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iPhone 5C - iOS 7, Apps and Performance

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


iPhone 5C – iOS 7

The iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S are the first two new phones to ship with iOS 7, the biggest update to the iPhone operating system in its history. It’s a clear attempt to address criticisms that iOS has fallen behind rival systems like Android and Windows Phone in some respects.

iOS 7 is a largely successful update. It is a significant stylistic re-working of the iPhone software that doesn’t ruin the simplicity of the system, which is perhaps the key to its staggering mainstream success (something that’s hard to fully appreciate six years in.)

SEE ALSO: iOS 7 review

If you’re used an iPhone before, you’ll initially be struck by quite how differently it moves, compared to previous versions. The iPhone 5C’s software is all swooshy transitions, and the sense of inertia and the physics of movement play a far greater part than before.

It’s something we largely attribute to the largely positive reception of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8, which took this approach to the feel of a mobile phone operating system more seriously than ever before. And Apple’s nicked it, basically.

iOS 7 1There are new bits clearly indebted to Android, too.

The iPhone 5C’s iOS 7 has something called Control Center that mimics some of the functions found in many Android phones. It lets you control brightness, switch functions like Wi-Fi on and off, and control music playback. You access Control Center by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen.

It’s neat, but we still think that the updated look and feel of the iOS 7 is its biggest feature. Jonathan Ive is the man who was in charge of iOS 7.

iOS 7 2And as the bloke who also had a significant hand in the design of almost every iconic Apple product of the last 20 years, it’s no surprise that he’s a bit obsessed with questions of aesthetics.

Don’t think you like the iOS 7 look? We’ve heard many people complain about the new software, but it’s fundamentally something that’ll sink in very quickly. And if you skip back to iOS 6 after using the new software for a week, the older version does feel very dated indeed.

iOS 7 – a successful update even if many of its best bits are borrowed. For more on th iPhone 5C software, read our iOS 7 tips and tricks guide.

iPhone 5C – Apps and Performance

Take a step back, though, and you can only conclude that the iPhone ecosystem’s fortes are what they have been for years – apps and games.

There are more than a 900,000 apps live in iTunes’s App Store. And while that’s believed to be slightly less than found on Android’s Google Play, the selection of apps and games on iTunes is much better.

While there are (at the time of writing at least) some minor compatibility issues with some apps thanks to iOS 7, the iPhone 5C will be able to use just about all of them. It’s because – whisper it – this phone is almost identical to the iPhone 5.

Both phones have a dual-core 1.3GHz Apple A6 processor. Both phones have 1GB of RAM. Both phone use the triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU.

Spec-heads may find this disappointing, but it’s good news really. Developers have been optimising games for this setup for a year now, and it’s capable of cranking out some great visuals.

However, it does mean that there’s very little reason to upgrade from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5C. Their level-pegging specs mean they’ll be supported by both Apple and the app scene’s developers for exactly the same length of time.

iPhone 5C 3

But is the iPhone 5S’s extra grunt worth investing in? The iPhone 5S costs £80 more than the 5C, and as well as the Touch ID sensor, improved camera and metal body, that gets you a new Apple A7 processor.

It’s the first 64-bit mobile phone processor, and has an improved PowerVR series 6 GPU. The Geekbench 3 benchmark shows that – while dual-core – it’s an alarmingly fast chip that flattens both the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4.

But what does it mean in real terms? It’ll get you slightly better-looking graphics in a fistful of games and the assurance that your phone will be supported by Apple (i.e. software updates) for longer.

The question of better looking games is arguably becoming less of an issue than it used to be, as many of the biggest developers are starting to focus on free-to-play titles that rarely feature cutting-edge graphics. Few developers produce top-end 3D mobile games, as it’s an expensive endeavour that’s arguably at odds with the mobile gaming market.

However, the other issue - of long-term support - is a biggie. If 64-bit architecture is the future of iOS, the 32-bit iPhone 5C could start to miss out on new software features. We strongly doubt this will happen in the next 12 months, but if you want a phone to hold onto for 2-3 years the iPhone 5S is a better bet.

SEE ALSO: What is 64-bit? iPhone 5S A7 chip explained

yogi bear

September 11, 2013, 7:11 am

So it's basically the iPhone five in plastic.


September 11, 2013, 9:12 am

no originality here. move along

Prem Desai

September 11, 2013, 11:18 am

Is a point to this phone? Most of us would use a case which will cover up the colourful plastic.

Makes sense to buy an iPhone 5 and a nice case.


September 12, 2013, 7:41 am

An iPhone 5 shoved into a Lumia 620 body. This is "innovation" according to Apple, which obviously died with Steve - enough said.


September 12, 2013, 7:45 am

In your video you say something along the lines of, "at £80 less the 5C will attract plenty of people" (paraphrased).
Surely for most people, on a 24 month contract, the maths is more like a monthly difference of under £3.40 bethween the 5S and 5C. For the price of a pint per month, would you really opt for the lesser phone? I know I would drink an extra glass of water each month and have the better phone.


September 12, 2013, 10:42 pm

Its really very better with compare to 5s, I love colors.

Steve Jobbo

September 15, 2013, 9:16 am

I can see this being a great success,a sort of 'lifestyle' statement to people who see through the fact that you can get a just as good windows/android device for half the money.I will wait for a 6C or 6S,with a decent size screen,full 4G capability,more realistic pricing due to competition,a battery that lasts a full day,and maybe wireless charging.


September 16, 2013, 2:49 am

I'm wondering about sounds and mic quality since there seems to be less holes?


September 19, 2013, 1:53 am

My olnly question about iPhone 5C is: can you change the background image? Every single picture I see, there's the default one...


September 19, 2013, 10:17 am

Too bad the iPhone 5c does not come in the color black.


September 19, 2013, 7:54 pm

At this price you might as well just buy a 5 if you can find one, which has a nicer build, or just pony up the relatively small extra and get the full 5S. There's not enough clear daylight between the two models, and the 5C's price means it's not really a budget competitor. Who can justify / afford the 5C but not the 5S?

And Apple's pride notwithstanding, the latest phone needed a 4.5"+ screen. This is not enough for the next whole year. I initially resisted the Tim Cook bashing, as I felt that Apple's success could hardly be down to just SJ. But TC does come across as a manager rather than a leader, and Apple are treading water at the moment (though iOS7 does look nice).


September 20, 2013, 11:22 am

if you don't want touch ID , 5c is real deal ..


September 20, 2013, 6:28 pm

What a waist of time I think people will stick to getting the iphone 5 / 5s the price is not big enough between them and I bet it feels cheap and horrible in comparison they should of really dropped the price for it to be a success


September 20, 2013, 6:29 pm

I bet it flops it needed to be alot cheaper people will just buy the 5 / 5s

Fred Clemons

September 21, 2013, 4:13 pm

There is no iPhone 5, the 5C replaced it. It will be a huge hit. Some people don't care about specs, they just want a phone that works & looks cool and the cheaper price tag will sway some buyers, as will finally having an iPhone with a little color


September 22, 2013, 5:45 pm

They usually have classes at the apple store for there products

Clyde Frog

September 24, 2013, 11:21 am

Although I'm not overly impressed with the specs of the 5C, the 5S is not an option for me as I've absolutely no desire to purchase a phone with a fingerprint scanner. Ever.


September 24, 2013, 11:32 am

I don't understand why every review seems to simply overlook, or just not care that this is an iPhone 5 in a cheaper case, selling for the same, or maybe even more than the 5 would have, had they continued production. Shameless customer-raping pricing by Apple, yet again.

This is massively over-priced, and the plastic case isn't appealing, and it certainly does not make the phone look like a premium product. They could have manufactured the original case with colours if that's what they thought they were missing.

I cannot take any review seriously that gives this device a good score based on these facts alone. There is absolutely no value to this device at all. Over the standard contracts that I'm sure 90% of consumers would have with this phone, it's going to make little, if any, difference to their monthly payments over the 5s.


September 24, 2013, 12:34 pm

Not sure about hit, but it will sell, if only because the 5s will sell out. Way too expensive, can't see the point in it.


September 24, 2013, 12:39 pm

Awesome rant. Unfortunately, you've just been ranting about your lack of ability at using smartphones. But it's good to vent.

If you can't get to the apple store for a class, I'd ask a friend to show you the basics of the phone. Keep to the basics initially (phone calls, texts, taking pictures), until they are second nature, then start using all the apps and dig into the settings.

The internet is also your friend, so if you find a setting you don't know about, search for it. There'll be information on it somewhere.

Matthew Bunton

September 24, 2013, 1:12 pm

Oh yeah a real bargain from Apple at that price.:/

Why are people still throwing money at Apple for way overpriced tech?


September 24, 2013, 1:13 pm

You do know that you can return it for a full refund within 14 days?


William Stuart

September 24, 2013, 7:30 pm

The plastic actually feels really, really nice. I went into a three store over the weekend and came away feeling much more positive about it, it doesn't feel like any plastic phone I have felt before, and feels vastly more impressive than the gs3 or gs4 so don't worry about that. I think they did need the 5C though, it creates a bit of fun in the iPhone lineup.

William Stuart

September 24, 2013, 7:31 pm

It is optional you realise, and even without that it is a pretty big update over the iPhone 5.


September 24, 2013, 8:35 pm

No, it's iphone 5 in Crocs. ;D

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