Huawei has been launching phones aggressively under its online-only Honor brand. We had already reviewed the Huawei Honor 4X and Honor 6 Plus in the past. While these two phones were targetted at the mid-range and high-end users, the Honor 4C is priced at Rs 8,999 and is meant for those looking at a feature-rich phone under Rs 10,000. Let us see if the phone is worth its asking price.
Build and Design: 7/10
A first glance at the Huawei Honor 4C and you will notice that it has taken a lot of inspiration from its elder sibling – the Honor 4X. The Honor 4C has similar design elements such as the textured plastic removable cover, the same positioning of the camera, similar flat edges and so on. The volume rocker and the power/standby buttons are located on the right hand side, a 3.5mm audio jack is present up to and the microUSB port is located on the base. On opening the rear cover you will get access to the dual SIM card and the microSD card slots.
The device is 8.8mm thick and weighs around 162 grams. The overall build quality is good and the etched ‘honor’ branding on the rear side and the metallic rim around the front face adds a bit of elegance to the device. Surprisingly, the white coloured model looks more attractive than one in black. The textured rear cover does not provide the best of grips, but it is better than some of the other phones we’ve seen in the past. Although the rear cover is removable, the battery isn’t. You will need to remove the rear cover to add in the microSD card or the dual SIMs.
Just like its elder sibling, the Honor 6 Plus, the Honor 4C also houses a HiSilicon Kirin chipset. The Kirin 620 system on chip houses a 64-bit octa-core Cortex A53 processor clocked at 1.2GHz along with Mali T450 GPU. While the chipset supports 4G LTE as well, the Honor 4C is not a 4G phone. It sports 5-in HD display.
The Huawei Honor 4C comes with 8GB of storage of which you have access to only 3.64GB. Needless to say that you will need to invest in a microSD card. The Honor 4C comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat along with the Emotion 3.0 UI atop it. On the connectivity front, you have dual 3G SIM support. As mentioned above, the Honor 4C does not support 4G LTE in India. Apart from this you get Wi-fi 802.11n, Wi-fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 along with GPS/GLONASS.
The Huawei Honor 4C comes with the Emotion UI 3.0 on top of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS. The Emotion UI 3.0 also doesn’t have an app drawer. Among the proprietary apps we have Themes and Phone Manager which has menus such as phone accelerator, harassment filter, power saving, traffic manager, notification manager, app lock and so on. The Tool folder has a lot of utility apps such as Mirror, Magnifier, Torch, Notepad, Recorder, FM radio, Backup and so on. With the Themes app, just like with the Cyanogen OS on the OnePlus One, you can customise the fonts, wallpaper, lock transition screen, home wallpaper from multiple themes and make your own custom theme.
The lock screen has a slider at the base which when pulled up gives you quick access to weather, voice recorder, calculator, torch and camera apps. Taking a screenshot, shows you a preview of the image and gives you options to edit or share the screenshot on the spot.
Just like Xiaomi MIUI, the notification drawer reveals two sections – Notifications and Shortcuts. As the name implies, the Shortcuts gives you access to quick menus such as bluetooth, brightness adjustment, auto-rotate, settings and so on, which can be rearranged according to your preference. The notification tab shows you the notifications in an interesting timeline sort of a user interface. Settings menu is straight-forward and there are motion gesture as well.
The Huawei Honor 4C comes with a 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel display. Expecting an HD display at this price point has become a norm and Honor 4C dosen’t disappoint on that front. This gives it a pixel density of 294 ppi which is a reasonably decent display. The display is bright and vibrant. The display has an IPS panel so the viewing angles are great, but there is no Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It does have an overall blue tinge to it, which is noticeable. Watching movies on the display is pleasant and there isn’t any noticeable backlight bleeding unless you see it from an angle.
The octa-core processor sporting Kirin 620 SoC paired with 2GB of RAM keeps things running smooth on the phone. We did not notice any slowdown of the phone. The multi-tasking soft-key did not respond on many occasions though and we had to restart the phone. Heating was noticed, but was minimal. Gaming on the phone is good as long as you have the graphics on low to medium settings with games such as Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 5 and so on.
Call quality is loud and clear, but the same cannot be said of the speaker section. The volume isn’t that loud and the audio quality was strictly average. You will definitely need a pair of good earphones to enjoy the audio. Benchmark scores are at par with those seen on Snapdragon 410 SoC sporting phones.
Huawei Honor 4C packs in a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The rear camera comprises a Sony BSI sensor and comes with an f/2.0 aperture lens. The user interface on the camera app is similar to what we had seen on the Honor 4X as well as the Honor 6 Plus. The user interface on the camera is the same as what we have seen with its other Honor cousins. You are presented with three main modes: Beauty, Photo and Video. Clicking on the options button gives you features such as Panorama, HDR, Audio note, Best Photo, All-focus and Watermark. It also lets you take a quick shot by holding the volume down button. You can also adjust ISO and white balance.
Daylight images turn out well and colours appear natural, but as was seen with the Honor 4X the sharpness is lacking on most counts. There wasn’t any unnecessary processing of images. Focus acquisition was quick in daylight and chromatic aberrations are well controlled. The HDR mode and low light mode images aren’t impressive, but good enough to be shared on mobile devices. There is a 5MP front camera that can click decent selfies and the video camera lets you shoot full HD videos. All in all, nothing stand out about the camera on the Honor 4C.
Battery Life: 7/10
The Honor 4C comes with a 2,550mAh non-removable Li-ion battery. On regular usage it lasts up to a day, but if you are into heavy gaming then the juice will die out before your work day gets over. On the PC Mark for Android test, we got an onscreen time of 7 hours 54 mins.
Verdict and Price in India
Huawei Honor 4C is a good phone but so are many others in this price range. You get a decent battery life, a good camera, good performance for a Rs 8,999 price tag. The one sore point of the Honor 4C is its 8GB onboard storage which gives you just under 4GB for use. So investment in a separate microSD card needs to be taken into consideration, which will drive up the purchase price. This gives it stiff competition in the form of Yu Yureka, Lenovo A6000 Plus and for Rs 1,000 more you can even get the better Huawei Honor 4X as well. So have a look at other phones before putting your money on this one.