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Review: iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

  • Apple's latest smartphones reviewed
  • The difference between 5s and 5c
  • Is it worth the wait and hype?
Written by Katarina Matic

This year Apple has taken a slightly different approach to their new iPhone release. Usually, Apple releases one iPhone upgrade per year, however this year Apple has released two: the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. In short the iPhone 5s is the real upgraded handset in terms of specs and new features; the iPhone 5c is more like a re-hash of the iPhone 5 but in a different casing. The iPhone 5c’s main purpose is to be a budget smartphone with a beautifully designed exterior. The real game changer is found in the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 5c


  • Beautiful and colourful exterior
  • Improved front facing camera
  • Cheap outright purchase price


  • Not a drastic improvement from previous model
  • Cheaper outer body materials
  • Only sold at budget price in the USA



The iPhone 5c has been dubbed as the most beautifully designed Apple iPhone to date. The exterior casing comes in a range of fun and bright colours that is starkly different to the usual monochrome offerings of previous models. The exterior also features a curved back that is reminiscent of the old iPhone 3. The refreshing new colours and new styled casing makes the iPhone 5c an aesthetically pleasing handset.

In terms of iPhone 5c’s specs, there haven’t been any revolutionary additions, which is a downside to the design. The camera is the same 8 megapixel, and it also retains the same retina display, LTE, iSight camera, A6 chip of the old iPhone 5. One major improvement that can be commended is the addition of a 1.2 megapixel front facing, which should improve user Facetime experience.

The iPhone 5c is Apple’s first budget smartphone. The usual aluminum outer body has been replaced with a plastic, polycarbonate casing to save production costs. Surprisingly the plastic casing does not lesson the aesthetic appeal of the design, and this comes back to the new bright coloured design which gives the phone a pleasing look. The body is also slightly thicker, taller and wider than its predecessor the iPhone 5.

iPhone 5s


  • Super fast processor
  • Improved camera
  • Fingerprint sensor


  • Exterior not improved
  • Screen the same size
  • Battery life could be improved

The iPhone 5s's exterior does not look remotely different to its predecessor, the iPhone 5, but there are some noted changes and improvements below the exterior. The most impressive feature of this new model is the fingerprint sensor. The sensor is built into the home screen button and it able to instantaneously scan the user’s fingerprint. There is no need for a password lock with the fingerprint sensor; you can program your iPhone 5s to only unlock to your fingerprint scan. You can also store up to five different fingerprints on file if you want others to have access to your phone.

A nifty sensor is not the only addition to the iPhone 5s; the new iPhone also comes with a faster processor. The 64-bit A7 processor is twice as fast as previous iPhones and it is the first 64-bit smartphone in the world. Users will experience smoother and detailed viewing in 3D video games as a result.

The iPhone 5s’s camera remains at 8 megapixels; the same as the iPhone 5. However, the sensor is 15 per cent larger, the pixels are physically larger, and the aperture is larger. These new additions coupled with the fast A7 processor makes for much better shooting on the iPhone5s. Users can better capture fast motion, take advantage of burst-mode shooting, and pictures taken in low light settings are drastically improved. Furthermore Apple has introduced two different flashes that fire simultaneously; one pure white and one amber. The dual flash can match the skin tones in pictures taken under harsh lighting like fluorescents, streetlights, moonlight and the like. Users will be able to capture clearer, brighter, and better coloured images.


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