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printed September 21, 2014
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Review: Apple iPhone 5c

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The Apple iPhone 5c is a solid performer, but it presents a bit of a conundrum to consumers.

The major differences between the 5s and the 5c are the shell, processor, camera, and fingerprint sensor. Apple priced the 5s at $100 more than the 5c thanks to its aluminum skin, faster chip, slightly better camera, and Touch ID feature. Plenty of features are the same, however, including the screen, app compatibility, radio performance, and battery life.

The 5c's polycarbonate design allows Apple to offer it in five different colors. Whether or not those colors are appealing to you is a personal preference. The 5c feels more comfortable to hold and use than the 5s, but it is slightly larger and heavier.

I wish the 5c offered slightly better call quality and battery life, but the wireless data performance is excellent. The camera does a great job at capturing accurate images that match the competition, but it loses the cool slow-motion feature of the 5s. The fully revised operating system is a breath of fresh air, but not confined to the iPhone 5c (it's also available to the iPhone 5, 4S, and 4.)

Would I recommend the Apple iPhone 5c? Anyone with an iPhone 4 or 4S should upgrade right away. If you're using an iPhone 5, there's no reason to run to the Apple store since many of the features are identical. The bigger question is, iPhone 5s or 5c? For my money, the extra $100 is worth the upgrade to the 5s. If you're on a tight budget, however, the 5c is a worthy device that delights.

Our Ratings

3.5
Overall
4
Reception
3
Battery Life
4.5
Hardware Usability
4.5
Hardware Quality
4.5
Display
4
Interface Speed
4
Audio Volume
4
Camera
 

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