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

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

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 colours really pop, and the case fits solidly in the hand and thanks to a slightly rubberised 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 colour 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.

Pocket Lint

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.


The [iPhone 5C’s] form-factor is unmistakably that of an Apple smartphone, though the glossy-finish plastic feels warmer and softer to the touch than the 5S’s bevelled edges.

It’s not a cheap-feeling phone, but it doesn’t have the same premium finish as the 5S. There’s something a little toy-like about it, though not in a bad way; it’s solid and dense, and creak-free, and the weight is evenly balanced along the length.


Apple continually 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 a full share of wear and tear, and the reinforced steel frame convinces us that it’s even going to survive falls without a problem.