Honor, which directly competes with Xiaomi in the budget and mid-budget segment, has launched a slew of smartphones in India recently. The list includes Honor 9N, Honor 8X and more. Now, the company has made introduced Honor 8C, which is priced starting at Rs 11,999 and pitted against Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro.
Honor 8C is one of the first phones on the market to offer Snapdragon 632 processor, which is also one of the highlights. Other key features include a 4,000mAh battery, dual-rear cameras and a full-screen display. We used Honor 8C for close to a week and here is our full review:
Honor 8C specifications: 6.2-inch IPS LCD HD+ display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor | EMUI 8.2 based Android 8.1 Oreo | 13MP+2MP primary camera | 8MP front camera | 4,000mAh battery | 4GB RAM/64GB storage
Honor 8C price in India: Rs 11,999 for 4GB RAM+32GB ROM, Rs 12,999 for 4GB RAM+64GB ROM
Honor 8C review: Design and Display
Honor 8C has a plastic back cover with curved edges, which looks stylish. However, the real winner here is the gradient back cover with matte finish. The navy blue colour unit that we got for review has a hint of black on the sides, and both the colours blend seamlessly.
So, the cover is not too shiny and has a matte sort of finish and looks premium for the price, thanks to the colour gradient. Even with a 4,000mAh battery, the phone feels light, which is great.
Honor 8C is not very slippery but I would still recommend a back cover for protection against accidental falls as well as fingerprint smudges. The phone tends to pick up smudges very quickly, and this is true for both the display and back cover.
Honor 8C has good detailing and the overall design is minimalist, which I liked. The dual camera setup has two lenses, placed one below another vertically on top left with LED flash unit placed below the two lenses.
The Honor branding in white is at the bottom. A circular fingerprint scanner is present at the center of the back cover and of the same colour. A USB Type 2.0 port and a 3.5mm headset jack are present at the bottom and top respectively.
The display is vibrant and has good viewing angles, though I had to turn the brightness on to maximum in bright sunlight to use the phone. Of course, a FHD+ display would have been nice, especially when rivals like Redmi Note 6 Pro offer the feature at a similar price point.
The display has a noticeable notch on top, which works with most apps like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and more. In case of YouTube, the fullscreen mode excludes the notch. So in landscape mode, the content is not wrapped around the notch.
I did not find the feature annoying or of any particular use either and it can easily be disabled for all or custom apps from the Settings menu, which is good. The bigger screen made watching videos and playing games more fun.
Honor 8C review: Camera
Honor 8C has dual-rear cameras that produce some good results in bright outdoors. There is detailing and I liked that the colours seem close to natural. However, in Portrait mode, the camera tends to make the colours look washed out, which I found a bit weird. This was the case in both low-light as well as outdoors.
Photos with Artificial Intelligence (AI) effect definitely look much sharper than those without AI, though in some cases, it tends to make the photos look very sharp. So, it really depends on the photo whether you would want the AI effect or not.
In low-light photography, my main issue was it takes a long time to focus. Even when you feel you have locked the subject, you get a message on the screen saying it is still working to make the image sharper.
The detailing in photos and colour reproduction are both, I would say average. The AI scene recognition could recognise a few things like food, plants etc quite accurately, which is great. A busy road at night though seemed to the phone like a stage performance.
The front camera smooths the skin and makes it look a little bit too bright, which did bother me at times, but I am sure the feature will have a lot of takers. I liked that it retains details in pictures taken where there is ample light. In low-light, the photos are not detailed, but good enough for a Rs 12,999 phone.
Honor 8C review: Performance and Battery
Performance is not an issue on Honor 8C as it can handle most daily tasks with ease. I did not experience any lag or stutter even with multiple tabs open and switching between apps was smooth.
For instance, a number of applications were being installed, when I was watching a video on Netflix, and the phone did not lag, which I think is great. On budget phones, too many tasks at the same time can often result in some problems, which was not the case here.
When it comes to daily usage, Honor 8C should not disappoint. I liked the gaming performance as well as the phone is good with handling heavy duty games such as Asphalt-8 Nitro. However, I noticed it starts to heat up from the top within five minutes of playing the more graphics intensive games.
The battery is a big plus as it lasts for more than a day with moderate usage. I mainly used the phone for playing games, browsing social media, messaging, making calls, and watching videos. However, there is no fast charging, and the phone takes around two and a half hours to get fully charged.
Honor 8C supports dual SIM slots in addition to a microSD card slot, which is a good addition keeping in mind Indian users.
Honor 8C review: Verdict
At Rs 12,000, Honor 8C has a lot of good points in its favours; the camera and performance are above average, the battery life is excellent. However, rivals like Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 6 Pro have much more to offer and costs just Rs 1,000 more for the same RAM and storage. The Xiaomi phone has a full HD+ display, which is hard to ignore when you are looking for a phone in the budget category.
Then there’s the older Asus Zenfone Pro Max M1, which comes with a 5,000mAh battery, full screen display, and dual-rear cameras. Honor 8C is a good option to recommend, but if it was priced Rs 10,000 or under, then this phone would be an even better deal for many potential consumers.