iPhone 5C and 5S: Pros and cons

Apple have released two new versions of the iPhone: the high-end 5S and the cheaper 5C. But why should you choose one over the other?

Apple have finally unveiled their latest iPhones and with much of the rumour-mill's speculation proving correct (we have the cheaper 5C, the finger-print scanner on the 5S) it's now time to weigh up the new offerings, and see which, if any, deserves your attention.

iPhone 5S: Pros

New processors.

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said on stage that the new A7 chip in the 5S will be at least twice as fast as the iPhone 5. The chip will also run 64-bit architecture, making it “desktop class”.  

There’s also a new suite of motion-tracking sensors routed through a separate chip named the M7, monitoring users’ movements and making the data available to third-party software. Apple promises this will “enable a new generation of health and fitness app” which is fairly standard hyperbole from the company, though the M7 should eliminate the need for consumers to buy separate health peripherals.

The fingerprint scanner.

Biometrics might not be a particularly new feature, even on mobiles (Motorola’s Atrix 4G had one back in 2011) but it seems likely that Apple will popularise the technology, offering smooth integration and making mobile purchases more convenient. It won’t make the new iPhone ‘unhackable’ by any stretch of the imagination, but it will be a substantial barrier for criminals and will hopefully deter theft.

The Touch ID feature on the iPhone 5S allows users to unlock their phone using their fingerprint The Touch ID feature on the iPhone 5S allows users to unlock their phone using their fingerprint  

 A fantastic camera.

Like the HTC One, Apple’s new camera has gone for bigger pixels rather than more of them, with a 15 per cent larger sensor and a wider f/2.2 aperture. Apple have always been on top of mobile photography and the new iPhone looks like no exception. There’s also ‘True Tone’ flash that uses a dual, white and amber LEDs to create better colour balance; a new burst mode for taking multiple snaps at once, and slow-motion option on 720p video.

Burst mode will allow the iPhone 5S to shoot 10 pictures a second.  

iPhone 5S: Cons

Battery life.

It’s the one area of smartphone technology that is just crying out for innovation and Apple – along with the rest of the industry – have failed here. The batteries in the 5C and the 5S offer marginal improvement, with a couple of extra hours of talk-time and internet use, but it’s just not enough of a difference.

Apple have shown some sense in making the M7 processor handle motion data separately (this means less drain on the 5S's juice) but there's certainly more that could have been done. Google's Moto X for example has managed to squeeze more than a day's worth of power from a similar battery by introducing a host of minor improvements including Active Display (notifications that don't mean you have to unlock your phone) and dedicating processor cores to specific tasks (eg one for natural language tasks and one for 'contextual computing').

(Click here to see the stats of the iPhone 5S)

The new iPhone 5C will come in five different colours The new iPhone 5C will come in five different colours

iPhone 5C: Pros

It’s colourful.

Coming in white, yellow, red, blue and green the iPhone 5C really does look fantastic. Jony Ive described the model as “beautifully, unapologetically plastic” and it really does look the business. The slip-on silicone covers also add to the appeal, with hands-on reports saying they also take away the 'slippery' feel of the 5C.

Less breakable.

With its polycarbonate casing (reinforced with a steel frame that also acts as an antenna) there are hopes that this will be the most durable iPhone to date. The iPhone 5 was a great improvement on the idiocy of the iPhone 4 and its oh-so-smashable glass back, but it’s still prone to losing its shine through scratches and bumps. Having a plastic case means less worry from the outset.

Phil Schiller talks about the pricing of their new products, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S Phil Schiller talks about the pricing of their new products, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S  

iPhone 5C: Cons

It’s expensive.

It seems that Apple’s pride just couldn’t stomach jibes suggesting that the ‘C’ would stand for ‘cheap’, and have hardly made any concessions on price. Buying the 5C out of contract will set you back £469 for the 16GB version and £549 for the 32GB model. Contract prices will be lower of course (in the US they’re set at $99 and $199) but this is far from a budget handset. 

It's nothing new.

Although the 5C is being touted as one of the 'new' iPhones it's really just a re-packaged handset, sporting the same innards and screen resolution as the iPhone 5. Usually at this point in their product cycle Apple would knock down the price of the older model, but have instead stopped stocking the iPhone 5 whilst offering the iPhone 4S free on a two-year contract. This seems geared towards encouraging sales of the 5C, essentially asking more people to buy a new model, even if all they're really buying is a colourful case.

(Click here to see the stats of the iPhone 5C)

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Website Editor

    £15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments