Huawei’s Honor brand launched the Honor 5C smartphone with unibody metal design in India last month priced at Rs. 10,999. The Honor 5C comes with several uniquely distinguishing features both from a hardware and software perspective. That said, the phone faces stiff competition from the likes of Xiaomi and others that have traditionally delivered competitive specs at very low price points. With that in mind, we decided to compare the Honor 5C with the very popular Redmi Note 3 to see if it can hold its own.
Starting with the display, both the phones have a 1080p display. The Honor 5C has a 5.2-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) screen with a pixel density 423 PPI, slightly more pixel density compared to Xiaomi Redmi Note 3’s 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a pixel density of 401 PPI. Both the phones offer color temperature adjustment in the settings. The Honor 5C has has a screen-to-body ratio of 74%, which is slightly better than the Redmi Note 3’s screen-to-body ratio of 73.1%.
The Honor 5C runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with Emotion UI (EMUI) 4.1, but the Redmi Note 3 runs on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with MIUI 7 on top. Compared to MIUI, the EMUI is easy to use and has a lot of customization options.
The Honor 5C has a 8-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture and 4P lens compared to the 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the Redmi Note 3 with f/2.0 aperture. Both the phones have proximity and ambient light sensors along with notification LED next to the earpiece.
The Honor 5C uses on-screen buttons, but the Redmi Note 3 comes with capacitive touch buttons below the display that are not backlit.
Both the phones have a volume rocker and power button on the right side. The Honor 5C is 8.3mm thick, which is slightly thinner than the 8.65 mm Redmi Note 3.
Both the phones have hybrid dual SIM slot that lets you use the secondary nano SIM slot as a microSD expansion slot when required. Both the SIM slots are nano for the Honor 5C, but the Redmi Note 3 comes with a micro and a nano SIM slot.
Both the phones have a 3.5mm audio jack and a secondary microphone on the top. The Redmi Note 3 also has a infrared LED for remote function.
The micro USB slot is present on the bottom on both the smartphones along with a microphone. The loudspeaker is present on the bottom on the Honor 5C so the sound doesn’t get muffled when the phone is placed on its back like the Redmi Note 3 that has the loudspeaker on the back.
The Honor 5C has a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.0 aperture and 5P lens and the Redmi Note 3 has a 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF, dual-tone LED Flash and f/2.0 aperture. Even though the Redmi Note 3 packs a 16MP camera sensor, the Honor 5C’s 13MP sensor offers better images in both good and low or poorly-lit conditions. Video quality is the same in both the smartphones.
Both the phones have a metal unibody design, but the Honor 5C is more rounded and is easy to hold compared to the Redmi Note 3. The Honor 5C comes in Grey, Silver and Gold colors and the Redmi Note 3 comes in Champagne Gold color, Dark Grey and Silver colors.
Both the phones have a fingerprint sensor on the back that lets you add up to 5 fingerprints, but the Honor 5C has software features that lets you use it as a touchpad when needed and can be used to navigate through and perform several of the phone functions. There are also touch and hold gestures to capture a photo/video in the camera UI, answer a call and stop the alarm. Additionally, a double tap on the sensor will clear all notifications.
The Honor 5C is powered by an Octa-Core HiSilicon Kirin 650 processor that is based on a 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, which is powerful and also consumes less power and has 2GB of RAM. The Redmi Note 3 is powered by an hexa core processor, the Snapdragon 650 mixes four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz with two Cortex A72 cores clocked at 1.8GHz based on 28 nm process and comes in 2GB and 3GB RAM variants. Processing power is slightly better in the Redmi Note 3 due to powerful Cortex A72 cores. Both the phones have 4G LTE support with VoLTE.
The Honor 5C has a 3000mAh battery compared to the 4000mAh battery on the Redmi Note 3, but the Honor 5C achieved a One Charge Rating of 16 hours and 48 minutes compared to Redmi Note 3’s One Charge Rating of 15 hours and 36 minutes mainly due to good battery optimization making it last longer in 3G and WiFi browsing tests.
The Honor 5C stands out when it comes to camera, design and build quality and software. Xiaomi has a slight edge when it comes to performance and offers option to choose 2GB RAM with 16GB storage / 3GB RAM with 32GB storage versions.