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iPhone buying guide: Should I buy an iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, or wait for iPhone 7?

Karen Haslam | May 28, 2015
Should you buy the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, buy one of the older iPhones, wait for the iPhone 7 or keep the one you have? Here's our buying advice for prospective iPhone buyers.

iPhone buying guide: iPhone 6

Who is the iPhone 6 best for? Similar to the iPhone 6 Plus: those who would like a bigger screen (for games and films in particular, but also work apps and a generally more immersive experience) but want a more portable device. The iPhone 6 is easier to slip into a pocket (and easier to use one-handed) than the iPhone 6 Plus. It's also a bit more affordable.

If you've got an iPhone 6... Again, you're unlikely to be considering an upgrade, unless this taste of a larger screen has whetted your appetite for the even bigger iPhone 6 Plus. (And if you afford to buy an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus in the space of a couple of months, any chance you could lend me a tenner?) Your next upgrade could be next year — Apple may release a new big-screen iPhone as part of the iPhone 7 series — but many iPhone owners upgrade every other year. It might make sense to hold on to the iPhone 6 until 2016.

iPhone 5s

This is the iPhone Apple introduced in September 2013. It's available in gold, silver or grey and has a Touch ID button allowing fingerprint scanning for security, rather than the older style home button with a square in the middle. The Touch ID button is the most obvious difference. It uses a Nano-SIM. Apple is now only selling only the 16GB and 32GB models. Read our iPhone 5s review. and our iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6 comparison review.

If you've got an iPhone 5s... The main question is this: should you upgrade to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus?

Apple's iPhone evolution usually allows owners to skip a generation without too much worry, but the new bigger screen on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be a big temptation for many iPhone 5s owners. The big question will be whether to go for the iPhone 6, with its 4.7in screen, or the iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5in screen.

If you really don't feel the need for a bigger screen then there is no harm in skipping a generation. Apple may one day update the iPhone 5s with a faster processor and other features, but keep the same screen size.

If you decide to upgrade your phone you could sell your current iPhone 5s and get a reasonable price for it, which will no doubt help with the cost of the new iPhone.

New features offered by the iPhone 6 Plus that aren't in the iPhone 5s:

  • Retina HD display
  • 5.5-inch display (compared to 4-inch)
  • 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution at 401ppi (compared to 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi)
  • 1300:1 contrast ratio (compared to 800:1 contrast ratio)
  • Dual-domain pixels for wider viewing angles
  • Display Zoom
  • Reachability
  • A8 & M8 chips (compared to A7 & M7)
  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Improved face detection
  • Panorama, up to 43 megapixels
  • 1080p HD video recording, 30 fps or 60 fps (was 30 fps)
  • Slo-mo video, 120 fps or 240 fps (was 120 fps)
  • Cinematic video stabilization
  • Continuous autofocus video
  • Improved face detection on both cameras
  • ’/2.2 aperture for FaceTime camera (compared to ’/2.4 aperture)
  • Auto HDR for photos and videos on FaceTime camera (previously Auto HDR only)
  • Burst mode on FaceTime camera
  • Pay with your iPhone using Touch ID in stores and in apps
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • FaceTime over cellular uses H.264/H.265
  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE)3
  • Up to 24 hours talk time on 3G (was 10)
  • Up to 16 days/384 hours standby time (was 10 days, 250 hours)
  • Up to 12 hours internet on 3G, up to 12 hours on LTE, and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi (was 8 , 10 and 11)
  • Up to 14 hours video playback (was 10)
  • Up to 80 hours audio playback (was 40)
  • Barometer

 

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