Apple iPhone 5C Review - A colourful plastic Apple iPhone 5

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The Apple iPhone 5C is a new step from Apple in that it was the first time they released two iPhone models at the same time. Featuring a plastic or polycarbonate backplate casing it effectively replaces the Apple iPhone 5 as it has nearly the same tech specs and features. While it isn't the "Cheap" Apple iPhone many of us were expecting, is it enough for you to go out and get it? Check out our full review and find out.

A quick look at all the Colourful features of the Apple iPhone 5C

Design - Looks the same but has a bigger plastic backside

At first glance it is very easy to mistake the Apple iPhone 5C for a Nokia Lumia phone. Both have the same colourful and glossy yet tough polycarbonate backplate surrounding a black screen, but a closer look reveals that the design is nearly identical with the metal Apple iPhone 5. The plastic or polycarbonate backplate does make it look a bit bigger though (thicker as well) and it weighs slightly heavier at 132g. The screen remains the same 4-inch Retina display with 1336 x 640 pixel resolution. The polycarbonate plastic backplate is actually wrapped around a steel frame and is quite tough while also working as an internal antenna. The iPhone 5C feels very good in the hand though and doesn't feel slick or slippery either. It comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white and the polycarbonate backplates can be interchanged quite easily. The iPhone 5C also has similarly colourful casings which give the pastel coloured iPhone 5C a more hi and funky look. Drop tests with the Apple iPhone 5C have shown that the polycarbonate backside is quite durable but a direct drop on the screen will still result in it shattering (which means an impact proof screen protector could be useful here).

The Apple iPhone 5C design explained

Tech specs and Features - More or less the same Apple iPhone 5

A quick look at the tech specs reveal that the Apple iPhone 5C is nearly identical in terms of hardware with the Apple iPhone 5. The only addition seems to be the slightly larger 1510 mAh battery (the Apple iPhone 5 has a 1440 mAh battery). Practically everything else is the same as you have the same 1.3GHz dual-core Apple A6 processor 1GB RAM, PowerVR SGX 543MP3 graphics and 8MP rear camera sensor. The Apple iPhone 5 does come in 64GB though, whereas the iPhone 5C only comes in 16GB and 32GB storage options. One reason why the screen on the iPhone 5C shattered during the drop test could be due to the lack of Corning Gorilla Glass (which the Apple iPhone 5 does have) although it still has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. The iPhone 5C retains 4G LTE connectivity and ups the software features by offering iOS 7  (which you can still upgrade to if you own the Apple iPhone 5). Like the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C also does not have NFC. Camera features are also the same, so no slow motion videos like that on the Apple iPhone 5S. Check out the full tech spec comparison with our Apple iPhone 5 comparison tool.

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The Apple iPhone 5C colours and casings are meant to give a more colourful look and feel

Performance - Better battery life and generally better iOS 7 performance

While the tech specs are mostly the same, the slightly larger battery on the Apple iPhone 5C means better battery life in the long run. On a single charge the iPhone 5C can offer about 10 hours of video playback or about 12 hours on normal usage. Performance-wise the iPhone 5C is just a bit more powerful than the iPhone 5, perhaps due to better optimizations in iOS 7. The iPhone 5C is still a very good smartphone and handles most apps with ease. It isn't a 64-bit powered smartphone but then most apps in the App store are 32-bit anyways.

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While the hardware is the same, performance on the Apple iPhone 5C is slightly better than the Apple iPhone 5 perhaps because of a more optimized iOS 7

Price - The "C" does NOT stand for Cheap!

When it was first rumoured to come out, many people thought that the C in the Apple iPhone 5C brandname meant cheap, that Apple would offer this to the midrange market. Unfortunately, "C" probably stands for colour here as the Apple iPhone 5C is expected to cost about the same as an Apple iPhone 4S did back when the Apple iPhone 5 first came out. In short, the iPhone 5C is taking the price point of the iPhone 5 now that the Apple iPhone 5S is already out. International releases have the Apple iPhone at $549 which results in about RM1762 which is likely to turn into RM1899 when it is officially released here in Malaysia, which is estimated to be sometime in December 2013. Right now, you can get the Apple iPhone 5C from local sellers at RM1850 to RM2090 with the warranty again tied to the seller, much like an AP phone.

Plastic perfected according to Apple

Conclusion - Colourful Apple iPhone 5 for the new Apple iPhone converts

Overall, the Apple iPhone 5C is basically a plastic or polycarbonate revamp of the Apple iPhone 5. True, it does have a bigger battery and iOS 7 but it doesn't bring anything else new to the smartphone market. However, for some people, having a colourful Apple iPhone is more than enough reason to buy it especially if you don't already have the Apple iPhone 5. If you do already have the Apple iPhone 5 then there is little reason to buy the Apple iPhone 5C especially if you're looking for a smartphone with all the latest features. The Apple iPhone 5C should appeal to those who are new to the Apple iPhone or are making the shift from a different smartphone brand but we think that if you're that type of buyer, adding on another RM300 or so for the Apple iPhone 5S (or getting a more powerful smartphone) is a better decision. Previous Apple iPhone users such as those with an iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 would probably enjoy the Apple iPhone 5C more.

The Apple iPhone 5C TV Ad targeting the colourful people out there

Apple iPhone 5C Specs & Price >