Apple's new cut-price iPhone model is still more expensive than many high-end Android phones
Apple has this morning launched an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c — a new budget offering for those willing to trade cut-down internal storage for a slightly reduced price tag. In the UK, a SIM-free 8GB iPhone 5c will set you back £429 directly from Apple's online store — a saving of only £40 compared to the 16GB 5c, but a saving all the same.
Nevertheless, the 8GB device's relatively high price tag highlights the many high-end Android phones around this price point, all of which boast 16GB or more of storage — and in some cases, many other advantages too.
Let's take a look at some after the break.
LG G2 — £299 (16GB) / £339.99 (32GB)
LG's flagship G2 has been heavily discounted in the UK, but right now its SIM-free pricing on Amazon.co.uk matches that of its Googlified cousin, the Nexus 5. Either of these represents great value at the £299-340 price point — and the G2 offers a larger screen, higher-res than the iPhone, at 5.2 inches of 1080p versus 4 inches at 640x1136. LG's phone also has a top-notch 13MP camera, and the 32GB model offers four times the internal storage of the 8GB iPhone 5c.
More: LG G2 review
Nexus 5 — £299 (16GB) / £339 (32GB)
Google's Nexus 5 pricing hasn't moved at all since its launch last November, but it remains great value almost four months on. For between £299 and £339 on Google Play you get G2-class internals, a 5-inch display and the latest "pure" Android 4.4 KitKat, with speedy updates from Google in the future. Weaknesses include battery life and a slightly wonky 8MP camera — but in any case, the Nexus 5 is a flagship-class product available for considerably less than the competition.
The Xperia Z1 is about to be superseded by the Z2, which is due to launch in the next month. But at a little under £399 it's still worth a look, offering a larger screen and double the storage of the cheapest iPhone 5c for less cash. The more interesting proposition, however, might be the smaller Xperia Z1 Compact. At £386.99, the Compact offers the same internals as the Z1, only with a smaller 4.3-inch display and a more pocketable design.
HTC One (2013) — £364.99
We're only a week out from the expected launch of the all new HTC One (M8), but last year's model, the M7, is decent value at around £365 SIM-free. Unlike the iPhone 5c, it boasts a metal-backed design, a larger, higher-resolution display and four times the storage in the 32GB base model. Sure, the HTC One is a year old at this point, but it's also worth remembering the iPhone 5c is essentially a rebadged iPhone 5 in a plastic casing.
Moto X — £306
Our top Android phone of 2013 is available with 16GB of storage for £306, and offers unique features like touchless control — the ability to activate the phone, even when it's in sleep mode — and active display, which pulses notifications on-screen when the display is turned off. On paper it's got less hardware muscle than many competitors, but the Moto X also offers a highly ergonomic design and near-stock Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box.
Samsung Galaxy S4 — £318
The GS4 wasn't our favorite phone of last year — and with a successor on the way, Samsung buyers might be advised to save their money and look at putting it towards a GS5 instead. Nevertheless, a little over £300 for a 5-inch 1080p device with a 13-megapixel camera is nothing to sniff at, and that's before you consider the array of bells and whistles from Samsung, such as hover-touch and a built-in pedometer.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 — £400-459
Shop around on Amazon and you'll be able to pick up a Galaxy Note 3 for less than the £429 Apple's asking for an 8GB iPhone 5c. The Note 3 still ranks as our favorite oversized Android phone, with a gigantic 5.7-inch 1080p display, 32GB of storage and a wealth of stylus-based functionality thanks to Samsung's S Pen.
Discounts to come?
It's likely other retailers and carriers will begin offering the 8GB iPhone 5c for less than Apple's initial asking price of £429. And it's also worth mentioning that there's no word on U.S. pricing or availability for this model at present. But many of the devices we've listed here are flagship-level Android phones priced substantially lower than Apple's cheapest "current" iPhone in the UK. And even with new flagships from HTC, Sony and Samsung about to land in the next month, it's worth considering these Android alternatives before stumping up the cash for Apple's 8GB offering.
More coverage: 8GB iPhone 5c on iMore, iPhone 5c review