Huawei Honor 5C first impressions: A solid looking device that seems to lack punch

Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor, has been around for about two years now and has made its presence felt in the Indian market. It has been offering some quality options in the budget and mid-range segments including the Honor 5X and Honor Holly 2 Plus, which were launched back in January.

The company is back with a new smartphone, the Honor 5C which is an update to last year’s budget smartphone the Honor 4C. The new smartphone comes in a metal finish and some updated features, including a fingerprint reader. Here is a quick look at the device.

Design

The smartphone has a pleasing look with a metal finish at the back and a plastic front covered with toughened glass. With a 5.2 inch display the smartphone doesn't feel very big in the hand and has a thickness of 8.3 mm. Overall it feels quite balanced although it can get a little slippery due to the smooth metal finish. The metal frame at the back curves onto the edges and houses the power button and volume rocker on the right. A 3.5 mm audio jack is on the top, the SIM card slot on the left edge and the microUSB and speaker grill at the bottom. The SIM card tray is a hybrid type so you can either use two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM card with a microSD card.

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The back features the 13MP camera which protrudes out giving the smartphone a bump, very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S6. There is also an LED flash and a fingerprint scanner.

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Overall the finish of the Honor 5C is excellent and we have no major complaints to the company. If we are nitpicking, the front panel could have been of a slightly better quality.

Display

The Honor 5C feature a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD display which performs just fine. Sharpness is good, colour reproduction is in check and the overall tone of the display is more towards the blues. Viewing angles are fine but sunlight readability isn’t up to the mark, but of course this isn't a flagship smartphone.

OS

The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1 skin on top which is a traditional Chinese UI missing the apps drawer. The overall interface looks clean and snappy and it seems that Huawei is slowly trying to imitate MIUI. There are options to add themes, a phone manager, a health app and certain security features that utilise the fingerprint scanner. Speaking of which, we tried out the scanner and it is very accurate and fast, almost as fast as on the Nexus 6P.

Camera

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You get a 13MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture at the back and an 8MP front snapper. Huawei has cut costs in the camera department as is evident from the initial pictures we snapped. There is no laser autofocus or OIS on board and the picture quality isn't as good as those from some of its competitors. While pictures in well-lit environments look decent, indoor and low-light pictures lack detail and are quite grainy. The camera app offers features like HDR, slow-motion video, time-lapse video and panorama.

Hardware and features

The smartphone is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 650 SoC with eight Cortex-A53 cores out of which four are clocked at 2GHz and the rest at 1.7GHz. There is 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage which is expandable via a microSD card through its hybrid SIM card slot. User accessible storage is 10.52GB out of which 9.8GB is free when you boot it for the first time.

The smartphone is 4G LTE enabled and supports VoLTE as well. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, FM Radio and microUSB.

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Battery

A 3,000mAH battery provides juice for the handset and the company hasn't made any big claims on it. Hopefully it should last for a full day as other smartphones do and we will check if it supports any kind of fast-charging mechanism.

Verdict

The Honor 5C is a very neat looking device. Sure, it is similar to last year’s Honor 5X, but it is still a looker. The software looks snappy and everything works really smooth. We can't really say anything significant about the hardware because it's a new chip and we would need to test it thoroughly. The camera doesn’t impress that much although the company has added a bunch of features in the camera app.

 

What you get for the price sounds just about right, but Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 is a powerhouse in front of the Honor 5C. We will take this handset for a spin and see if it is worth the money. Stay tuned for our review.


Published Date: Jun 22, 2016 07:29 pm | Updated Date: Jun 22, 2016 07:29 pm