The plastic iPhone
5C is available in five different colours. (Reuters)
Gareth Beavis of TechRadar
"The iPhone 5C leaves us feeling a little puzzled," Beavis wrote, explaining that on one hand the 5C is a "great smartphone" and that it's iPhone 5 screen and processor are no bad thing, but its higher-than-expected price tag and "lack of premium feel" leaves "a slightly unpleasant taste on the mouth."
Addressing who the 5C is aimed at, Beavis writes:
"It's safe to say nobody currently sporting the iPhone 5 will be upgrading to the iPhone 5C, and only a handful will make the leap to the iPhone 5S after just a year of ownership, so it's the iPhone 4S owners and below - in the Apple crowd at least - who'll be weighing up the C and S."
Beavis praised the new iOS 7 operating system as "a massive boon for the iPhone range in general" and spoke highly of universal 4G support - the 5C and 5S work on all 4G networks in the UK, unlike the year-old iPhone 5.
But the price is still a concern:
"Apple hasn't pushed the boundaries and thus there's no real incentive for consumers to make the leap - unless they are dead set on owning an iPhone but really can't stretch that extra bit to the iPhone 5S. In summary the iPhone 5C is a great phone, it's just a shame it's last year's great phone wrapped in a less appealing shiny plastic body and slapped with a still-premium price tag."
Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint
Despite replacing the iPhone 5's glass and aluminium with shiny plastic, Miles claims it is "plastic but not plasticky" adding that it doesn't feel like a cheap phone:
"Some might see the plastic as regressive rather than progressive - it depends how much a lick of colour does for you - but any fears that you may have that C in 5C stands for 'cheap' will disappear the moment you pick up the phone. A good thing in our books, one that we're sure there will be many initial doubts over."
But Miles still has his reservations with the 5C, and in particular with its Apple-designed case.
"To spruce up the colour even more Apple has designed its own soft-touch silicon iPhone 5C case. It's the same material Apple used in the iPad smart cover and here comes in a variety of colours including red, white, yellow, blue, green, and black.
"Apple says that the case has been meticulously designed, but we're not convinced. Putting the case on masks some of the iPhone wording on the back leaving you to see the word 'hon' instead of 'iPhone' through one of the holes. How did that happen? It looks forced and awkward. Why not a cut-out Apple? Worse still is that the case adds £25 to the price."
Switching back to the phone itself, Miles concludes by calling the 5C "a lovely phone that is solid in its performance and playful in its approach."
"But there is no denying that the 5C is merely a lick of paint on a year-old device, a non-upgrade to the iPhone 5. Some will see that as regressive, treading water..."
Running the all-new iOS 7 operating system, the 5C has the same screen and camera as the year-old iPhone 5 (Reuters)
Myriam Joire of Engadget
Joire says the 5C "brings a breath of fresh air to the iPhone lineup and will appeal to consumers at an emotional level....While some of Nokia's models also feature a glossy coating, the surface of the 5C is even smoother - like enamel. This, combined with an extremely rigid structure, makes the 5C feel like a solid block of ceramic."
The C has the same rear camera as the iPhone 5, which Joire was impressed by:
"It produces lovely pictures with lots of detail, vibrant colours, accurate exposure and proper white balance. Panoramas are particularly impressive. Best of all, it does this consistently - anyone can take great photos with the 5C, something we can't say about every other device."
Joire's tests of the 5C's battery - which is slightly larger than in the iPhone 5 - revealed that "getting a full day of heavy use from the 5C is relatively trivial, and we even managed to squeeze two days of light use out of it."
Wrapping up, Joire was more impressed with the phone than his UK counterparts:
"With the iPhone 5C, Apple's crafted something that's more than just the sum of its parts. It's easy to be cynical and dismiss this handset as just an iPhone 5 in a colourful plastic shell, but that's missing the point. There's no doubt that the 5C looks gorgeous and feels wonderful in hand. It inherits tried-and-true features from the iPhone 5 and also gains a few new ones, like that improved 1.2MP front-facing camera."
Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch
Etherington also dismisses the 5C's higher-than-expected price, instead saying the phone opens Apple up to appeal to the youth market who want something more colourful and playful than the regular iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S.
"What Apple has delivered is far from a 'cheap' device, in terms of both quality of experience and hardware, and in terms of price. The 5C is probably more broadly appealing than the iPhone 5S just by virtue of its lower cost of entry, but it's still premium hardware and is likely better thought of as an analogue to the iPhone 4S relative to the iPhone 5 back when that device launched.
"But the 5C also has a focus on color, personality and a sort of 'lightness' of design. The phone feels 'young' overall, and it's likely that's the kind of consumer that's going to enjoy this device; the youth market and those just getting their first smartphone or moving up from their first budget Android device to the big leagues."
To conclude, Etherington says he would opt for the iPhone 5C over an iPhone 5:
"Given the choice, I'd choose an iPhone 5C over an iPhone 5, based on design alone, and ignoring its other benefits. In other words, if you're in the market for a new smartphone, Apple's iPhone 5C should be right near the top of your list."
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- HTC One, Motorola X and Samsung’s armada of Galaxy devices all putting up a fight, but he ends by saying: “The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract - but it’s still among the few that will.” Myriam Joire of Engadget Joire starts by saying it is easy to dismiss Apple’s ‘S’ iPhone updates as iterative, but he adds that this year’s 5S “is the first smartphone with full 64-bit support and a capacitive fingerprint sensor, and it also ships with a fresh, revamped version of iOS. “This might not matter to folks who were content with the status quo, but it matter a lot to Apple - and to the company’s future as well - especially if the company wants to fend off an increasingly fierce pack of competitors.” Despite Mossberg and Pogue both praising the 5S’s fingerprint reader, Joire pointed out some of its drawbacks: “It’s so natural, that we almost forgot that passwords and unlock screens even existed on the 5S…[but] it’s not perfect, however: the scanner didn’t work when our fingers were wet or only partially on the home button, although we didn’t experience any problems with clammy fingers in humid conditions.” Joire also spoke highly of the5S’s updated camera, describing low-light performance as “consistently better than what we took with the [iPhone] 5: they were sharper, with finer details, more natural colours and far less noise.” But he reminded readers that the iPhone’s camera is still relatively simple compared to its Android and Windows Phone rivals. “The iPhone has been - and continues to be - great as a simple grand-and-go camera. It may not be a best-in-class performer, but the vast majority of iPhone users will still be happy.” At just 4in, the iPhone 5S is still relatively small comparatively small compared to the mostly 5in competition. Joire says it’s “the best small phone you can get - we can’t think of any other device with a display smaller than 4.5 inches that even comes close.” To conclude, the Engadget writer says: “The 5S is a solid effort from Apple, but its true worth is yet to be determined. If developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of the [movement and fitness tracking] M7 coprocessor and 64-bit support in iOS 7, the 5S will truly shine. If not, many people might just wait it out another year.” Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint Finally, and with a UK perspective, Miles again speaks highly of the 5S’s fingerprint reader, faster A7 processor and universal 4G support - meaning it will work on all uk 4G networks, unlike last year’s iPhone 5 - but he feels the 4in screen is too small, with an “average” resolution. Miles also dismisses iCloud as “a mess” which “still needs to be overhauled to be more fluid” and criticises the phone’s lack of NFC. Speaking of performance, Miles said: “For today however the phone is as fast as it ever was, with zero lag and zero performance issues. Not once have we thought anything took too long to load. But if you are an iPhone 5 user expecting the 5S to be twice the speed of what you’ve been using, you’ll find that’s not the case.” As with other reviewers, Miles found the 5S’s camera to be an improvement over last year’s model: “In testing side-by-side against the iPhone 5, where the iPhone 5 needed the flash, the iPhone 5S was happy to take the picture without and produce better results. When the flash does fire the results are superior too, even in situations where we are in complete darkness only lit by the flash itself. “Of course there is more image noise in low-light shots, but we are still very impressed with the performance...Photographers you won’t be disappointed.” Addressing battery life, Miles found the 5S to perform “exceptionally well. An 8am start and a 10pm finish with heavy-ish use - including hitting it hard on the slow-mo video feature front from around 7pm - felt like a result to us...The battery is roughly the same if not slightly better than the iPhone 5. A push forward, rather than a huge leap, but it’s a step in the right direction.” Summing up, Miles says: “If you want a phone that just works, then the iPhone 5S is a very good place to start. Apple has made it look effortless which is no simple task, and in doing so, by making it look almost too easy, you can sometimes miss the beauty and power in your hand. It's stunning to use, there's stacks of power and, like we say, it just works. It's these simple elements that make it, for us, one of the best phones on the market.”" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">iOS 7 Review: The iPhone's Biggest Update Yet
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