Honor 5C Review: Software wins over Specs here!


In this article, lets review the Honor 5C, a budget entry segment smartphone from Huawei which was just launched in India today. Though, this device is priced as a budget phone, features, design and the user experience give it a feel of a good mid-range smartphone.

Honor is Huawei’s Smartphone e-brand for digital natives. Honor has been expanding aggressively in global markets, and has successfully launched in 74 global markets, entering the bestselling charts in most of the European countries honor launched. The Honor 5C will be available at INR 10999 in three colors – gold, silver and grey. The phone will be available on Flipkart and is available for pre-orders starting 2 PM today. The sale of Honor 5C will commence starting 30th June.

honor-5c

Hardware, Look and Feel:

The Honor 5C comes with a premium aircraft grade metal that also offers 5 layer heat sinks with copper shielding cover. It is made from brushed metal alloy wire-drawing finish that adds a very premium look and feel to this phone. The top and bottom of the phone are made up of plastic, but still the phone doesn’t look cheap at all.

The phone is neither heavy, nor very light. Its a good weight in the hands; and doesn’t slip-off easily. The curved back is quite ergonomic and the rear flows very well to the front. There is a LED notification on the top of the phone as well.

honor-5c-brushed-back

The power button and volume rockers are placed on the right side which feels vey neat and also offers a good amount of tactile feedback. The buttons also have a textured feel to it making it more comfortable to use. The left side is for the SIM and SD card slots. Its surprising why Honor dropped the 2 separate slots and included the Hybrid SIM slot this time.

The phone is powered with an octacore 64bit Kirin 650 16nm chipset, Mali T830 GPU, faster EMMC 5.1 and 2GB RAM. The phone has a onboard 16GB ROM, expandable upto 128 GB. There is a very slight lag on the app-load when you launch 3rd party apps; its certainly not a major deal breaker. Probably, it would’ve been better with a 3GB RAM. However, the Emotion UI makes the OS much user friendly and optimises the OS with a good RAM management. The OS also provides some good tweaks that help in better performance when compared to other phones in  this segment.

brushed-metal-honor-5c

The rear of the phone sports the camera and the finger print sensor. The finger print sensor is an impressive feature on this phone (or in any Huawei phone in that matter). The finger print reading is fast (the company says 0.5 seconds to unlock) and also, has worked well all the times for me. When compared to other phones in this segment, the accuracy is pretty neat.

The phone has a 3000 MAH battery which offers a good battery life of over a day; It gives me SOT of 5 hours which is pretty impressive. With Emotion UI, there are tons of more customisations which you can do, to make your phone even better in terms of battery saving. Thanks to the patents Huawei has on the same.

With Dual Antenna, the call drops are fairly less. The sound quality on the phone isn’t great when you play music on loud speaker; it gets slightly better with a headset. However, The call quality is very impressive and the volume is good too.!

Display

The Display is very impressive and sharp. I find it to be one of the real good features of the phone. Its a 5.2 inch, IPS Panel display powering a full HD resolution of 1080 * 1920 offering a 480 dpi. The quality and the details are neat. Images aren’t over-saturated or too warm/cold. the colours are vibrant and the brightness on the screen is impressive as well. Reading text on the phone is pretty good. I like the fact, it isn’t too sharp giving a realistic clear text.

honor-5c-display

Software, User Experience:

The Honor 5C runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box with the customised version. These days, Every company have their own android skins for their phones. Out of all, my personal favourites have been the Flyme OS (Find out why this skin is good), MIUI and Emotion UI. They are not just basic customisations, but give users few features which are actually worth trying.

This phone offer Emotion UI 4.1, the first Honor phone to feature Marshmallow. There are few software features which makes the phone pretty good. My personal favourite is the notifications window. They show a lot more detail on a timeline about the app notifications and your system. Shake to re-align icons is cool as well. Themes would also fancy some people. I love the Health App; that little notification on the lock screen is super cool. This version of EMUI also brings in some performance improvements.
Honor 5C Health App
The emotion UI provides you way more options to further make use of the finger print sensor, than to just unlock your phone. Gestures help you do that. For e.g.: Swiping up on the finger print scanner shows the recently used apps. Swiping down brings in the notifications page to quickly read through and toggle settings. A tap can be configured to take you to back screen or even click a picture while you take a selfie. You can even take a call, or use it like a home button with customisations available.  Here are some of the options, you can set.

Camera:

The camera is powered with a 13MP sensor, a f2.0 aperture which does allow a lot of light and a single LED flash to use in low-light conditions. In outdoors, the camera performs very well and is quick. The quality of pictures is pretty neat and the details are sharp with colors being good as well. Thankfully, the software doesn’t over-sharp the images and hence, images feel realistic. Emotion UI also offers a great camera software which gives you options for smart selfies, food mode etc.  Here are some samples pictures I clicked. will upload few more as I use the phone. 

The Honor 5C also offers manual shooting controls (professional mode) for people who like to create photographs.

Honor 5C Pro Photo

You can shoot a 1080p video on this phone. however, it doesn’t come with an optical image stabiliser built in.  The video processing on the phone can be better, but is certainly good enough for a mid range smartphone.

The slo-mo and time-lapse features are also there. Here is a sample time-lapse video, I shot early this morning. Not the best, and certainly not the worse either. One point worth mentioning is that, when I used this camera for a longer time to shoot this time-lapse video, it didn’t warm the phone – This is neat.

The follow-focus on the videos is a pretty good addition. The front camera performance is decent and does take some good pictures; and if you’re a selfie lover, there are tons of more options to play around.

Pros and Cons, Value for Money:

With a brushed metal, premium design and a good display its impressive. Today in the market, There are few other devices in this range which offers better specs; however, its not just about the specs at times. Its more on the user experience. I personally love how the honor phones offer a good user experience with its Emotion UI; and of course the accurate finger print scanner which doubles with great gesture controls. I believe, software updates with Honor aren’t going to be an issue either.

Summing up, This phone offers a good design, beautiful display and most importantly, finger print scanner which is accurate and does a lot more things than just unlocking your phone. This would be my new recommendation for anyone looking at a 10K phone.

Do let us know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!