger can unlock the device. Not all apps are optimised to make the most of the 64-bit architecture but those that do, like Infinity Blade 3 and iMovie, work brilliantly. The result is the best combination of style and substance that you can find in smartphone territory. Mind you, this godphone does come with a godly price tag.
Perfect for: Those who want a premium smartphone experience and are willing to pay for it. The fingerprint scanner also makes it a must-have for all those paranoid about data security.
iPhone 5c: For those craving colour
The iPhone 5c was for many the rabbit that Apple pulled out of its hat at the iPhone 5s launch. It is the first iPhone to come in multiple colours, including pink, yellow and green. Its tech spec sheet is very similar to the iPhone 5 (which it replaced), leading to some dismissing it as nothing more than an iPhone 5 with a plastic casing. The fact, however, is that the iPhone 5c is surprisingly solid to hold and is perhaps the most eye-catching iPhone that we have seen since the iPhone 4 was released. And well, the spec sheet of the iPhone 5 is not something to be ashamed of, with a lovely 4.0-inch retina display, dual core processor and a very handy 8.0-megapixel camera (which we think is actually better than the one on the iPhone 5). There’s actually very little between the iPhone 5s and the 5c in terms of performance when it comes to routine tasks like Web browsing, mail and social networking and the phone even handles most hefty processing tasks like high-definition gaming and video editing very well. And its battery life is the best we have seen on a new iPhone for a while.
Perfect for: Those who are fed up of the standard white, black and silver patterns of earlier iPhones and still want a relatively muscular iOS device, without coughing up the kind of bucks needed for an iPhone 5s.
iPhone 4s: The doughty veteran
Rs 31,500 onwards
Generally, a two-year-old iPhone would have been considered to be en route to extinction, but the iPhone 4S continues to go strong. Although it sports a smaller display than the 5s and 5c, it still packs in a very good 8.0-megapixel camera which some feel is actually better than the one seen on the iPhone 5, Siri (the voice controlled assistant), and a dual core processor that is capable of handling most tasks and apps available for the iPhone 5s, if not quite as smoothly. And its looks certainly belie its age — it remains sleek, light and will fit into the palm without a hitch. Round that off with a starting price tag of R31,500, and what you have is a very solid iOS experience at a less than wallet-busting price.
Perfect for: Those who want an iPhone experience on a relatively tight budget and are not too much into high-definition gaming or heavy duty processor oriented work (read video editing and the like)