iPhone 5C Meta Hands-On: Proudly Plastic, Surprisingly Premium

By Eric Limer on at

The iPhone 5C sure turned out to be exactly what we expected, except with some serious iPhone 5 guts in there instead of the old 4S snoozers. But that's only half the fun. How do those plastic backs feel, with and without the horrible cases? There's one big takeaway: This ain't no "cheap" iPhone.


The iPhone [5C] performs terrifically, and looks fantastic. The colors really pop, and the case fits solidly in the hand and thanks to a slightly rubberized feel it should be easier to hold onto than any previous iPhone as well. ...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.

The Loop

The iPhone 5C is a gorgeous looking phone, no matter what color choose. They all feel very rugged in their construction, so you can put any thoughts of a cheap iPhone out of your mind right now. Perhaps it’s the reinforcement that Apple put inside the plastic casing or the build of the casing itself—whatever it is, the 5C is a solid phone.

The Verge

It's actually a bit surprising how high-end Apple's made the plastic phone feel, though it certainly doesn't hold a candle to the new 5s, which is far more premium and attractive. The 5c is almost like a toy, a rugged, comfortable device that doesn't feel much heavier than the iPhone 5 despite being noticeably larger ...the device feels far better than Samsung's or LG's plastic options. Even the rubbery cases look nice, their open-circle backs fitting in nicely with the colour palette.


Technology aside, the plastic outer, which is meant to represent a more youthful product and one that is more playful is shiny-smooth to touch, but feels very much a part of the phone rather than something that could be peeled off after some use.

The polycarbonate has a very different feel from other "plastic" devices on the market at the moment and feels more of a return to the same finish - but in an array of colours - to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

Take a look at all of Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C announcements here