First hands-on impressions of the iPhone 5s and 5c [Roundup]

You have to be in a pretty select group of tech sites to be invited to an Apple event. That much is no secret. So, we decided to do the rounds and see what the “who’s who” of tech journalists thought of Apple’s latest creations.

iPhone 5s

The Verge got its hands on the latest flagship device, and fortunately for skeptics of the new gold color, it appears as if the color looks much better in person than it does in some of the (frankly hideous) leaked images. Be sure to click on The Verge link above for a video hands on with the 5s!

As it turns out, everything that we’d seen from the rumors were true: the iPhone 5s is faster, of course, with a dual-LED flash and the much-vaunted fingerprint scanner on the home button. And yes, it comes in a gold color, which actually looks better in person compared with the many leaked images we’ve seen. After all that, however, you would be hard-pressed to distinguish the iPhone 5s from the iPhone 5 — if you are picking one up in “Space Gray” or white, the only visible difference will be the ring around your home button and the slightly larger flash.

5S Hands On Engadget

Engadget noted in its hands-on time with the iPhone 5s that while most iPhone “s” versions remain the exact some design, this time around there are a few differentiating design factors, such as the new dual flash and the redesigned home button with Touch ID.

Consisting of the same aluminum build, chamfered edges and overall industrial design, there isn’t much to the 5s that haven’t already seen on its predecessor. Of course, this is to be expected on the odd-year version of the flagship, as current trends go, but there were a couple new elements to this particular model; it offers a dual-LED flash, and the home button swaps out the square etching for a more fancy ring around the outside.

AnandTech also posted their hands-on video, where they talk through and demonstrate some of the newest features with the iPhone 5s such as the fingerprint scanner located behind the home button.

iPhone 5c

TechCrunch got their hands on the new iPhone 5c, and according to them (as well as other reports) the new cheaper device feels great in the hands. The device has essentially the same specs as the iPhone 5 did, just with a different and updated casing.

5c hands on TC

I’m maybe most impressed by how light and yet solid the iPhone 5C feels. While it may not quite live up to the ultra-luxe metal and glass feel of the iPhone 5 and now 5C, it doesn’t feel like a cheap device; this is a premium phone, despite the price tag and somewhat older internals. Based on my first impressions, I imagine the iPhone 5C will have plenty of fans when it goes up for pre-order on September 13 – this is a phone that offers a lot of value at its price point, and improves upon the iPhone 5, which is a first for Apple’s smartphone lineup mid-tier device.

Engadget seems to repeat the praise on the casing for the new colorful device. They claim that it is simply the best polycarbonate shell for a device that they’ve ever gotten their hands on, and it makes me pretty excited about getting my hands on the device myself.

It appears that the 5c ultimately keeps to the same spec list overall, with a 4-inch Retina Display, A6 processor, LTE, 8MP camera and more. A huge difference, however, is the actual build, which includes a full multitouch display on the front and a single hard-coated piece of polycarbonate strengthened by a frame of reinforced steel. Apple repeatedly mentioned during its event that it’s “unapologetic” about the plastic build, and deservedly so — not only does it feel great, it’s the most solid polycarbonate build that we’ve ever laid hands on. There is absolutely nothing about this setup that makes us believe it’s not capable of handling wear and tear, and the reinforced steel frame convinces us that it’s even going to survive falls without a problem.

It appears as if the praise for the iPhone 5c is almost universal, and it certainly makes me excited for the future of cheaper devices for Apple. The iPhone 5s recevied similar comments for its new features such as the fingerprint scanner and much improved camera, while keeping a widely popular design, similar to that of last year’s iPhone 5.

What do you think of Apple’s new devices? Will you buy either? If so, which one do you prefer and why? Sound off in the comments section below!

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  • LadigJ

    What a joke

  • JanisVaivars

    I think not a lot of bad stuff is said just to keep future Apple event invitations secured and safe. The 5C is clearly overpriced for what it is, but still only the ‘fanboy’ bits ar pointed out. There are very little improvements and the price is now even higher. Milking continues… Oh, and yes, the fingerprint scan is useless…

  • rhymiZ

    So i’m going to sell my metal iPhone 5 to buy the exact same one in plastic…

  • I think most people will go for the 5S because they’re attracted by the “cool” factor of the Touch ID, however, a 5C is pretty tempting for me since I’m still stuck with my iPhone 4, and I don’t feel the need to pay the extra cost for a 5S.