Huawei s online-exclusive brand Honor today launched its latest smartphone, the Honor 5C, in India. Priced at Rs. 10,999, it will go on sale on Flipkart starting June 30. Registrations for the sale have already begun. The Honor 5C is set to take on popular budget smartphones like the LeEco Le 1s Eco and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. We briefly spent some time with the the Honor 5C today, and here are our first impressions. Also Read - Honor phones to come with Google Mobile Services: ReportAlso Read - Honor Band 6 takes on Redmi Watch in India, gets listed on Flipkart
Unlike the trend of going with big 5.5-inch or larger displays, the Honor 5C is a relatively compact smartphone with a 5.2-inch display. While the size is small, the smartphone feels bit heavy at 156 grams. At 8.3 mm, it is also quite thick and sits between the LeEco Le 2 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. The metal back with brushed metal texture is similar to what we have seen on the Yu Yunicorn, covers up for the bulk, and makes the smartphone look little more attractive. However the front white panel doesn’t merge gracefully into the rear metallic back and it feels as if the two have been pasted together. Also Read - Samsung takes lead from Apple in Q1 2021 smartphone shipments: Canalys
The front of the smartphone is dominated by the display along with the front camera and sensors on the top. The base houses the micro-USB port and speaker grilles. The volume buttons along with the power button are placed on the right edge, while the left edge houses the hybrid dual-SIM card slot. There are two nano SIM card slots where one can also house a microSD card. The camera and fingerprint scanner modules on the back are very similar to the ones of the LeEco Le 2 and Le Max2.
The Honor 5C runs on EMUI 4.1 based on Android Marshmallow 6.0. As you can expect, the UI is highly customized, but felt fluid during our brief usage. There are tonnes of custom features such as the ability to edit shortcuts in the notification panel (swipe down on the homescreen) as well as a dedicated fitness focused app called Health. It also has an app called Phone Manager, which is a dashboard for managing system optimization, notification center and locking certain apps among others. But, I guess the highly custom UI is the reason why you get just approximately 10GB of storage out of 16GB of onboard storage. The smartphone supports expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD, but do remember it has a hybrid slot so you will have to sacrifice SIM 2 to access the expandable storage.
Under the hood, the Honor 5C runs Huawei s Kirin 650 octa-core chipset along with Mali T830 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card. Honor says the Kirin 650 SoC is quite powerful as it comes with 16nm chip technology that supposedly is superior over the previous-generation 28nm chipsets. We will put these claims to the test in our detailed review.
The smartphone has a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, HDR, LED flash, and SmartImage 3.0 image processor. It also comes with an 8-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture, 77 degrees wide-angle lens, and 10 different beauty modes. The camera UI is very simple. Swiping right within the camera app, you get access to all the controls like changing camera resolution, audio based control, touch to capture among others. There s also a Pro mode for those who want to further customize the camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, white balance, exposure and focus. Others modes include timelapse, slow-mo and HDR that can be accessed by swiping left in the camera app.
Like most Chinese smartphones, even the Honor 5C has a fingerprint sensor at the rear, directly below the camera lens. You can register up to five fingers and during our usage we found it to be pretty fast.
Having said that, the Honor 5C is positioned in the highly competitive price segment that has a number of smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Meizu m3 Note and the LeEco Le 1s Eco. Stay tuned for our detailed review where we take a deeper look at its features and performance, and how it fares against the fierce competition in the Indian market. What do you think about the Honor 5C? Let us know your views in the comments section below.