The iPhone 5c is that "other" iPhone that launched on September 20, alongside the flagship iPhone 5s. While the higher end 5s might've garnered more attention among the press, the iPhone 5c may end up being the higher volume seller. Why? It's $99 on contract vs. $199 for the 5s in 16 gig capacity. It's basically an iPhone 5 inside, and let's face it; the iPhone 5 is more than good enough for many iOS fans. Lastly, the 5 cheerful colors combined with the lower price point means this may be the go-to smartphone for tweens and teens.
Let's talk about what's different: the polycarbonate casing. I personally think it looks and feels really cool, and it's refreshing to see a new design after 4 iterations of what's basically the same (albeit lovely) Leica inspired iPhone 4/4s/5/5s metal casing. The iPhone 5c is hair bigger and heavier than the iPhone 5s due to the thickness of the polycarbonate plastic back. It's a negligible difference. While I wouldn't say the casing could fool you into thinking it's enamel, it does have a high quality look and feel. The design is appealing and the phone is very rigid. It doesn't look or feel budget. Honestly for $99 on contract and $549 full retail, this is not a budget product. Apple simply doesn't do the budget segment, no matter how much Wall Street might wish they would.
Inside, it's an iPhone 5 with the same 4" Retina Display (in fact, it's the same display as the iPhone 5s too). It runs on the Apple A6 dual core CPU as did the iPhone 5, and you get a gig of RAM and 16 or 32 gigs of storage. The phone has LTE 4G, dual band WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, a GPS with GLONASS and a slightly higher capacity battery than the iPhone 5. The 32 gig model costs $100 more on or off contract. The 5c is available on all major US carriers and there's an unlocked version too. The iPhone 5c has a front 1.2MP FaceTime camera and a rear 8MP camera with LED flash (again, same as the iPhone 5).
Here's our iPhone 5c video review. Our full written review will follow.