The 5c is probably more broadly appealing than the iPhone 5s just by virtue of its lower cost of entry, but it’s still premium hardware and is likely better thought of as an analogue to the iPhone 4S relative to the iPhone 5 back when that device launched. But the 5c also has a focus on color, personality and a sort of ‘lightness’ of design. The phone feels ‘young’ overall, and it’s likely that’s the kind of consumer that’s going to enjoy this device; the youth market and those just getting their first smartphone or moving up from their first budget Android device to the big leagues.
Given the choice, there are only a few things we'd tweak. We're happy with the iPhone 5c in terms of performance and battery life, but we're longing for a better camera and a larger screen. The iPhone 5s addresses the former, but typing on any iPhone feels awfully cramped when you're used to displays that measure 4.3 inches (and bigger, even). Maybe next time? If you're using an iPhone 4s or anything older, you can't go wrong upgrading to either the 5c or the iPhone 5s. We think most buyers will pick the iPhone 5c for the price and color choices alone, while the iPhone 5s will appeal to power users and gamers. iPhone 5 owners are probably better off sticking with iOS 7 or picking up an iPhone 5s instead of getting an iPhone 5c. And, if all else fails, there are always next year's iPhones.
Apple’s return to a polycarbonate iPhone design seems to have gone quite well. The iPhone 5c is solid, doesn’t have any noticeable amount of flex and has a great in hand feel thanks to its nicely curved edges. I feel like the color options will go over very well with the 5c’s target markets. I can see many users even preferring the styling of the 5c to the 5s in those markets that aren’t feature/performance sensitive.
Personally I’d prefer the iPhone 5s simply because of its more modern platform, even if I were recommending a device for someone else not as concerned with performance. Supporting the latest ISA (which will probably stick around for a while) and OpenGL ES 3.0 are both important if you’re going to be keeping your phone for a very long time and plan on using it for more than just the basic first party apps.
While many of us love having features like a fingerprint sensor, it’s not that important for all users. Some people are price conscious and will want to check out all the options available to them. I think the iPhone 5c will win out in this type of head-to-head comparison. Apple has a one-two punch of iPhones like they’ve never had before. The iPhone 5c sales will be huge.
New York Times:
Actually, “plastic” isn’t quite fair. The 5C’s case is polycarbonate, lacquered like a glossy piano. Better yet, its back edges are curved for the first time since the iPhones of 2008. You can tell by touch which way it’s facing in your pocket. It’s a terrific phone. The price is right. It will sell like hot cakes; the new iPhones go on sale Friday. But just sheathing last year’s phone in shiny plastic isn’t a stunning advance.
While the 5c looks and feels very familiar, it’s still a good phone and an improvement over the 5. But its improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary.
The iPhone 5C is not a flagship product - Apple's iPhone 5S is for that - nor does it fix any of the annoying niggles you've perhaps started to feel with your current iPhone, but if you are looking to upgrade from the 4 or the 4S, want to stick with Apple, but can't justify the 5S and its price, then this colourful option is could to be perfect for you. Despite initial reservations we love the iPhone 5C - it's colourful, joyful, capable, and just works.
In the end, I steered my mom to the iPhone 5S. You should too, unless you really, truly need to save a hundred dollars. In that case -- or in the event you really love brightly colored plastic -- get the iPhone 5C. Apple may not have set the global smartphone world on fire, but the 5C is another small step toward a more affordable iPhone. And if I were to pick an iPhone that wasn't cutting-edge but still had everything most people needed to do everything they wanted, the iPhone 5C is it.