Dual-core 1.3 GHz Swift (ARM v7-based)
PowerVR SGX 543MP3 (triple-core graphics)
4.0 inches, LED-backlit IPS LCD
640 x 1136 pixels
8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels
Li-Po 1510 mAh
124.4 x 59.2 x 9 mm
iPhone 5c, Lightning Connector, Earpods, Stickers, Warrantly Guide, User Manual
Display, Colours, Design, Performance
Apple has undergone massive changes since the demise of the iconic Steve Jobs. While the changes have mostly been internal, the company’s best selling product, the iPhone, had been relatively untouched. This year though, the iPhone has changed. And how!
At its launch event this year, the Cupertino-based company, for the first time in its existence, launched 2 new iPhones. The pricier iPhone 5s and the “cheaper”, colourful iPhone 5c.
While the iPhone 5s was more or less a continuation of the iPhone 5 and its predecessors, the iPhone 5c was something new and largely unexpected. The colours arsenal prompted Nokia to tweet the following image after people started comparing the device with Nokia’s Lumia range.
Is the iPhone 5c just a colourful iPhone with no real changes? Or is it something more? We take a look!
Build Quality and Design
The iPhones of the past have always been of the highest quality as far as the built and design were concerned. All iPhones after the 3G have been made from either Glass or Aluminum. With the iPhone 5c, Apple has taken a different approach.
While the iPhone 5c replaces the iPhone 5, it looks nothing like it. The aluminum and glass build of the 5 has been replaced by a plastic body wrapped around a glass front.
[pullquote_left]Apple describes the iPhone 5c as “unapologetically plastic,” and that it is. [/pullquote_left]
Apple describes the iPhone 5c as “unapologetically plastic,” and that it is. Plastic is often associated with cheap; this year in particular there’s been a lot of fuss made in the industry. But the iPhone 5c in no way, shape, or form feels cheap in its construction. It actually feels just as nice as any other more expensive devices out there. This came as a surprise to everyone.
The iPhone 5C is slightly chunkier than its predecessor, measuring 8.9mm thick compared to 7.6mm. This is not a bad thing, as the added bulk offers a reassuringly solid feel when the phone is held in the hand.
Of course the design of the iPhone 5C is likely to divide opinions, but we’ve grown to like it over the past couple of weeks. It gives the phone an added ruggedness which has been missing from previous iPhones.
The same minimalist attitude to buttons has been implemented on the iPhone 5C, with the famous home key the only navigational aid on the front of the device, while the power/lock resides at the top and the separated volume keys on the left.
Just above the volume keys is the small switch which is now synonymous with Apple’s iDevice range, allowing you to quickly toggle silent/volume mode.
Overall, it might take time to get used to an iPhone that is made out of plastic, but it is as premium an iPhone that Apple has ever made.
Hardware and Specifications
The iPhone 5c is basically an iPhone 5s wrapped in a plastic body as far as the hardware is concerned. It has a 4-in screen with 1,136 x 640 resolution. It’s the same sharp Retina Display you already know and love.As with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C is powered by a 1.3GHz ARM-based Apple A6 processor and 1GB of RAM. This dual-core chip is still incredibly fast, particularly when running the efficient iOS 7 operating system. The iPhone 5c sports speedy Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 but NFC remains on the blacklist of Apple features.
The rear iSight camera on the iPhone 5c is a carbon copy of that found on the iPhone 5, though iOS 7 brings with it a new camera app that offers instant filters and Instagram-like square shooting. The 8MP sensor isn’t industry leading but it takes decent shots.
This year, both the iPhone 5c and 5s get a minor improvement to their lower quality, front-facing FaceTime camera in the form of backside illumination, which uses precision manufacturing techniques to build an image sensor where the wires serving the photosensitive imaging elements are placed behind them, maximizing the amount of light that can be detected.
The screen is still one of the highlights of the iPhone 5C, as it uses the same 4in screen as used on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. With a resolution of 1136×640 and a high pixel density of 326ppi, this Retina screen still looks fantastic and very sharp. The colour reproduction, outdoor visibility, the viewing angles and brightness are still one of the best in the market.
If you’re coming from a similarly priced Android handset you’ll probably think the iPhone 5C feels a little on the small size, with its 4-inch display more at home at the budget end of the rival OS’s line up.
As was the case in our review of the iPhone 5s, the media experience is top notch, and despite many claims by most of the other phone manufacturers, we have yet to find a phone that has better sound reproduction through the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Overall sound volumes and quality is best in class, and the iPhone 5s truly removes the need of a separate iPod / PMP. The inbuilt speaker also gets an Audio boost improving overall sound.
With the iPhone 5, Apple stretched the screen to provide a 16:9 aspect ratio and that 4-inch display is also present on the iPhone 5c making video player a more pleasant experience. Watch any video on the iPhone 5c and you’re unlikely to have any real complainants with a bright screen and smooth playback.
As aforementioned, the camera app has a new UI that allows you to scroll through photo, video, square and panorama capture. There are also eight new filter options to choose from. In portrait, it works perfectly, yet, in landscape the shooting menus remain portrait and we found our digits accidentally altering options when we meant to press the on-screen shot button.
Apple has rapidly improved the iPhone’s camera since the release of iPhone 4, adding higher quality sensors, lens improvements and increasingly sophisticated image and video processing, including face detection and movement stabilization.
There is zero shutter lag, and an impressive new burst mode that manages to capture everything in focus.
Against the iPhone 5, the 5c’s battery life is an improvement. Quoted stats are 10 hours 3G talk time, and 250 hours standby compared to eight hours and 225 hours, respectively. This also translated into real life as the iPhone 5c lasted longer than the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5c was a gamble on Apple’s part. It parted with its famed non-plastic build to appeal to a section of consumers who want a little more colour to their devices. Other than that, it is every bit an iPhone. A great display, the largest app library and flawless performance. If the look and feel of your phone means more to you than some relatively minor hardware upgrades, then the 5c might also make a lot of sense in your pocket.
It offers many different colours to match a person’s bright and bubbly personality, sturdy construction and one of the best examples of hardware/software synthesis out there.