Apple's latest iPhone is the most colourful ever. Here's our iPhone 5C video review.

iPhone 5C review: Design and build

Apple's new, plastic smartphone is essentially an iPhone 5 with a new coat. There’s a choice of five colours which match the theme of iOS 7. Unlike the understated iPhone 5S, the 5C’s colours are bright and vibrant – there’s a heavy emphasis on fun with this phone.

We like the white, yellow and blue models but we're not so keen on the green or almost luminous pink. See also: iPhone 5S review

Like Nokia's Lumia phones, the 5C has a polycarbonate rear shell and is a little bigger and heavier than the iPhone 5. Not that it feels it – the highly polished plastic is wonderfully smooth and the phone feels well balanced in your hand. Build quality is excellent but the plastic buttons don’t feel as good as the iPhone 5 or 5S’s and they click quite loudly.

See also: iPhone 5c vs Nokia Lumia 520 comparison review

iPhone 5C review: Hardware and performance

Since the internal hardware is taken from an iPhone 5, performance is exactly the same. That’s no bad thing as iOS 7 still runs smoothly and feels responsive. Apps and web pages load swiftly, and panning around Apple Maps isn’t jerky at all. It certainly doesn’t feel like you’re holding a year-old smartphone.

The iPhone 5C also has the same 4 in Retina display as the iPhone 5. It’s crisp and colourful, but other smartphones have bigger Full HD screens these days, which we think are better for browsing the web, playing games and watching videos.

As well as five colours, you have a choice between 16 or 32 gig of storage. There’s no 64 gig option, and no memory card slot for adding more.

The rear camera is virtually unchanged from the iPhone 5, and even though the front one is now a FaceTime HD camera, we couldn’t tell the difference in quality

in good light. The benefit is in the dark where the 5c is a marked improvement over the 5.

Another upgrade that will benefit travellers is support for 13 LTE bands. So in the future, when roaming contracts are in place, the iPhone 5c should work on 4G just about everywhere.

iPhone 5C: Verdict

Many people expected Apple to launch a budget plastic iPhone, but the 5C is nothing of the sort. It’s expensive, especially considering the innards are now essentially a generation old.

Clearly, iPhone 5 owners shouldn’t consider upgrading to the 5C, but it might make sense for those with an iPhone 4 or 4s. However, the iPhone 5s is much more powerful, has a better rear camera and a useful fingerprint reader. If you can afford the extra £10 per month on contract, or £80 to buy it outright, the 5S is the better choice.