iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c was Apple’s answer to the budget market but is it cheap enough to grab there attention?

The build up to the iPhone 5c was full of speculation and rumours with most people expecting a budget friendly handset from Apple with it’s features focussed around that of the iPhone 4s. Instead Tim Cook gave us a colourful iPhone 5 with a premium price.

Compared to other budget handsets on the market the iPhone 5c looks less budget friendly to say the least priced at £496 for the 16GB SIM-free model. If we look at the HTC One mini (£365) and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini (£429) which we would put in the same category you can clearly see the 5c’s pricing stands out. Another thing worth noting is that the iPhone 5 will now drop in price so is this colour really enough to attract the crowd? Lets have a look and see.

iPhone 5c rear

Size and Build Quality

The c of course stands for colour and the main decision you will be faced with at time of purchase is wether you like the white, pink, yellow, blue or green offerings. Whatever the colour the iPhone 5c will certainly stand out in a crowd with it’s colour co-ordinated iOS 7 home screen. If you where one of those folks who complained about the iPhone 5 being to light then you will be happy to know that the 5c is heavier at 132g but also thicker as well at 9.97mm with the exact measurments coming in at 4.9 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches.

Maybe you are wondering how it can be heavier when it’s plastic? Well the iphone 5c has a steel-reinforced frame which acts the antenna which is then surrounded by the plastic frame so this is where the extra weight comes from. The extra weight actually adds to the nice feel of the 5c and like other plastic devices on the market like Nokia’s Lumia range this isn’t some cheap plastic housing they have put on. The housing is actually constructed from one piece of polycarbonate and is great to touch and hold. I would actually say come winter time it will actually be nicer to hold than the iPhone 5 as the metal body on the 5 get’s cold easily.

Looking around the iPhone 5c the layout and build is almost exactly the same as the iPhone5. All the buttons are laid out the same with the headphone jack, lightning port and speakers all along the bottom while the volume rocker and ring/lock switch remain on the side and as you would also expect the power button remains up top. With the exception of the  headphone jack and lightning port which have a nice gloss black highlight the rest of the buttons and speakers remain colour coded on the 5c.

iPhone 5c bottom ports

Features

Giving the iPhone 5c power is the same A6 chip we seen in the iPhone 5 which is no slouch and multitasks and zooms around iOS 7 with ease. Gaming on the 5c is just as good as it was on the iPhone 5 and it handles even the more graphic intensive games with ease. In terms of connectivity the iPhone 5c features dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and aGPS / GLONASS radios and amazingly supports 13 LTE bands out of the box making it the first handset I have ever used that will support all four major carriers stateside. Sadly tho there is still no NFC present on the 5c which is a bit of a disappointment for me but if you don’t utilize this feature then you won’t care as much.

iPhone 5c sim

Screen

If you were hoping for a an iPhone for bigger screen you will again be dissapointed as Apple has stuck with the 4-inch one. The good news is that the screen on the 5c is the same lovely Retina display we grew to loce on the iPhone 5 and 5s with a resolution of 1136×640 pixels at 326ppi. Again if we compare this to it’s rivals the HTC One mini and the S4 Mini it may be smaller but this screen is certainly miles better. As was the same on the iPhone 5 the colours the screen produce are very accurate and the viewing angles are awesome. Those upgrading from the iPhone 4/4s will really notice the difference straight away as playing games, viewing the web and watching videos on this screen is an absolute pleasure but I sometimes cant help think what if it was a little bit bigger but for now I can live with it.

iPhone 5c volume

Camera

image_5 image_4 image_2 image_1

When we look at the rear of the device we can see that familiar looking camera layout that we saw on the iphone 5 with it’s 8-megapixel camera (BSI sensor, f/2.4 AF lens) under sapphire glass with a single LED flash that debuted with the iPhone 5 last year. Anyone who has seen the pictures from the iPhone 5 will know they aren’t industry leading but the camera certainly produces some nice shots.

The new iOS 7 camera app itself is really good but sadly lacks features that the 5s has gained but the layout is a lot cleaner and more user friendly. The viewfinder now shows you a preview of the entire area and not just a crop so this makes taking a shot a lot easier and better results can be gained. You will also be happy to know that there are now no more overlays cluttering up the viewfinder. Holding the phone in landscape also produces a nice new layout with the controls on either side of the viewfinder. The front/rear camera switch, HDR toggle and flash menu appear on the left and the mode selector (panoramic, square, photo and video), filter button, shutter key and gallery shortcut appear on the right hand side. The only part of the app that remains the same is pinch-to-zoom, touch-to-focus and the AE/AF lock functionality but if you hold the shutter key down it now shoots multiple photographs in a row, not as good as burst mode on the 5s but it is a nice addition all the same.

So what are the results like? The 5c takes produces pictures with loads of detail and really nice colours in them. The exposure and white balance are very accurate giving you a great account of what you snapped.  The best thing about the 5c as with the iPhone 5 it allows anyone to take a good picture even those with no experience. The only problem I came across with the camera was the same problem I had when shooting with the iPhone 5, low-light just does not agree with the camera module and as they have came a long way since the iPhone 5 it would have been nice to get this ironed out as pictures look very noisy when lighting isn’t great. Video is awesome on the iPhone 5c producing video in HD at 1080p/30 fps with mono audio is simple and the results are incredible. The only thing that is missing is auto-focus and constantly tapping on the screen to get into focus can be somewhat tiresome at times. The front facing camera again is like the iPhone 5 and selfies will look great.

Performance and Battery Life

Again as the iPhone 5c shares the same internals as the iPhone 5 it pretty much just runs the same. The iPhone 5c is speedy and with iOS 7 feels very smooth and will handle nearly everything you through at it. I won’t spend any time with benchmark results etc as I feel these are just a waste of time, all you need to know is that the iPhone 5c is fast and will handle games like the new Infinity Blade III with ease. Sound on the 5c is great with calls and audio playback being crystal clear. I would even say the audio is actually an improvement over the iPhone 5 as you can still easily hear the 5c in noisy environments.

The battery on the 5c is an improvement over the iPhone 5 and we managed to get pretty decent results even with heavy use. the quoted results are as follows 10 hours 3G talk time, and 250 hours standby compared to eight hours and 225 hours on the iPhone 5. In the real world we still struggled to get a full days usage but it certainly was an improvment on our iPhone 5 that we had to charge at lunch everyday. LTE  performs as you would expect and never let us down at all.

image iOS 7

Software

Usually we would detail the software here but we have covered iOS 7 to death from the original beta release that we couldn’t say anything different. It’s fast, smooth, responsive and looks awesome but it will take some users a bit of time to get used to all its features so we have thrown a post up HERE that details 7 thing’s you should know about iOS 7 see what we did there?

Protection/Giveaway

As with every new phone launch the case manufactures get hard to work to make sure you can protect your device as well as style it how you wish. For your protection need our friends over at MobileFun have you covered and are also giving you the chance to win yourself a brand new iPhone 5c so why not get yourself over there and enter. We have listed a few cases below that we really like and think you should check out.

wallet and stand case 2 Wallet and stand case

The wallet and stand case you see above from MobileFun will be a perfect companion for your iPhone 5c and comes in a range of different colour options. We like this case as it doubles as a wallet allowing you to keep your cards and cash in the hand pouches you see above. The case looks via a magnetic strip making accessing your device a breeze. The handy stand feature makes this case perfect for those who love watching movies or YouTube videos on there device and can be adjusted with ease to your preferred angle. At only £10.99 this case is a great choice to consider and will not only looks and feel good but will protect your new iPhone 5c.

case-mate-barely-there-case-for-iphone-5c-clear

For those who like minimal this Case-Mate Barley there case can be purchased from MobileFun for £14.99. We have reviewed this case for a few devices and it has never let us down. Being clear it allows you to see all those lovely features and colours of the iPhone 5c while still offering adequate protection to ensure your new device remains in that new condition for as long as possible.

genx-bumper-case-for-apple-iphone-5c-yellow

The last piece of protection we would like to show you is the GENx Bumper Case. Bumpers are great for those people who want to protect the impact zones on there device while still showing of the beautiful handset they have. Again the GENx comes in many different colours and is constructed with a tough polycarbonate and a shock absorbing rubber trim. The GENx bumper will cost you only £9.99 and will serve your device well.

There are plenty more cases on MobileFun you can get your hands on but we wanted to show you some that you don’t have to pay through the teeth for and they still look great and protect your device.

Overall

If you were ever expecting Apple to build something cheap then you should stop believing all the rumours as Apple just don’t do cheap and the iPhone 5c is living proof of that. What is great about the 5c is it appeals to yet another demographic and from a company that usually on appeals to those willing to splash the cash this is a brave move. The iPhone 5c is certainly a mid-range device especially now that the more powerful 5s is on the scene. The main difference with this mid-range device compared to others is the 5c will cost you a whole lot more especially on contract. The colourful exterior matched up with themed iOS 7 makes it an awesome alternative to your usual Apple products and having pretty much the same specs as the iPhone 5 this device will not let you down. If Apple would only lower the price a little this could have been Apples best selling device as at this price it may be hard to convince people it is worth parting with there hard earned cash. If you are coming from an iPhone 4 or 4s this is a great upgrade but coming from a full aluminium unibody iPhone 5 you may feel let down slightly.

 

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Ryan Oneill

Editor In Chief

I live in Scotland UK and have been blogging about technology for a long time. I started BeginnersTech as I wanted even the total novice to be able to enjoy it as much as I do. If you ever need help or want to ask a question you have come to right place.

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