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Full Review

Full review and specifications for the Honor 5C

The Honor 5C is a phone that can be picked up from around £150, putting it in the entry-level range of handsets. But take a look at the specs and even at the phone itself and you’ll struggle to see how that can be the case.

The build is heavy on the metal, the processor is octa-core and the screen is 1080p, while the Honor 5C even has extras like NFC, making it a very tempting prospect. Of course you’d be wise to be wary of cheap phones promising the world, as they often don’t live up to their billing. But is the Honor 5C an exception?


Honor 5C Review

The Honor 5C certainly doesn’t look like a cheap phone, as the back is clad in brushed metal, giving it a distinctly premium appearance.

It’s not a completely high-end design as the frame is plastic and there are sizeable bezels around the screen, but given the price any visible metal at all is surprising and viewed from the back this could almost be mistaken for a flagship.


The screen is similarly impressive given the price, with the company packing in a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 display, for a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. That’s the same resolution as many of last year’s flagships and a good size too, matching the HTC 10 and coming in at 0.1 inches larger than the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Colours don’t pop as much as you might find on a higher end phone, but everything is sharp and clear, making it pleasant to stare at for extended periods.


If you’re looking for compromises you won’t find them in the power of the Honor 5C, as it has an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 650 chip with four cores clocked at 2.0GHz and four running at 1.7GHz. Now, despite being an octa-core processor this isn’t a high-end chip, but it’s substantially more powerful than we’d expect from a £150 phone.

It’s also coupled with a fairly meaty 2GB of RAM, so not only can the Honor 5C comfortably run most apps and games it’s also decent at multi-tasking, allowing you to jump between a number of apps without experiencing any slowdown.


The Honor 5C has a 13MP snapper on the back, equipped with an LED flash and a number of tools to help you make your photos their best, from filters to more in-depth options like the ability to adjust the shutter speed and ISO. It can take good shots, though there’s a loss of detail in low-light conditions.

Arguably the real camera highlight though is the 8MP front-facing one, as this is a high-spec for a cheap phone and lets you take great, detailed selfies.

Interface and features

This is the one area where the Honor 5C starts to disappoint, as it runs Huawei’s Emotion UI, which lacks an app drawer. If you’re coming from iOS this probably won’t bother you, but if you’re used to Android it can be a huge annoyance. Fortunately, there’s nothing stopping you from replacing the launcher with a third-party alternative to get the app drawer back.

And underneath the UI the Honor 5C runs Android Marshmallow, which is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system and always nice to see on low end phones. This gives you access to the latest Android features like Doze mode and Now on Tap.

There aren’t really any standout or unusual features in the Honor 5C though. It does the basics well but doesn’t really offer anything extra. That’s no surprise at this price, but could have helped it stand out. It’s also disappointing because the Asian version of the phone has a fingerprint scanner, but that’s been removed from the UK version to keep the cost down.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

The Honor 5C has a 3000 mAh battery. That’s the same size as the juice pack in the Samsung Galaxy S7, so it’s another area where it’s seemingly not made a compromise and while the phone won’t likely last you two days it will easily get through one with moderate use, which is in line with most other handsets. It also has a power saving mode when needed, to help the battery last longer. There’s no fast charging, but we wouldn’t expect that at this price.

Memory comes in at just 16GB, which could be quite limiting except that there’s also a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 256GB. That slot can alternatively be used for a second SIM card if you don’t need the extra space, which is handy if you regularly travel between two different countries or want separate work and personal SIMs in the same phone.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC, the last of which is worth highlighting as it enables Android Pay, even with the fingerprint scanner MIA.


The Honor 5C is a remarkable handset. Usually there are at least some compromises made when keeping a phone’s cost down but here there aren’t really. Sure it doesn’t have flagship specs and nor is it quite as premium as a high-end phone, but that was never on the cards.

What the Honor 5C does offer is style, power, decent battery life, a good screen, reasonable cameras and the latest version of Android, all for a budget price. There’s no single standout feature and that’s a shame, as the phone risks fading in to the crowded entry-level market, but it deserves a better fate than that, as it’s quietly very impressive indeed.



Dimensions (mm): 147.1 x 73.8 x 8.3

Weight (g): 156

Battery capacity (mAh): 3000

Colours: Silver, Grey, Gold

Screen size (inches): 5.2

Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 424

Processor: 2.0GHz octa-core

Processor make: HiSilicon Kirin 650


Internal storage: 16GB

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