Honor 4C vs ASUS ZenFone 5: compact, yet affordable smartphones compared

“If you want to pick a compact smartphone in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, then you can’t go wrong with the Honor 4C”

Until a few months ago, people who wanted to enjoy a large-screen experience on their smartphones had a limited number of options. But now, it seems that the tables have turned. More and more brands are launching phablets, and that too across price bands… and you’ll be hard pressed to find capable options in case you’re looking for a compact smartphone that’s ideal for one-handed usage.


Fret not, if you’re looking for a device with this criteria in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, then we are comparing two very capable offerings to help you find the best one. On one side of the ring, we have Honor’s latest launch, the 4C (first impressions), while on the other, we’ve ASUS’ debut device in India, the ZenFone 5 (review). Let the fight begin.

Both the Honor 4C and ASUS ZenFone 5 feature similar dimensions, though the former sports a narrower form factor, making it handier. The Honor 4C is also slimmer, as its waist measures 8.8mm in contrast to the 10.3mm thick ZenFone 5. In terms of build, both devices are built using high-quality polycarbonate bodies, and feature a matte finish at the rear. However, the ZenFone 5 is prone to scratches. While the Honor 4C fares quite well in the design department, it weighs slightly more than the ZenFone 5 (162g vs 145g). Both smartphones are available to buy in multiple hues.


One of the major factors that defines phone size is the size of the screen, and both smartphones come with standard 5-inch display panels… making them compact. Both bear a screen resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, resulting in sharp text and good visuals. However, the ASUS phone features a protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3, making its display scratch resistant.

Coming to the innards, the Honor 4C has set its sights towards the future by packing in a 64-bit compatible Kirin 620 octa-core processor, with each of its cores clocked at 1.2GHz. The ZenFone 5 on the other hand, comes powered by an Intel chipset which offers two cores humming at 1.2GHz. No questions about who wins this round.


Complementing the processors in both handsets is 2GB RAM. For memory, the Honor 4C comes with 8GB of flash storage, while the ASUS’ offering ships with double of that. Both smartphones offer expansion slots to extend the storage further.

In the camera department, the Honor 4C sports a 13-megapixel sensor at the back and a 5MP camera at the front. The primary camera is supplemented by a dual-LED flash to assist in poorly-lit environments. In contrast, an 8-megapixel snapper adorns the back of the ZenFone 5, while at the front, it gets a 2MP shooter. With ASUS’s proprietary PixelMaster technology and LED flash, the ZenFone 5 delivers impressive low-light performance. However, overall, the Honor 4C is the better of the two in terms of shooting prowess.


Handling the software affairs on the Honor 4C is the brand’s custom skin called Emotion UI 3.0 running atop Android 4.4 KitKat. The interface brings forth a slew of changes and useful features. The ASUS ZenFone 5 is no slouch either, as it also comes with Android 4.4 layered with ZenUI. The interface is loaded with custom icons, apps and tons of features. Both devices are expected to be upgraded to the latest version of Android, i.e., 5.0 Lollipop, sometime in the near future.


Both the Honor 4C and ASUS ZenFone 5 are dual-SIM devices and boast the usual connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. To ensure that the Honor 4C doesn’t give up on you in the middle of the day, it sips juice from a powerful 2,500mAh sealed battery. You can also enable Ultra or Smart saving modes to extend battery life. In comparison, the ZenFone 5 is fuelled by a 2,110mAh non-removable battery.

If you’ve been following this fight, then the winner is already clear. In most rounds, the Honor 4C has an upper hand over the ZenFone 5, be it the core specs or the camera or the battery. So, if you want to pick a compact smartphone in the affordable segment, then you can’t go wrong with the Honor 4C.

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