Huawei Honor 5C review
Inexpensive yet rewarding
Looking for a dual curved edge display? Read the Huawei Mate 9 Pro review
Design - Aluminium alloy
The Huawei Honor 5C feels pretty good with its use of aircraft-grade aluminium alloy and its brushed metal-effect finish. Pleasing to the eye, we also find ridged edges that help to avoid slippery situations and accidental drops.
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Further phone protection is given with a scratch resistant coating. The design adds character with a slight camera bump on the back and the silver, black or gold colour schemes are applied to both front and back faces.
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The Huawei Honor 5C avoids cable tangle with the charging port on the bottom and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. The thickness of the phone is pretty average at 8.3mm and so is the weight at 156g.
Display - Full HD
With most smartphones offering a display of 5” or 5.5”, we find the Huawei Honor 5C splitting the difference at 5.2”. The display uses IPS LCD technology, which is good for wide-angle viewing.
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The display has Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels / 423 pixels per inch) and has a 68.7% screen-to-body ratio.
Hardware - 65% performance boost
The HiSilicon Kirin 650 octa-core processor with 2GB RAM, has a very fast clock speed of 2GHz, which has resulted in a 65% boost to performance. Through its use of 16nm chipset technology, the processor also reduces power consumption by 40%.
The GPU gives a 100% boost to gaming performance, compared to the Kirin 620. The Huawei Honor 5C has dual antennas to give strong connectivity and these automatically switch to the best signal, to avoid dropped calls.
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Two features worth mentioning here includes the high volume mode that goes beyond the normal volume limits. The second is lock screen voice dialing, that can be activated by holding the volume button down.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Transferring content
Getting started is pretty easy and you can transfer data / content from an old smartphone by using a microSD card, Bluetooth, the backup feature or through a computer. There is a pretty standard 16GB internal memory, but should the need arise, then a 128GB microSD card can be inserted to boost this.
Set up - 3 features to activate
Taking advantage of Huawei features is a must and here are three to get familiar with during the device set up:
- Magazine Unlock - This feature brings the lock screen to life with beautiful lock screen images and shortcuts to app.
- Gloves Mode - Winter weather doesn’t cause a barrier between you and your phone when you activate this mode.
- Floating Dock - When activated this appears on most screens, giving access to frequently used features and options, and is ideal for one-handed use.
Software and apps - EMUI and Android
The Huawei Honor 5C does a very nice job of not looking like the stock Android experience. The Emotion UI 4.1 (EMUI) gives a super smooth delivery of the Android v6.0 Marshmallow operating system, bringing with it unique icons and a new look to almost all screens.
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Along with a whole host of Google apps, Huawei adds its own calendar, world clock with dual clock widget and notepad. The Huawei Mirror is also pretty cool, for the vain, and you can blow on the microphone to add a steamed up effect and wipe the screen to remove it.
The Honor 5C also has screen recording, which gamers might use for recording game footage, and scrolling screenshots.
Camera & Video
Photography - Shooting mode galore
The 13MP camera is simply loaded with shooting modes, making the camera app the stand out feature of the Huawei Honor 5C. The more standard shooting modes includes panorama, burst shooting, voice activated shooting, object tracking, document scanning, time-lapse mode and slow-mo.
The camera gets a little more creative with light painting and light graffiti modes. With light graffiti you can use an object to paint light patterns in a photo, as shown in the gallery on the left. With light painting you can capture tail lights, add silky water effects to waterfalls and rivers or create a map of the sky with star track. You can view examples of these in the gallery on the left as well.
Huawei has added the Ultra Snapshot feature to ensure that you don’t miss the action. Here a quick double press of the volume down button takes a photo, even when the screen is off.
Pro camera mode can be turned on for those who want to take control of everything from the shutter speed, exposure compensation and metering modes. Video recording takes place at 1080p quality and at 30 frames per second.
Selfies - Perfect selfie
The 8MP Hynix / Sony camera has ten beauty modes, automatic scene recognition, panoramic self-portraits, rapid capture and fast preview speeds. Perfect selfie can be used to set your own custom beauty preferences, while face recognition automatically applies these when you appear in a selfie.
Power - Designed for heavy use
After the camera, the battery is the next stand out feature, with its 3,000mAh capacity. For a smartphone, this is huge, and is designed for heavy extended use.
The longevity of a charge is extended further with Android doze mode and other power-saving technologies. If things get desperate, then the ultra power plan can be activated and this restricts services to just calling and SMS, to keep essential services running until the phone can be charged.
Power management can be further put under your direct control with the option to prevent individual apps from operating in the background when the screen is locked.
Overall, our Huawei Honor 5C review has highlighted a smartphone that is cheap to own, with two year contracts starting from £10pm. Yet, the feature set punches well above its weight.
Next review: Huawei Honor 8
Written by: Michael Brown