Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should you get?

Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should get?

2013 iPhone buyers guide: How to choose the perfect green, blue, yellow, pink, or white iPhone 5c for you!

More than any iPhone in history, the iPhone 5c is all about color and personality. It comes in hard coated polycarbonate - think plastic, but way classier! - in fun, vibrant shades of green, blue, yellow, pink and white. Color is so personal, so distinctive, but more colors mean more to choose from, and can also mean a more difficult choice! If you're having trouble picking your particular spot on the iPhone 5c rainbow, we're here to help!

Many colors, one face

iPhone 5c review

Regardless of the iPhone 5c color you get, the faceplates are all black. So if you're worried about how the screen will look set against the color of your iPhone 5c, it's almost a non-issue. All you'll see is the thin line of colored polycarbonate around the edge, and each of those looks to set off the black with pretty much the same intensity.

Dirt and discoloration

Rumor has it Apple delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 in order to improve the UV protection and prevent discoloration. Regardless, they took a long time to figure it out and get it right, and the white iPhone 4 has been on the market for over two and half years now and there haven't been any widespread accounts of discoloration. My own white iPhone 4 looks as white now as it did the day I bought it back in 2011. Likewise, there were white, plastic iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS models on the shelves going back to 2008, and no major discoloration issues reported with those either.

While we'll have to wait a year or three to know for sure, if your favorite iPhone 5c color is no color at all, don't worry about it, you can most likely get white and never think twice about it.

Damage assessments

iPhone 5c design

Both light and dark show wear and tear differently. Pale dust and dirt shows up far more on dark, deep colors, and vice versa. Scratches tend to be more visible when the light hits them on dark backgrounds, but since there's no dark colors, and the polycarbonate seems to be colored consistently inside and out, there's probably very little difference.

Until the iPhone 5c as been on the market for a year or more, it's impossible to know which colors will wear better than others, if any at all, but from the looks of it, scratching the surface won't do much more than reveal additional surface.

Cases in combination

For many people the color of the phone they get is of only passing concern, because they'll lock it up in a case the moment it leaves the box. However, depending on the case areas of the iPhone 5c will still show through. In fact, Apple's marketing their own set of highly cut-out cases with just that in mind.

Just because you're wearing a jacket doesn't mean the clothes you have on beneath won't still peak through. Choose a color you love, then add a case you love to it to complete the look. (They're accessories because they accessorize!). If you already have a case you love, pick the iPhone 5c color that best compliments it. Either way, make sure you love the phone you get regardless of the accessories you may or may not add - or keep - to it later.

Who should get the green iPhone 5c?

Kermit was wrong, it is easy being green. It's natural like a grassy lawn or leafy tree, it's exotic like martians and hulks, it's the color most often associated with jealousy, money, and world around us. Apple kept their green light and vibrant and spring-like. They also kept it neutral enough that it can suit many types of people, with many styles, in many walks of life. It looks great, but it doesn't get up in your face about it.

If you want your iPhone 5c to be bright but not overbearing, colorful but natural, green looks wonderful.

Who should get the blue iPhone 5c?

Blue is the color of the sky and of the sea. It's the canvas that so much of the world around us is set against. Yet very little in the natural world is set in blue. That's why sapphires and jays stand out as much as they blend in. While stereotypically associated with boys' blankets and Superman's suits, the color itself knows no such limits. Apple chose a shade that's intense but not overblown. Something for everyone.

If you want your iPhone 5c to look great but not distract, to be deep but not disturbing, blue is where you're going.

Who should get the yellow iPhone 5c?

Banana. Big Bird. NYC taxi cab. We've heard them all. No, the yellow iPhone 5c isn't waterproof but it is sporty. It's the color assigned to the sun, and to gold-like prosperity. It's a caution light instead of a stop light, something that glows but manages to stay at least a little bit subtle about it. Apple's yellow is unapologetic, however. This is no pale pastel. It's yellow and it wants you to know it. It's the yellow, not red Ferrari.

If you want your iPhone 5c to draw just enough, but not too much attention, get yellow and show it.

Who should get the pink iPhone 5c?

In the east, red means luck and good fortune. In the west, it means danger or stop. In both, it's bright, bold, and attention getting. It's the color of gift envelopes and roses and racing cars. That's probably why Apple went with pink for the iPhone 5c instead. That we have such a popular and distinct word for light red in English, as opposed to light blue, yellow, or green is indicative of its place in the culture. It's typically - and often wrongly - associated with girls, but as any old school wrestling fan can tell you, the "pink and black attack" knows no gender boundaries.

If you want your iPhone 5c to be instantly identifiable from across a room - maybe even across the street - pink brings the heat.

Who should get the white iPhone 5c?

White is the presence of all colors in light, and the absence of all colors in print. It's the color of weddings and new life in the west, and of funerals and death in the east. For something so extreme, white enjoys tremendous duality. Likewise, so people hate the very idea of a white iPhone, and others want nothing but. With the iPhone 5c it plays the job of the straight man or woman.

Because there's no black or gray, the only iPhone 5c color to get for people who want no color at all, is white.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about green, yellow, pink, blue, or white jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.

At the end of the day, the only real answer is get the color you like better. Everything else is manufactured anxiety at this point. Just close your eyes, picture your iPhone in your hand, and carefully look at what color you're picturing. Then buy that. And if you change your mind later, you can get a case. Once you've decided, though, et me know - which color did you go with and why?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should you get?

52 Comments

I'm getting blue! I think it'll look best in photos for iMore. Red might clip, white might not be visible enough. Kinda like green too though. So tough!

I wonder how that green does with chromakeying. Could be funny when the weatherman brings out their 5c...

I wonder how hard/easy it will be to replace the back. If it's easy enough, there could be a huge market for 3rd party back pieces in all sorts of colors. Might be argument enough to keep many people from buying a case and just buying a new back when theirs gets too scratched up (and you're not worried about the screen).

"Green vs. blue vs. yellow vs. pink vs. white: Which iPhone 5c color should get?"

^^ Rene, I will gladly proof posts for iMore. They're constantly filled with grammatical errors. Will work for technology! ;)

I wouldn't get any of them. All of those color choices are too feminine. If they darken the tones to Hunter, Garnet/Burgundy & Royal Blue, I'd consider it.

When you say they are "feminine" you are making a broad sweeping over-generalisation (otherwise known as "prejudice") and revealing yourself as a bit of a sexist jerk. Personally, I hate all the colours also, but I would go for a grapety-grape one or an orange one. These colours are just too muted and blah for me.

When you say "muted" you are making a broad, sweeping, over-generalization (otherwise known as "prejudice"), and revealing yourself as a bit of a sedatophobic jerk.

It's not a "broad sweeping over-generalization" not am I being a sexist jerk. It's a common sentiment that those colors are favored by little girls and women. Men and boys prefer darker colors (ie. blue/boys & pink/girls). That's why more masculine men will pony up the extra $100 for the 5S and it's manly colors. So I'll thank you not to try to emasculate me for sticking with gender roles.

Oh, please... Saying a color is feminine is indicative of prejudice? In your world, is there any context in which using the terms "masculine" and "feminine" is not indicative of prejudice?

I -- and many, MANY others -- agree with TimPossibleOne... All of the colors that the 5c is offered in are rather feminine. Wait... If I say "all of the colors that the 5c is offered in are colors more typically favored by females, although some males like them, too, and there's nothing wrong with that," will that make you feel better?

I'd not get any of them due to the cost. It's only $100 difference between the C and S. For that $100, you get the fingerprint sensor (who wouldn't love to not have to enter a passcode every time?) and a much faster device (which will remain compatible with future iOS revisions for longer). It seems, pricing-wise anyway, that the only purpose for the C is for people who specifically want a color, plastic phone.

I fail to see why they wouldn't put out black. No interest in any of these colors and I love turquoise and lime, but never would I pay that much for a device in those colors.

That's ok. I'll just get a black case for my green 5C. Then it will "come in black" and there won't be any fingerprints to worry about.

They didn't release it in black because black is the #1 best selling color of any iPhone ever. I can't think of a better way for Apple to force people into the premium model (5s) if they want black ;)

I think it's funny how all this time Rene has been bashing Samsung and the like for having plastic bodies, and as soon as Apple does it, it's "classier" and not plastic but "polycarbonate"(which is just part of plastic's chemical name).

Sent from the iMore App

But am I wrong in saying that? More recently it's been said that plastic is cheap that's why Apple went with aluminum and glass.

Sent from the iMore App

Samsung hasn't been using Polycarbonate. Nokia has been using Polycarbonate, as did HTC with the One X. Hold either of those phones next to the SGS3 or 4 in particular and you'll see a massive difference in the quality of plastic.

It isn't that Samsung uses plastic. It's that they use nasty plastics.

Also, polycarbonate is a type of plastic. But not all plastics are polycarbonate, such as polyethylene the most common plastic around.

There are no black iPhones this year at all, just grey. So I guess you won't be getting an iPhone at all this year.

It all depends on your perspective. Black reflects no colors in the roygbiv spectrum; white reflects them all making white a color and black not. But from a pigment perspective, white has no pigment and black does. It's all relative, man.

Edit: It's worth noting that this post is crap. No substance. Just fluff. This site has become nothing more than regurgitation of information posted elsewhere and powderpuff garbage like this.

If I were to choose based on what is available, it would be between the blue and white options. I would like a nice Cardinal red, or even a garnet red but they are not available this time around.

Also noticed the post title is missing a "you" towards the end there.

As long as Apple doesn't use the same cheap white plastic as Samsung did for Galaxy phones. They were instantly identifiable in a crowd I was in last Fall by their dingy dirty greyish discoloration. But they did take and share pictures and video very well, even if they looked cheap. Kind of like a Chevelle next to a iPhone Cadillac. They both do an awesome job, but ours looks better, theirs does more.

Also, might want to use a grammar checker for duplicate sentences under the White color choice...

"...Because there's no black or gray, the only iPhone 5c color to get for people who want no color at all, is white.

Because there's no black or gray, the only iPhone 5c color to get for people who want no color at all, is white."

I'll take mine in Green Lantern, thanks. The more I think about it, the more it just makes sense to save the money and get the 5C. I've said before that if Apple deployed the 5C in the USA, that's what I'd go with. I'm not seeing enough reason to go with the 5S, the more I read about it. I really like the green 5C.

I don't like the cases at all. I don't mean that they are ugly, I think they look kind of neat, but I can't get behind a case that only exists to look cool.

The plastic phones don't need cases. That's why the cases are more about aesthetics this year. I just couldn't face myself in the mirror each morning if I buy a completely useless product just to "look cool." Design is about function for me and these cases have no function.

It's tantamount to buying those carefully pre-ripped jeans, or those guys that swirl a scarf around their neck for decoration when it isn't even cold.

Save the smarmy sarcasm for topics you know something about.

Polycarbonate is the most common shell material for motorcycle and football helmets. It's used for hockey helmets and face shields. It's what makes bulletproof glass bulletproof. It's used for airplane canopies and the visors of spacesuit helmets. It's used for motocross chest protectors. Police riot shields are made from polycarbonate. So are the lenses of safety goggles use by industry and the military.

When shot with a 50 caliber military rifle, the iPhone 5C shell does not crack; it just gets a neat hole in it.

So, no, it couldn't possibly crack when used as the shell for a mobile phone.

The white looks very modern, though I like the green because, as Rene points out, it harkens feelings of nature. Green also looks fun. Only $199 with contract for 32GB also helps!

The iPhone 5C is really getting a bum rap, IMHO. I think it compliments iOS 7's radical departure from the legacy iOS design better than the iPhone 5S. In other words, iOS 7 looks like it was designed specifically for the iPhone 5C.

Still on the fence regarding iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S. If I hear more rumblings from developers eager to leverage the low energy M7 chip, or if Apple opens up Touch ID for financial institution apps, I may pop the extra $100 for the iPhone 5C in Silver.

I decide until I see them all in person I love yellow it is my favorite color in general,but talking about the 5c I like yellow blue and white.

Sent from the iMore App

mighty morphin' iphone rangers!
actually blue and yellow look awesome, but they seem less manly. i'd take the white one

I really can't decide on which color to pick this December.

Blue seems nice but I guess it will be the most popular and would turn into the generic option. The pink and yellow look really well though.

Picked up a green iPhone 5c for my wife yesterday and she is LOVING it! Looks cool and the color is just subtle.. not too bright!

I got the blue one for my mom for Mother's Day and now I want to upgrade my LG phone to one of These iPhone 5c because the 32 gb is the same price as the iPhone 5s 16gb but $0 down on tmobile. But I'm upset I got her the blue one because I myself like the blue one the best. The pink is kinda weird to me. I never liked the color yellow and the green has never been a color I favored and why go white when the point of these phones is to have some color. So I might have to see the green in person to see how it looks. Decisions decisions lol