iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5: What's the difference?

It's quite obvious, by now, that Apple has launched a couple of additions to the iPhone family. What is not so obvious perhaps, is that the "budget" iPhone 5C will be taking the place of the iPhone 5.

Does that mean it's time to cast aside your trusty iPhone 5 and go seeking Apple's new number? Read on to find out what the difference is between the two models and what you'll get if you switch.

The display is the same

The iPhone 5 came out with a larger screen than its iPhone 4S predecessor, but the same can't be said about the iPhone 5C.

It will come sporting the same 4-inch display as the iPhone 5, featuring an 1136 x 640 resolution and a pixel density of 326ppi. It's a great display but there's no gain in switching.

But the build is different

You will however, get a different build and this is the most obvious difference in the two handsets. First of all, the iPhone 5 is made from aluminium not hard-coated polycarbonate like the iPhone 5C.

Then there are the colour options. The iPhone 5 gives you the option of white or black, that's it. However, the iPhone 5C will give you a choice of pink, yellow, blue, green and white.

READ: Apple iPhone 5C pictures and hands on

If you are a black fan then you are out of luck with the iPhone 5C, but a bit more colour certainly makes for a refreshing change. You could always throw a cover on to it, something that Apple is really pushing with the new iPhone 5C, suggesting that layering cases over the colourful backs will give you plenty of variety.

Lastly, the iPhone 5C is a fraction bigger and heavier than the iPhone 5, but we are talking a matter of millimeters and grams here.

The iPhone 5 measures 123.8 x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and weighs 112g. In comparison, the iPhone 5C measures 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 and weighs 136g, so unless you have your ruler and scales out, you are unlikely to notice much difference.

The camera is the same

When it comes to snapping shots, you won't see much difference here at all. In fact, the iPhone 5C seems to pretty much mimic the iPhone 5 specs. You'll get an 8-megapixel camera with a five-element lens featuring an f/2.4 aperture, just like the iPhone 5. 

READ: Apple iPhone 5 review

The iPhone 5C will also come with the LED flash found on the iPhone 5 and you'll get all the extra features too, including autofocus, Hybrid IR filter, face detection and panorama.

READ: Apple iPhone 5C: Everything you need to know

In terms of video recording, again nothing has changed. The iPhone 5C will support 1080p video recording with 30fps capability. The 1.2-megapixel front camera will give you 720p HD video recording, just like the iPhone 5 did.

Same processor, better connectivity 

Of course, the iPhone 5C was never going to get the latest processor with the iPhone 5S taking the crown, but Apple hasn't dumbed down the handset too much, giving it the same A6 processor as the iPhone 5.

Therefore whatever experience you get on your iPhone 5, will be the same as the iPhone 5C. If you have the iPhone 4S on the other hand, you will see quite a difference.

You'll get a slight improvement on the standby battery life from the iPhone 5, with the iPhone 5C giving you up to 250 hours of standby time, compared to 225 hours.

The audio playback, video playback and 3G browsing will all remain the same, providing you with up to 40 hours, 10 hours and 8 hours, respectively.

Connectivity-wise there will be no change from the iPhone 5, as the iPhone 5C also takes on board Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, which is also the same as the iPhone 5S. However, in terms of 4G LTE, the iPhone 5 only supported EE's service (in the UK), whereas Apple has said the iPhone 5C will support all 4G LTE frequencies.

iOS 7 software

Aside from the build itself, the software is also a pretty significantly different between the iPhone 5 (at launch) and the iPhone 5C.

It's no surprise that the iPhone 5C will launch with Apple's new iOS 7 operating system, which was originally announced in June at the Apple World Wide Developer Conference. However, iPhone 5 users will be able to download it from 18 September.

The system is stripped back and the most simplified iOS yet, with things like the paper textures for iBooks and leather effect for calendar all removed.

The iPhone 5C is cheaper

The iPhone 5 was priced at £529 for a 16GB model, £599 for the 32GB model and £699 for the 64GB model.

The iPhone 5C on the other hand, is not available in a 64GB model for starters but it is a fraction cheaper, costing £470 for the 16GB and £550 for the 32GB model. It's worth keeping an eye on retailers however - the iPhone 5 might get a discount now that the new models are out and you could snap up a bargain.

READ: Apple iPhone 5C: Release date and where can I get it?

The iPhone 5C is pretty much the iPhone 5 but in a different shell. You'll get the same processor, the same camera and the same display as the iPhone 5, but you will get a choice of five colours and a slightly better standby battery, plus 4G compatibility. Overall, we'd expect the experience to be very much the same.



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