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Always On: Road testing the iPhone 5C
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Always On: Road testing the iPhone 5C

4:41 /

Molly Wood takes Apple's new iPhone 5C smartphone out and about. Is this colorful, plastic-shelled phone with iOS 7 and an affordable price tag the one to buy or pass on?

And here it is, the iPhone 5C. Now I chose my favorite color combination, the blue phone with the green case. Let me get it out of this case so we can see how the color looks. Now despite that comment about it being unapologetically plastic, it does not feel as plasticky as something like the Galaxy Note or the Galaxy phones. It's clearly plastic, but it's not lightweight. It does have that kind of pleasant iPhone heft so it makes it feel a little bit more premium even though it's a lower-priced phone and this is unquestionably plastic. Now as for these cases these are 29 bucks which seems a little excessive. They do add that kind of extra style, although someone on Twitter pointed out that they look a lot like either Crocs or Connect Four, and I'm not gonna lie. That kind of ruined it for me because look. They really look like Crocs. The overall style is on trend. It's definitely hip to be all kind of 80's in neon, but it's not something you're gonna wanna carry for more than a year or two because it's gonna look dated. All right. Let's check out iOS 7 and keep going about our day. I'm posting an empty mall scene #zombies. Oh, I'll check out some notifications. It's currently 64 degrees, the high will be 73. I'm cool. So once I have my photo I can do all kinds of editing, so and then what, edit menu. I can of course auto enhance there. Filters now built right in which is kind of cool. Very Instagram ready. The filters are pretty subtle. The only thing I don't like about all the filters is that when you apply them and make all these edit changes, you can't save an original. You just save the edited version and that's kind of a bummer, but then sharing gets very easy. So the first thing you notice is that you have AirDrop as a menu option which in theory lets you share instantly with people nearby who also have iOS 7 devices with AirDrop turned on. That's kind of Apple's replacement for NFC. I'm sure it's easy and seamless, but obviously depends on adoption. Use as wallpaper. I'll set my beautiful hummingbird as both. Ready then check me out. I'm so artsy. Now one extra bonus that came along with iOS 7 is iTunes Radio. If you're like me and you've been trying to sort of hack your Spotify together with your iTunes collection, you know that Spotify is obviously not well integrated with iOS. This gives you the ability to have streaming radio stations, and if you pay for iTunes Match then you can stream all the songs you already own which kind of increases the size of the streaming catalogue. In playing with it for a little while, I'm kind of liking it. It's super easy to create new stations, to add them, and to integrate with music that's already on the phone. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up Spotify, but if you're an iPhone user iTunes Radio is pretty sweet. Now obviously the most noticeable difference about this phone other than the shockingly bright colors is iOS 7 which is making all iPhones seem new. iOS 7 is one of those things that I think you're either going to love or hate right now because I'm somewhat new to it. I'm kind of in the hate camp mainly because I do not like the aesthetics at all. I don't like the fact that if you have folders filled with apps they become 2-page folders. I don't like the fact that you cannot turn off the animations, which makes me insane. Now there is a way to slow it down a tiny bit. If you go into the settings under general and accessibility, there's an option called Reduce Motion. I don't notice a huge difference, but I notice that it does speed it up a tiny bit. That's as close as you can get to making it less cartoony. I definitely like the Control Center. I like how you can pull down from kind of a middle of the screen to get the search bar, but if you don't know that's what you have to do, you will find that you're constantly pulling down from the top to get your notifications. One other small improvement that I really like is that now when you open up Safari the search and URL bar is permanently affixed to the top of the page like it should be and it's just one bar. I think it takes some getting used to if you've been living with the old OS for a long time. It is obviously gonna be more of a shock to the system and I'll let you decide for yourself about the aesthetics. At the end of the day, the iPhone 5C is all about the looks. If you like the colors and you like iOS 7 this phone is 99 bucks on contract. So for a certain kind of person, this kind of person, the 5C is definitely a buy.
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