The iPhone 5 and its black and white casings are long (as of Tuesday morning) gone. In its wake is the iPhone 5S, available in a trio of metallic shades - slate, gold, and "space gray" - is ready to have you agonizing the age-old tech question: should you hand Apple your next paycheck for an upgrade to the latest and greatest?
If you never moved up to the iPhone 5, there's still hope - you may not have to stand in an Apple Store line after all. With iOS 7 launching Sept. 18, though, the iPhone 4S, still in Apple's good graces and free under contract with a mobile provider, could be the phone you wanted after all - plus it's still compatible with all your 30-pin dock accessories.
The defining features of the iPhone 5S are, arguably, its fast new 64-bit A7 processor, fingerprint recognition, and cool, though not life-changing, camera add-ons including a dual flash to avoid harsh lighting as well as slo-mo video capabilities. If looking for the 2013 Apple experience, it's iOS 7 you seek.
Available Sept. 18 for iPhone 4 and up, the iOS 7 mobile software will have your phone feeling like a brand-new golden device, even if it's still stuck in a glossy white time warp. The camera app will have built-in filters and a square camera mode perfect for Instagram. A new Notification Center offers the day's agenda all at once as well as the weather and traffic all from the lock screen. Siri ups its brain power with a new male voice option and the ability to search Twitter and Wikipedia.
If you don't want to break the bank, and you don't need a faster processor for gaming marathons, an iPhone 4S with contract is the dirt cheap free option. It may not be a glittering gold 5S, but iOS 7 will have you on a nearly level playing field as those gilded devices.