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iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C head to head review


Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets have been on the market since last September, and have - according to Apple's first quarter 2014 earnings - been pretty popular, with the firm having shifted 51 million iPhones in three months.

Now that several months have elapsed since launch, we've managed to spend plenty of time with both of the devices to find out whether the costlier model really is better.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are worlds 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 an entirely plastic chassis.

Although we immediately warmed to the design of the iPhone 5C because the design was something new and different from Apple, the iPhone 5S is undoubtedly the more premium device. It's also the smaller of the two, measuring just 7.6mm thick. As with the iPhone 5, this means that the iPhone 5S sits comfortably in your 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 exuding more of a quality feeling than seeming 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 worlds 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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Carly Page

Carly Page joined The INQUIRER as News Editor in April 2012. Before becoming a full-time geek, Carly studied Journalism at the University of Lincoln, and dabbled in the music journalism industry. Carly's main coverage areas include mobile devices, mobile software, telecoms, mobile operators, social networks and anything Breaking Bad related.

View Carly's Google+ profile


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