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iPhone 5c review

Is the cheaper iPhone worth the wait?

Apple has distanced itself from the words "budget" and "cheap" when referencing the iPhone 5c. The base level of performance on iOS devices has always been higher than competition such as Android, and the same applies to the 5c.

Benchmarks  Geekbench - 1281Sunspider - 738m/sPeacekeeper - 895

However, the processor and memory score on Geekbench is 400 points lower than what we got on the iPhone 5. Practically, this doesn't translate to any difference in user experience.

Battery life

This is the best battery life we've experienced on an iPhone to-date. The 5c will manage to last through the day even when synced up to push through exchange email and social network notifications, web browsing an an hour stream video over 4G. 

In our intensive IT Pro battery test, the iPhone 5c managed to outlast all previous generations, with 15 per cent still remaining at the end of the day. Our tests included web browsing, checking emails, making phone calls, running a 40 minute video and playing games on the commute. This mark a shift from previous generations, where the iPhone's struggled to make it through the day.

Pricing

The cost of the 5c has possibly been the most talked about feature. It's SIM-free pricing starts at 469 for the 16GB edition, which puts it in no man's land. It's better than mid-range handsets, but not Apple's premium device. It is available for free on most networks. O2 appears to be the cheapest, offering the 5c for free on 24-month contracts at 37 per month if you want 4G. But this only provides 1GB of data allowance.

If you're looking at 4G, Vodafone will charge 47 per month (as part of trade-in). The network also provides a handy data calculator which you can you use to check how much data you've used, if you're not sure.

Overall, it's another quality effort from Apple but as the device is only 60 cheaper than the iPhone 5s SIM-free it's still an expensive option. With the enhanced functionality that iOS brings to users and IT admins - it is an attractive proposition for first time iOS buyers, but Apple has missed an opportunity to make make it a compulsory purchase by not making it cheaper.

Verdict

A slightly cheaper replacement for the iPhone 5, the 5C retains the performance of its predecessor and provides a choice of colours. But we still feel Apple has missed a trick by not making the price point more attractive.

OS: Apple iOS 7

Processor: 1.25GHz dual-core A6

Memory/Storage: 1GB RAM; 16/32/64GB internal

Screen: 4in (1136 x 640-pixel) 326 ppi

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack

Other: Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor

Bands:  GSM - UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25)

Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash and autofocus, 720p HD front-facing

Battery: 1507mAh built-in

Size: 124 x 59 x 8.97mm

Weight: 132g

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