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Apple iPhone 5C review

Apple iPhone 5C in hand

Apple's iPhone 5C is a quality device that is as easy to use as its predecessors. However, its price and position in the market mean it doesn't seem to serve any particular demands.


Fast, light, comfortable to hold, good camera


Expensive, no Touch ID fingerprint scanner, plastic design, not Apple's flagship device

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £469-549

Manufacturer: Apple

For many months, Apple was expected to unveil a cheaper version of the iPhone in order to help it compete with the challenge posed by mid-tier Android devices, currently leading to the Google operating system dominating the market.

However, when Tim Cook and cohorts stood on stage earlier this month to unveil the heavily leaked iPhone 5C – which comes in blue, green, red, white and yellow – the device wasn't quite the low-end, cheap smartphone the world thought it would be.

In fact, with the 16GB version costing £469 and the 32GB version costing £549, it is a very expensive device, albeit cheaper than its bigger brother, the iPhone 5S, which costs £549 and £629 respectively for the 16GB and 32GB versions. It also lacks the most noteworthy new feature of the 5S, the TouchID fingerprint scanner.

The question is then, why would you buy the 5C over the new flagship 5S, or a similarly specced, but cheaper, Android or Windows Phone device?

Superficially, very little has changed with the 5C from the iPhone 5. It looks pretty much the same, weighs about the same at 132g and its measurements of 124.4x59.2x8.97mm mean it's easy to hold and use in both portrait and landscape mode.

However, the most notable change in the device to set it apart from other Apple products is the fact it made of plastic. Jony Ive has gone as far as saying the product is "unashamedly plastic". Whether it really bothers you may come down to personal preference.

For example, the plastic design does not detract from the device in a way that means you would not want to use it. It's light and comfortable, and visibly you can't tell it is made of plastic, for the most part.

But if you tap the back of the device it has a distinctively plastic sound and feel – and this is not what we've come to expect from Apple through the years. This would be fine if the device cost £250-£350, but at a price of £469, we find this disappointing.

In a very non-Apple manner, the firm boasted about the fact that the 5C comes in some fairly garish colours, including a horrible lime green and a Nokia-like bright yellow. But you can also get the 5C in a far more respectable white (pictured below).

The back of the iPhone 5C

Next: Processor and screen

Processor: A6 dual-core
Display: 4in 1136x640 Retina display
Storage: 16GB, 32GB
Camera: 8MP rear-facing iSight, 1.2MP front-facing
Connectivity: GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/HSDPA/LTE 4G,  802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 8-pin connector, headphone jack
Operating system: Apple iOS 7
Dimensions: 124.4x59.2x8.97mm
Weight: 132g

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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