Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a review of the iPhone 5c. This post is more of describing why I chose the iPhone 5c over the 5s. Enjoy reading!
I have made a decision that would call foul upon my tech-savvy friends: I chose the iPhone 5c over the 5s for an upgrade. It would come as a big surprise to everyone who knew me as an avid Apple aficionado, but before my friends throw tomatoes (or apples) at me, let me narrate what had happened one rainy morning at an Apple Store in Vancouver.
I had been so keen on getting an iPhone 5s: the newest processor, the updated camera and its features, the TouchID sensor all appealed to me. And to think that I am up for an upgrade after two years on my iPhone 4, Apple’s new flagship phone could have well deserved a spot in my pants pocket. Until of course, I saw a barrage of colours sitting across the iPhone 5s display.
I tried checking the new plastic phones out, and with colourful appeal they seduced me into some vibrant trance. The iPhone 5s had its strong, first-class and premium air to it — pretty much “puttin’ on the Ritz” on a smartphone. On the other hand, the iPhone 5c was just fun. So I inched towards the colourful display where the plastic phones were, and I was flabbergasted at how the phone looked, how it felt, how it sat in my hand. It’s fun-looking. It’s fun-feeling.
Jony Ive, the design deity behind the 5c’s feel couldn’t have said it better: the phone is unapologetically plastic. He can apologize, though, for not coming up with the idea earlier on. The iPhone 4, 4S and 5 all had hard, substantial and classic-looking designs thanks to their glass and metal-clad bodies. But they weren’t fun — instead, they were prone to shattering and scratching. The 5c, on the other hand, is clad in plastic that felt like ceramic that just begged to be held in the hand. And beg to be held it did. I walked out of the store with a blue iPhone 5c. There’s a different atmosphere to the 5c, and it’s not that it feels cheaper than the 5s (although it is), but because it’s an experience that doesn’t have to be as premium as the flagship phone. It’s a jovial, plastic phone that complements the playful aesthetics of iOS 7. And did I say it’s colourful?
So how does it compare to the iPhone 5s? I can say that I don’t need to be paranoid about babying a $700 phone in a case with a bumper and a screen protector. The iPhone 5c feels substantial enough that I don’t have to worry about putting it in a case, because it basically feels like an iPhone 5s in a case. The plastic build is so solid and consistent that I can just hold it as it is, and not mind it being toppled over by some fascinated toddler (‘Oooh colours!!’). Overall, the iPhone 5c’s appeal does not rest on the specs sheet nor the feature pack of other smartphones (I’m looking at you, Samsung Galaxy S4).
I am a tad bit worried, though, with the future of this phone. Given that it runs on the specs of last year’s iPhone 5, and given that Apple iterates new software every year, it could be possible that the iPhone 5c will no longer be supported or will be very laggy after a couple of iOS updates, just like what happened to my iPhone 4. Otherwise, it would be an amazing phone to keep for another couple of years.
Although not as stunning and gorgeous as the iPhone 5s nor the iPhone 5, the 5c still proves itself worthy performance-wise. Apps open and close with snappy speed that felt planets away from my old iPhone. The camera, although not as ‘flashy,’ is still very capable: I was able to take stunning photos comparable to the 5s. I have provided some sample pictures that my iPhone 5c took down below.
This colourful iPhone has an emotional appeal to it, a fun-factor that is the hallmark of owning a product that one should actually ‘use’. Whenever I used to tote my iPhone 4 around, I was so worried about dropping it or scratching it that I always had a case on which ultimately ruined the experience of holding such a sexy phone. With the 5c, I can actually use this phone and be playful with it — hold it in various ways or toss it up in the air — horsing around with the phone without being too careful about it. And that’s what made me fall in love with the iPhone 5c. It’s a good phone — it’s not the best in class, nor is it earth-shattering, but it’s an excellent phone that you will want to use everyday. It’s an experience unlike previous iPhones where it’s all beauty, elegance and class. This iPhone is a little bit different. It’s jovial. It’s simple. It’s cute. And I like simple. I like cute.
Photos taken by Karlo Avenido