iPhone 5c review
The iPhone 5c might not be cheap, but it's a gorgeous handset that brings a breath of fresh air to the iPhone lineup. For many people, it might even be a better choice than the iPhone 5s.
- Gorgeous design
- Beautiful colors and craftsmanship
- Global LTE support
- Most affordable new iPhone yet
- Last year's internals
- Camera stumbles in low light
After weeks of leaks and speculation, the iPhone 5c is finally here. Apple's colorful new lower-cost handset slots below the iPhone 5s flagship and ships with iOS 7. This is the first time the company's launched two new iPhones simultaneously. The 5c replaces the iPhone 5 in the middle of the lineup, and the 8GB iPhone 4s is now available free on contract. Unlike years past, the iPhone 5 doesn't carry on as a second-tier device -- it's just gone. The 5c is built from steel-reinforced, colored-through, machined polycarbonate that's coated in a glossy finish. Apple's last plastic handset was the iPhone 3GS in 2009, but it only came in black and white. In contrast, the 5c arrives in a rainbow of pastel hues: white, pink, yellow, blue and green, along with a matching set of cases.
Spec-wise, the 5c is basically an iPhone 5 with an improved front-facing camera and global LTE support. The 16GB model costs $99 with a two-year commitment ($549 unlocked) and the 32GB version is $199 on contract ($649 unsubsidized) -- as such it's more affordable than the departed iPhone 5. While Apple's clearly positioning the 5c as an aspirational product, we suspect it's also less expensive to manufacture than the iPhone 5, which means the company gets to enjoy some higher profit margins. It's obviously not the cheap iPhone some folks were expecting, and frankly, we're not surprised -- it's an Apple device, after all. So does the 5c live up to the hype? Is it an improvement over the iPhone 5? Should you pony up for the iPhone 5s instead? Let's find out.