The iPhone 5C’s screen looks fantastic. Viewing angles are wide, contrast is excellent and colours look vibrant and rich thanks to the IPS panel
ALTHOUGH RUMOURED TO be a budget handset designed and priced to take on budget Android handsets, the iPhone 5C is a direct replacement for the iPhone 5. However, the iPhone 5C distinguishes itself from the rest of the Apple line-up with a plastic back available in several colours.
The plastic is a single piece of moulded polycarbonate. This means that the iPhone 5C looks well made with no gaps or joins in the casing. 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. The company has also lacquered the outside, which will reduce scratching, although a case is still a good idea.
The screen is a highlight. The iPhone 5C uses the same 4in screen as the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. With a resolution of 1,136×640 and a high pixel density of 326ppi, this Retina screen still looks fantastic and sharp. Viewing angles are wide, contrast is excellent, and colours look vibrant and rich thanks to the IPS panel. This was one of the best screens when it was first launched a year ago with the iPhone 5, and it remains one of the best.
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 fast, particularly when running the efficient iOS 7 operating system. The iPhone 5C completed the SunSpider benchmark test in 714ms, the same result as the iPhone 5.
This is still quick for any phone By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S4 completed the test in 933ms. Even the supremely powerful Sony Xperia Z1 only completed the test in 767ms. The only phone that beats the 5C is the iPhone 5S, which completed SunSpider in a record 416ms. We also ran the 3D Mark Ice Storm benchmark, and the iPhone 5C scored a respectable 6,017. We’ve seen faster phones, but the iPhone 5C is fast enough to run any of the games in the App Store.
iOS 7 is preinstalled on the iPhone 5C. We really like iOS 7, and we especially like the way you can easily reach settings by swiping up to display the Control Centre menu. You don’t have to delve through the Settings app to make simple changes, such as turning off Wi-Fi. The new Today screen in the notification centra which you pull down from the top of the screen, is brilliant, giving you a quick look at what you’ve got on for the day.
Battery life was one of the highlights of the iPhone 5, and it remains so here. In our video playback test, we managed an impressive 11
hours and 39 minutes, which is practically identical to the result we got from our iPhone 5. Apple did squeeze an extra couple of hours’ battery life into the 5S, but the 5C still lasts for an impressive amount of time.
If you have a 4G contract, you’ll be pleased to know the iPhone 5C*s 4G chip supports
more bands than the iPhone 5 and will work with any provider in the UK. The iPhone 5C is also compatible with the majority of European networks.
The iPhone 5C has the same 8-megapixel iSight camera as the iPhone 5. It’s not a bad camera, taking detailed shots in bright lighting conditions, although we think that the exposure on the 5S is better and its shots have a little bit more detail in them.
in low light, performance suffers a bit, with noise creeping into the picture. Our test shots showed that detail started to be lost; the iPhone 5S with its larger sensor fares much better in low light. Panorama mode is still deeply impressive^ as the iPhone 5C
will stitch together multiple photos as you pan the camera.
Video is still impressive on the iPhone 5C, with the ability to shoot in Full HD. Video looks best in bright lighting conditions, with plenty of detail in each shot. In darker conditions, detail is lost and noise creeps in.
BEYOND THE C
There’s no doubt that the iPhone 5C is a great smartphone. It’s well-built, feels tough, has a great screen and a fast processor. With iOS 7 and the Apple App Store, you’ve also got access to the biggest and arguably best range of apps. However, the iPhone 5C is comparatively expensive. The 5S is much better value, with a faster processor and the new M7 motion co-processor. We think the iPhone 5S is the better buy.