I was fairly sceptical when I first heard of the Honor 3C from a mobilista. He spoke glowingly of it, but I couldn’t find myself getting excited about it. Then he decided to send me a unit for review. You know how I wear my heart on my sleeve. As such, you know that I mean it when I say that I fell in love with the 3C immediately I had it in my hands. Though plastic, the black front casing against the white rear section gives it a lovely look. It feels very light in the hand too and with just a 5-inch display, it is very comfortable to hold and use with one hand.
The 3C is android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean but with some UI modifications by Huawei. For one, Huawei does away with the apps menu. Access to apps on the phone has been simplified. Just swipe horizontally from the home screen to access all apps. I like it! You can also pick from a range of transition effects. Huawei also has a tab-like “Simple Home” alternative launcher. You can add and remove apps to Simple Home as you wish. Access to apps here too is via horizontal scrolling. Very simplified too. In Simple Home, the drop-down menu is also customised – just differently from how it is customised in the standard Home UI. Huawei calls it Emotion UI, and the 3C runs version 2 of it.
For some reason, the Huawei 3C did not have Gmail, Google+ and a few other standard Android apps pre-installed. Even after installing the Gmail app, there were issues with Google Contacts not synchronising to the phone, but installing CardDAV from Play Store fixed that issue.
But while Google Contacts synced to the phone, any new contact I added or deleted on the phone did not sync to my Google account. I’m not sure what and why Huawei was up to with this, but it is very frustrating for me, as my contacts are managed with Google. I really am a huge fan of the 3C, but this is a sore point for me. Contacts sync both ways – from Google to phone and vice versa. I noticed though that contacts added or removed on phone sometimes take a while to sync to the server.
In Daily Use
Besides the issue with Google apps and services, the 3C is a joy to use. The 8 megapixel camera isn’t bad, though I would miss my Lumia cameraphone using this. Performance-wise, it doesn’t let down in any way. With a 1.3 GHZ quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, there’s not much one can do to make the Honor 3C stutter in use. Yes; the Honor 3C is a fine medium-range performer.
Battery life is good – good enough for me not to worry about it, but not spectacular. You will need to charge it during a busy day if you use it intensively. Otherwise, it should get you through a fair day on a full charge.
Music and video playback are good. Not horrible and not spectacular either. In-call audio quality is okay too. The speaker phone isn’t bad and has a fair amount of bass.
Like the Motorola Moto G, the Huawei Honor 3C is about compromises in order to provide high end features on a mid-range device. And it succeeds at it quite well. The Honor 3C is not officially available in Nigeria, but there are individuals who ship in and sell. This review unit was made available by one such person in partnership with us, and it is up for grabs at just N40,000. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order.