Skip to main content

First iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s reviews

Those major media outlets, technology sites, and journalists who had early review units of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s have now posted their reviews. Here are the links and a snippet of their takes.

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop says the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will both do well in their respective markets.

Apple has a one-two punch of iPhones like they’ve never had before. The iPhone 5c sales will be huge.

Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint gives the iPhone 5c four out of five stars and says:

it's colourful, joyful, capable, and just works.

About the iPhone 5s, Miles says:

The iPhone 5S is without gimmicks and it's a nod to the future. There's a lot to admire about that.

Myriam Joire reviewed the iPhone 5c for Engadget. She said:

Like many of the company's other products, you have to experience the 5c in person to truly appreciate it.

And for the iPhone 5S, Joire said:

If developers come up with clever ways of using the 64-bit support, iOS 7 and M7 coprocessor to their advantage, the 5s has the potential of being the best off-year flagship phone the company has made.

Slashgear's Vincent Nguyen looked at the iPhone 5s and said:

The iPhone 5s is the best iPhone so far, by a long shot.

Darrell Etherington reviewed the iPhone 5c for TechCrunch and said:

The iPhone 5c is an improvement, even if slight, to the smartphone I’d still call the best available if Apple hadn’t also released the iPhone 5s.

Etherington also looked at the iPhone 5s and said:

With the iPhone 5s, Apple once again wins the right to claim the title of best smartphone available.

David Phelan of The Independent looked at both and said:

Both these phones are impressive, capable and significant upgrades over last year’s model. The 5c is fun and stylish, but the 5s is the best smartphone Apple, or anyone, has yet made.

Anand Lal Shimpi of Anandtech looked at the iPhone 5s and said:

The iPhone 5s is quite possibly the biggest S-update we've ever seen from Apple.

Looking at the iPhone 5c, Anand was decidedly more circumspect:

The iPhone 5c is a well built device. For all intents and purposes it is a perfect replacement for the iPhone 5.

Scott Stein looked at both iPhones for CNet. About the iPhone 5c, Stein said:

Apple may not have set the global smartphone world on fire, but the 5C is another small step toward a more affordable iPhone.

The iPhone 5s didn't get Stein that excited, either:

The iPhone 5S feels like a “pro” phone more than ever, the iPhone equivalent of the MacBook Pro. Its features don’t feel as immediately consumer-understandable.

Matt Warman of The Telegraph got his hands on an iPhone 5s, and said:

The 5s is, overall, a beautiful piece of engineering, lovely to look at and lovely to hold.

Elder tech statesman Walt Mossberg shares his review on the Wall Street Journal:

Overall, however, the new iPhone 5S is a delight. Its hardware and software make it the best smartphone on the market.

David Pogue takes a look at both phones for the New York Times:

The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it’s still among the few that will.

Edward C. Baig reviews both new phones for USA Today (opens in new tab). About the 5c, Baig said:

Plastic be damned — the phone feels good in the hand.

and about the iPhone 5s, Baig said:

Taken in totality, the features new to the iPhone 5s make what I consider to be the best smartphone on the market even better, helped enormously by Apple owning the entire end-to-end experience.

So there you have them! Go forth and read whichever interest you, then hurry back and give us your early assessment -- your review of the reviews.

  • Not a single bad review for iphone yet. Looks like Apple might have done it again..! I like competition. Keeps other OEMs on their toes
  • Looks nice. And I agree with the review from Anandtech that the 5S may be the biggest "S" update from Apple. A bit off-topic here, I'm sorry but what does "C" stand for again?
  • Cookies.
  • That's good enough for me.
  • I see what you did there. Well played sir
  • Don't tell me you hang around on Sesame Street too!! ;-)
  • The 5C does look pretty delicious. I'll take it.
  • Intriguing. I read a few of those reviews. Apple was never ever ahead in terms of specs and features but core experience, what really matter to most consumers they have down.
  • dc9, I'd have to disagree. In some ways they lead with specs and features, but when you talk purely hardware, perhaps you are right. Some might argue more is better, but they know it's a whole. Software and hardware must work together in synergy. One without the other is simply -- their competition. Touch ID and M7, and 64-bit, definitely ahead in the specs. But typically Apple, it ain't just the specs they lead in. And I have yet to see them over-promise or under-deliver. That's what has me cursing them, cause I have to spend my hard-earned cash yet again.
  • iOS 7 adds some great features that I look forward to. I can't wait to see how developers leverage all of the new stuff. However, ui wise iOS 7 looks more at home on the 5c models rather than 5s. The cartoonish icons and wild, disparate colors look out of place on such a sleek and elegant device.
  • Are you talking from experience or looking at pics? I'm sitting next to a developer with 7 on an iPhone 5 right now, it's clean and elegant on the larger screen. It took me all of a couple of days to get used to the new look - and Apple has refined it through several Beta updates. It is very polished now. I can't wait to see it on a 5S with 2x speed from 5.
  • Out of curiosity: why isn't iMore part of this group? With the other parts of Mobile Nation seeming to be at or near the top for their respective platforms it seems like iMore isn't near the top. Is there something I'm missing about iMore(new kid on the block, Apple dislikes them, etc) as to why they wouldn't have been included?
  • Apple doesn't give review units to publications that prominently showcase spy photos of unreleased Apple products. I think this is where they draw the line.
  • I always wondered too. one of the best apple sites on the Internet and imore doesn't even get invited to any of the damn keynotes too? I don't understand. like wtf is going on? how does SLASHGEAR get to review before imore? wtf man.. apple is weird.
  • Why thank you :)
  • I don't understand either. I always thought imore was the largest iOS site on the web. Maybe because their reviews sometimes call a pig a pig? Even though they are pro iPhone, they sometimes have less than stellar things to say.
  • Naw, If you look at who got access, it was mostly mainstream.. not fan-based, which I think is probably what Apple see's iMore as.
  • Hmm, you have a great point! I hadn't noticed that before. I guess they send it to those who they know for sure will write glowing reviews so they can use it for marketing on launch day? At any rate, I love iMore and think it's the best source of iOS news around!
  • There's several non mainstream bloggers who got access. But posting info from an inside source probably doesn't help. They haven't done this since Jan so either iMore has changed their stance (good) or it's dried up.
  • I figured both phones would knock it out the park. People saying a plastic iPhone is cheap and not a good iPhone. It's still an Apple product with the quality of an Apple product, hopefully people will see that now. If I didn't have the 5 already, I would get a 5c. People complaining how Apple is not innovating with the new models, it does have new features and better hardware. Apple has innovated already and is improving on it, just in baby steps. Hope you all enjoy the new models, I know they will be a great phone for years to come!
  • This is turning out as I would expect for Apple's latest smartphone. Fastest, better camera, and still a recommended product. Seeing some of the camera samples I am pretty excited. The "but" I see a lot is about if there is a killer feature that would make anyone want to switch platforms in big numbers and right now the answer is no.
  • And yet, note the CIRP Smartphone research last month, that shows Apple customers stay loyal, and Android customers switching to Apple in droves. Although first-time buyers tend to buy Android, apparently by a 3-to-1 margin they switch to Apple compared to the other way around. Truly, I would love to see some more work done to the iPhone, but they definitely are still in the groove.
  • Many people buy android first because salesmen push them that way. Many others do it because of free on contract androids. Those are usually the ones that swap I would think. Me, I try them all out, though not WP8 yet. Though, had the Lumia 1020 been on Verizon at launch, I probably would have tried it too.
  • Could someone please explain to me how can iphone 5C can be a replacement for iphone 5?!? It has almost the same internals but is heavier, fatter and looks cheap (there is no way to make plastic look luxurious). The only reason for apple to introduce 5C is because iphone 5 and 5S differ by the very little and there is no need to upgrade for many people so they introduce a "cheaper" (which has the exact same price as iphone 5 would have had) and make a gap between iphone 5c and 5s a lot bigger (do you want a fancy looking phone or a cheap childish one). Also it will save apple a lot of money because production of iphone 5C is much cheaper than iphone 5. In terms of market it is good (or like everyone else) but it completes the burrial of old apple which most of us loved
  • It's marketing. People are generally stupid. Change the look, it's a new product. To be successful, you have to learn how to market to stupid people. Others will say this in a politically correct way, but the idea is the same.
  • I'm still feeling the 5C. That's what I'm after.
  • If only the 5c had a better camera I'd be tempted. Love the idea of updated specs in a more robust and comfortable shell. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm a current Android user and looking to get my first iPhone with the 5s on Friday. I can't find any info online, so I'm hoping people's experiences with past launches will help. Does Apple typically carry the carrier unlocked versions in store or is that something that is generally online only? Thanks in advance.
  • Last year I did pay full price for my 5 and it was unlocked right away as the Verizon phones were unlocked. This year they will have a model A1533 that works with T-Mobile but is fully unlocked for use on other GSM carriers but will not work with CDMA bands but is compatible with LTE bands for Verizon and Sprint so if you don't have LTE coverage there will be no data on this model if you plan to use it on Verizon or Sprint.
  • It sounds like you're saying that the Sprint / Verizon phones work only with LTE and not with 3G. I assume I'm reading that wrong.
  • No not what I'm saying there's two different models A1533 (GSM) & A1533 (CDMA). The former is the unlocked model now I'm not sure if this year the CDMA model will be unlocked but I'm assuming if you pay full retail for it will come unlocked as well.
  • Thank you for the quick response! Since I'm with T-Mo I will be one of the people lining up this year so I can get it on Day 1 since they told me they will only carry the 16 GB models in store and I'm still deciding between a 32 or 64 GB. I haven't waited in line for any electronics in a long time.
  • C'mon 2 gigs of ramz.
  • Nope
  • Still 1GB, but faster.
  • Why do ppl equate plastic with cheap or lower quality? Because it is ubiquitous? Silly how relative the brain is. If metal was cheap and ubiquitous and plastic was rare and difficult to produce, the 5C would be metal and 5S would be plastic. Am I wrong?
  • Not at all. Some of my most durable and fave phones in the past have been plastic/polycarbonate.
  • Many people are looking down at the 5c because it's plastic, are they not aware that many other phones are plastic. After all, there is a metal foundation or something like that (i don't know what it's called) under the plastic. The cheesy colors and how it looks like a toy are a con though.