iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s – How They’re Different (Design & Specs)

It’s time for the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s! The iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s are two pretty significant phones in Apple’s iPhone history. Why? Because the former was the first handset in a new generation and the latter was the last TRUE 4in iPhone ever released…

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s – The Major Differences Compared

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How Does The iPhone 6s Differ From iPhone 5s?


iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s: Design

  • iPhone 5s – The iPhone 5s features a 4in 720p display is follows Apple’s “classic” iPhone design language – the one it used on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5. It’s small, compact, and very lightweight. Ideal for anyone that doesn’t want a large phone.
  • iPhone 6 – The iPhone 6 features a radically different design to the iPhone 5s. It was the first iPhone to break Apple’s “small screen” era, packing in a 4.7in 730p LCD panel. The corners are more rounded and the overall look and feel of the iPhone 6 is more forward-looking than the iPhone 5s. It’s still a relatively compact, small device, however – especially by 2019 standards.

Winner? iPhone 6 – The 4.7in display is gigantic compared to the iPhone 5.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s: Main Specs

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  • iPhone 5s – The iPhone 5s carries Apple’s A7 processor and 1GB of RAM. At the time of launch, this was more than enough. Nowadays, the iPhone 5s is starting to show its age. The A7 is a 64-bit CPU, but it does lack the punch of the iPhone 6’s A8, which is a far more advanced processor. The iPhone 5s isn’t helped by its rather paltry 1GB of RAM either…
  • iPhone 6 – The iPhone 6 runs Apple’s A8 CPU and 2GB of RAM and this means it is still functional in 2019. It won’t hold a candle to newer models like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but it is still very much fit for purpose if you’re looking for a mega bargain.

Winner? iPhone 6 – The A8 is much faster than the A7.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s: Camera

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  • iPhone 5s – For its age, the iPhone 5s camera capabilities are fairly impressive. You can still capture relatively decent-looking shots with it, just don’t go expecting anything near what modern iPhones can do. It lacks OIS, dual-lens, and pretty much everything else we now take for granted. Back in 2013, it was a decent camera setup. In 2019, well… it’s not going to win any competitions.
  • iPhone 6 – On paper, the iPhone 6’s camera looks remarkably similar to the one aboard the iPhone 5s – both use an 8-megapixel 1/3-inch sensor with a 1.5µm pixel size. However, Apple has made some improvements on the iPhone 6, adding in Focus Pixels which improves the speed and accuracy of its focus, as well as the quality of the images captured. Again, it’s not great by 2019 standards, but it is still better than the iPhone 5s’.

Winner? iPhone 6 – Software enhancements give the iPhone 6’s camera a boost.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s: Performance


  • iPhone 5s – When the iPhone 5s launched in 2013, it was one of the fastest, most potent smartphones on the market. It was also the first phone to use a 64-bit chipset. In 2019, things aren’t quite as rosy. You only have 1GB of RAM to play with and Apple’s A7 CPU is now showing its age. For basic stuff, it’ll be OK. Anything more advanced, though, and you’re going to be left wanting…
  • iPhone 6 – It’s a similar story for the iPhone 6, which packs a slightly more powerful processor than the iPhone 5s. Here, you have a 64-bit 1.4GHz CPU paired with 2GB of RAM. Performance is better than the iPhone 5s, for obvious reasons, but it is still probably not match-ready for normal-to-advanced usage in 2019’s market.

Winner? iPhone 6 – It’s got double the RAM.

Should You Buy iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s In 2021?

Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, released in 2013 and 2014, respectively, are now getting a tad long in the tooth. Things have progressed quite a bit since 2013/14 in the phone space – both with respect to performance and imaging. These phones are still available to buy and are now both very cheap. However, I would advise against buying them.


They’re just too old. Almost 7 years – in the case of the iPhone 5s – is a LONG time in the mobile space. And while both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s are now very cheap to buy, this is for a good reason – they’re both under-specced and their respective cameras aren’t great. For this reason, I’d avoid buying either of these handsets.

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Instead, you’re 100% better off going with a newer, more modern iPhone – something like the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus. Both of these iPhones are still great handsets, pack in plenty of performance, and feature great cameras. They’re basically future-proofed for another few years, whereas the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 have now reached the end of their lifecycles.

I mean, just look at the options for the iPhone 8 you have right now:

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And if that wasn’t good enough, you also have two options in this series of iPhones – the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. And as you can see below, save for camera and battery size, there’s not much to separate them.

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Bottom line? The iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 are too old to recommend in 2021. Instead, you’re better off going with the iPhone 8 – or, if you want something even newer, get a

refurbished iPhone X or iPhone XR.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin is a leading UK technology journalist with a focus on consumer tech trends and data security. Renowned for his insightful analysis, Richard has contributed to Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, and CNBC, making complex tech issues accessible to a broad audience.

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