We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
iPhone 5s and 5C Review | Price, Features and Where to Buy
Apple's iPhone 5C and 5S still giving competitors a run for their money.
Date published: 12 Sep 2014
Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C were launched during a hyped-up keynote event in California.
So what’s the verdict – should you pick up one of these phones come September 20th?
As usual with Apple products, there’s a few reasons for fanboys and girls to jubilate and also a bit of petrol to fuel the flames of their haters.
For one, the screen hasn’t gotten any bigger and battery life hasn’t drastically increased.
The ‘cheaper’ model of the two, the 5C, is a plastic-bodied phone which comes in a range of colors including pink, yellow and green and will start at a relatively low price for the basic models, some retailers sell it for $199.
The 5C’s full-featured cousin, the 5S, will cost slightly more.
Why buying an Apple iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s is an excellent idea
With the launch of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the cost of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s have come down significantly. This is still an amazing piece of technology, so if you don’t feel like forking out upwards of $700 for a new phone, you can get your hand on one of these bad boys.
The great thing with the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s is that they come unlocked, so you can use any carrier you wish. One of the cheapest options on the market is an Amaysim sim card, which we’ve made even cheaper with a coupon code.
A new smartphone doesn’t have to cost the moon, after all.
Apple iPhone 5s and 5c Pre-Order: January 2014
The main providers have all confirmed that they will stock the phone when it launches. We can confirm that pre-order dates are currently unavailable but are expected to start from 5pm September 13.
What’s new in the 5S?
The 5S, what Apple’s Vice President of International Marketing, Paul Schiller describes as the “gold standard of smartphones”, has a number of improvements and a new color option compared to the existing iPhone 5.
Users can now get an iPhone 5S in gold in addition to the silver and gray color options and battery life is up marginally from 9.2 hours of 3G talk time to a reported 10 hours.
The camera, while still at 8 megapixels, has been improved with a 15 per cent larger sensor and a new dual LED flash combo which apparently makes for better skin tones. With the 5S you’re also now able to shoot slow-mo video at 120 frames per second.
It also comes with a faster A7 64-bit processor which is the world’s first 64-bit chip in a smartphone.
Probably the biggest hardware change comes in the form of a fingerprint scanner built into the home button. This does away with the passcode of the preceding iPhone and allows you to even log onto your iTunes account without your password.
What’s new in the 5C?
The 5C won’t come with a fingerprint scanner, nor will it feature the new processor or camera and while the 5S will weigh the same as the existing model, the 5C is 20 grams heavier.
It’ll still receive some of the camera image stabilization improvements the 5S will get and the slightly extended battery life.
Both new models will also come with the new iOS 7 operating system out of the box.
Comparing the 5S and 5C with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One
If you’re looking to compare the 5S and 5C with the other heavyweights in the market – the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, read on.
|Apple iPhone 5S||Apple iPhone 5C||Samsung Galaxy S4||HTC One|
|Size||123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 (mm)||124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 (mm)||136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 (mm)||137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 (mm)|
|Screen resolution||1136×640 pixels||1136×640 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||1920×1080 pixels|
|Storage||16/32/64 GB internal||16/32 GB internal||16/32/64 GB internal +SD Card slot up to 64GB||32/64 GB internal|
|Processor||A7 64-bit||A6||Quad-core Snapdragon 600||Quad-core Snapdragon 600|
|3G talk battery life||10 hours||10 hours||17 hours||18 hours|
|Camera||Front 1.2MP, rear 8MP iSight camera||Front 1.2MP, rear 8MP||Front 1.9MP, rear 13MP||Front 2.1MP, rear 4MP|
Pros and Cons of the iPhone 5s and 5C
Whilst this isn’t a whole new phone, it is important to weigh up both the pros and cons when deciding if the new iPhone is for you.
- Improved Camera – Take higher resolution photos with more pixels. Apply a filter at the touch of the button and then instantly tap it to your favorite social network
- Improved Battery Life – An iPhone 5 connected to the LTE network can lose battery in a number of hours. Whilst the battery isn’t vastly improved, you’ll still get a little bit extra talk time.
- Choice of colors – Not exactly ground-breaking, but Apple are keeping up with the Samsungs with the gold, silver and black versions
- Fingerprint scanner – Swiping to unlock your phone is so 2012. Unlock your phone with a simple touch of your finger.
- Not groundbreaking – There is no doubting that this is an incredible smartphone, but can you justify the price for the very little “new” features?
- Battery life average – We did feature this as a pro, but the iPhone 5s still suffers from higher than usual battery drain.
- Plastic colors are tacky – The pastels featured on the iPhone 5C are definitely bright, but do they look and feel a little too childish?
Should you upgrade to the 5S or 5C?
Apple’s latest salvo isn’t a definite victory in the battle for smartphone dominance.
Early responses suggest disappointment at the lack of headline features such as a larger screen and larger storage options. Others are critical of the need for a faster processor and the minimal improvement to battery life.
This and the expensive price tag means this may be an update only worth it for diehard fans.
As always, we won’t know exactly how the two phones fare against Samsung and HTC’s offerings until they’re released.
What do you think about Apple’s new products? Let us know in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Apple
Ask an Expert