We decided to get both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C so we can thoroughly compare them to the existing iPhone 5 and make a better judgement on why Apple decided on two SKUs instead of the usual one.
Right out of the box, we immediately saw the inspiration for the design and materials used for the iPhone 5C. You won’t look any farther than the iPhone itself — the 3G and 3GS.
The very same polycarbonate shell with ceramic finish found on the iPhone 3G/3GS has been resurrected, painted with pastel colors and used in the iPhone 5C.
And if you were old enough to have owned or used the iPhone 3G/3GS, then you get that very same feel of the material and quality of finish that the polished plastic shell offers. And as it turns out, we actually liked the over-all feel. It gives you that impression of holding an iPhone 5 wrapped in a hard but very thin and colorful gel case.
It’s not as thin as the iPhone 5 but it’s still very thin; and despite it’s polycarbonate body, you can feel the heft of the device in your hands. It’s not bad at all. Frankly though, it still baffles us why a plastic iPhone 5C is heavier than an aluminum-clad iPhone 5.
The resemblance with the iPod Touch 5th gen is also obvious — fairly rounded corners, smooth edges, very polished finish and a tinge of youthfulness — yes, you either fancy those pastel colors or just completely hate them.
The exterior of the handset is identical to the old iPhone 5C, down to the ports, physical buttons and environmental sensors. Under a microscope, the only difference you can find is the pin-hole for the noise-canceling microphones at the back.
The rest is a repeat performance of last year’s iPhone 5.
Here’s what we know of the hardware configuration of the iPhone 5C. Luckily, both the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S that we got from Hong Kong worked with our local LTE network.
Apple iPhone 5C specs:
4.0-inch IPS LCD display @ 640×1136 pixels, 326ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Apple A6 1.2GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX543MP3 (triple-core)
16GB, 32GB internal storage
DC-HSDPA 42Mbps, LTE 100Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
8MP iSight camera, LED flash
1080p video recording
1.2MP HD front-facing camera, 720p @ 30fps
GPS w/ aGPS support, GLONASS
132 grams (weight)
124.4 mm x 59.2 mm x 8.97 mm (dimensions)
The 5C comes with iOS7 out of the box but we immediately received a 7.0.1 update for bug fixes and improvements.
I find myself picking using the iPhone 5C more than the iPhone 5S. That’s probably because the former has the most physical difference from the iPhone 5 that we’ve have for the last 12 months.
Check back with us in a couple of days as we finish the full review of the iPhone 5C.