All You Need to Know About the iPhone 5S and 5C [Video]

For the first time ever, Apple has announced not one, but two new smartphones, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. The 5C is cute, colorful and cheap. The new 5S is speedy, sophisticated, and super secure. Here’s everything you need to know:

Candy-coated colors

The new iPhone 5C It has the same guts as the current iPhone 5, but comes wrapped in a polycarbonate (fancy name for plastic) shell instead of Apple’s standard aluminum. It also comes rainbow of bright colors, including green, blue, yellow, pink, and white. Apple is also pulling a Samsung and launching a handful of new super colorful leather cases to go launch with it.

While the spec’s are solid, the price tag on the new 5C is especially appealing, starting at just $99 (16GB) or $199 (32GB) with a contract. This candy-colored gadget will definitely appeal to kids and teens — and the lower price tag makes the iPhone 5C a juicy option for budget shoppers who want the best of Apple for an Android price. The 5C goes on pre-sale Friday, September 13th and is available in stores on September 20th.

Bringing the bling

The new iPhone 5S is Apple’s newest flagship phone — equipped with “Touch ID,” a new fingerprint sensor that’s built-in to the home button — so you can just touch it to unlock your phone or authenticate App Store purchases. (Phew, no more taking a half second to type those passwords.) The fingerprint reader adds a level of personal security to what’s already the hardest to hack smartphone available. Made of high-grade aluminum the new 5S sparkles in silver, gold, and a new color Apple calls “space gray.”

Under the hood, the 5S has a new A7 chip that includes 64-bit capabilities, which makes it faster than anything we’ve seen before in a phone, and boosts graphics performance as well. (Though gamers will likely want a bigger screen.) The newest phone also has a feature Apple calls the M7 — a “motion co-processor” that tracks fitness and health, so that the phone can now work like a fitness band.  There’s also a beefed up 8MP iSight camera, with a new burst feature, so that you can take rapid fire snapshots with no lag time in between. This high-tech smartphone is priced the same as the iPhone 5, running $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), or $399 (64GB) with a new 2-year contract.

The real star of today’s show – iOS 7

Both the 5C and the 5S phones will ship with with iOS 7, which is the most dramatic makeover to Apple’s operating system to date. Redesigned from the ground up, iOS 7 is packed with a bevy of thoughtful new features — including Control Center, iTunes Radio, and Siri will be able to search Twitter! Even if you aren’t planning on snagging a new phone, iOS 7 will be available — for free — to current owners of the iPhone 4+, iPad 2+, iPad mini, and 5th-gen iPod touch.

C for Copycat?

If you’re thinking that some of the new Apple features sound a lot like Samsung Galaxy S4 – it’s because they do.  It’s weird to see Apple playing a bit of catch-up on a field they once dominated; Nokia already has cheap and colorful phones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 already has all the snazzy new camera features, and the new iTunes radio sounds an awful lot like Pandora. Seeing Apple play catch-up with the competition today left some people saying that it’s more proof Apple’s has lost the upper hand when it comes to innovation. No surprise, Apple fans disagree, and say the iPhones are Apple’s way of giving critics the finger.

What do you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

Author note:
Emmy award-winning consumer tech journalist, Jennifer Jolly, is your BFF for advice on all those digital doodads, techy tools, and cyber services that are supposed to make your life easier, more organized, and just plain better. Watch and read her series, Tech’s Appeal here, and find more at www.jenniferjolly.com.