The budget segment in India has an overwhelming number of smartphones on offer, be it from the likes of Xiaomi, Asus, Realme or Honor, which has unveiled the Honor 8C in India. The Chinese giant is adding to the list with the launch of Honor 8C, a successor to the popular Honor 7C smartphone, on November 29.

The Honor 8C is stepping foot into one of the most competitive segments, but with the strategy to offer you the best looks, the modern notch, a moderate Snapdragon chipset, and a huge battery, all packed inside a light and handy offering. Thanks to the folks at Honor, I’ve been testing the Honor 8C for a couple of days now and here are my initial thoughts on the device:

Honor 8C Specifications

Before diving into it, let’s take a quick look at the specs sheet for the Honor 8C:

Dimensions157.2 x 76 x 7.98 mm
Weight167 grams
Display6.26-inch HD+ IPS, 19:9 aspect ratio
ProcessorSnapdragon 632
GPUAdreno 506
RAM4GB
Storage32GB/64GB
Rear Camera13 MP (f/1.8) + 2 MP (f/2.4) depth sensor, with LED flash, PDAF
Front Camera8MP (f/2.0) with soft LED flash
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 Oreo-based EMUI 8.2
Battery4,000mAh
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB, 3.5mm jack
Sensorsrear-mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, compass, magnetometer, proximity and light sensor
ColorsAurora Blue and Midnight Black

Design and Display

Huawei kicked-off the era of beautifully crafted backs and its sister company Honor has since tread the same path, with the Honor 8C being the latest addition to their portfolio. And we absolutely love the shiny blue rear panel of our device, as seen below.

Honor tells us that the rear design of the Honor 8C is an evolution of the Honor 8X, which was instant eye-candy. However, it’s not glass and instead, a plastic back with a 3D nano-level texture design to give it a metallic appearance

The company is calling this the ‘cat-eye effect’ and everyone at the Beebom office surely agrees with my sentiment of how good the rear panel looks. And it’s not solely the shiny back, but the in-hand feel and lightness of the device as well that earns my praise. The curved back makes for a comfortable grip but the rear panel is a fingerprint magnet and smudges easily.

Turning our attention to the front, the Honor 8C includes a 6.26-inch HD+ FullView display with a display resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels and 19:9 aspect ratio. The screen includes a notch, as you’d have already guessed, that holds the earpiece, selfie camera, and an adjustable soft LED flash, along with a massive chin with the Honor logo.

Though I’m growing wary of the extremely curved edges of the screen, the screen itself looks pretty good in the brief time I’ve spent with the Honor 8C. It can get quite bright, has good viewing angles and looks a bit saturated at times.

The power button and volume rockers of the Honor 8C feel sturdy and clicky, which is something not many people talk about but it’s important for a great experience. The Honor 8C includes a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top (still a thing in budget phones) and the microUSB charging port (no USB-C is a disappointment) at the bottom.

Hardware

Honor has stepped up their game in the hardware department, with the Honor 8C being powered by a Snapdragon 632 processor instead of a Snapdragon 400-series chipset, as was the case with its predecessor. It is the first device to be powered by this processor, that is coupled with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

We have the top-end 4GB + 64GB variant of the Honor 8C here and the device has been able to handle day-to-day tasks thrown at it with ease. We did notice minor frame drops and stutters while opening/ closing apps and my casual PUBG Mobile sessions have been decent. The game picked up the low setting by default, which is okay, but with no notch support and occasional lag.

Software

One cannot really complain about the software as EMUI is one of the most feature-rich and powerful custom Android skins, sitting along Xiaomi’s MIUI. Honor 8C runs EMUI 8.2, which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo, and it’s quite responsive in my two-day experience.

Plus, Honor gives you a ton of options to customize the device to your liking, including the option to hide the notch up-top, hide the navigation bar, Eye comfort (certified by TüV Rheinland), along with a number of Huawei apps. It comes with a few pre-installed bloat, which I absolutely dislike.

Cameras

We finally turn our attention to the cameras, where the placement and design aesthetics are the same as the Honor 8X. The Honor 8C packs a dual rear-camera system, with a primary 13MP (f/1.8) sensor and a secondary 2MP (f/2.4) depth sensor and a single 8MP selfie camera, with an f/2.0 aperture, on board.

You get an LED flash available both on the front and rear, but if we look at the software, then the Honor 8C comes with AI scene detection, HDR, and Pro mode in tow.

honor 8C cameras

Talking of the shots I clicked in the past couple of days, the Honor 8C hasn’t managed to impress me and I’m skeptical of its performance. The daylight photos look crisp and well-lit, but they’re often oversharpened while the ones clicked in low-light are dull, have a bit of noise, and issues with focusing.

The portrait shots have decent edge detection but lack good color reproduction, as I’ve already said before. There is no selfie portrait mode here but the selfies still look decent. Here are a few camera samples that we clicked with the Honor 8C:

Honor 8C: Price and Availability

Honor 8C is scheduled to launch in India next week on November 29, so we are in the dark about the exact pricing details right now. However, you can expect the device to go up against the likes of Realme 2, Nokia 5.1 Plus and Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro in the budget segment. The device will be sold exclusively via Amazon and it’s looking decent as of now.

So, are you excited about the launch of the shiny new Honor 8C? Tell us your thoughts in the comments down below and stay tuned for our complete in-depth review, which will be posted next week.