Huawei Honor 5C, a mid-range phone that is not so mid-ranged

6:52:00 AM Avinaash Kuppusamy 0 Comments


For about RM 799 (US$ 150), Huawei's Honor 5C clearly targets the budget-minded market. For that price you get a smartphone that screams premium with it's aluminium build, a pretty good camera (though only in well lit situations), a fingerprint scanner and a 5.2" 1080p LCD display.

This phone has been my daily driver for the past month and there is quite a lot to like about this smartphone. Prior to using the Honor 5C, I had experience with a couple of Snapdragon 800 powered devices that are pretty snappy for daily tasks. Switching over to the Honor 5C, I did not notice a slight dip in performance. 

— AT A GLANCE — 

Huawei Honor 5C
5.2-inch 1080P display
Hisilicon Kirin 650 SoC
2GB LPDDR3 RAM
16GB expandable memory
13MP f2.0 rear camera
8MP f2.0 front camera
3,000mAh battery
Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

Emotion UI 4.1
147.1 x 73.8 x 8.3mm (156g)
Black, Platinum, Blue, Pink
Dual SIM LTE

— — 


First off, let's talk about battery life. Frankly speaking, it's great. Where my Galaxy Note 3 and Xperia Z1 would be dangerously close to an empty battery, the Honor 5C would still have enough battery for it to chug through the rest of the day. 

The difference in battery life became apparent as I'm up and about trying to catch them all in Pokémon GO. Typically, my other S800 powered devices can last about 2-3 hours, at best, of gameplay before requiring a charge. Comparatively, the Honor 5C would give me an extra hour or two before I would need to find a power socket or charge it with a power bank. This is due to the less powerful chipset on the Honor 5C paired with a sizable 3,000mAh battery.

The absence of any quick-charging technology means that it will take a couple of hours to charge the Honor 5C but on the upside, this allows the device to charge up without overheating. Additionally, Huawei's own Kirin 650 CPU powers the Honor 5C and despite being targeted at the mid-range segment, it is perfect for day to day tasks.

Having used it for about a month and in short, its quick. The Kirin 650 is built on the 16nm FinFET technology and features 8 individual cores with 2 clusters having 4 cores in each. With four of those cores operating at 2GHz and the remaining four operating at 1.7GHz, speed is clearly the intention when designing this chip. The Kirin 650 has an i5 co-processor (not to be confused with Intel's Core i5) which aids in low powered tasks.

The graphics performance in the other hand was pretty good for the most part, light to medium games had respectable frame rates with no noticeable dropped frames. I have Minecraft: Story Mode purchased and downloaded, as well as NBA Live. Additionally, viewing YouTube videos with my Google Cardboard proved to be of no challenge for the Honor 5C.

There is a headphone port, pheww. Also visible is the camera bump
Moving on the the main attraction of the device, which is the 13MP camera camera. Physically, there is a camera bump on the Honor 5C and the optics is paired with an LED flash. Moving on to the the camera application, you will be greeted with the various shooting modes ranging from Pro photo, a mode where you can take photos just the way you like it with manual settings adjustments, to Light Painting, which allows the camera to slow down the shutter speed for artistic photos.

The camera of the Honor 5C is real good for the price and taking photos in good lighting resulted in amazing shots, but in low light situations, the camera does slouch a little. That's where the Pro Camera mode comes in, you could technically take a shot with almost no lighting and still get away with it, provided you have a pair of steady hands or a tripod.

I found myself stopping every now and then when I found something worth taking a photo with this phone, most of the times it would get good photos








Moving on to the back of the phone, we find an additional security feature usually found on more expensive devices. The Honor 5C features a fingerprint sensor and the placement of it is in my ideal location which on the back of the device as the phone fits my hands perfectly and my finger rests almost exactly where the fingerprint reader is located. Setting up the fingerprint sensor is pretty easy. It's also performs fairly well, though it's still not as fast as the Galaxy S7.

Nothing in the market is perfect and the same applies to the Honor 5C. The loudspeaker on this phone, although clear, sounds very tinny. On the upside the earpiece on the Honor 5C is clear even at high volumes and the wired audio quality is pretty good for the most part but lacks bass. Another thing which took me aback at first is the abscence of an app drawer, instead all installed apps show up on the homescreen like they do on iPhones. This can be easily resolved with a third party launcher.

Conclusion



At the end of day, hardware specifications really don't matter in smartphones today especially in budget friendly options. After using the Honor 5C for about a month, my feelings for this device is a little mixed. Coming from flagship grade smartphones, this phone is quick enough for everyday use but slouched a little when it came to multitasking when compared to my existing flagship phones.

Most of the performance gripes that I have with the Honor 5C has to do with multitasking where apps are being constantly reloaded. But I can't blame the phone for this. It only has 2GB of RAM to work with and this is perfectly fine since the phone only costs RM 799.

There's a lot to love about the Honor 5C, the premium build is definitely a plus and the pre-applied screen protector is a nice touch. On the flipside, the screen does not produce great colors and the speakers are not to my liking at all. But bottom line, the Honor 5C comes with pretty compelling features to make up for the drawbacks.

Now comes my opinion on using the Honor 5C as my daily driver. In the past, my mentality used to be that flagship smartphones was everything and I wouldn't bother looking non-flagship smartphones. This phone has successfully changed my view of anything that isn't a flagship smartphone.

disclaimer: review unit was provided by Honor Malaysia but opinions are our own.

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