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Apple iPhone 5c Review


Apple iPhone 5c Review

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And Apple’s nicked it, basically.

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.

Apps & 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.

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.

Camera App

The iPhone 5C has a newly-designed camera app. After originally thinking that iOS 7 would dramatically open up the iPhone camera to make it feel more like the feature-packed Samsung Galaxy S4, we’re (mostly) glad to see it’s largely familiar.

A new coat of interface paint doesn’t hide that you’re still given three main controls over the iPhone 5C’s camera – you can turn HDR mode and the flash on and off, and there’s a panorama mode. The other options – the new bits – are really software manipulations and simple photo modes.

The positive effect of the iPhone 5C’s relatively conservative approach to its camera app is that no mode actually reduces photo quality (aside from that the ‘cropping’ of a square shot doesn’t use the whole sensor’s output.)

The Panorama mode is worth a mention too. It’s excellent, just as it was in the iPhone 5. This is one of the few full-resolution panorama modes – the images it captures are gigantic, and look great.

iOS 7 takes a much more dynamic approach to the sharing of photos, too. In the Photos app you’ll find Photo Streams, which is a way so share video and photos with friends through the magic of iCloud. Looks and feel-wise, it’s a great service. But it has its limits.

That might be easy for Apple fanatics to justify given how seamless iCloud can seem. But when you can get up to 18GB free from Dropbox (admittedly by referring friends to the service), it can seem a bit steep. There is some solace here, however, as you can also share albums (aka Moments) to Facebook and Flickr straight from the Photos app, while you can share individual photos on Twitter. These options mostly make up for the limited iCloud storage and sharing, though anything you share on these services won't appear in the 'Shared' section of the Photos app.

Battery Life

One of the lowest-key updates in the iPhone 5C is its battery. Its 1,507mAh unit is slightly larger than the iPhone 5’s 1,440mAh battery – and the slight disparity between this and the 1,570 mAh battery could be explained by the extra tech the more expensive phone packs-in.

A larger battery does not revolutionise the iPhone’s stamina, but we were happy with the results.

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