Old wine in a colourful new bottle

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: Dec 5 2013, 08:48am hrs
With rumours floating around that the new Apple iPhone will be called the 5c, people were quick to jump to the conclusion that it will be a cheaper version of the phone. In fact, that was just wishful thinking, for the iPhone 5c turned out to be anything but cheap. In hindsight, it seems the C actually stands for colour.


This is the most colourful any iPhone has ever been. The iPhone 5c is available in a wide array of bright colours, white being the most sober of them all. This could be a problem for people who want this phone, but in neutral tones. If you need a black cover, it is not available; I dont understand why black isnt an option.

The iPhone 5c is also super thin and light. My primary device is an iPhone 4 and the 5c is almost half its thickness. Apple shows the world how to use plastic without making the device feel flimsy or cheap. I doubt if any other manufacturer has executed a plastic body better. The 5c has a solid feel, and the only time you realise the body is plastic is when you tap on it.

The volume buttons are now oblong instead of the circles in the iPhone 5, which this phone is replacing. The only other difference is at the bottom where now you have four holes instead of the speaker grille in the earlier version.

These iPhones also usher in a new range of headphones that are designed to fit into your ear better then the round shaped in-ear models. The sound quality does not seem much different than before, but the shape definitely does make a difference as far as comfort is concerned.


The iPhone 5c is actually the iPhone 5, but in a new body. So the performance is not remarkably different from the earlier version. But that does not mean it is the same. This phone comes with Apples latest iOS 7 operating system and is much slicker than iOS 6. Having used the iOS 7 in my iPhone 4 so far, the OS felt like it had been put on steroids for the 5c. Everything seemed much faster than I knew it to be.

The superb Retina display comes to life with the iOS 7s parallax effect. This screen, though not new, makes the 5c an excellent option for those who like to snack on video on the go. The sound quality is also good and there is no need for external speakers to enjoy your favourite music.

The 8 MP iSight camera is among the best in the market and works well, even in low light. There are not many phone cameras that give you this level of confidence, whatever the situation be. But even this feature is a carryover from the iPhone 5. What is really new is the addition of HD to FaceTime and that is really good. As someone who uses this feature a lot to keep in touch with friends and family, the new FaceTime HD camera really adds a new dimension.

The internet experience on the iPhone 5c is wonderful, as the browsing seems faster than before. The Safari on iOS 7 only adds to the ease. The battery life is much better than my iPhone 4. If you charge this phone in the morning, it wont let you down before you are home. If you dont browse the web much, you can stretch the battery life to about 12 hours.

Should You Buy It

The iPhone 5c is a great phone on all counts, if you can live with the colours. Not all of us can. But remember that is is essentially the iPhone 5 in new clothes. If you can afford it, buy the iPhone 5S which brings a lot of new cutting edge features to the table. If you cant, this is a great replacement, especially with the buyback schemes on offer.


* Dimensions: 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm (H x W x D)

* Display: 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen

* Resolution: 1136 x 640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi

* Operating system: iOS 7

* Processor: 1.3 GHz dual-core CPU


* Camera: 8 MP (rear); 1.2 MP (front)

* Capacity: 16/32 GB

Estimated street price: Rs 41,900