UPDATE: Check out our in-depth video review of the Honor 3C.
Just a few years ago, smart phones priced below RM500 are generally cheap and nasty. Fast forward to 2014, we are seeing more affordable options that offers decent offering without burning a hole in your wallet. The newly announced Huawei Honor 3C is just one of the fine examples that we have right now. It gets a reasonably big 5″ display that does 1280×720 pixels resolution and runs on a capable Quad-Core 1.3GHz processor from MediaTek for just RM499.
Usually with low entry level devices, most smart phone makers would include a measly 512MB of RAM which is often sluggish when it comes multi-tasking. Instead of following the new trend of including 1GB of RAM, the folks at Huawei are generous enough to include 2GB instead. On-board it also comes with a decent sized 8GB of storage and it is good to know that it has a microSD slot to expand this up to 32GB extra.
On-board, it runs on a slightly older Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean but it is lightly skinned with Huawei’s Emotion UI 2.0. For Huawei’s Android devices, it lacks an app drawer so all your installed apps and icons are located on the home screens which is somewhat similar to iOS. We liked the gesture features that are included such as double tap to wake the screen. To launch apps quicker from sleep, you can also customise what apps to run when you swipe from either top, left, right or bottom of the screen while the screen is in sleep mode.
For taking pictures, Huawei is packing a rather decent 8MP camera with Sony’s Backlit CMOS Sensor that comes with a f/2.0 aperture size and a 28mm lens. It is also capable of shooting Full HD videos at 1080p resolution. Since taking selfies is a rage now, the front gets a 5MP camera with a wide angle 22mm lens which makes it easier to capture the entire group. The software side also comes bundled with a number of photo enhancement features including an Auto Beauty mode.
The back cover is removable which gives you access to its removable 2,300mAh capacity battery, dual micro SIM card slots and a micro SD expansion slot. If we have to nitpick, we don’t really like the glossy back cover at the back and we would prefer if they gone with a matte or textured surface. The front 3 capacitive buttons are non-illuminated which may cause first time users to fumble until they got used to it.
Overall it is a very affordable device and the Huawei is generous enough to put in more RAM and better cameras on the Honor 3C. With Xiaomi entering Malaysia soon, their cheap and cheerful Redmi doesn’t look like the best buy with the Honor 3C around. In Singapore, the Redmi is priced at about RM443 in our local currency.
About two years ago, we were quite impressed with the original Huawei Honor that has a solid build and a long battery life which is impressive in its class. With the Honor 3C, Huawei has improved a lot and still manages to provide decent performance to a lower price point. It is a pity that its brand perception isn’t exactly top of mind but they certainly have what it takes to give the folks at Samsung, Sony and Motorola a run for their money in the entry level segment. Even the Nokia X and Nokia XL are starting to look irrelevant now.
Huawei Honor 3C Hands-on Video
Huawei Honor 3C Hands-on Photos