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Christmas Gift Guide

The budget-friendly iPhone 5C

Move over, iPhone 5

Important internal differences

Packaged nice and neat

Step out of the box

A plastic construction

Started from the bottom...

...Now we're here (on top)

The way we were

Connectivity rundown

Flat design on a Retina Display

The power running inside

Say cheese with the 8-megapixel shooter

For selfies and restaraunt meals

Organizing life in photos

Let's play Connect Four

A snap to install

The white and green combo

Those neon edges

AirDrop, share, and go

Stream the hits with iTunes Radio

Listening to Little Seed

Control it in a swipe

Siri, the forever alone friend

Some stiff competition

Though it doesn't sport the same high-end specs as its more expensive iPhone 5S counterpart, the iPhone 5C packs respectable chops as a $99 (16GB) on contract handset. Apple will begin selling it Friday.

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Meant to replace the iPhone 5 (which will be discontinued), the 5C has nearly identical internal specs as the 5, except that the former is slightly heavier and doesn't come in a 64GB version.

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Unlike the iPhons 5S (right), which sports an A7 processor and M7 motion co-processor, the 5C is equipped with the familiar proprietary A6 chip initially seen in the iPhone 5.

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The 5C comes with a pair of Apple EarPods and a Lightning connector charger. Though the white version is pictured here, the device comes in four other colors (green, blue, yellow, and red).

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Another look at the EarPods (left) and the Lightning charger.

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The phone has a polycarbonate plastic build and measures 4.9 inches tall, 2.33 inches wide, 0.35 inch thick, and weighs 4.65 ounces.

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Located on the bottom edge are a 3.5mm headphone charger, the Lightning charging port, and speakers.

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Up top is a sleep/power button that comes in the same shade as the rest of the iPhone's backing.

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The 5C isn't the only plastic iPhone -- the iPhone 3GS (right), for example, sported a plastic, glossy back.

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The handset will support 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n).

Caption by / Photo by CNET staff

The iPhone 5C features a 4-inch Retina Display that has the same 1,136x640-pixel resolution and 326ppi as the 5S. It will run iOS 7 and come in two capacities: 16GB ($99) and 32GB ($199).

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As for battery life, reported specs include 10 days of standby time, 10 hours of talk time on 3G, 10 hours of Web browsing on 4G LTE or Wi-Fi, or 10 hours of continuous video playback.

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The iPhons 5C sports an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.4 aperture and 1080p HD recording capabilities.

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With the iOS 7 update, the camera app will pack a few Instagram-esque photo filters.

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In addition, the camera's Camera Roll is organized in expansive "collections," which are sorted by year, location, and event.

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To accessorize the iPhone 5C, Apple is also selling bright, monochrome cases for $29.

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To use, simply place the case against the handset's rear and snap down the edges.

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You can mix-and-match the color combination of the case against the color of the iPhone 5C.

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Another look at the 5C with a snap-on color case from Apple.

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One new feature with iOS 7 is AirDrop, a file-sharing service that's available on Mac OS X as well. Through a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, you can send and share photos, videos, and contacts.

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There's also iTunes Radio, a music-streaming service similar to Pandora. For more on iTunes Radio, check out CNET's hands-on

.
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Another look Apple's iTunes Radio as it plays a song.

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Another iOS 7 feature (which is commonly seen on Android) is Control Center. By swiping from the bottom edge of the screen, you can access settings (like adjusting screen brightness and turning on Wi-Fi), as well as other apps like the music player and camera.

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Don't expect Apple's voice assistant service, Siri, to go anywhere with this OS update -- she's still ready and able to help you out.

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The iPhone 5C will be available on all four major US carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It will face competition from other Android handsets, like the Motorola Moto X (left) and the HTC One Mini (not pictured).

Caption by / Photo by CNET staff
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