[Review] Honor 5C.

Honor 5C is in the market for quite sometime now and the current price of this device is still RM 799. It is available in 3 different colours – silver, grey and gold. By the way, the gold version is slightly more expensive where it is sold for RM 849.

The device comes with one year warranty and the best part is, if your device has any problem within the first 6 months, you can return it and get another brand new device. That is one of the thing that I like about Honor smartphones.

Before I get into more details, we shall take a look at the spec.

Honor 5C Specs :
  • HiSilicon Kirin 650 Octa-core processor (2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 quad core & 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 quad core).
  • Mali-T830MP2 GPU.
  • 16 GB internal storage (Supports micro SD card up to 128 GB).
  • 2 GB RAM.
  • 5.2 inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080).
  • 13 Megapixel rear camera with auto focus and 8 Megapixel front camera with fixed focus.
  • Dual SIM (both nano SIM slots) with 4G LTE. 2nd SIM is a hybrid SIM where you can only use either SIM card or Micro SD card at any one time.
  • Fingerprint unlocking.
  • 3000 mAh non-removable battery.
  • Colours – silver, grey and gold.
  • Price – RM 799 or RM 849. 

 

UNBOXING

The device that I got was already opened and used, probably by other reviewers before me. As such, I am not sure of what is supposed to be inside the box and what could be missing (I hope nothing is missing). These are what I found.

  • Honor 5C smartphone.
  • USB cable.
  • 1A charger.
  • Warranty card, user guide etc.
  • IMEI sticker.
  • SIM eject tool.
  • Screen protector (applied on device).

I can confirm that the Honor 5C doesn’t come with a handsfree. Even their website did not mention that handsfree will be given.

 

OUTLOOK

The Honor 5C has a very similar design to its siblings, the Honor 5X, Honor 7 and Honor 7 Enhanced. Probably this one has a slightly rounded edges compared to the Honor 7 / 7 Enhanced but in a glance, it is quite difficult to identify the differences.

Top – microphone & 3.5mm audio port.

Bottom – mono speaker, micro USB port and microphone.

Left – SIM tray.

Right – Volume rockers and power key.

Front – Illumination sensor, earpiece, 8 MP camera & notification LED.

Back – 13 MP camera, LED flash & fingerprint sensor.

 

BASICS

You can use 2 SIMs with this device and both are nano SIMs. Nowadays all devices are starting to use nano SIM and all my SIMs are already changed to nano. So I didn’t have any issues with that. Both slots are LTE capable as well and you can set your SIMs accordingly at the settings.

The device unfortunately comes with only 16 GB of internal storage which is still fine but for a person like me who take a lot of photos or record quite a number of videos, that will not be enough. I wouldn’t complain if I can use a micro SD card on this device but the problem is, I already have 2 SIMs to use and because of that, I can’t use a memory card together with both my SIM cards. If you are only using 1 SIM, then you will not have an issue with the storage as you can add micro SD card up to 128 GB.

The UI is very simple and straight forward. Some may not like it due to its simplicity but I have no issues with it. In fact, I prefer the UI to be like this, less complicated and doesn’t use up too much of RAM. Speaking about RAM, although I was not happy initially that Honor 5C only comes with 2GB of RAM, practically speaking, it will be more than enough for the device due to the simple UI which is not RAM hungry. I didn’t face any lag or freeze while using the 5C.

The fingerprint unlocking is another plus point of this device. I didn’t have any problem unlocking my phone using my fingerprint. In fact, after using the Honor 5C, I find it difficult to use my other devices which don’t have a fingerprint sensor. Overall, I am happy with the fingerprint sensor of 5C. It was quite fast and I had very minimum error rate (fingerprint not recognized).

One thing that was bothering me a lot was the network issue that I faced while using this device. Firstly, I realised that the network bar was fluctuating like crazy. Sometimes, the network will totally go missing and even after waiting for a while e.g. 15 minutes, it will not reappear. So I have to restart my phone to get back the network. Another thing is, when I call someone, the call doesn’t always get connected (same thing goes when someone tries calling me). If it gets connected, both parties will have problems hearing each other because of the terrible network quality.

At first, I thought it has to be something with my network provider but no, it is definitely not due to that because I never had such issues when using my SIM on other phones. So this is something that you need to check when buying the device. I believe I probably got a lemon unit because I have used many Honor devices and they were all exceptionally good when it comes to call quality. Well, it could also be that the previous reviewer has trashed the device in and out, causing some problem with the phone.

 

MULTIMEDIA, SPEAKER & DISPLAY

The speaker of Honor 5C is loud enough. You will not miss any calls or notifications (depending on what ringtone you use). The speaker is just a mono speaker. At first I thought there are 2 speakers but after looking at the guide book, I realised that one of it is just a microphone. Anyway, that’s not an issue. Most of the phones within that price range have only a mono speaker.

As for the sound quality, listening to music via the loudspeaker is not going to give you a fantastic experience. Again, this is normal for any smartphone. Listening to music via headphones is decent. It is not the best that I’ve experienced but it is not bad either. The bass is there. It is just that the main volume is equally as loud as the bass. I rather have the background to be a little higher but this is my personal preference. By the way, if you are listening to music via a 3rd party music player, then you can also customize the music accordingly.

What about the built-in music player? Nah, it is pretty useless. It only has SWS surround (something like DTS) which you can activate or deactivate. I don’t find that to be interesting. So your only option for a better music experience is a third party music player.

Watching movies is good, thanks to the display. It produces beautiful vivid colours without making things over-saturated. Images and videos are sharp enough and I actually liked the display very much. It doesn’t hurt my eyes and it is quite pleasant to use the display. However if you want to watch movies, please use headphones because the audio quality from the built-in speaker is quite low. Even at the maximum volume, I still can’t hear the dialogues clearly, especially when there are distractions from my surroundings e.g. people chatting etc.

 

CAMERA

Huawei / Honor’s camera is something that I will always give thumbs up because I really like the photos that it produces. For that price range, Honor’s camera will always give a tough fight to its rivals. Well, it is not the best camera and you should not use it for any professional shooting but for a casual user, it is quite impressive.

Below are some sample photos (unedited images) from Honor 5C’s camera :

Selfie photos are also good, especially when the beautification mode turned on. One thing that I don’t like about the beautification mode is the distance or coverage area of the camera. When I am holding it normally, my face seem to be very near to the camera which I don’t like (it is like a zoom in effect). The solve it, I have to fully straighten my arm before taking shots which is still fine for photos but probably a bit tiring for videos. This is not a big issue if you have a selfie stick or a monopod. Otherwise, turn off beautification mode and the zoom will get back to normal.

NOTE: I don’t have that abnormal zoom issue on the rear camera.

Speaking about videos, my recordings turned up pretty decent too. The rear camera has a manual mode (or called as pro mode) for both photos and videos. There are quite a number of settings that you can fiddle with to tweak your shots. Overall I am happy with the camera.

One thing that you need to take note is, no matter how good the camera is, it struggles quite badly when the lighting condition is average. Usually it happens indoor where although the lighting condition is pretty decent with fluorescent lights turned on and the area well lit, you can still see some noise on the photos and videos. So, if you want to take some pretty decent shots, make sure that the lighting condition is really good.

 

PERFORMANCE

Performance of this device is very good. As I’ve said earlier, I didn’t notice any obvious lags or freezes on this device. Everything is smooth and nice. Even the games were running well on this device. I tried several games including Need For Speed No Limits and I was surprised on how good it was on this device.

The Honor 5C was already running on Android 6.0 when I received it. A lot of things has been ironed out very well in Android 6.0 onwards (generally on any devices). So that could have helped the device to perform this well.

For those of you are fed up with phones that are frustratingly slow, you should try out this one if you want to have a smooth and snappy phone that doesn’t cost you a bomb.

 

BATTERY LIFE

The battery life of Honor 5C is one of the most decent I would say. It is not the best that I’ve seen, but it is not bad either. I have even used it for more than 2 days with average use (mainly for social networking, some basic web surfing and little bit of chatting. To be exact it took 37 hours and 50 minutes before the battery got to 5%. As for the background activities, I had 2 push emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

On a much intense use where I’ve included 30 minutes of navigation and another 45 minutes of Pokemon GO, the device still lasted for about a day and a half which is pretty impressive. That is also including about 8-10 photo shoots using the camera and about 15 to 20 minutes of YouTube streaming.

Speaking about the battery, it is difficult to make a decision for yourself based on how I use it. The way you use your phone may not be the same as how I use it. So it is a very subjective issue but all I can say is, the battery should at least last a day for most of you.

Now, the bad thing about the device is when it comes to charging. I don’t know what Honor had in their mind when they decided to bundle it with a merely 1A charger. That is the most awful thing about this device. It took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes to charge the device from 3% to 100% and that is insane because for the entire charging period, I almost didn’t use the device. So if I still use the device as usual, it might even take 4 hours or more.

 

CONCLUSION

Overall the Honor 5C is a nice device. It is not the best one, due to the problems that I faced above but it is definitely worth considering this device if you have a budget of RM 800. Now, I just wonder why would someone choose the 5C over 5X or vice versa. Both have similar price tag (the Honor 5X is RM 100 more expensive than the 5C). Spec wise, the Honor 5X comes with a Snapdragon processor but HiSilicon Kirin processor on the 5C is not any inferior compared to the other one. It has performance and I am quite surprised that the Kirin processor did a pretty good job to keep the battery usage low this time.

If you ask me, I will definitely go for the Honor 5C instead of 5X. A lot of things seem to be better on the 5C. Performance is better. Most of the game that I played on the 5C was quite smooth and nice but it was not the same case with 5X. Battery wise, 5C has a better battery life but in terms of charging, the 5X still gets charged slightly faster than 5C.

I think the 5C is a much revamped version of 5X where it fixed a lot of issues found on the 5X. Or probably it could be the Android version which makes 5C looks better than 5X. I am not sure but I am quite surprised that I liked the 5C much more than the 5X.

Only if the network issue and slow charging problem is not there, I would definitely recommend this device to anyone. By the way, I would suggest you to read my Honor 5X review as well if you are confused on which one to pick. Here is the link – Honor 5X review.

 

Good :

  • Good display + full HD.
  • Good battery life.
  • Smooth and decent performance.
  • Decent camera with various tweak options.
  • Comes with basic screen protector.

 

Bad :

  • Average speaker volume. Average sound / music quality.
  • Doesn’t support USB OTG (USB on-the-go).
  • Average charging time.
  • Below average camera performance in low light.

 

Our score for Honor 5C :

Summary

86.2%
  • Design / Outlook (87%)
  • Features (85%)
  • Camera (87%)
  • Hardware Performance (83%)
  • Software / UI (90%)
  • Battery Life / Charging Time (85%)
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