iPhone 5c bullet-point impressions

Sections: Features, Hands On / First Looks, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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iPhone 5c

It’s taken me a couple days to formulate my bullet-point impressions of the iPhone 5c, mainly because this one is my wife’s. We alternate updates, with her being on the “incrementals.” With the iPhone 5c, however, Tieraney is mostly pretty thrilled. The different design and the striking color make it feel like a more significant upgrade than it is, considering the internals are pretty much identical to my iPhone 5.

I also forget just how much difference there is between her previous iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5. Her screen is larger, she finally has a Retina display (“See how great Candy Crush looks now?” she asked, because it’s good to remember what’s important), and it’s significantly faster. So, although it’s not the iPhone 5s (and good thing, too, considering how hard they’ve been to purchase so far), there’s still quite a bit to like.

  • As I mentioned in my iPhone 5c unboxing video, the packaging mimics that of the iPod lineup, which makes it seem a bit lower-end, but perhaps more accessible.
  • Although we get the traditional white Apple logo stickers yet again, wouldn’t it have been cooler for Apple to include stickers that match the color of the phone?
  • Speaking of colors, Tieraney’s not thrilled with the pink model she chose. “There’s too much orange in it,” she claims (although you wouldn’t think that from my photos here). It’s pretty much what I expected, as it always looked like more of a salmon color to me.
  • As I expected, finding a matching case will be a problem. The good thing about white and black is that pretty much any color case is going to work. With the iPhone 5c, it’s going to be hard to get a case that’ll match that shade of pink, for example. I imagine clear cases will see a surge in popularity, and manufacturers will otherwise have to get pretty creative with their designs.
  • And suddenly, your home screen wallpaper matters. Apple was wise to include color schemes for each iPhone 5c model in iOS7, because many of their previous options do clash. That said, my wife hate’s the pink wallpaper, and immediately switched it to a photo of her kids. Moms…what can you say?
  • Having used many plastic cases and seen competing plastic phones, I was concerned the iPhone 5c would feel cheap. This isn’t the case; the iPhone 5c is as solid as Apple’s higher end models, if not as elegant.
  • The solid piece of plastic helps, as having no seam tosses out any notion you may have that this is a toy.
  • That said, once you have a case on it (and you will put a case on it, right?) the solid plastic and the lively colors are pretty much negated.
  • The plastic frame sits below the screen on the edges. This is expected, as it’s the same with other iPhones, but I wonder if Apple considered pulling the edges up a bit so the screen would not touch surfaces when set down that way. This is the one iPhone model where I think they could’ve pulled that off. As it stands, you’ll want a case with some lift to the edges, or at least a screen protector.

iPhone 5c

  • I also wonder how resistant to scuffs and scratches the plastic will be. That the color is infused, not painted on, will help, but I’m not willing to test how strong it is.
  • As for performance, it’s on par with what we got out of the iPhone 5. The battery seems to drain a bit more quickly, but that’s likely due to iOS 7, not the phone itself.

Those are my initial thoughts, with tips from Tieraney who has spent more time with it. We’ll have our full review up soon, and will start rolling out our iPhone 5c case reviews very soon, so watch for those.

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  • Pablo

    Unless she upgraded from a 3GS she’s had a retina display
    On the 4S. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone with Retina.

    • Kirk Hiner

      You’re right, Pablo…and I knew that, considering I was an iPhone 4 user before upgrading to the iPhone 5. I haven’t played Candy Crush, but I wonder if they did something different with the graphics between the 4″ inch iPhone 5c screen and the smaller 4S? Or, maybe I’ve just got a crazy wife.

  • Joseph Singer

    Both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S had retina display.