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iPhone 5C review

Apple's colourful smartphone impresses with its refreshing design and revamped software
Mon Sep 23 2013, 12:43

Product iPhone 5C
Specifications 4in 1136x640 326ppi Retina display, A6 dual-core processor, 16GB/32GB internal storage, 8MP rear-facing iSight camera, 1.2MP front-facing camera, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/HSDPA/LTE 4G connectivity, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth 4, GPS, 8-pin connector and headphone jack ports, iOS 7 mobile operating system, 122x59x8.9mm, 132g
Price From £469

GADGET DESIGNER Apple's iPhone 5C is a slightly cheaper, more colourful alternative to the firm's latest flagship iPhone 5S smartphone.

While some expected the iPhone 5C to launch below the £300 mark, it seems Apple has instead decided that it's not willing to compromise on price or user experience, designing its new "cheaper" smartphone with the same specifications as last year's iPhone 5.

It's clear that the smartphone is going to divide opinions, mainly with its refreshed design and overhauled iOS 7 operating system. However, we think that the more you use it, the more you might be won over.

The iPhone 5C's colourful plastic casing is the first thing that will divide opinion. Some who encountered our bright green iPhone were quick to dismiss it as "toy-like" and "cheap", while others said they were impressed by the premium feel of the device.

As we pointed out in our iPhone 5C first impressions, the phone's polycarbonate plastic back has a surprisingly quality feel. The unibody casing feels sturdy and tough, and as we found when we accidentally lost hold on the glossy handset above concrete, it's pretty resistant to scratches too.

The glossy casing will be a nuisance for some, and during our first couple of days with the iPhone 5C we found it difficult to keep a firm grip on it. However, now that we have got used to the handset we find it comfortable to hold, perhaps more than the iPhone 5 due to the new handset's smooth, rounded edges.

iPhone 5C green design

That could also be helped by the handset's size, as it's slightly thicker and heavier than the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S handsets at 132g and 8.9mm thick, making it feel more solid and comfortable in the hand.

We liked the physical buttons too, which match the colour of the device - be it a white, blue, yellow, pink or green iPhone 5C. The volume buttons are larger, and more rectangular than those on the iPhone 5, and we found these more satisfying, and easier to press.

Beyond the slippery, glossy back, we have another small gripe with the redesigned casing, and that's the SIM slot. We found the port on the iPhone 5C's right hand side is prone to picking up dust and dirt, and we had to be remove it in order to clean it properly. The headphone jack on the bottom of the phone can also feel spiky to touch, which could be an annoyance for some depending on how you hold the handset.

The iPhone 5C's 4in 1136x640 326ppi Retina display is unlikely to disappoint. Despite being the same as on the last generation iPhone 5, which has since been succeeded by the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, the screen still stands out as one of the best on the market. Colours are vibrant, text is crisp, and although the display isn't great in bright sunshine, not many are.

Our only real issue with the screen is its size. With Samsung, HTC and Nokia releasing smartphones with larger displays, the iPhone 5C's 4in screen feels small, in turn making the handset seem somewhat dated.

iPhone 5C main

That said, the screen is much more usable one-handed than most of its competition, and given that Apple is targeting younger users and new smartphone users with the iPhone 5C handset, this could work to its advantage.

Next: Performance, operating system


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