Alongside the announcement of Apple’s latest flagship iPhone 5S is the introduction of its cheaper alternative. Emblazoned with colorful, plastic backing, the new iPhone 5C is finally official after months of rumors and speculation.
The iPhone 5C is the one of the two new designs that’s replacing the iPhone 5, with the other being the “most forward-thinking” iPhone 5S. Apple’s Phil Schiller portrays the 5C as “more fun and more colorful than any iPhone we’ve had yet,” claiming that it’s made with all the cherished features customers have learned to love in the iPhone 5.
Whereas the 5S comes in only three color varieties, the iPhone 5C touts five flavors: green, pink, white, yellow, and blue. However, only the back, sides, and buttons are adorned with those colors; the fronts of the phones are black. The homescreen wallpaper matches the phone’s body color by default, though. Further color customizations can be done by obtaining the official custom cases ($29.99 apiece), which are mode of soft-feel silicon rubber.
The Apple iPhone 5C is “beautifully, unapologetically plastic,” according to Apple’s designer Jony Ive. So, despite being a cheaper material than metal, the polycarbonate component is one single part that’s solid and dense. A steel frame, which also acts as an antenna, reinforces the overall structure. With a smooth finish, flat back, and bold design, the iPhone 5C doesn’t feel cheap at all.
In terms of innards, the Apple iPhone 5C offers features that are already found in the iPhone 5. For instance, the same 4-inch display at Retina resolution (1136×640, ~326ppi) is employed, along with the year-old A6 processor. Available storage options are 16 and 32GB. Naturally, those wanting for more should turn their heads towards the 64GB iPhone 5S.
But there are upgrades to be had, too. The front-facing camera is upped to accommodate FaceTime HD and enhance video calls and self-shots, while the rear sports an 8MP iSight camera. Both shooters should be able to perform better in low-light conditions. Despite having a relatively old processor, the upcoming camera features in iOS 7 should function just fine in the iPhone 5C. Apple claims that battery performance is also better, while support for more LTE bands is added for world coverage. Other connectivity features include 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, etc.
When it comes to U.S. price, the iPhone 5C is not exactly the entry-level smartphone that everyone has expected it to be. Prices start at $100 on-contract, while a factory-unlocked unit costs $550. In comparison, the iPhone 4S is free when obtained thru a carrier contract and costs $450 unsubsidized. That said, the iPhone 5C is positioned at the mid-level price range, between the high-end 5S and low-end 4S. To some extent, what users are getting when buying the 5C is basically the older and soon-to-be-discontinued iPhone 5, albeit with slight upgrades from a specs standpoint.
The Apple iPhone 5C will become available on September 20, to be sold through the Apple Online Store or Apple’s retail stores. No official word has been released as to when authorized resellers in the Philippines will receive the device.