Honor 5C hands-on review

THE HONOR 5C is official, and seeks to impress with octa-core processor, 13MP camera and budget £149 price-tag. 

Despite its ties to Huawei, Honor thinks of itself more like a startup, both in culture and in its approach to releasing new handsets. With the 5C, Honor is gunning for a sweet £150 price-point, but the hardware is more becoming of a phone that costs just that little bit extra.

Honor 5C front
Honor are touting the £149 handset as the budget phone with plenty of power thanks to its Octa-core Kirin 650 chipset. Specifically that’s 4X 2GHz Cortex-A53 and 4X 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 chips, along with a Mali-T880MP2 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

Sadly storage is wanting, as the 5C is limited to 16GB worth of storage. There is support for microSD (up to a maximum of 128GB), but you’ll need to sacrifice the second SIM slot in order to take advantage.

In terms of design, the Honor 5C features an anodized brushed metal finish on the back, but because the sides are all made from plastic the phone doesn’t feel perhaps as pleasing as it should. At this stage, it reminds us somewhat of the LG G5.

Honor 5C size

Size-wise, the Honor 5C measures in at 147.1×73.8×8.3mm and weighs 156g. We tested out the Dark Grey, but additional colourways like Space Silver and Sunset Gold will also be available.

The Honor 5C has already been on sale in China, but the version heading to our shores lacks the fingerprint sensor which in 2016 is a little disappointing. If you’re looking jump into the world of Android Pay however, you’ll be able to take advantage of NFC.

There’s a 5.2in screen at the forefront of the smartphone. This IPS LCD screen packs a 1920×1080 424ppi resolution, although lacks any Gorilla Glass protection.

Honor 5C full HD

Once you’ve removed the mandatory Honor screen protector, the 5C exhibits pleasing colours and clarity. Despite the limitations of Full HD images and text were both pin-sharp. The only downside is the lack of Gorilla Glass coating.

On the rear of the Honor 5C, you’ll find a 13MP, f/2.0 snapper. If you’re familiar with the Huawei P9 then you’ll be pleased to see the addition of the Pro photography mode which provides you with DSLR-style settings. 

Honor 5C camera shooting

It also includes an anti-reflective, oleophobic coating around the lens that helps to prevent fingerprints from gumming up your shots. On the front, you’ll find an 8MP sensor with the same f/2.0 aperture.

Honor has been keen to big up the 5C’s audio prowess, too. While it doesn’t compete with the HTC 10, the handset adopts dual-bottom speakers alongside a dedicated amplifier. Sound is clear and, although the bass is perhaps a touch lacking, it can be cranked up to a pleasing volume.

Honor 5C speakers

In terms of battery life, the Honor 5C packs a 3,000mAh battery that the firm claims should provide a full day of usage. Thanks to the Kirin 650 chipset and its big.LITTLE architecture, Honor claim we should see a decrease in power consumption by up to 40 per cent. We’ll look into this in our forthcoming full review.

In terms of software, if you were expecting another kaleidoscopic Huawei experience then you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Honor 5C UI

The Honor 5C comes running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the Honor EMUI 4.1 layer plastered over the top, but from our time spent with the handset we can report this is the most unobtrusive theme to-date.

Honor’s 5C clocks in at £149 and is available from select retailers 20 June. We’re told it will also be optioned by Three come August.

At under £150 the 5C is competitively-priced, butting heads with the likes of the Moto G4 and G4 Plus. It also comes in handsomely under the asking price of both the OnePlus 3 and Vodafone Smart Platinum 7, so it will be interesting to see whether Honor can steal any of this ground. µ

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