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APPLE iPhone 5 Review
We're struggling to find a reason to recommend the new iPhone 5c too highly. Find out why we don't rate the phone most critics are obsessed with.
Introduced September 2013
by Mike Leader
Apple's colourful new iPhone 5c is effectively the iPhone 5 in a plastic case, the first time such a case has been used on an iPhone since the iPhone 3GS which makes it more affordable, just a little.
The casing is slightly different to the usual iPhone design too. It looks exactly the same from the all-black front but the coloured rear panel is distinctly curved on all four sides for ease of handling, although it's gloss finish does make it a little slippery to hold.
A Cheaper iPhone
The cheaper casing also keeps costs down too, at least for Apple if not for you and me so much, as it does away with the usual iPhone metal frame. Apple are keen to point out that this is reinforced with a metal framework which makes up the phone's aerial. Sorry, but there's no getting away from the fact that it's a plastic case - polycarbonate if you prefer - but it's back to pre-iPhone 4 days for the 5c.
New operating system
It does however include the new iOS7 operating system just like the iPhone 5s, which is the true replacement for the iPhone 5. However it includes the older A6 processor, not the new A7 one phone featured in the 5s. You have to ask yourself if this is just a way of clearing older components from the shelves as there's no other reason we can think of to go back to an older processor.
You can choose from 5 bright pastel colours of blue, green, pink, yellow and white and the background wallpaper is colour-matched. You can change the wallpaper of course if it all proves to be too colourful for you. They are all black from the front view by the way, the part you will normally be looking at.
This new/retro iPhone seems to be aimed at the younger members of our fine society but they will have to be quite wealthy teenagers or have affluent and generous parents as even the 8GB version comes in at slightly under £430 and if they, or you, want the 16GB version.
Which you will if memory space is an issue because there's no memory card slot on Apple phones remember, so you (or your mum and dad) will have to stump up a further £80, taking the price to over £500.
If you thought this might be your chance to get your hands on a shiny new cheap iPhone you can get that idea out of your head right now. This is no cheap iPhone by any stretch of the imagination, it just costs a little less than the aluminium bodied iPhone 5s.
There's no getting away from the price issue. It's cheaper, but it is certainly not cheap and we sometimes wonder if the fact that few of us in Europe or the rest of the world have the disposable income that the Americans have is a fact that has escaped Apple.
Longer lasting battery
A larger 1510 mAh battery, which as ever with Apple is not of the removable type, now offers 250 hours standby and 10 hours talk time against 225 and 8 hours in the iPhone 5. This puts it on a par with the 5s although the two phones use different batteries.
These are manufacturers claimed figures which will of course vary with individual use. That aside though you are effectively buying an iPhone 5 with the upgraded operating system found in the iPhone 5s but with a plastic casing a-la iPhone 3GS.
I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it. There are many Android smartphones that have far better credentials than the iPhone 5c for considerably less money. There are also now a good number of Windows Phone 8 smartphones that are better than the 5c for considerably less money.
But if you really, really want an iPhone then our recommendation would be to either go for an iPhone 5, which will no doubt now drop in price following the introduction of the 5c, or go for the 5s with the new iOS7 operating system.
Given that you're likely to buy a case anyway, and cases can be bought pretty cheaply now in just about any colour combination you like, we find it very difficult to recommend you buy the iPhone 5c for any reason all. Not even just because you like the colour.
Sorry, but we're not going to lie to you. If this was Apple's attempt to introduce a different iPhone for the masses then they have failed in our opinion. Save some money, buy an iPhone 5 and a case.
Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32 GB variants and in 5 pastel colours
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