This year has seen Xiaomi and Honor lock horns in the mid and budget segment of the Indian smartphone market. And nowhere is the competition more fierce than at the Rs 9,999 price point, which sees the budget champions of both brands cross swords – the Redmi Note 5, which attempts to follow in the footsteps of the bestselling Redmi Note 4, and the recently released Honor 7C. Both come with their own set of special features to attract consumers looking for lots of smartphone bang for not too many bucks. It is a fierce battle. Guess who comes out on top? Read on.
Honor 7C vs Redmi Note 5: Design
This is a clash between an old classic and a more modern appearance. The Redmi Note 5 follows in the footsteps of the Redmi Note 4 on the back with a single camera and fingerprint scanner right in the top middle of the back, with a flash between them. The Honor 7C, on the other hand, has a dual camera unit with a flash on the top left corner, and a circular fingerprint sensor right in the top middle. Both have smooth metallic backs, with antenna bands on the top and base, but we think the Honor 7C looks more distinct. On the front, both phones boast 5.99-inch 18:9 aspect displays, but the 7C actually squeezes this into a slightly shorter (158.3 mm as against 158.5 mm), slimmer (7.8 mm as against 8.05 mm) and a much lighter (164 grams as against 180 grams). Both devices have rounded sides and are comfortable to hold but we are going to put the slightly more contemporary and sleeker design of the Honor 7C ahead of the Redmi Note 5.
Winner: Honor 7C
Redmi Note 5 vs Honor 7C: Hardware
When it comes to hardware, the battle becomes a very close one. The Redmi Note 5 Pro scores when it comes to the display resolution, featuring a full HD+ 5.99-inch display (the 7C has a HD+ one of the same size) and a Snapdragon 625 processor which is perceived as being superior to the Snapdragon 450 on the 7C. However, the 7C scores in a vital department – that of the camera. Whereas the Redmi Note 5 sports a single 12-megapixel camera on the back and a 5.0-megapixel one on the front, the Honor 7C comes with a 13 and 2-megapixel dual camera arrangement, and an 8.0-megapixel front-facing camera. Both devices have 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, but while the Redmi Note 5 has a dual SIM tray, with one slot being a hybrid slim slot, the Honor 7C has two SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 5 has a large 4000 mAh battery, as compared to the 3000 mAh one on the 7C. We think all things said and done, and considering how rare dual cameras are at this price point, we are calling this round a very tight tie.
Honor 7C vs Redmi note 5: Software
The two Android skins of Honor and Xiaomi go against each other – EMUI 8.0 on the 7C and MIUI 9.5 on the Redmi Note 5. Both have their pros and cons, but we think that the fact that the Honor 7C comes with Android 8, while the Redmi Note 5 comes with Android 7.1 tilts the scales massively in favor of the former. Add to this features like Party Mode, which allows users to pair the 7C with multiple Bluetooth devices and Ride Mode, which send automatic voice and text messages when you are driving, as well as a richer camera interface, and EMUI’s lead gets more significant, even though MIUI has a very good reputation as long as updates go. The coup de grace in favor of the Honor 7C is the presence of face unlock, which the Redmi Note 5 lacks at the time of writing. There is only one winner here.
Winner: Honor 7C
Honor 7C vs Redmi Note 5: Cameras
This is again a rather one-sided affair. Yes, the Redmi Note 5 PRO’s single 12.0-megapixel shooter can take decent snaps, but the dual cameras on the Honor 7C are on a very different level. And in best Honor tradition, you can even change the aperture size to adjust the level and kind of bokeh you can get in your shots. The level of color and detail you get on the 7C are simply superior to the ones on the Redmi Note 5. The 7C’s camera superiority extends to the front camera as well, where the 8.0-megapixel selfie snapper takes better selfies as compared to the Redmi Note 5’s 5.0-megapixel camera. This is another one for the Honor 7C.
Winner: Honor 7C.
Gaming and multimedia
Both devices handle casual games well, but when one moves into high-end gaming, the Redmi Note 5’s better processor does seem to make a difference. Neither device is designed for intensive gaming, but the Redmi Note 5’s full HD+ display and processor do give it an edge in this department. That said, the 7C’s ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time will be handy for those who love to connect multiple speakers or like sharing audio. We also felt that the audio quality on the Honor 7C was marginally superior to that on the Redmi Note 5. This is a close round, but the processor and display win it for the Redmi Note 5.
Winner: Redmi Note 5
When it comes to general tasks, both phones turn in smooth performances, handling multiple tasks with a degree of ease. In terms of battery life, the larger battery of the Redmi Note 5 does give it an edge, lasting well over a day. In comparison, the Honor 7C sees off a day of use. However, we felt that call quality was better on the Honor 7C, and of course, we could use two SIM connections as well as a memory card on it, which we could not on the Redmi Note 5. We are going to call this one another tie.
Which is the best sub-Rs 10,000 phone then?
Both phones come with price tags of Rs 9,999 for their 3GB/ 32 GB variants. So which one should you go for? As the scores show, the Honor 7C definitely has an edge when it comes to sleek design, camera performance, face unlock and a feature rich interface based on a newer version of Android. Some might point to the better processor and higher resolution display of the Redmi Note 5, but in our comparison, this difference did not have a telling effect – the Redmi Note 5 only waged ahead in the gaming section, whereas in the others (including the cameras), the Honor 7C emerged a winner or was on par. All of which points to a clear win for the Honor 7C. If you have a budget below Rs 10,000, the Honor 7C is surely your most Honor-able option.