Goophone i5C review: attack of the clone

by: Gary SimsDecember 3, 2013

goophone 5c on boxBefore actually getting my hands on the Goophone i5C I knew that it was designed to look like an iPhone 5C but I didn’t realize just how much the Goophone tries to mimic Apple’s colorful smartphone. The supplier I used sent me a model which included a very real looking iPhone 5C box with an Apple like instruction leaflet. The device itself even includes an Apple logo on the back! There are of course legal ramifications to Goophone’s blatant copying but that is not my department! What I can tell you is what the phone is like to use.

Just like its Apple counterpart the Goophone i5C features a 4 inch display but with a resolution of 480 x 854 (compared to 1136 x 640 for the real thing). It comes with a dual-core 1.2 GHz MediaTek MTK6572 that includes a Mali-400 MP GPU, 512 MB of memory, 8GB of internal storage and a 8 MP camera. As for the price, you can probably pick one up for around $120 plus postage and taxes.

At the heart of the i5C is the MediaTek MTK6572, a dual-core A7 processor designed for low-end 3G devices. Cortex-A7 cores are becoming increasingly popular, especially for chip makers like MediaTek and Rockchip, and they have basically replaced the Cortex-A9 cores at the bottom of the market. Here are the full specs of the Goophone i5C:

  • 4 inch, 480×854 pixels display
  • MTK6572 Dual Core 1.2Ghz CPU with Mali-400 MP GPU
  • Android 4.2.2
  • 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G: WCDMA 2100/850MHz
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • 8 MP rear facing camera
  • 1.2 MP front facing camera
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Weight 132g

The phone only comes with 8GB of internal storage that is divided into 2GB phone storage and 6GB external storage. This can be a problem for larger apps or games as they simply won’t fit into the 2GB of phone storage. It is apparently possible to install a microSD card but you need to undo some screws and take off the back. The card slot is only accessible under the internal battery.

The display itself is reasonable considering its very low (by 2013/2014 standards) resolution. It isn’t clear from the specifications if it is an IPS display, however the good viewing angle would seem to imply that it is. Also the color reproduction is quite good for such a budget device.

goophone 5c lightning adapter

The phone chargers via a USB cable, but unlike most Android smartphones there isn’t a micro USB port at the phone end, but rather something that looks suspiciously like a Lighting adapter. I don’t have any Apple devices that use a Lightning adapter so I can’t confirm the compatibility but it certainly looks like one, even if it actually isn’t!

goophone 5c launcher
Although the phone runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and includes Google Play, the launcher has been heavily modified to look like iOS. This isn’t simply a case of a standard replacement launcher with an iOS skin, the launcher has been tampered with to make it look and feel like iOS. There is no App Draw button, no navigation bar and no soft buttons. The physical round button at the bottom of the device acts as a “Back” button and not as a “Home” button as you might expect. This means that once you are in an app the only way out of it is to keep pressing back until the app exits and takes you to the home screen.

This can be very annoying especially when you have gone deep into an app. There are two workarounds for this. First the phone comes with the EasyTouch app installed by default. This app puts a dot on the screen that functions in a similar way to Apple’s AssistiveTouch feature. If you press the dot you get access to a number of commands including a “Home” button. The other way is to double click the hardware button to access the task manager. From here tapping on the background takes you back to the home screen.

Another app that comes pre-installed is an iOS control-center clone. By swiping up from the bottom of the screen you get access to the control-center which allows you  to change the screen brightness, enable airplane mode, change the volume, use the flash as a torch and so on. Oddly enough swiping from the top of the screen reveals the standard Android 4.2 notification area where you can also change the screen brightness and enable airplane mode etc.

Although the default GUI looks like iOS when you install other apps their icons look out of place and often the transparency around the icons don’t work. This means that you get odd colors around icons for apps installed from Google Play. Also there was a few times when the colors clashed between dialog boxes and the current color scheme. This meant that you could get a dialog with dark text on a dark background.

goophone 5c bad GUI examples

Examples of a bad GUI – Left: Icon color clashes. Right: Dark text on a dark background.

Yet another problem with the default launcher is that you can’t install any widgets… which I guess is just like iOS!!!

The settings app has also be re-written to look like the settings app in iOS. This means that it can be a bit hard to find things, especially if you are used to stock Android. One odd omission seems to be a way to set the screen timeout. I must have searched the settings three or four times but I couldn’t find where to change the timeout. In the end I installed a third party app which allowed me to do it!

The device supports Google Play and although hardly any of the official Google apps like Gmail and YouTube etc are pre-loaded, it is possible to install then from Google Play. Talking of Google Play, it isn’t installed as Google Play, instead it hides under the “App Store” icon which looks like Apple’s icon for its iTunes App Store but in fact it starts the Play Store!

In terms of compatibility most apps installed without any problems, however Epic Citadel crashes when run and big games like Asphalt 8: Airborne won’t install as the internal memory is partitioned in such a way that there isn’t space for the download! However smaller games like CSR Racing installed and worked without any problems as did classics like Angry Birds and Temple Run 2. To uninstall an app you need to long press on its icon until all the icons start wiggling and then press the X at the corner of the icon. This will then trigger the normal Android uninstall process.

It is possible to get a more Android like experience by installing an alternative launcher however I couldn’t find a way to get the soft keys back which means you need to rely on the EasyTouch app or the task manger for navigation even when using an Android launcher.

  • Cal Waldie

    This sounds like the phone of my nightmares….and my phone’s nightmares!

  • abazigal

    Wait…what? You mean to say the phones with just 2gb of internal storage? So the external storage is just like a sd-card and can only be used to store media like photos and music?

    So just how much of that 2gb of storage is left for apps and stuff?

    • Basically yes… There is a setting to make the default write location the SD card (meaning the 6 GB section) but as far as I could tell only the photos get written there by default.

      It is also possible to do a “move to SD” for some of the apps.

  • King Dong

    If you want an android buy an android if you what an apple buy an apple, why in God’s name would you want an android that mimics an apple device??

    • jellypanda

      To get best of both worlds ?

      • Mayoo

        This doesn’t make sense. What is best from Apple?

        Also, wasn’t that the title song of Miley Cyrus’ Hanna Montanna show? We all know that turned out well… Oh lawlz

      • Charles Frost

        Implying the obvious iOS 7 copying Android is “best”. I’ve tried it, it’s even more of a hassle than iOS 6 was: drains battery really fast, apps crash even more often, the GUI as a whole is mimicking Android in a proportion of 80%…

        • Christian Harris

          Wow, been using it on my iPad 2 and it’s way more stable, hardly crashes (still does though, but I have to do something stupid like keep tapping on something to do it), and I like the GUI, I just changed the background to a static image that was better on the eyes.

      • Ryan Castle

        More like the worst of both worlds.

    • m1l4droid

      It’s cheap?

    • Cal Rankin

      to prank iSheep??

    • Bonnie

      i would want this phone because i like android but apples sleek design is very appealing to me, other then that you have more freedom with android then with apple.

      • sd

        that is a great point and I like the versatility of android in all ways

  • MasterMuffin

    Weight: 540g D: It’s actually really nice, if I had money just laying around, I’d buy that for giggles :)

    • Charles Frost

      Fucking hell you can use it to shatter someone’s windshield with it, and still get it back maybe with the screen cracked.

      • MasterMuffin

        That’s way better than what the real one can do!

    • Sorry, that was a cut & paste error… It should be 132g… Thx Gary.

      • MasterMuffin

        Oh good xD

  • Jason Yuen

    This blasphemous monstrosity of a “phone” ought to be burned at the stake. Then again, it very well might spontaneously combust on its own.

  • Fantastico

    An impressive feat of reverse engineering, if nothing else. I’m especially curious about how they implemented Apple’s very swanky but very patented lightning cable design.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    Better than iPhone 5C though.

    • Enes Taşdemir

      Not really

      • Vardan Nazaretyan

        Everything that runs Android is better than the iPhone. Even this.

        • Enes Taşdemir

          Nope, I am an Android user but I know mid range android phones other than moto x&g don’t have a chance against iPhones.

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            Moto X is a high end phone, whereas the Moto G is low end phone. And Android is a much more versatile OS, so I will consider every Android device above the iPhone.

          • Enes Taşdemir

            Moto X has mid range hardware, and no being versatile doesn’t make these devices better than iPhones.

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            Moto X has a dual-core CPU. Other than that, everything is high-end. Their SoC configuration is custom, so despite having a dual-core (which is well optimized BTW) CPU, the phone still has Adreno 320 (the same GPU as the HTC One). And it performs in day-to-day use much better than any other flagship phone around.
            And about versatility, it depends on the user. I for one, simply can’t live with iOS. I’ll miss the functionality, openness and versatility of Android during the day one.

          • Christopher Lee Kerr

            Mid range hardware that performs better than 75% of high end phones, mind you.

          • Christian Harris

            I smell fanboy :-)

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            A fanboy of what? :)

          • Christian Harris

            Chinese food and poo.

          • Vardan Nazaretyan

            Ehhhm, no.

  • I know adding frequencies would make this cost more, but I really wish they’d make these phones at least quad-band – 850/900/1900/2100, because then HSPA+ would work on AT&T and in re-farmed T-Mobile areas. As it is, these are not worth importing to the US.

    • Grman Rodriguez

      They could have EVERY frequency on the world but it’s still not worth it.

    • This phone wont work in the US?

      • Voice and text will work, data will be restricted to 2G Edge. HSPA will not work on any US carrier.

        • I am new to this whole thing so I’m sorry if my questions seem stupid lol. Will I be able to get picture messages?

          I have AT&T GoPhone without any data so i just need to use my home WiFi on it, get texts, pictures and make calls

          • No, cell phone compatibility is confusing, and the carriers don’t make it easy!

            MMS aka picture messages should work with this phone on AT&T and T-Mobile.

            MMS works over the data connection, even if you don’t have data service enabled. So it will work with this phone, but it will be over the slow 2G EDGE data protocol.

          • Okay cool.

            Thank you very much for the info. I appreciate it.

  • Nathan Buffington

    You guys this isn’t like a legit flagship, supposed to be for people who can’t afford the real iPhone and live in developing countries to show off

  • Jesus

    “Goophone” XD

  • Thunderstorm

    Circumstance to buy phone:
    Buy it to mess with a certain, whiny, spoiled, teenaged relative you might have just for the reaction:
    “You bought me an iPhone??? I <3 U :DDDDDDDDDD"
    and then


  • Diego Papaianni

    Is a shit !!!

  • gooser

    I wouldn’t take it, not even for free.

  • devoncatt

    If I succeed in winning the lottery , I might consider it., but I prefer my Nexus 5, though I would like an option for a larger battery and more storage as upgrade. Why isn’t anyone offering this? Also, it would be nice for an external battery case like Mophie offers for Samsung and iphones…

  • Kindroid

    This is the worst combination possible. Why would you want that awful iOS user interface running you Android OS?

  • yeah

    I will not take it, not unless for free. :P

  • Allanitomwesh

    Technically this is a clone of a clone since a genuine Goophone would have their bumblebee logo. Also I believe the original has a 5MP camera.

  • chkenwing

    Price seems to be around what the 5C should cost.

    • Only if you sign a contract. Buying one outright is closer to $700

  • Gutt Grinder

    Better not risk on getting this type of phone, rest assured this will be the cause of getting electrocuted.. Just sayin.. :D

  • qwertyuiop


  • Where did you get this phone from?

  • colJpt

    I made a big mistake and bought 2 of these from focalprice , 1 for me 1 for my daughter. Both phones have bad issues ,proximity sensor will not work on either phone, I must use speaker phone only to prevent my ear from selecting apps etc.I cannot retrieve missed calls.I brought 1 to a local cellphone repair, he tried to re root the cell, he looked on line for software had it for 3 weeks I just picked it up today and it was bricked … You can’t even charge it. focalprice would not respond to my emails , they also would not let me leave a bad review on this cell. So now I have spent quite a bit of money on 2 bad i5c goophones and one is dead. I would like to ask on this thread if there is anyone who can recommend a place that can fix these phones ?
    Thanks for any help you can give.

  • henk

    I don’t want to spend more than $170 on a phone. Is it as good as other android phones of this price?

  • lolcats07

    couldnt change the brightness

  • cazzzz

    Don’t buy from they are a rip off won’t fix faulty goods or even answer emails.

  • Michael Hall

    I really, really want one…

  • Lindsey Landark

    Can it be used with t Mobil