iPhone 5c review

iPhone 5c review

T3 4
  • This is the cheaper sibling to the new iPhone 5s. It's a brave move, but is it cheap enough? Found out in our iPhone 5c review

    iPhone 5c review

    Love

    • Colourful chassis
    • iOS 7 looks incredible
    • Improved battery life

    Hate

    • Price-tag compared to rivals
    • Smaller screen than rivals

    The iPhone 5c is a curious one. Building up to the announcement - which also featured the flagship iPhone 5s - we were expecting a lower-priced handset with features similar to the iPhone 4S. What Cook and co served-up was a iPhone 5 in Technicolour with a price tag more premium than peanuts.  

    With a starting SIM-free price of £496 for the 16GB model, it's expensive compared to the HTC One Mini (£365), Nokia Lumia 625 (£179) and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini at £429, which we'd put in the same category. And, with the iPhone 5 primed to be snapped up at a cut price, is colour alone enough to make the iPhone 5c a best-seller for Apple?

    iPhone 5c: Size and build

    The c stands for colour and the iPhone 5c has plenty of that. At launch, the iPhone 5c will come in five hues; white, pink, yellow, blue and green. It'll certainly stand out from the crowd, especially with each being colour co-ordinated with the iOS 7 home screen.

    One of the complaints we had of the iPhone 5 was that it was a tad light. The iPhone 5c is heavier at 132g and also thicker at 8.97mm. This reassuring bulk and subsequent sturdy feel comes from a steel-reinforced frame, which also acts as an antenna, surrounded by a plastic case. However, like Nokia's Lumia range, this isn't cheap plastic, it's a one-piece polycarbonate chassis that's warm and pleasant to the touch. Some might even say nicer in the palm of your hand than cold, hard metal.

    The high-gloss finish means the iPhone 5c looks and feels like a premium product and one that could cope with more bumps and scrapes than their glass-back predecessors.

    iPhone 5c design in detail video:


    Apart from the colour, the iPhone 5c build is almost an exact carbon copy of the iPhone 5. The exterior buttons remain the same, the headphone jack resides on the bottom edge, along with the speaker and Lightning port, while the volume rocker lives on the side next to the ring/lock switch.

    iPhone 5c: Features

    Powering the iPhone 5c is the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5. It's still noticeably faster than the iPhone 4's A5 processor and, with the iOS 7 update, the difference is even more obvious. The 5c multitasks with ease and whizzes through the UI.

    Watching HD videos and playing graphic-intensive games also impress. Connectivity wise, the 5c sports speedy N Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 but NFC remains on the blacklist of Apple features.

  • The Apple iPhone 5c is the first additional handset iPhone to be announced alongside the flagship device. T3 went hands-on for a closer look...

    iPhone 5c review

    Love

    • Colourful chassis
    • iOS 7 looks incredible
    • Improved battery life

    Hate

    • Price-tag compared to rivals
    • Smaller screen than rivals

    Apple has finally announced the Apple iPhone 5c. After months, even years, of speculation the iPhone has been scaled down and comes with a much cheaper price tag.

    The iPhone 5C joins the flagship iPhone 5s, comes running iOS 7 and toting an 8-megapixel camera a 4-inch screen and a jaw-droppingly low price tag. It has its sights set on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini, can Apple do the double and compete in the mid-range market? T3 joined the bun fight at the special event in Berlin for a hands-on.

    iPhone 5c: Size and build

    If you're a fan of aluminium then the iPhone 5c may not be for you as, to keep the price down, Apple has opted for plastic but not just any plastic, this is a single piece of polycarbonate that's steel reinforced on the inside. For a plastic phone, the iPhone 5c retains a premium feel coming with a nice gloss finish and of course those much rumoured colour variants, it'll be available in five colours: green, blue, pink, yellow and white.

    Best Apple iPhone 5c cases and covers 2013

    Exterior buttons are the exact same ones as you'll find on the iPhone 5 and in terms of size it's almost exactly the same as the iPhone 5 and although we haven't been given exact specs, we'd guess is a touch lighter. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5c: Features

    On to the features and for a smaller price tag you're getting the same as you'd find on the iPhone 5. Snaps are taken care of by a 8-megapixel on the back and HD Face Time camera on the front, matching those on the iPhone 5.

    Apple iPhone 5c: What you need to know

    On megapixels alone, the iPhone 5s matches the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and completely trumps the HTC One Mini serving-up 8-megapixel and 4-megapixel cameras, respectively. The quality of the pics is the exact same as on the iPhone 5 but with the updated camera app in iOS7, its a much better experience. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5c: Screen

    Retina, it is when it comes to the screen on the iPhone 5c and, as we've come to expect, its pin sharp and, again, the same specs as the iPhone 5 at 640 x 1136 pixels 326 ppi. At 4-inches in size it's smaller than both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (4.3-inches) and the HTC One Mini (4.3-inches).

    iPhone 5C: Performance

    Under the hood, you'll find an A6-processor and it's far from sluggish whizzing through the iOS 7 apps and dealing with multitasking with ease. You'll get a choice of 16GB and 32GB onboard storage. Article continues after the video.

    iPhone 5c: Battery

     

    Guess what - it's not the same as the iPhone 5, according to Apple, it's bigger. We don't have any official specs but with the iPhone 5 quoted as lasting 8 hours 3G browsing time, 8 hours talk time and 10 hours video playback, you won't be rushing to the nearest power-socket for a good few hours

    iPhone 5c: Verdict

    The iPhone 5C is essentially an iPhone 5 in a plastic coat. The features match and also surpass the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini it comes to the camera, the quality of the screen and the power of the processor. For those naysayers that wondered if plastic could be premium, we have to admit that Apple has proved them wrong and the colour options will be a big draw for some.

    The iPhone 5 may be no more but the iPhone 5c makes for a compelling successor and it seems that Apple can do the double by offering a mid-range phone with premium features. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review up on T3.com.

    iPhone 5c release date: Pre-order from 13 September 2013, in store 20 September 2013

    iPhone 5c price: £469 (16GB), £549 (32GB)

    For more iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s video, subscribe to the T3 YouTube channel

    Hands-on review by Rhiain Morgan

    • iPhone 5c review: The verdict on the new iPhone 5c
    • Apple iPhone 5c unboxing: Exclusive and first on YouTube
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    • Video
      iPhone 5s camera test

      In depth look at the new iPhone 5s iSight camera

      02:24
    • Video
      iPhone 5C Camera Demo

      First look at the new camera landing on the iPhone 5c

      00:54

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