Honor 5c review – Is it worth buying?

Huawei has been selling some of company’s devices under the brand “Honor” in many countries and the latest mid-range offering is Honor 5c which sits below Honor 5X in it’s category. Honor 5c uses 16nm Kirin 650 chipset which promises good performance and power efficiency compared to the previous ones from Huawei and also over some competitors’ chipsets. Let us review the device and see if it delivers what it promises.

Honor 5c

Box Content:

  • Honor 5c
  • Wall adapter
  • Micro-usb charger
  • Sim ejector tool
  • Warranty and user manual

Honor 5c

Build and Display:

Honor 5c measures 147.1 x 73.8 x 8.3mm and weighs in about 156g which is bit heavy for a mid-range smartphone. The back of the phone is made of aircraft grade aluminum with brushed finish and a plastic rim running around for better grip while holding. The metal is polished and smooth giving a flagship feel, hides fingerprints but is a little slippery when holding. We have a 13MP camera at the top protruding out and a LED flash, a fingerprint scanner below the camera that can be used for unlocking and various other tasks. At the bottom, we have the Honor logo and model number of the device.

The front side houses a 5.2″ FHD LCD display protected with some kind of protection which is not named by the company. Above the screen we have the  8MP selfie camera, earpiece, proximity and ambient sensors, and below the screen we again have a Honor logo. We do not get physical home/back/option keys in the Honor 5c as we have on-screen keys for navigation. On the left side there is a hybrid sim slot which can be used with two sim cards or a sim card and memory card. To the right we have a power/lock key and a volume rocker with good tactical feedback, at the top we have 3.5mm audio jack and a noise cancelling microphone, a microUSB 2.0 port accompanied with grilles – one for microphone and other for speaker at the bottom of the phone.

“The brushed metal finish along with solid build quality and sturdiness makes it a cool looking device in the segment”

Honor 5c uses a 5.2″ IPS LCD screen with Full HD resolution producing good colors and viewing angles but lower contrast. The color temperature can be changed to warm or cold based on the user’s preference. There is manual setting too to get a color balance that looks best in case the color modes do not suit you. We have on-screen keys which occupy some space but not a lot on the 5.2″ screen.

Performance and software:

Honor 5c is powered by company’s latest 16nm HiSilicon Kirin 650 Chipset which is one of the very few mid-range chipsets using advanced process like 16nm. The Kirin 650 has eight Cortex-A53 cores – half of them run at 2.0GHz and other half at 1.7GHz. They are paired with a Mali-T830MP2 GPU and 2GB of RAM which take care of graphic intensive tasks and switching of applications to give a smooth performance. The phone has a onboard 16GB ROM, expandable up to 128 GB. Even though the phone is touted to be a mid-range device, the performance is close to some of the last year’s flagship devices with SD808 chipset. Only few heavy apps showed a noticeable slowdown as they launch and some of the high graphics games needed the settings to be lowered for avoiding frame drops but overall the performance was very good at this price range.

Honor 5c uses the proprietary skin Emotion UI 4.1 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is very smooth and with lot of customizations. The lock-screen shows clock, pedometer which tracks the user steps and shortcut to camera. As with other Chinese ROMs there is no app drawer in Emotion UI as well which results in all apps being on the home screen similar to iOS. The notification panel also closely resembles the one from iOS to show reminders and app notifications. There are some pre-loaded apps for hot news, hotel booking, phone manager and health management which might come in handy for few users but will be considered as bloatware by others. The Phone Manager also features harassment filters, battery manager with power-saving modes, as well as options to handpick the apps that can run in the background.

“Emotion UI combined with it’s customizations and the new chipset produces a smooth experience for the users”

The fingerprint scanner on the back of Honor 5c is very fast and accurate. It can be used like a trackpad as well for functions like unlocking the phone, attending phone calls, swiping down the notification panel, flipping through the photos in gallery, mute the alarm and taking selfies without using any buttons.

Camera:

Honor 5c sports a 13MP camera with f/2.0 lens to allow more light for bright pictures. The pictures taken outdoor are very sharp and with lot of details. The camera interface has lot of options to control the way you take pictures. We also have a pro mode that allows the user to adjust focus, iso and shutter speed to create pictures like a professional. The device is capable of shooting 1080p video but does not feature a image stabilizer and also allows the user to create slo-mo and time-lapse videos. The 8MP front camera does a good job in taking selfies offering beauty modes and other options to play with. Overall the camera is one of the best in this price range.

“Certainly one of the best cameras we have see in this segment, produces crisp and natural looking pictures”

Call quality, Connectivity and Battery:

The call quality on Honor 5c is top notch as we did not see any issues with either the signal reception or the voice on both sides of the call. The device supports dual sim cards with 4G connectivity but any given time only one sim card will be using 4G. The sim tray can either be used for 2 sim cards or a sim card and a microSD card. We have a 3000 mAh battery with Huawei Smart Power 3.0 which gives around 5-6 hours of screen on time and a full day battery life with casual usage.

Honor 5c is priced at INR 10,999 and is exclusively available on flipkart. The pricing of the mobile suggests that Huawei meant the device to be in the upper range of budget mobiles but the hardware along with software optimizations enable Honor 5c to compete with top mobiles in the mid-range segment. If you are looking for a mobile with good performance, decent camera and which is on open sale, Honor 5c is a device to go for!

Honor 5c

Our Rating: 3.7 out of 5

Our video review of Honor 5c:

 

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