Honor 4C first impressions: compact and power-packed, at an affordable price

“While the Honor 4C is a sibling of the Honor 4X, they are similar yet quite different in a lot of ways. Read on to find out more”

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Of late, the Rs 10,000 price band in the smartphone market has seen frenetic activity in terms of device launches. It all started with the Xiaomi Redmi Note (review) and then many more offerings joined the fray such as the YU Yureka (review), Lenovo A7000 (first impressions) and Honor 4X (review). While all these phones come across as power-packed options and offer maximum bang for the buck, all of them have one issue – they’re too big to handle for many people. Sporting 5.5-inch displays, all these options fall in the phablet category and thus don’t suit everyone’s needs. For those who want a compact device that can be used by one hand, there aren’t many options and that’s where Honor’s latest device fits in. Labelled as the 4C, the smartphone is priced affordably at Rs 8,999 and features a good spec sheet. We were able to get our hands on and here’s a first look at the Honor 4C.

The Honor 4C isn’t much different from its bigger sibling, the Honor 4X and that’s a good thing. It has kept the design language of the Honor 4X, while making some changes that look pleasing to the eyes. The first change is its compact build – packing a 5-inch display, instead of the 5.5-inch display panel on the 4X, and allowing the phone to fit in a single hand easily. The handset, available in black and white, is constructed from a high-quality polycarbonate plastic.

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The white demo unit of the Honor  4C we had in our hands sported a nice look thanks to a golden chrome trim along the sides. The same golden accent surrounds the rear shooter, adding to its unique look. Other design attributes of the smartphone remain the same as its bigger brother, i.e. both the power button and the volume keys reside on the right spine, whereas the left is completely devoid of any functional elements. Up top lies a 3.5mm headphone socket, while the bottom sports a micro-USB port. The display panel on the front is flanked by an earpiece, a secondary snapper and a couple of sensors above and a standard three-row capacitive keys below.

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Just like the Honor 4X, the rear panel of the Honor 4C is removable and features a textured design. Thanks to the pattern, the phone offers a good grip and will keep fingerprints and scratches at bay. Prying open the back cover offers the slots for inserting a pair of micro-SIM cards and a microSD card, while the battery isn’t removable.

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The 5-inch display on the Honor 4C is a 720p affair, and offers a pixel density of 294ppi. It reproduces excellent visuals and text appears to be sharp too. Brightness levels were nice too, but since we used the handset only indoors, it remains to be seen if the display is visible under direct sunlight.

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Handling the software affairs on the smartphone is the brand’s custom skin dubbed Emotion UI which is layered on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. The EMUI 3.0 adds a lot of changes – both in terms of the UI as well as pre-installed apps, and some of them really add a lot to the user experience as we have discussed during our review of the Honor 4X.

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Sadly, the software will be unable to harness the 64-bit capabilities of the processor (which is possible with Android 5.0, and the brand has promised that’ll be available on the phone soon), which comes from Huawei’s in-house Kirin line of chipsets. The Honor 4C comes equipped with the Kirin 620, an octa-core CPU, with each of its cores running at 1.2GHz. The processor is clubbed with 2GB of RAM. The duo ensures a speedy performance, though their exact prowess can only be known after we are able to use the phone extensively.

Taking care of your storage needs on the smartphone is 8GB of flash memory, which offers around 3.3GB space for use. But don’t worry, as you can expand the storage by adding a microSD card of up to 64GB to store your huge multimedia library. The Honor 4C also features USB OTG support and can read flash drives.

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For photography, the Honor 4C boasts a 13MP shooter at the back, which is supplemented by an LED flash. The main camera can record videos in 1080p. A 5MP snapper at the front is available for shooting selfies or making video calls.

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Fuelling the Honor 4C is a 2,550mAh battery. The brand claims that the device can last for more than two days with moderate use and for heavy users, it can go on for about a day. There are also numerous modes to extend the battery life such as Ultra and Smart.

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Perhaps the only thing that seems to be disappointing about the handset is its lack of support for 4G networks. At a time when most device are future-proof with the support of 4G connectivity, it seems odd that brand has missed out on this option in its offering, especially when it’s a key feature for its bigger sibling. The Honor 4C does come with usual set of connectivity features, such as 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and GPS.

The Honor 4C comes across as a loaded option in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. In case you’re considering it to be too similar to its bigger sibling, the Honor 4X, then you aren’t wrong and that’s why we have made a video (embedded below) quickly comparing the two phones.

All in all, the device seems to be a worthy contender in the budget segment, if 4G isn’t essential. Though how well it performs in daily life will only be known when it’s used extensively, so stay tuned for our review.

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