Bluetooth 5 vs. Bluetooth 4: The 7 differences between the two versions

bluetooth 4

Just because they do almost the same things, these two different versions of Bluetooth have their own features and differences that may work for one device and not the other. Bluetooth 4 may be an old version but still works great with devices that are still in use while Bluetooth 5 works great with the newest devices to be made in 2017.

Put side by side to compare their features and Bluetooth 5 being relatively new, here are 7 comparisons to help you decide what works best for your device.

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Speed

Bluetooth 5 is faster than Bluetooth 4 with the former having 2Mbps, twice the speed of the Bluetooth 4 of about 1Mbps making the Bluetooth 5 able to meet one of IoT requirements. This is thanks to the 5Mbps bandwidth of the Bluetooth 5 in comparison to 2.1Mbps of the Bluetooth 4.

Range

Bluetooth 4 supports 50m in outdoor range and 10m in indoor range making it so low whilst Bluetooth 5 supports 200m in Line Of Sight path in outdoor environment and 40m in indoor environment. Therefore if you want to listen to your music with you wireless headsets while moving around the house or the courtyard, then the Bluetooth 5 will work best.

Power requirement

The Bluetooth 5 has been formulated to use less power on your device compared to the Bluetooth 4. That means you can keep your Bluetooth switched on for a longer period of time and do much more compared to Bluetooth 4 which consumes more power than its newer counterpart.

Message capacity

The Bluetooth 4 has a small message capacity of about 31bytes which gives just 17 to 20 bytes for actual data payload while the Bluetooth 5 with a large capacity of 255bytes gives more bytes for actual data payload.

Bluetooth beacon

With Bluetooth 5, beacons have become more popular due to the speed and range increase while with Bluetooth 4, they are less popular due to the less speed and range as well as low message capacity of 31bytes.

Support for IoT devices

Bluetooth 5 easily meets the requirements for IoT devices with its good range and increase in speed while Bluetooth 4 does not due to its low speed and short working range. That means IoT devices will work well with Bluetooth 5 and utilize all its features properly, for example the new Samsung Galaxy 8 and Galaxy 8+.

Compatibility

Bluetooth 4 works best with devices that are compatible with version 4 series but will not work with devices that have Bluetooth 5 while Bluetooth 5 is backward compatible with v1, v2, v3, v4, v4.1 and version 4.2 but will not utilize all the features of Bluetooth 5.

Everybody wants to move with the new trends that keep coming, in this case, upgrades to various tech devices. That doesn’t mean on should forget or throw away what seems to be the “out of vogue” item. You may, at one point in time, need to use it for a future.

  • donzebe

    Thanks for the detail explanation.