Huawei launched yet another mid-range Dual-SIM smartphone, Honor 3C in Pakistan a week or so ago.
Honor 3C and the slightly more powerful Honor 3X are the 4th episode of Honor series and were unveiled last year in December.
Huawei has partnered with Zong to launch this smartphone in Pakistan and not only they are offering free mobile internet but customers porting to Zong can also get this handset free of cost.
We’ve got our hands on this device before the launch and have tested and used it thoroughly to give you all the pros and cons. Let’s begin with the un-boxing and quick demo of the device:
Design & Build Quality:
Honor 3C features a similar design as many other Huawei phones launched this year, but with less rounded corners and a little more flat look.
We got the white version of this device which almost looks like Ascend G700, except some minor differences. Honor 3C is 5.49 inches tall and 2.81 inches wide and its 9.2mm thick.
As you would expect from a mid-range device, the body is fully made of plastic. The front is dominated by a 5-inch LTPS IPS screen which offers a resolution of 720×1280 pixels (294ppi). Though we would’ve loved the 1080p resolution but the current configuration isn’t bad either.
The screen is sharp, clear and the colors are vivid. The viewing angles and brightness levels are also good.
I haven’t got any confirmation but it seems like the screen doesn’t have a protective layer, it does feature full lamination to reduce glare but no gorilla glass etc. So it is advised to use a screen protector or cover to avoid starches over a long period.
The placement of keys and other components is the usual; proximity sensors, ear speaker, notifications LED and secondary 5-megapixel camera above the screen and three capacitive touch keys below it.
The power/unlock key along with the volume rocker is placed on the right leaving a blank left side.
3.5mm headphones jack is one the top left and micro-USB port along with microphone are on the bottom left.
An 8-megapixel BSI camera with noise cancellation mic on top and LED flash light on its left are located at the upper back, whereas the loudspeaker is placed at the lower left.
Removing the back plate reveals two slots for micro SIM cards and a one microSD Card slot. The battery compartment is quite tall for perfect weight distribution.
This phone weighs around 140grams and feels very light in the hand.
One thing you’ll immediately notice about this phone is that it only features Honor branding, there is no Huawei icon or text on the device or inside. Even the boot up sequence shows Honor icon and not the familiar Huawei flower. This is quite strange as all the other Huawei devices I’ve reviewed so come with Huawei icon.
The Honor branding gives an impression that it is some new company but Huawei users will immediately recognize the device by its design and the proprietary EMUI.
Operating System & Interface:
Honor 3C comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and EMUI 2.0 on top of it.
This device was announced last year and at that time Mediatek hadn’t released the source code of KitKat. I hope that Huawei will soon update this device to latest flavour of Android, however the newer version of Emotion UI will cover the shortcomings for now.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term Emotion UI (EMUI), it is Huawei’s proprietary Interface, just like Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense. The customization of Android makes it easier for users to quickly perform routine tasks.
EMUI has no app drawer, which means all your apps on the homescreens are organized in folders. You can also add widgets, change transitions and some other gimmicky stuff.
In the previous version of EMUI we had missed the Huawei Toggles, Permissions and Power manager. Thankfully these features are now back.
The permissions and power management settings along with phone accelerator, memory cleaner and call/SMS filter are now bundled in the Phone Manager application.
Just in case you don’t want to use the EMUI, you can always install any other Android launcher and customize the things how you like them or you can switch to the “Simple Home” style which basically removes all icons and places big tiles instead.
This minimal UI would be helpful for those who find it difficult to use current Android UI.
Just for your information, this phone can be easily rooted but it is not recommended as it will void the warranty.
Hardware & Performance:
Honor 3C is packed with Mediatek MT6582 quad-core processor, clocked at the speed of 1.3GHz along with Mali-400MP2 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 8GB internal memory.
You can also use a microSD card upto 32GB with this device and can set it as your primary storage.
The real life performance as well as the benchmark scores of this device are above expectations. Usually mid-range phones are supposed to be laggy, but with Honor 3C you won’t feel any lag in the normal operation or while running resource hungry applications & games.
The call quality on cellular network as well as VoIP is very good, there is no echo and signals remain steady. The phone supports 3G on SIM 1 with HSDPA & HSUPA protocols. I’ve tested it with Ufone and the performance was top-notch.
Honor 3C handles 1080p videos very well and you can watch your favourite movies on the default player. The speaker volume is not so loud, but the sound quality is enjoyable. You can also enhance the quality by turning DTS mode on.
Have a look at some of the benchmark results:
Honor 3C is equipped with a 2300mAh battery, which works great for this device. For normal users with Wi-Fi connectivity the battery can easily provide you a backup of 2 days. But for power users or 3G internet users you may need to charge the device within 24 hours.
There are 3 different power modes available, which help you get maximum time. The smart plan automatically adjust the CPU and network usage whereas the endurance plan kills all the background apps and limit the CPU usage to save battery.
The phone also notifies you when an application is consuming power in the background, you can also set which apps to whitelist.
With the charger provided in the box, the battery takes 2-2.5 hours to fully charge. When they battery is below 5% the notifications LED will blink red and when the phone is fully charged the notifications LED will turn green.
Camera & Video:
Honor 3C is equipped with a primary 8-megapixel BSI camera and a secondary 5-megapixel front facing camera for selfies and video calling.
The primary camera has a large f/2.0 aperture, which helps taking photos in low light and close ups. The camera is also equipped with LED flash, which doubles as an emergency light you can use from dedicated torch application.
By default the phone is set to take 6M (3328×1872) shots at 16:9 aspect ratio, which actually cuts the top and bottom of the photo, so you should change the settings to 8M (3264×2448) at 4:3 aspect ratio which is more common for printing.
The camera performance is reasonable as it handles the varying colors and different lighting conditions very well, though it struggles a bit with higher contrast.
Photos taken outdoors and in artificial lights are sharp & vivid and you can apply several built in filters to get your desired effect as well as changing the brightness and saturation settings.
The primary camera can also record Full HD 1080p vides @ 30 frames per second in 16:9 aspect ratio and also features image stabilization.
The secondary 5-megapixel camera also performs very well and you can also record 720p videos with it.
The camera application is different from the recent Ascend series smartphones, providing a simpler interface with quick controls. You can also start the camera from lock screen by swiping up from bottom right and it takes a fraction of second to launch the application.
The primary 8-megapixel camera creates an average file of 3MB and the secondary camera image size is around 1.5MB.
Sample Photos Taken by Honor 3C
Have a look at some of the sample shots. These images are untouched and are reproduced here as they were clicked by the phone.
Pricing & Availability:
Honor 3C is available all over Pakistan for a price of Rs. 22,500 all over Pakistan with one year warranty of M&P or Airlink Communication.
Currently this phone is sold in two colors; blackish grey & white. There’s a possibility that other colors including gold champagne will be available soon.
Zong customers will also get 1GB mobile internet every month for a year or they can get the Zong offer by porting the number.
Just like other Huawei smartphones, Honor 3C offers premium features at an affordable price coupled with a durable design and a decent shooter.
The real life performance of this device as well as the benchmarks easily beat the competition. Plus the battery life is also satisfactory.
This phone is very light weight and despite the big size it is actually very easy to carry around. May be some of you won’t like plasticky feel of this device but currently it is the best smartphone you can get in this price range.
Our readers had asked to compare this device with Ascend G700, which is priced slightly higher but packed with almost same specifications. You’ve to wait a little as I am working on a separate post comparing both devices and which one is my favorite and why. Expect this comparison post in a day or two.
Meanwhile you can share your opinion about Honor 3C in the comments section below and if you have any questions regarding this phone then feel free to ask us.