iPhone 5c Review
A powerful smartphone with a touch of personality.
Apple's iPhone 5s receives most of the attention, but consumers should not forget about the company's colorful iPhone 5c. Cheaper, just as stylish and affordable under contract, the re-imagined iPhone 5 boasts an eye-grabbing exterior and power to spare.
As a longtime iPhone user, my initial thought was to jump from the 4S to the 5S, but considering that I missed the original iPhone 5 and have trouble resisting attractive gadgets in multiple colors, the $199 32GB model was hard to resist.
First, there's the design. The iPhone 5c comes in five beautiful colors (white, pink, yellow, blue and green). At first, the design seemed plasticky, but the phone feels more ceramic. I had no trouble gripping it, and the six first-party cases add that extra layer of protection; the holes make the phone's color shine through while the case itself provides a welcome contrast.
Performance-wise, the iPhone 5c seems just as fast as the original iPhone 5, thanks to the A6 processor. It works especially well with iOS7, which is something I could not say about the 4S; total battery drain. In this case, there's no lag to speak of, and so long as you manage the device appropriately (adjusting brightness, Wi-Fi instead 4G LTE), you should be able to last on a single charge the entire day.
Meanwhile, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to running apps, from simpler-fare like Angry Birds Star Wars 2 to more graphically intense games such as Dead Trigger 2 and Infinity Blade 3. Considering it's only a generation behind the 5s, the 5c should be able to run plenty of high-end apps for quite a while.
I'm also impressed with the screen size. While not as large as the Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5c's four-inch display is a good bump up from the 4S. It may sound trivial, but the additional row of apps makes a difference.
Let's face it, Apple didn't break new ground with the 5c. It's essentially an iPhone 5 in a snazzier shell. That's great for consumers upgrading from an older iPhone, but iPhone 5 users should gravitate to the superior iPhone 5s, or just wait for the inevitable iPhone 6.
You may also dislike the headphone jack on the bottom, but it's clearly a matter of personal taste. Since I place the phone in my pocket upside down, it's a non-issue.
The biggest complaint, though, is the price. Under contract, the 16GB iPhone 5c costs $99. Want it unlocked and contract-free? Prepare to shell out $549. Considering the TV commercial bills the 5c as a device for all kinds of consumers around the world, the high cost makes it too expensive.
As someone who obsessively charges his smartphone, the iPhone 5c outperformed expectations on a recent international vacation, where I only had to plug it in once in four days. This happened after taking pictures, listening to music and capturing video. It lacks the 5s fingerprint scanner and slow motion camera, but if neither of these features interest you, the 5c comes highly recommended, especially if the $99 16GB model suits your needs. That said, I only have one question: which color do you want?
Review unit provided by Apple.