Apple iPhone 5C review

Fast and responsive with a great operating system, but the iPhone 5S is better value and faster

Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
469
inc VAT

Specifications

Processor: Dual-core 1.3GHz Apple A6, Screen size: 4in, Screen resolution: 1,136x640, Rear camera: 8-megapixels, Storage: 8GB/16GB/32GB, Wireless data: 3G. 4G, Size: 124x59x8.97mm, Weight: 132g, Operating system: iOS 7

Before launch, the iPhone 5C was touted as the very first budget Apple handset, but its high price of £469 certainly didn't feel particularly cheap at the time, particularly considering its specs meant it was more or less a direct replacement for the outgoing iPhone 5. It's only now that the price for the basic 8GB model has dropped to £319 that it's become a truly viable budget option compared to the newer iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and even the iPhone 5S. Yes, Apple's iPhone 5C is still on sale and it's now cheaper than ever, with contracts starting at roughly £22.50 per month for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 3G data, bringing the total cost of ownership to an all-time low of £540 over two years, making it better value than its larger, more expensive siblings if you're looking for a more wallet-friendly iOS handset.

It's important to note that the iPhone 5C is essentially, specs wise, an iPhone 5 in new clothing, rather than something completely new. In this case, the new clothing means a plastic chassis. Before the phone launched and we got our hands on it, there were some questions as to whether plastic was the right choice. This being Apple, it's fair to say that it has managed to make plastic feel premium.

Apple iPhone 5C

A single moulded piece of polycarbonate attached to a reinforced cage means the iPhone 5C feels extremely tough and well made

For starters Apple has used a single piece of moulded polycarbonate. This means that the iPhone 5C looks incredibly well made with no gaps or joins in the case. Plastic can often feel a bit creaky, but Apple has attached the case to a steel frame inside, which means it feels exceptionally tough and durable. Finally, the company lacquered the outside, which will reduce scratching, although a case is still a good idea.

Moving to this design means that the iPhone 5C is slightly heavier than the iPhone 5, at 132g compared to 112g. It's fair to say that this minor weight difference isn't going to make any difference to anyone. Of course, moving to plastic, means that Apple can now work with a wider range of colours, with the iPhone 5C available in white, red, yellow, blue and green. No matter what your preference, there's a colour out there that will suit you.

Apple iPhone 5C Colours

There's a wide-enough range of colours that you'll definitely find an iPhone 5C that you like the look of

Apple also sells a range of cases in the same colours, with holes cut out so you can see through to the iPhone's original colour. This lets you mix and match your colours to get the effect you want, although we're not massive fans of the new case and prefer a shell or something that protects the screen. However, we like the way that Apple pre-sets each iPhone 5C so that its screen backdrop in iOS 7 matches the colour of the case. Admittedly we've seen the same from Nokia and Windows Phone, but it's still a nice touch.

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