Announced alongside the iPhone 5s in September 2013, the iPhone 5c ($0 on contract from the Apple Store) is currently Apple’s entry-level iPhone. Made with a plastic rear shell and a glass face, it is effectively a repackaging of the iPhone 5, seemingly designed to create differentiation with the highly similar-looking iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 5c continues to use the A6 chip, 8 megapixel camera, and 4-inch Retina display found in the iPhone 5, but modestly improves the front-facing FaceTime HD camera, adds support for more LTE bands, and increases the color choices from two to five. Apple chose a basic white, as well as somewhat faded green, blue, pink, and yellow tones. Every version has a black front.
One thing that the iPhone 5c’s new shell offers is durability: the glossy plastic rear shell is not as easy to accidentally scuff or shatter as the metal and glass iPhone 5 it replaces. On the other hand, Apple only offers it now in an 8GB capacity, which is too little space to store apps, music, and video at the same time. As it’s currently sold, the iPhone 5c is designed to be a very basic phone for first-time iPhone users, as well as something to get people in the doors to choose something better. We wouldn’t recommend it over any other current-generation iPhone unless you only plan to use it for communications, very small apps, and video streaming — not storage.Read our full coverage for details.