With iPhone 5 now available in 2 different colors (white and black) and 3 different prices ($199, $299 and $399), you already have a lot to wonder which is the best iPhone to buy? iPhone 4S is now available for $99 and iPhone 4 is now available for free when you buy a 2 year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. iPhone 3GS joins the rank of previous iPhone models, which have been discontinued by Apple.
There are several aspects to consider when purchasing a new iPhone. The iPhone you’ll buy depends on your carrier preference, storage requirements, and most importantly, how much you’re willing to spend.
We’ve evaluated all these options and put all the iPhones to test and figure out which is the best iPhone 5 to buy. There’s one clear winner, and that’s the 16GB Verizon iPhone 5 in Black. Here’s why:
Which is the Best iPhone 5 to Buy?
With iPhone 5 taking a big leap in terms of technology, it does make sense to buy iPhone 5 instead of iPhone 4S or iPhone 4. Let’s have a look at the remaining features, which are crucial in making the determination on which is the best iPhone to buy.
1. Best Carrier for iPhone 5
Introduction of ultrafast LTE networking in the iPhone 5, choosing the right carrier is more important than ever. The three major iPhone carriers in the U.S. are AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. There are pros and cons to buying the iPhone 5 on each network, so it all depends on what’s more important to you.
Unlimited data plan – AT&T will allow unlimited data subscribers to keep their existing plans when upgrading to iPhone 5, while Verizon will not. You also have the option to move to traditional plan or Mobile Share plan on AT&T or Share Everything plan for Verizon instead of continuing with the unlimited data plan.
Facetime – AT&T won’t allow Facetime over cellular network in iOS6, while Verizon will allow Facetime over 3g network. However, Verizon is placing no restrictions on Facetime over 3G network.
Pricing – Sprint continues to be different than AT&T as well as Verizon. Sprint is offering truly unlimited 4G data (no throttling like AT&T and Verizon), voice, and text for just $80 per month. A similar plan from Verizon will get you hardly 1GB of data for the same price. When it comes to pure pricing, Sprint is clearly the winner — offering you much more than what AT&T and Verizon offer for the same price. AT&T is more financially attractive for grandfathered unlimited data subscribers who are still paying $30 per month.
Apple has a great comparison of the plans offered by AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint on its website.
LTE Coverage – Sprint falls short when it comes to LTE coverage as compared to AT&T and Verizon in most places. AT&T is generally considered to have faster 4G LTE speeds in most parts of the country, while Verizon usually has more consistent coverage. Verizon tends to do better in highly populated areas as well. Verizon was way ahead of AT&T in terms of LTE deployment, but AT&T is catching up and the two will likely be at par in a couple of years.
Click here to find the coverage in your area. Overall, it looks like Verizon is the better choice for LTE right now.
Another thing to consider is that the iPhone 5 is not a ‘world phone’ like the iPhone 4S. Separate GSM and CDMA version of the iPhone 5 are being sold this time around. You won’t be able to take an iPhone 5 you buy on AT&T and use it on Verizon or Sprint like with the 4S.
2. Best Storage for iPhone 5
iPhone 5 is available in 3 different storage capacities: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. If you can manage you iTunes account properly in conjunction with Cloud services – 16GB is good enough for a decent amount of apps, pictures, video, and music.
3. Best Color for iPhone 5
Instead of “black” and “white,” Apple is calling the iPhone 5’s two color options “black & slate” and “white & sliver.” Choosing a color is purely an aesthetic and personal choice, but the black & slate iPhone 5 will probably look better with most accessories and cases.
The 16GB Verizon iPhone 5 in Black is Survival Guide’s recommended iPhone 5 to buy.