I'm an iPhone user who writes about technology for a living, but not often gadgets. That means I don't care about how fast the new iPhone runs, what operating system it's using, or the name of its processor.
I care about aesthetics, price, and some of the features, but only if they're really cool.
So, fellow normals, here are the only things you need to know about the new iPhones Apple just announced.
Eh, I guess I should know the names of these phones. What are they again?
The iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5s.
Think "C" as in color, because those are the plastic phones that come in the really bright pastels.
Think "S" as in swanky or sophisticated, because those are the beautiful, more expensive metal devices. (If you ask Apple, the "S" stands for "speed" because the iPhone 5S has a zippy new processor that's about twice as fast as the iPhone 5.)
How much am I going to have to spend on these phones?
The iPhone 5c is the cheaper option, but it's still kind of pricey. If you want less storage space (16GB) and will commit to a two-year contract from your wireless carrier, you'll pay $99. If you want more storage space (32 GB) and a two-year contract, you'll pay $199.
The iPhone 5s costs $199 for 16GB storage, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB with a two-year contract.
What colors are the new iPhones?
The iPhone 5c comes in green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. There are a lot of fun-colored cases for the iPhone 5c too. The cases cost $29.
The iPhone 5s comes in gold and white, black and space gray, or silver and white.
What's this gold phone I keep hearing about? Is it tacky or cool?
That's the iPhone 5s and it's surprisingly beautiful. Most of the phone is white. Only the back and home button rim are a shimmering gold. It's elegant.
How big is the new iPhone? Did Apple finally make a phone with a giant screen?
The new iPhones have a 4-inch screen. That's the same size as the iPhone 5 screen that was introduced last year. (iPhones used to have 3.5-inch screens.) They're definitely not phablets, which are phones with screens so large that they're almost tablets.
The iPhone 5c looks like the iPhone 5, but it's just a little thicker and heavier. It's a tad longer than the iPhone 5 at 125 mm.
The iPhone 5S is the same thickness and weight as the iPhone 5.
What features are noticeably different in the iPhone 5S and 5C?
Aside from the color, when you turn on the phone you'll notice a few changes. That's because the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C use a new operating system, iOS 7. iOS 7 has a brand new design. All the basic apps like Messages, Mail, Weather, and Calendar will have a new look.
The iOS 7 font is a lot thinner than it was before. If you want to get nitty gritty, the new font is "Helvetica Neue." It looks like this:
Siri is smarter now on both devices. It has access to your photos, Twitter search, and Wikipedia pages.
If you're on the iPhone 5S, you'll also notice improved camera features and a fingerprint sensor that can be used to unlock your phone.
The iPhone 5S also has a better camera.
The camera has image stabilization so you don't accidentally take blurry photos. It can take four quick photos at once and merge them together for one perfect photo. The camera also takes better low-light shots thanks to a new type of flash with two LED lights.
The iPhone 5S also allows you to take slow motion videos and edit parts of videos to play in slow motion.
Tell me more about the fingerprint sensor.
The fingerprint sensor is called Touch ID. It is only available on the iPhone 5S. It is located on the home button and it makes the phone harder to hack than passwords.
Touch ID recognizes three types of finger prints: the arch, loop and whorl. To set up the sensor, you'll scan your fingerprint a few times. Apple will then store it securely.
Here's what those fingerprint types look like:
The fingerprint sensor means you'll stop typing in a password every time you want to buy something on iTunes or download a new app. It also means you won't have to lock your phone with a type-in password. Your finger is the key.
Ok, so when can I buy these new phones?
You'll be able to pre-order the iPhone 5C online on September 13 either directly from Apple or from your wireless carrier. Both phones will be available for purchase on September 20 in multiple countries, including the United States.
Are the new iPhones worth the upgrade? Which one should I get?
If your carrier says you're due for a phone upgrade, then yes. You should buy either the iPhone 5C or iPhone 5S.
But which one?
It depends on which features matter most to you. If you don't care about having a slightly heavier phone, the iPhone 5C is a good bet. If you want to look ultra stylish, get a better camera, and not type in passwords, it might be worth splurging on the 5S.
If you have an iPhone 5, you're probably okay waiting another year to upgrade. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you should definitely consider buying either the iPhone 5S or 5C.