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Huawei Honor 3C Lite Review: Better Than The Original

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We review the Honor 3C Lite!

When you talk about bang-for-the-buck, you don’t necessarily think about international brands, especially when you start talking about the sub 10K price range. Yes, there are phones like the ASUS Zenfone 5 and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S that offers great value for money, but those phones are more of the exception rather than the rule. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Honor 3C Lite, a smartphone offered by Huawei that’s not deserving of the “Lite” moniker, especially since it’s better than the original 3C that came out a few months ago.

Honor 3C Lite specs

  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD display, 720 x 1280 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel Samsung/OV rear camera with BSI and LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Miracast
  • 2000mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

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A generic design that won’t turn any heads

Huawei’s managed to impress with the design of their recent devices like the Honor 6, Honor 6 Plus and Mate7, so it was a little disappointing to see that the 3C Lite sports such an uninspiring and generic design. While it doesn’t look bad per se, the gloss white back and the plain front don’t really make it stand out from similarly styled devices in the market.

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The good thing is that the curved back of the 3C Lite makes it easier for you to get a solid grip on the phone, despite its gloss white back. Speaking of the back, you’ll be wiping fingerprints and grime off of it regularly since it attracts dirt like there’s no tomorrow.

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Up front, you’ll see the 5-inch display, along with the 2-megapixel front camera and the capacitive navigation buttons underneath. One of the biggest issues that you’ll have with the 3C Lite is that the navigation buttons are not illuminated, which means you’ll have trouble navigating the phone when it’s dark out. Button and port layout is pretty straight forward, with the volume and power buttons on the right side, 3.5mm jack on the top and the USB port located on the bottom.

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The display of the 3C Lite is good, with decent viewing angles and possesing good color reproduction and saturation. Image quality is quite decent too, considering the price of the device. There are a few things that we don’t like about it, unfortunately – there’s way too much glare on the display when we’re using it outdoors, even with the brightness turned up. Like the back of the phone, the screen of the 3C Lite is also a smudge magnet.

Like Huawei’s other offerings, the 3C Lite sports the company’s Emotion UI overlay over Android 4.4 KitKat, though it’s a bit different compared to its siblings. Noticeably absent is the magazine-style lock screen, and the notifications are distinctly stock Android.

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Hardware that we’re all familiar with

The 3C Lite sports a processor that we’ve become accustomed to seeing by now: MediaTek’s venerable MT6582 processor that’s shown up in so many smartphones of both international and local brands. It’s not a bad processor per se, as it’s capable of running most apps and games out in the Play Store with a few issues, albeit with the graphics turned down to low. The processor is a bit long in the tooth by now, but it still does a good job in running the phone smoothly. The phone is capable of running games like CoC without too much issues, though more demanding games like Dead Trigger 2 is only playable under low graphical settings.

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The biggest draw of the 3C Lite is the rather large 16GB of storage space on it. There’s roughly 13GB of storage that’s available in the device, enough for a couple of movies, apps and a few games.

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Decent camera out of the budget smartphone

The camera on the 3C Lite is a mixed bag. It’s capable of delivering rather decent photos when there’s enough light. Shooting in environs that isn’t as bright, you’ll start to see the weakness of the camera, specifically noise in some of the indoor photos we shot in the Pinto Art Museum. It’s not enough to really ruin a photo, but it’s definitely there.

Average battery life

We had a good idea going into the review of what the battery life of the 3C Lite would be since it has hardware that we’ve seen on other phones before. We were expecting more or less around 8 hours of usable battery life with moderate use (that’s a bit of light gaming and a mix of WiFi and data).

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Verdict: a decent, entry level smartphone from Huawei

While the Honor 3C Lite doesn’t deliver anything we haven’t seen before hardware-wise, it has a good mix of hardware with a rather affordable price tag, especially when you consider that Huawei is an international brand. Granted, there are cheaper, locally branded alternatives that has roughly the same hardware as the Honor 3C Lite, but there’s something to be said about getting a smartphone from an international brand like Huawei.

And while the phone has “Lite” in its name, it’s definitely a better buy than the phone that came before it.

The Huawei Honor 3C Lite is available at Lazada for Php 5290.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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