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Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5 comparison review: What's the plastic iPhone 5C got?

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iPhone 5C blue

As per the rumours, Apple announced the iPhone 5C, it's new alternative and cheaper smartphone. So what's the difference between it and the now old iPhone 5? We take a look in our iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5 comparison review.

On the whole, the iPhone 5C can be thought of as the iPhone 5 but wrapped in a new plastic shell. There are some other differences though so read on to find out what they are.

Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Price (UK)

Apple has discontinued the iPhone 5, leaving the 8 GB iPhone 4S on sale at £349. So if you want an iPhone 5 you'll have to get it second hand or from a mobile operator which is still selling it.

Nevertheless, here is how the iPhone 5C compares to the pricing system for the iPhone 5 when it was on sale. It's cheaper than usual but can hardly be described as budget.

The iPhone 5C will be available to pre-order from 13 September and will go on sale on 20 September with the iPhone 5S.


iPhone 5

iPhone 5C

16 GB



32 GB



64 GB



Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Design and build

As we mentioned, the iPhone 5C is essentially the iPhone 5 but in a polycarbonate plastic casing and as such is a little bigger and heavier. It's slightly more than a millimetre thicker and is 20 g heavier – nothing major here.

iPhone 5C colours

The bigger difference is the plastic casing which comes in five different colours – white, red (Apple calls it pink), blue, yellow and green. The iPhone 5C is steel reinforced inside.





Apple iPhone 5

59 x 124 mm

7.6 mm

112 g

Apple iPhone 5C

59 x 124 mm

9 mm

132 g


Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Screen

There's no change when it comes to the screen. Apple has kept the same 4 in Retina display in the iPhone 5C which was used in the iPhone 5.




Pixel Density

Apple iPhone 5

4 in

640 x 1136

326 ppi

Apple iPhone 5C

4 in

640 x 1136

326 ppi


Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Processor

Once again,  there's no difference between the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5 in the engine room. Apple's new plastic iPhone has the same A6 chip inside.

Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Storage

Apple typically offers three different storage options for the iPhone but the iPhone 5C only comes in 16 GB and 32 GB models. There's still no microSD card slot for adding more.


Storage options

microSD slot

Apple iPhone 5

16/32/64 GB


Apple iPhone 5C

16/32 GB



Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Cameras

The iPhone 5C retains the 8 Mp iSight camera which can be found on the iPhone 5. A new camera app adds various features including square shots and Instagram style filters. The iPhone 5 will get this  with an update to iOS 7, though.

iPhone 5C camera

The front facing FaceTime HD camera has been improved compared to the iPhone 5's. Apple says that larger pixels and an improved backside illumination sensor give it better performance in low-light situations.

Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Connectivity and 4G support

On the connectivity front, the iPhone 5C is largely the same as the iPhone 5 with the Lightning connector, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.

A key difference is support for more 4G LTE frequency bands. Apple states that the iPhone 5C is compatible with EE and Vodafone's networks in the UK but O2 confirmed that the smartphone, along with the flagship iPhone 5S will support it's network.

"And One More Thing...Yes iPhone 5S and 5C will support 4G on O2. More info coming soon." tweeted O2.

O2 uses the same 800 MHz frequency which Three will use when it launches its 4G and the latter is taking registrations for the new iPhones with advertising for 4G so it's all good on this front too.

Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Software

Software is an area where there is no difference. The iPhone 5C will come with iOS 7 pre-installed but the iPhone 5 will be updated to the latest operating system before the 5C goes on sale.

iPhone 5C iOS 7

Apple iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: Battery life

Apple has given the iPhone 5C a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5 which is a factor for it's heavier weight. It provides a boost in battery life, according to Apple, of an extra two hours of talk time and browsing over 4G LTE plus 25 hours on standby.


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