To be successful in the telecom hardware segment, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has been releasing smartphones in almost every price category under the sub brand Honor.
However, recently the brand has transformed its strategy on entering the budget segment of the market and released four smartphones in the category. Following the mixed success of Honor Holly, Huawei has recently launched Honor 4X, Honor 4C and its India exclusive smartphone Honor Bee.
For impressing the consumers scattered around different price segment, Huawei priced each of them intelligently. While Honor 4X is available for ₹9,999, Honor Bee is offered at ₹4,499. Honor 4C, which we are reviewing in this article, is available at ₹8,999. The price makes it an obvious competitor of Lenovo A7000, which also available for the same price.
Interestingly, both the smartphones are available exclusively through Flipkart. But unlike Lenovo A7000, Honor 4C can be purchased anytime you want to.
Design and Build
Honor 4C features the same textured polycarbonate, seen earlier on Honor 4X smartphone. The textured casing looks different from other similar budget smartphones and also gives an anti-slippery feel. The panel also keeps the phone free of fingerprints and smudges.
Unlike Honor 4X, Honor 4C sports a smaller 5-inch display, which makes it comfortable for using single-handedly. Measuring 143.3x71.9x8.8mm, Honor 4C feels comfortable yet a bit heavy in hand for 162g.
Removing the back panel gives access to the 2 micro SIM, one micro SD slot and the non-removable battery. Unlike Lenovo A7000, Honor 4C offers 3G only connectivity on both the SIM slots that might be considered as another let down, though a handful of budget smartphone consumers would really opt for 4G connectivity.
The primary camera unit, along with LED flash, sits on the top left of the rear, while the speaker grille is placed at the bottom right. The necessary power switch and the volume rocker buttons sit at the right side, micro USB at the bottom and the 3.5mm at the top.
The built quality is decent and so is the overall finish. Though it might feel a little thick, but the lustrous finish, especially the chrome ring (gold for the white model) on the top bezel makes is desirable to many.
For a budget smartphone (₹8,999), 720p display has almost become a standard. And following that, Honor 4C boasts a 5-inch, 720x1280 pixels, 294PPI LCD Capacitive display with a screen-to-body ratio of 66.9 percent.
The display produces aptly balanced colours, sharp texts and reasonably crisp icons. But the reflective nature of the display makes it a little difficult to read under heavily bright conditions. However, most of the budget smartphones, including its competitors, suffer from the same issue. The display also offers great viewing angles.
Honor 4C runs on the dated Android Kitkat 4.4.2 overlaid with a heavily-customised interface, Emoticon 3.0 UI. Despite being a stock Android lover, we are impressed with the interface, supplied tools, notification screen, Magazine UI and especially the collection of beautiful wallpapers.
But lacking the latest operating system is a serious drawback, especially when we compare it with the competitors in the same price bracket. Though Android 5.0.2 lollipop, which is usually visible in budget smartphone, has several flaws, it helps the phone perform better, boost battery life, provides more user control and enhances the security.
Huawei has loaded Honor 4C with its homemade 64 bit, 1.2GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 SoC and 2GB RAM memory.
Benchmarking Honor 4C, the handset scored 26,796 on Antutu, 548 single-core, 1570 multi-core on GeekBench and 10572 medium quality, 3437 high quality in BaseMark X Graphocs benchmark.
That puts it behind the competing handset, like Lenovo A7000 which scored 42964 in Antutu and 739 single-core and 3680 multi-core in GeekBench.
However, putting Honor 4C in real world mode, offered us an overall satisfying performance. That said, we found Honor 4C opened the applications, web pages without any noticeable stutter or chugs.
Playing heavy graphic games like Asplhalt 8, Batman Arkam or Clash of Clans also doesn't heat up the device too much.
After reviewing a series of Honor smartphones, we understood Huawei takes special care in this segment, while designing each of its phones. Honor 4C also flaunts a 13MP, 3120x4208, autofocus rear and 5MP front camera, making it obviously ahead of many of its competitor available under ₹10,000.
We were reasonably impressed, while reviewing the camera units of the phone. The rear camera is really fast while tracking and locking the subject, making it a rapid and accurate shooter for most of the instance. The result images are decent enough with enough subject details mixed with nicely balanced colours. The front camera also proved quite handy in our test by producing quality selfies. Like every budget smartphone, the image quality suffers a bit while shooting in the low light, but they aren't bad either.
Battery and Storage
The non-removable 2550 battery of Huawei Honor 4C offers a reasonable battery life.
Burning the battery by continuously playing a 720p video file in loop by keeping the brightness level to its fullest, Honor 4C survived around 8 hours.
With regular use, Honor 4C lasted a few hours more than a day before completely discharging. The usage entailed a few hours of phone calls, surfing and downloading files in 3G and Wi-Fi, playing games and streaming music to Bluetooth speaker.
Huawei offers Honor 4C with 8GB of internal memory and a further 32GB can be added via installing a micro SD card.
We must admit that Honor 4C left us reasonably impressed with its overall performance, including decent call quality and zero call drops even in bottleneck networks. The phone also works well and fast throughout every task we threw at it.
The two drawbacks of the phone are the dated operating system and the non-availability of 4G. If you are less bothered with both the facts, Honor 4C is a champion device for its price.