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Review: Apple iPhone 5c

Review: Apple iPhone 5c

Apple's iPhone 5c doesn't offer much that's new, but remains a worthy upgrade for anyone with an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S

Apple's iPhone 5c doesn't offer much that's new, but remains a worthy upgrade for anyone with an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

Design

The iPhone 5c is available in white, red, blue, yellow and green colour variants and is constructed from hard-coated polycarbonate.

It's a little heavier than last year's iPhone 5 (132g), but otherwise is much the same — the 5c retains a similar shape to the iPhone 5 and its ports and buttons are in the usual places.

The iPhone 5c feels nothing like a cheap smartphone. The glossy finish is a little slippery to hold and does attract plenty of fingerprints, but the case feels sturdy.

The iPhone 5c feels better constructed than many flagship smartphones on the market, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The glossy finish is prone to wear and tear. After a week of use, our green review unit picked up plenty of scratches and marks, particularly on the back.

Software & performance

The iPhone 5c has the same 4in Retina display, uses the same A6 processor, and comes with the same 8-megapixel rear camera as the iPhone 5.

The only significant change is the front-facing camera, which has larger pixels and now includes backside illumination.

The upgraded front-camera results in better quality selfies should you be so inclined, and also improves the quality of outgoing video calls, particularly on Facetime.

The iPhone 5c misses out on two of the iPhone 5s' best camera features, an excellent burst mode and slo-mo video recording.

The iPhone 5c's battery usually lasted a full day, but heavy users will still have to reach for the charger before the end of the day.

The real upgrade on the iPhone 5c is the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7. The bright colours and light menus do take some getting used to, and some of Apple's icons are just strange.

Overall, it's a significant improvement over iOS 6, which looked dated compared to its Android and Windows Phone competitors.

The control centre, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, is the most useful new feature. It eliminates the need to delve through the settings menu to access commonly used functions like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Verdict

If you're a current iPhone 4 or 4S user, you'll more than likely be very pleased with the iPhone 5c. The new colour options are vibrant and attractive, and iOS 7 is a nice upgrade from Apple's previous software.

If you're not a current iPhone owner, the choice is more difficult. If you want a larger screened device and more flexibility, an Android phone is probably a better choice for you.

The Apple iPhone 5c is available now in Australia through Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile. The iPhone 5c will also be sold outright through Apple's Retail Stores, and through the Apple online store with Australian pricing set at $739 for the 16GB model and $869 for the 32GB model.


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