July 23, 2016

Unboxing & Review: honor 5C

Since the pre-order for honor 5C started on 20th June, honor recorded a strong sale of 9000 units in just 3 weeks time. That is a remarkable feat for honor's latest addition to their mid-range lineup.

Today, we have a grey unit of honor 5C in our labs, thanks to Team Huawei Malaysia. Let's have a closer look on how much do you get for the pricetag.

Retails for RM799.00 (Silver and Grey), RM849 (Gold) at Vmall.

Specifications Overview


  • Dimension: 147.1  x  73.8  x  8.3 mm (5.79  x  2.91  x  0.33 in)
  • Weight: 156 g (5.50oz)
  • SIM: Dual SIM (Nano)
  • Connectivity:
    • GSM / HSPA / LTE
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.1


  • Size: 5.2 inches
  • Resolution: 1080  x  1920 pixels (~424 ppi) IPS LCD

Under the hood

  • CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 650, Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: Mali-T880MP2
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB, supporting MicroSD up to 256 GB (takes up SIM 2 slot)
  • Battery: Non-removable 3000 mAh Li-Ion


  • Rear:
    • 13.0 MP
    • ƒ/2.0 26mm lens
    • LED flash
    • 1080p@30fps video
  • Front:
    • 8.0 MP
    • ƒ/2.0 27mm lens


  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • UI: Emotion UI 4.1


honor's minimalist baby blue packaging that remained consistent across all their devices.

Just that you can't really tell what's inside the box until you take a closer look at the product sticker at the back.

Open box.

In the box:
  • Honor 5C
  • 3pin USB charger
  • USB cable
  • Product guides and warranty

Design & Hardware

There's a striking difference that I notice immediately when I picked up the phone. Unlike any previous honor smartphones, the honor 5C is the first to have the honor's logo on its front face.

The rounded back design makes the honor 5C a joy to hold in the hands. Of course, the just-the-right-size and material choice also contributes to the superior handling feel of the phone.

The screen panel is pre-laminated with a screen protector.

SIM slot at the top left.

Both power button and volume rocker are positioned at the right.

Despite the design of the speaker grill resembles a stereo configuration, but the 5C only comes with a mono speaker located under the right speaker grill.

Meanwhile, the left speaker grill houses the microphone.

The fingerprint scanner is strategically positioned for index fingerprint scanning.

If you have read our review for the honor 5X previously, chances are you already know that the honor's Fingerprint Identification 2.0 technology is capable of unlocking your device in 0.5 seconds.

Nano SIM tray where the second SIM slot can be fitted with 256GB micro SD card for expanded storage. That means if you will have to choose whether to have dual SIM or single SIM + micro SD configuration.


The 1080p Full HD IPS display is great. Good viewing angle and accurate colour reproduction. I suppose the display industry has advanced into a stage where even mid-ranged phone owners can enjoy a nice high definition display that doesn't make your eye bleed.


The camera on the honor 5C works really well in most situations and I'm really glad that honor actually put a lot of effort into optimising the camera application so that the image outcome would be great.

By default, the camera is capable of managing the exposure intelligently and capture as much information and details as possible.

If your mind is full of creative ideas, there's Pro photo mode for manual exposure.

What's new in EMUI 4.1 is the addition of Pro video mode.

Here's some samples taken with honor 5C.

Software & Benchmark

honor 5C runs the latest version of Huawei's Emotion UI, EMUI 4.1, which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

In EMUI 4.1, the most obvious change we can observe is the implementation of Material Design throughout the OS and factory default applications. Camera, phone, gallery and several other apps also receive updated features and fixes along the way. I'd say the fourth iteration of the EMUI is more geared towards the improvement of user experience.

Some benchmarks if you from Antutu and Geekbench if you're into numbers.

Final Thoughts - Actual Usage Performance & Battery Life

The battery life of honor 5C is astonishingly good. Unplugged in the morning 11am, then heavy usage for 13 hours till 12am, and I manage to pull 6 hours of screen on time with 9% battery left. How awesome is that? I believe the Kirin 650's 16nm architecture is showing it's efficiency there.

Apart from the SoC efficiency, the battery life is also affected by the smart app & battery management under EMUI and they're not so smart if you left it in default. The OS would automatically choose which app is more critical and set it as "protected" app which allows it to run after the screen is turned off.

For instance, the OS deemed my Carousell app is non-critical, hence the app never run in the background. That actually causes the app for not displaying any notification at all. Not to mentioned the Dropbox or Google Photos would not automatically backup my photos if I never manually set them as "protected". I mean, that is not users really want, right?

Although this issue could be easily be resolved if we manually configure the behaviour of the power management, but I think there must be some other way to improve battery life.

All in all, at the price of RM 799, no doubt this mid-ranger is one of the best bang-for-buck that costs under RM 1000.

  • Clean & compact packaging
  • Excellent build quality
  • Aluminium alloy back design
  • Dual SIM
  • MicroSD card support
  • Fast and responsive fingerprint scanner
  • Excellent display
  • Great rear camera quality
  • Excellent front camera quality
  • Good performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Price

  • Software