Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has added one more budget smartphone to its portfolio in the Indian market. The company has today unveiled the Honor 8C budget handset at a starting price of Rs. 11,999 for the 4GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. The 64GB storage variant of Honor 8C is priced at Rs. 12,999. Honor will sell the Honor 8C in Aurora Blue, Magic Night Black, Platinum Gold, and Nebula Purple colour options. The smartphone will go on sale exclusively via Amazon.in and HiHonor Store starting December 10.
Honor 8C is the successor of Honor 7C, which was unveiled in May 2018 in the Indian market. We tested the handset for a brief time to find out what Honor has changed in the last six months for the price conscious consumers in India. Find out what we have to say about Honor 8C in our first impressions of the budget smartphone.
Appealing design in budget price-point
One thing about Honor smartphones that separate them from the crowd is vibrant colors and appealing design. Like the company’s previous handsets, the new Honor 8C also ticks the right boxes of a being a good looking budget smartphone. Honor sent the ‘Aurora Blue’ color variant to us and it looked quite appealing. The rear panel has been given a unique gradient shade of Blue and Black that will please the masses. But as the handset comes in a glossy finish, it catches smudges quite easily.
As far as in-hand feel is concerned, the handset does not feel cheap despite carrying a polycarbonate shell. The plastic body also keeps the weight in check and you will not feel that you are carrying a phone that packs in a big 4,000 mAh battery unit. The only complaint I have with Honor 8C is the phone’s sheer width that makes it tough to use the phone with one hand. If you prefer handy smartphones that can be used comfortably with one hand, Honor 8C is not for you.
Big 6.26-inch HD+ Display
Keeping up with the current market trends, Honor 8C features a 6.26-inch HD+ display carrying a notch. The notch houses the 8MP selfie camera, LED flashlight and the light sensors. If you don’t prefer notch, Honor’s in-house EMUI let you hide it under display’s settings menu. The screen offers a resolution of 720×1520 pixels and comes in 19:9 aspect ratio. During our testing, we found that the quality of IPS LCD panel on Honor 8C is sufficient for most of the tasks. It is only when you play graphically intensive games and stream high-quality videos, will notice the effects of low resolution. The low pixel density of 269ppi only works well for usual day-to-day tasks such as reading, browsing web pages and streaming 720p videos.
Dual-lens AI cameras
Honor 8C features AI-enhanced cameras. You will find a dual-lens camera setup at the back of the handset which will offer a 13MP primary camera working on f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary 2MP depth-sensing camera with an aperture of f/2.4. For selfies, the smartphone will flaunt an 8MP fixed-focus camera working on the slightly darker aperture of f/2.0. The company has offered single-LED flashlights at both front and rear to brighten up the image output in low-light condition. The camera app is pretty feature-rich and now comes with new AI modes which can recognize 22 objects and 500 scenarios. The cameras seemed pretty decent in daylight and images showed good contrast and ample sharpness. Even the bokeh shots also came out good in good lighting. We will spend some more time with the Honor 8C to test out its cameras in detail.
First Smartphone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 CPU
Honor 8C is the first handset in the Indian market to be powered by the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 632 SoC. It is a mid-range 64-bit ARM LTE system on a chip that features a combination of Kryo 250 high-efficiency cores and Adreno 506 GPU for processing and graphical related tasks. The chipset was essentially designed to offer high-end gaming, 4K video capture, and AI related tasks at an affordable price-point. Combined with 4GB of RAM, the processor offered smooth performance in our initial testing. Though we did not experience any performance lags, the default windows animations seemed pretty abrupt and we had to slow them down by enabling developer option under the hidden settings in Build number.
Old EMUI 8.2 based on Android Oreo
As far as software is concerned, the smartphone runs on old EMUI 8.2.0 based on Android 8.1.0. Honor’s EMUI is quite a colorful skin and offers a number of useful software features like app cloning, one-handed UI, eye-comfort mode, face unlock, etc. to take control of your Android phone. The EMUI also let you chose between a standard app drawer UI or typical iOS-like user interface. It is worth mentioning that brands like Xiaomi and Asus have already started rolling out the latest Android Pie update for their budget smartphone line-up. Huawei has already developed the EMUI 9.0 skin based on Android 9.0 but we are yet to receive an official update from Honor for the new update for Honor 8C.
Big battery and dedicated microSD card
Honor has equipped the 8C with a big 4,000 mAh battery unit which with a 720p screen and Snapdragon 632 SoC easily lasted for a day. The smartphone also comes with a triple-slot card that let you use two nano SIM cards and a memory card at the same time. In short, you would not need to compromise on storage and connectivity.
Honor 8C is priced at Rs. 11,999 for the 4GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. The higher variant will sell at Rs. 12,999 and offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. With this price-point, Honor 8C will compete with Xiaomi’s Redmi series handsets such as Redmi Note 5, Note 5 Pro and the recently launched- Redmi Note 5 Pro. Asus is also expected to launch the Zenfone Max Pro M2 that will give a tough fight to Honor 8C as it is going to offer better CPU, bigger battery and a Full HD+ screen in under Rs. 15,000 for the entry-level variant. Stay tuned on Gizbot.com for our comprehensive review of Honor 8C.