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iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C head to head review

More expensive model beats its cheaper sibling on performance and battery life
Wed Jan 22 2014, 08:51

GADGET DESIGNER Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets have been on the market since last September, which means that we've managed to spend a couple of months with both of the devices to find out which one really is best.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are world's apart in design. The iPhone 5S carries over the iPhone 5's two-tone aluminium design, while the iPhone 5C does away with this in favour of a fully plastic chassis.

Although we immediately warmed to the design of the iPhone 5C because the phone was something new and different from Apple, the iPhone 5S undoubtedly is the more premium of the two. It's the smaller of the two, also, measuring just 7.6mm thick. As with the iPhone 5, this means that the iPhone 5S sits comfortably in hand despite its angular shape.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C design

One downside of the iPhone 5S design, however, is that Apple's aluminium casing is prone to scratches and chips.

Some have argued that the plastic casing of the iPhone 5C makes it look cheap. As we pointed out in our iPhone 5C review, however, the handset feels surprisingly tough, with the smooth plastic feeling more expensive than cheap. That said, we did find it hard to grip at times due to the slick plastic, although the handset's chunkier 8.9mm casing didn't make it feel bulky.

The iPhone 5C is available in blue, green, pink, yellow and white, while the iPhone 5S is available in white, gold and space grey.

While some will prefer the plastic casing of the iPhone 5C to aluminium, the iPhone 5S has an additional design feature which we think puts it ahead in this category - its Touch ID sensor.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C home button

This is a reworked Home key, and allows users to unlock the device using their fingerprint. Although it's temperamental at times, we think that this feature nudges the iPhone 5S to victory in design.

Winner: iPhone 5S

While they are world's apart in design, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C both have the same 4in 640x1136 resolution display with a pixel density of 326ppi.

Of course, while it's impossible to pick a winner in this category, it's worth noting that the screen on both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C remains one of the best smartphone displays on the market, producing crystal-clear images and sharply defined text.

Winner: Draw

Next: Performance, software.


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