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

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 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?


Related phones

iPhone 5c
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1507 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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39 Comments

1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

So much for Apple going "budget"...

20. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

so much for Apple using plastic.

32. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 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.

37. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Exactly right.

38. Just.Saying

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

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

2. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 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!!!

5. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

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

8. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

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

3. Jklaz

Posts: 159; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

450 holy..

4. Carlitos

Posts: 668; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

$450? No nexus killer is it.

7. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

$450? No nexus killer is it.

13. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

33. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

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

34. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 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.

9. MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

Amazing and Beautiful Smartphone!

10. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Okay... -__-'

24. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

he means the same design.

11. DFranch

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

You forgot the sarcasm tags!

12. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

youre just like WendyGarett

14. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

16. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

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

18. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

21. MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

Hahahaha!

15. MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

Can I have Two! Please!

17. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 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 :(

19. Antonyjoseph

Posts: 217; Member since: Apr 06, 2013

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

29. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 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

22. uchihakurtz

Posts: 427; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

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

23. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

and that's what i called colorful plastic phones

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