ASUS ExpertBook B9

Smartphones around the sub-RM800 price range is pretty hot right now. We’ve seen smartphones with all sorts of chipsets – predominantly Mediatek – in the market for months. Honor 5C dropped in with quite a surprise packed in – it’s decently-specced on paper, and equipped with HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset. To know more about chipsets, do check out our editorial here.

The entire Honor 5C itself comes in a rather standard Honor packaging – with the blue coloured box, and a simple branding printed on it.

Acer Nitro 5

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Lifting up the lid shows the smartphone itself, which we’ll leave it later.

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Behind the Honor 5C itself though has some documentations and a rather peculiar way to store the SIM/SD card ejector tool. Also, do you see a smiley face on it? I find this a rather nice touch – intentional or not.

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Digging out everything reveals the usual things that come along with smartphones these days – the phone itself, charger, USB cable, and some documentations. Nothing surprising or spectacular here.

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[nextpage title=”Design”]

The Honor 5C takes on a pretty standard design too – with a brushed metal body at the back, and some fancy angled-yet-rounded edges. It might look weird, but actually feels very good in the hands.

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At the front is a 5.2-inch screen with no physical home button. However, all of the other buttons are moved to the right side only.

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These buttons do stick out from the phone quite a lot since they’re situated at the outer-most curvature of the edge. Luckily though, these buttons are rather tactile and can’t be pressed easily. Else, it’ll be trigger-happy.

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At the bottom is where the mono-speaker is found. Do keep in mind that this design is widely adopted these days. There are two “speaker grills”, but only the right one is a speaker, whereas the left one is a microphone instead. There are only two exposed screws throughout the phone itself, and they’re at the bottom, flanking the micro USB port.

[nextpage title=”Connectivity”]

Let’s talk a little bit about the Honor 5C’s connectivity. It has a single tray that has two slots – one is a dedicated nano-SIM slot, whereas the other one is a microSD/nano-SIM card combo slot. Bummer, especially since the Honor 5C comes in 16GB internal storage only, and you can’t use both SIM cards and the microSD together.

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With that said, the Honor 5C is pretty minimal when it comes to extra connectivity too. It does have LTE, 802.11N WiFi, Bluetooth v4.1, and that’s pretty much it. There’s no NFC also, which seems to be the trend these days for some reason.

However, there is a fingerprint sensor at the back – and I highly recommend using this feature. More on that later.

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[nextpage title=”Display”]

The Honor 5C comes with a 5.2-inch display at 1080p resolution. As you can probably tell now, the display is really sharp with about 424 PPI. The colours are decently-saturated with colours that other smartphones in the similar price range to drool over.

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One thing I realize is how nicely the flat display is wrapped around the edge. At the end of the screen is where the curved bezel starts, giving that really comfortable grip feel.

There are no parts of the smartphone will bite into the user’s palm. Considering that the Honor 5C has a 5.2-inch screen footprint, it’s really comfortable to hold.

[nextpage title=”Camera”]

First up, I can’t ignore the fact that the Honor 5C has a humongous camera bump at the back. I’m not sure about the technical details on why Honor has to make this design choice, and I’m not fond of this design choice at all.

Under properly-lit conditions, the Honor 5C can produce some pictures with very nice colours throughout, and pictures are taken pretty quickly too.

I personally think the camera could be improved a lot more. In a dimly lit room, images taken were quite noisy, and edges of objects turned fuzzy when zoomed in – so for social media usage, it’s perfectly fine. However, capturing picture is still relatively quick compared to other smartphones around the price point.

The one thing I like the most is the number of modes and settings the camera has. You can have a multitude of other preset modes meant for food, video, light painting, slow mo, and even document scanning for that matter.

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[nextpage title=”Software”]

For all I can say, Emotion UI is pretty okay. It has been optimized since the last Huawei/Honor smartphone I used, and this time around it definitely didn’t lag. All of my favourite features like the “randomize lock screen wallpaper” is still there. To my surprise, EMUI is slightly more animation-heavy this time around.

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If I am to compare this with MIUI, I would actually prefer EMUI instead – primarily because of its colour schemes and a much tamer amounts of animation.

There are a handful of pre-installed apps, but most of them are useful too – like Facebook and Dropbox for example.

[nextpage title=”Performance”]

Here’s the breakdown of the Honor 5C’s guts – it has a HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset with octa-core CPU. A 2.0GHz  processor quad-core and another 1.7GHz quad-core. All these are coupled with the Mali-T830MP2 graphics and 2GB of RAM.

The HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset is fabricated using the 16nm FinFET process, and we’ve explained why FinFET is important here and here; both in great detail. It’s no surprise that the Honor 5C can perform great in our usual suite of benchmark, consisting of Epic Citadel and Vellamo.

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For a smartphone of this price point, you get 42.5FPS on full resolution and at its highest quality setting. 42.5FPS. That’s just unbelievably great! Moving on to Vellamo!

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The Honor 5C scored pretty decently – and Vellamo compared its score with flagships of the previous generations too. For the Multicore and Chrome test, it’s placed somewhere near the Meizu MX4, whereas for Metal scores, it’s somewhere near the renowned HTC One M8. On usage wise, it didn’t have any major hiccups in its performance, and that’s already great for me.

About that fingerprint sensor – it’s pretty fast, and exceptionally handy to use. It takes about 0.3 seconds to get scanned and unlocked – and there’s no button-pressing to activate the fingerprint scanner too. I just placed my finger on the scanner, wait for a really short while, and it’s unlocked. Pretty great!

[nextpage title=”Battery”]

First off, the Honor 5C comes equipped with a 3,000mAh battery. Again as we’ve explained here, chipsets made using FinFET technology is really power efficient. It does last longer than 6 hours on pretty heavy usage, and can survive till the night if the usage is a little considerate.

Then comes the charger. It has a small footprint, but outputs 5V at 1A. That means this charger is a measly 5 watt charger! It takes quite some time to charge the Honor 5C with this charger too, so it’s recommended to have a power bank handy if more juice is needed on the go and use this charger while you sleep.

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With those things said, I still like the small footprint of this charger.

[nextpage title=”Wrap up”]

The Honor 5C is an exceptional smartphone. It’s currently one of the smartphone – if not the only – smartphone to be manufactured using the FinFET process. The benchmarks here definitely showed how performance and battery life can benefit from this feature. It’s a smaller smartphone, and definitely within the very affordable sub-RM1,000 price point too.

Speaking of the price, you can get one from Lazada from RM724.90 only. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me!


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