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The colorful iPhone 5C is official: review Apple's first original midranger

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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The colorful iPhone 5C is official: review Apple's first original midranger
After months of speculation and years in the making, the long-rumored midrange iPhone 5C model made a debut alongside the flagship iPhone 5S. As expected, its specs are mostly a rehash of already existing components, but the housing is brand new and sets it apart from Apple's tradition so far to just use last year's iPhone model as this year's midrange offering in the iOS universe.

Design


Let's start with the chassis then - the iPhone 5C is built of durable one-piece polycarbonate with a steel frame underneath that serves as the antenna, and Jony Ive called the design "unapologetically plastic," basically a polycarb iPhone 5, judging from the specs.

The colorful iPhone 5C is official: review Apple's first original midranger
The phone comes in a variety of different colors for every taste and wackiness - green, white, blue, yellow, and rose. It is slim, even for today's smartphone standards, at 0.35 inch (8.97 mm), yet not thinner than the more premium iPhone 5S. It is, however, fairly light at 4.65 ounces (132 grams), as you can easily imagine from the plastic body and the compact size, but Apple could have definitely done better here, as we've got 4.7" Androids lighter than the 5C now, for instance. As for the software part, you can have wallpapers in iOS 7 matching your specific color of iPhone 5C, neat.

Specs


The screen is a 4" Retina Display 640x1136 pixels panel with the usual high brightness, precise sRGB color representation, good viewing angles and low reflection levels. Inside we get an A6 chipset, which is enough to power everything iOS throws at the handset at this screen resolution, plus likely 1 GB of RAM. Storage is taken care of with 16/32 GB models that allow no expansion via a memory card slot. An 8 MP iSight camera on the back with LED flash rounds up a very decent midrange offering.

There is a new FaceTime HD camera in the front, too, with larger 1.9 micron pixels to capture more light, and backside illumination. Apple said the iPhone 5C carries a cellular modem with more LTE bands than any other smartphone, so it should be a rather global device out of the box, but we don't know if the comparison includes the octaband Xperia Z Ultra, for example.

Pricing


We know what you are wondering about the most - Apple's first foray into a more affordable iPhone version will cost $99 for the 16 GB version and $199 for the 32 GB one on contract, with preorders starting September 13th, and availability on the 20th. If this was an Android handset, that pricing would place it in the upper midrange or even directly in the flagship category, as off-contract tag is listed by Apple as $549 for the 16 GB version, and $649 for the 32 GB units. "Soft-feel silicon rubber" cases are available for the iPhone 5C at $29 apiece, and these have circular cutout patterns, so you can see the original handset color underneath, as you can see below.

Despite Steve Jobs swearing Apple will never go downmarket with the iPhone, the iPhone 5C is a fact, and indicates a smart managerial move on CEO Tim Cook's part, who is quickly adjusting to the changing realities in the smartphone industry where the most expansion opportunities in the battle for the consumers' palms and pockets have now moved squarely to the midrange segment. What do you think about the way iPhone 5C ended up?


39 Comments
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posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:33 18

1. Commentator (Posts: 2323; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


So much for Apple going "budget"...

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:01 5

20. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6193; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


so much for Apple using plastic.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 15:09 5

32. McLTE (Posts: 639; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


No kidding.

Nice contradiction here PA. First you say the pricing puts them squarely in line with Android's upper mid to premium offerings, next you say the 5c has moved squarely into the midrange segment.

As far as I am concerned.. all the Apple phones are MIDRANGE. Good phones to be sure.. but definitely mid range.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 03:19

37. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Exactly right.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 03:19

38. Just.Saying (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)


My samsung Galaxy S1 i9000 isn\'t out dated after all. Sweet .....

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:33

2. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


The just plain black front looks kinda weird and i dont know about you but if this has the same specs as the iphone 5 then its gonna be priced pretty highly so whats the point!!!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:37 9

5. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Scratch that $450 is ridiculous!!!!! And people slate the galaxies for using cheap plastic!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:37 3

8. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Scratch that $450 is ridiculous!!!!! And people slate the galaxies for using cheap plastic!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:34 3

3. Jklaz (Posts: 124; Member since: 01 Jul 2013)


450 holy..

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:36 14

4. Carlitos (Posts: 305; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


This is no lie. A plastic IPhone 5. And they are trying to sweet talk plastic.
The price is ridiculously high the Nexus is wayyyy better and cost 199 off contract.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:37 9

6. AfterShock (Posts: 2512; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


$450?
No nexus killer is it.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:37 3

7. AfterShock (Posts: 2512; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


$450?
No nexus killer is it.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:43

13. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


What did ppl. expect, Apple is in for the profit, Google isn't (not off the hardware anyway).

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 16:33 1

33. dorianb (Posts: 352; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


I actually was trying to be realistic & expect $399.99. I guess I STILL live in dream land.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 16:34

34. dorianb (Posts: 352; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


".... as off-contract tag is listed by Apple as $549 for the 16 GB version, and $649 for the 32 GB units"

Where did you see $450? $450 is rationale pricing.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:38 2

9. MCrapp (Posts: 312; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)


Amazing and Beautiful Smartphone!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:39 11

10. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5150; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Okay... -__-'

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:15 2

24. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6193; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


he means the same design.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:42 7

11. DFranch (Posts: 137; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


You forgot the sarcasm tags!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:42 3

12. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


youre just like WendyGarett

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:45 1

14. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5150; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Just look at his profile picture, it's Wendy Garett!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:50 3

16. Commentator (Posts: 2323; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


How can you tell? It's not some Asian girl or a Pokemon.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:57 1

18. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5150; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Wendy can change like a chameleon (from Samsung to Apple to Samsung to Apple...). Talking about chameleon, just look at his profile picture. Yup, that's Wendy Garett.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:02 1

21. MCrapp (Posts: 312; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)


Hahahaha!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:48 2

15. MCrapp (Posts: 312; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)


Can I have Two! Please!

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 12:52 1

17. tacarat (Posts: 128; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


But it's not going "downrange". The usual pattern has been the older model goes down in price. The 16GB i5 was going to be $99~ anyhow. All they've done is make it cheaper and increase their margin. Keeping the 32GB option was nice of them, though. Still charging through the nose for the storage :(

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:01 3

19. Antonyjoseph (Posts: 213; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)


Apple just \'innovated\' with colored phones. Now go and sue MS/ Nokia . Oh wait Apple also just innovated plastic phones..

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 14:55 2

29. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1045; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Hmm The 5C looks to much like a Nokia 620 or 710 for them to sue MS/Nokia about. Well Apple Iphone fans welcome to the wonderful of Colorful Smart
phones. now if Apple lowers the price of these plastic smart phones like I know they will. they will fly off the shelves other wise for the same price as a 32 gig
5c a person can get a Nokia 1020 with a 41 megapixel camera. i think people will buy the Nokia first

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:07 3

22. uchihakurtz (Posts: 230; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Hmm.. black front and colors at the back and sides... Lumia 620 sued in 3... 2...

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:08

23. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6193; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


and that's what i called colorful plastic phones

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:26 1

25. xtian1103 (Posts: 354; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


these are sure made of plastic. but i still think samsung's choice or the execution of plastic in their phones are worse. just look at how many galaxy phones has fading sides back and front when not case protected. i think there's a difference in the polycarbonate phones of iphone 5c and lumia line vs the "paint covered" plastics of samsung.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 15:07 1

31. McLTE (Posts: 639; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


LOL.. and here come the people saying "but Apple's plastic is better!"

What a freaking joke.

It's plastic man! You (Apple fans in general) bagged on samsung in every and all ways because it has plastic in it's construction.. but now it's suddenly OK because of HOW Apple implemented it.. lol

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:32

26. RomeoJDR (Posts: 237; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)


I think Apple just wanted to jump on the bandwagon bashing Samsung's use of plastic for their flagship model by releasing their step down unit in plastic. Apple has the best marketing in the world and this is just another tool.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 13:32

27. TechDork (Posts: 215; Member since: 10 May 2010)


It would've looked better if the fronts were white....in my opinion.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 14:43 2

28. RedFox (Posts: 17; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


EPIC FAIL ..
I can't understand the idea of ..
1- mid range device with 599€ price point !
2- no new features except being plastic and colored !!!
3- lower quality iphone 5 with the same supposed price !!
4- Who is the target customer of this device?( on contract or unlocked " ?
5- how on earth this will compete against GS4 "600€" GS4 mini "450€" nexus4 "250€" !!!!

I do believe there are a lot of stupid people who live breath so other people can play different life games and categorized as smart .. however with this path, they will not be able to fool a lot.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 14:55 1

30. rabidhunter (Posts: 90; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Shoot, the DROID Mini for folks on Verizon. All the major components of DROID Maxx, Ultra, and Moto X and at $549 or $99 on contract. Built with durable Kevlar.

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 16:35

35. deewinc (Posts: 155; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Apple share price has dropped after the Keynote address and guess what ? ? ? Samsung's share price has risen =)

posted on 10 Sep 2013, 20:58

36. RomeoJDR (Posts: 237; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)


You essential have to pay for 2 phones for what amounts to a $15 16GB micro sd card. Think of the profit margin Apple makes charging $100 for what they likely pay somewhere around $3. My next phone will be my first Samsung thanks to them keeping the sd slot alive.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:12

39. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1109; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


colorful phines! revolutionary!!!

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