iPhone 5 Upgrade Comparison

iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S

Although I work in IT, I was never into my tech gadgets. Strange, I know. I’m the least techy IT guy I know. However, the iPhone 5 helped me figure out why. We all know about cutting edge and bleeding edge. I finally realized, I am frugal edge where the joy of using things for free or at a discount trumps everything else.

Work Perk

Throughout my career, the company I worked for covered my cell phone and monthly bill. While bleeding and cutting edgers salivated over the latest and greatest, I was happy as a clam with my “free” company sponsored cell phone or BlackBerry. My last company-sponsored phone is my current iPhone 3GS from two years ago.

Things Happen For A Reason?

My current job doesn’t cover employee cell phones so I’m literally left to my own devices. Even before the iPhone 5, I noticed my 3GS was grinding to a halt at times. Unshackled from my frugal past and because my current phone was becoming unusable, I looked to upgrade into an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5.

Tale Of The Tape

While breaking down the pros and cons fro all iPhones, nothing can beat Apple’s own breakdown found at iPhone 5 – Compare specifications between iPhone models.

My main variables were price, camera, and design.


With a two-year contract, an iPhone 5 will run you at least $199. It’s amazing that people shelled out $500 for the first iPhone back in 2007. Just like cars, the older models get a price reduction. The 4S drops to $99 and the 4 is free. However, you are still on the hook for fees and taxes.


The 4 has a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording while the 4S and 5 have a 8 megapixel camera and 1080p HD video recording. For comparison, my 3GS has a 3.2 megapixel camera.


While my 3GS has rounded edges, the 4 and 4S has a sleeker, modern block design. Jump to the 5 and you can feel a significant change in weight, thickness, and screen size. To be exact, 18% thinner, 20% lighter, and a 4 inch screen instead of a 3.5 inch one.

Final Thoughts

The old, ultra frugal Buck would have immediately jumped into a 4. It’s basically free, not bleeding or cutting edge, and right up the frugal edge alley. However, since I’ve been taking tons of pictures and videos of Baby Buck, getting a 4S or 5 is a no brainer. Scratch 4 off the list. The thinner and lighter case with a faster processor, does it equal to $100 (the price difference between a 4S and 5)? Probably, but the most critical intangible factor is a new mindset.

I want to turn a new leaf. Being frugal helps the bottom line, but if paying an extra $100 increases my productivity and saves times then isn’t it worth it? In this case, I decided to put my frugal side on hold and take a walk on the bleeding edge. “Siri, Where can Buck upgrade to an iPhone 5?” Finally, what will be priceless is the daily reminder to be excellent, innovative, and inspiring to my personal relationships, my career, and my blog ala Apple. Think Different, right?

What do you think about the iPhone 5?

Stay Inspired!

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10 Responses

  1. Well if you can afford an iPhone 5 then why not. Though 4s users can skip it unless they really want the larger display.

  2. krantcents says:

    I may be the last guy in the world who still uses a regular flip phone. I have no need for a smartphone.

  3. Michael Davis says:

    Let’s start with the chassis because, let’s face it, that’s the only distinct visible change to differentiate it from its two previous family members. Grasp the frame in your hand and the first thing you’ll notice is the weight; it’s the lightest iPhone ever.

  4. Not impressed by 5th iPhone at all. There are only minor updates what people waited for a year.

    It’s better to look on Android side and give a try to Samsung Galaxy III.
    As for blogger, it’s cool device. You can install WordPress for Android and write posts wherever I have a free time.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Good points about the Android and Samsung, since I’m making a leap from 3GS to 5, I think I’m going to stick to the familiar iOS. I have the WordPress app along with all the social media ones, too. Thanks!

  5. I can’t upgrade to the 5 until December but I’m excited about the extra screen real estate. The difference in the camera from the 4 to the 4S/5 is astounding; it’s basically cell phone photos vs. real photos. For me, though, the real selling point is the processor in the 5. I rely on my phone for SO many things related to my web design business, and there are times when seconds really do count.

    Some people don’t see the point in spending money on a phone and that’s fine. Obviously they don’t need the features so they shouldn’t pay for them. But for me, the flawless ecosystem of my iPhone, iPad, and Macs is what allows me to work and pay my bills. The money I pay for my Apple products is nothing compared to the money they allow me to make, so for me it’s totally worth it.

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