Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has been very aggressive in India of late, with numerous smartphone launches across multiple price segments. The Honor 8C arrives just six months after the Honor 7C, and features a sizeable 4,000mAh battery, an expansive 6.26-inch display with an aspect ratio of 19:9, AI-enhanced cameras, and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. The first phone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC under its hood, the Honor 8C is offered in two variants: one with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage priced at Rs. 11,999, and the one we have on hand, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which retails for Rs 12,999.
The Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 segment is incredibly cut-throat and is populated by capable smartphone such as the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Review), Nokia 5.1 Plus ₹ 10,999 (Review), Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro ₹ 10,999 (Review), and Realme 1 ₹ 10,490 (Review). Let’s see if the Honor 8C can compete with such heavy hitters.
Honor 8C design
The body of the Honor 8C is all plastic and the build quality is satisfactory, but this smartphone does not feel as premium as its glass- and metal-backed rivals. In fact, even the older Honor 7C (Review) has a metal backplate with plastic inserts on the top and bottom.
This phone is also a bit too tall to be used comfortably with one hand. The notched display is not exactly borderless, and the chin is pretty significant. There is an option in the settings menu to mask the notch, which basically darkens the screen area on either side of it. Users can choose between on-screen buttons and EMUI’s gestures, which we found to be slightly difficult to use.
The glossy plastic back attracts a ton of fingerprints and makes the phone very slippery. A soft TPU case is included in the box. It’s not of the highest quality, but does help protect the phone from scratches and improve grip. The retail box also includes a 10W charger and a Micro-USB cable. A headset is not included, which might disappoint a few users.
The rear panel houses the vertically stacked cameras and a centrally located fingerprint sensor. Honor has tried to replicate the color gradient used on its pricier glass-backed offerings such as the Honor 10 ₹ 32,999 (Review), but hasn’t succeeded fully. The black and blue gradient on the back of our review unit looked a little garish to us.
The left of the smartphone houses the SIM tray, which has two Nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot. The right side is home to the power button and volume rocker, both of which are small but tactile. On the bottom of the phone is a Micro-USB port, flanked by the primary microphone and a speaker that is loud but tinny. The secondary microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack are placed on the top. The use of a Micro-USB port is a disappointing at a time when the industry has started transitioning to the USB Type-C standard.
Honor 8C specifications and display
The Honor 8C is powered by Qualcomm’s new 14nm Snapdragon 632 SoC, which has four high-performance cores and four cores tuned for power efficiency. The review unit we tested was the top-end variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, priced at Rs.12,999. A cheaper variant with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage is also offered, which has been priced at Rs. 11,999. Both support storage expansion via a microSD card (up to 256GB).
The smartphone has a sizeable 4,000mAh battery and runs EMUI 8.2 atop Android 8.1 Oreo. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, a Micro-USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It supports dual SIMs (Nano) and both can simultaneously latch onto 4G networks.