If you'd looked at the smartphones available on the market available 18 months ago, those with a minimal budget would have had a limited choice consisting of the highly-commended original Motorola Moto G, or a range of low-spec Android handsets from Huawei, Alcatel or Samsung.
Following the success of Motorola's Google-backed budget blower, manufacturers have visibly stepped up their game in an attempt to claim a share of the lower end of the market; after all, not everyone has £500+ to blow on the latest iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Huawei has done well for itself in recent years with a range of cheaper smartphones. They may not have set any benchmark records, nor been noted as standing out from a design perspective, but have given the user a reasonable experience of Android for less than the price of a weekly supermarket shop.
The Honor 3C offers mid-range specifications at a thoroughly budget price, and for that you get an 8GB smartphone with a wealth of features, including a quad-core processor, a 5-inch 294ppi HD screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720, 2GB of RAM, dual micro SIM capability and an 8MP camera.
Little about the Honor 3C's specifications are disappointing, and it compares admirably to smartphones such as the HTC Desire 610 which is more than double the price.
While not on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop (or even Android KitKat) the older Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean software with Huawei's own EmotionUI 2.0 overlay still gives access to the vast majority of apps on Google's Play Store, but it's a little outdated.
You can't be reading a review about a smartphone at this end of the spectrum and be expecting the same kind of build quality you'll find on a HTC One M8, for example. Surprisingly though, the whole package feels a lot more premium than you'd expect.
The body, while plastic, feels reassuringly solid - free of the creaks and groans that you can experience on most cheap smartphones. This is especially surprising considering that the Honor 3C has a removable backplate that gives access to the dual microSIM, microSD storage and removable 2300mAh battery.
There's nothing necessarily unique about the design of this Huawei-built smartphone; for your £110 you get a 5-inch smartphone that weighs 140g and can still just about qualify as slim at 9.2mm thick - slight enough to fit into skinny jeans or be unobtrusive in a small handbag.
The 720p screen is actually particularly impressive, and probably the main highlight of this handset. It's an IPS LCD panel, meaning the colours are bright and punchy, and until you get really close, pixels are still relatively difficult to discern - unless you're looking for them.
For watching YouTube videos or reviewing photos, it's satisfying enough, and considerably better than other phones of a similar price that make do with a lower resolution such as the Nokia Lumia 630.
Huawei has been keen to emphasise the 69% screen-to-body ratio of the Honor 3C, which essentially means that the bezels are slim and there isn't a criminal amount of wasted space on the front of the handset.
As far as buttons and sockets go, the left side of the handset is devoid of any features whatsoever, while the right edge houses both the power button and the single volume bar.
Positioning of the buttons is almost perfect, whether held in the right or left hand, though I'd have liked the volume bar to be a little more tactile - as it is, changing volume up or down in the dark or while pocketed is a bit of a hit 'n' miss affair.
The off-screen capacitive buttons are another giveaway of the older Android version that lies under the hood. While I have no qualms with capacitive buttons myself - in fact I sometimes prefer them - the lack of backlighting of the back, home and menu buttons can be incredibly frustrating until you've properly learnt the order in which they are arranged.
On the top of the Honor 3C is a 3.5mm headphone socket that's been positioned close to the left corner, while on the bottom edge you'll find a microUSB connector and one of the two microphones.
The second microphone is found on the back of the phone, positioned right at the top, just above the centred 8MP camera and its LED flash. At the bottom left of the handset's rear is the single speaker (which you really shouldn't expect much from), while in the centre of the rear pane is a lightly embossed Honor logo - the only branding on the device.
Key features, interface and performance
Beyond the respectable array of specifications I've already looked at, there's very little else of note on the Honor 3C, but what more would you expect for the low, low price of £110?
One little extra that is a staple of east Asian smartphones is the dual SIM capability that Europe has rarely seen in other handsets apart from the similarly specced Acer Liquid Jade. This feature means you can have a primary 3G microSIM (note: no 4G support here), and a secondary 2G micro SIM.
Having this functionality means you can operate the Honor 3C simultaneously as a personal and business phone. While this may be handy for some, you'll have to be careful when making and receiving calls and SMS messages - after all, you don't want to answer a call to your boss with a greeting you should have probably reserved for your partner.
A seemingly minor feature that's also been transported over from the more pricey Huawei Ascend P7 is the 'gloves mode'. This handy little option allows you to jab and swipe away at the touchscreen wearing gloves.
While Android marches on with the 5th iteration of its operating system, Lollipop, some handsets are still launching with earlier versions of Android. The Honor 3C suffers from this frustrating fragmentation, coming pre-loaded with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean - an operating system that's now approaching two years old.
Why Huawei decided to stick with this older OS probably comes down to two main reasons; firstly it means the firm has had to expend a minimal amount on software development for this handset, and secondly, it's probably happy with the speed, compatibility and stability the Emotion 2.0 skin maintains.
Don't get me wrong, for an average user - particularly the kind of buyer looking for a budget smartphone, this earlier version of Android will provide the vast majority of functionality that they will need - for now. Unfortunately, it means they are missing out on some of the latest updates to Google apps, and other little treats such as Android Wear compatibility.
Huawei's stuck with the second version of its 'Emotion' UI - the same found on the Huawei Ascend Mate 7, but with this skin laden over Android, Huawei will unfortunately divide opinion of anyone who decides to give the Honor 3C a go.
For Android purists, it's a rather gimmicky take on Google's OS, with the standard theme featuring some rather peculiar UI design alterations that in some ways make it feel more like Apple's iOS rather than Android - especially the brightly coloured gradient-heavy app icons.
You can change the theme (and icons) should you wish, with a 'Youth' theme clearly aimed at younger users, while the 'Journey' theme takes skeuomorphism to the extreme - British red telephone boxes and all.
If, however, you're looking for simple the proprietary skin delivers, and even has a special 'Simple Home' launcher that replaces the home screen with three pages of 'tiles' that has some limited customisation options. Useful for a smartphone beginner, perhaps, but most will be unlikely to favour it.
Using the standard launcher, the first thing you'll notice is that the app drawer has been removed in favour of all your icons living directly on one of the home screens. This means you'll end up with page after page of icons that you have to manually sort into an order of your preference.
To cater for the pages of app icons you'll accumulate, Huawei has bumped the number of available homescreens from five up to nine, though I wouldn't be particularly optimistic that the UI would remain smooth with nine full pages of widgets, folders and icons.
The Honor 3C comes pre-loaded with a few awful Gameloft games and some thirdparty apps in the form of Bitcasa's cloud storage app and the Kingsoft Office suite for editing and viewing documents. There's also a number of Huawei's own tools installed, such as a flashlight, sound recorder, FM radio and a DLNA streaming app.
With a Mediatek A7 quad-core processor, the Honor 3C is no powerhouse, but surprisingly isn't all that laggy. Each core is clocked at 1.3GHz, and is coupled with a perfectly sufficient 2GB of RAM.
Video performance is kept in check with a Mali-400MP2 GPU, the same processor found in a range of relatively unknown smartphones from the Far East by Lenovo, Xolo and Micromax.
Despite a lack of pedigree, the Honor 3C comfortably copes with playing back HD video, and recording 1080p video via the 8MP camera.
Swiping through homescreens and opening folders is snappy - just be careful not to overload the pages with too many widgets, as things start to slow rather quickly.
How do the Honor 3C's specifications translate into real world performance? To find out, I ran it through Geekbench 3 - a multi-talented benchmark program capable of comparing performance. After averaging out the scores of three tests, the quad-core processor achieved a rather lowly multi-core score of 1170 - well under half the performance of the LG G3. The single-core score of 353 is equally disappointing - yet unsurprising given the low clock speed.
If you're only using the more simple functions of the smartphone, you can eke out additional battery life using the inbuilt Power Saving settings menu. The 'Power Monitoring' sub-menu allows you to automatically optimise the power consumption by changing settings to a recommended setup.
While the Honor 3C is no superphone, it's got just about enough guts to work through social media, video, music and games without too much drama.
Battery life, the essentials and camera
With decidedly average specifications, the Honor 3C doesn't need a huge battery capacity to easily keep it going for full day without charge.
The 2,300mAh battery is the same capacity as the outgoing Nexus 5, but with the lower-resolution screen and considerably lower processor clock speed, it is more than ample.
Running our staple HD video with full brightness and power-saving settings set to 'normal' mode, the battery life dropped to 72% after running the 90 minute video.
That's a 28% drop, which shows that the Honor 3C isn't the most thirsty smartphone around, and could be made to last much longer than a day if you make use of the included power saving options.
Though you may not know it when you look at the behaviour of most smartphone users, making calls is still an important function that must be faultless in order for a phone to be successful.
Fortunately, making calls on the Honor 3C were made without fault, though call quality was on the tinny side. The dialer and contacts app is functional, but overall very basic.
The messaging app is another drab and basic affair, although Huawei's default keyboard is accurate and reasonably speedy. Swype is also pre-installed that allows you to draw your way through text messages and other text input.
For web browsing, the Honor 3C includes both Google's Chrome browser, as well as the stock Android browser, that has had some very minor UI adjustment to bring it in line with Huawei's other apps. It includes tabbed browsing, incognito mode, bookmarks that can sync with your Google account and all the other staple features of an Android browser.
8MP on the rear and 5MP upfront, you may think, are enough to satisfy anyone. Yet when it comes to quality snappers, everyone should know by now that the wool can't be pulled over your eyes entirely by specs. There's plenty of other considerations afoot when assessing a camera's quality.
After all, Apple wouldn't have stuck with the same number of pixels in its iPhone 6 sensor if all that counted was a figure.
For quick snaps, the cameras on the Honor 3C are not anywhere near as terrible as some of the other budget phones I've tried, but they're also far from perfect, particularly as I found that most photos came out with a slight blue/purple tinge.
Focusing and waiting for the camera to take the picture was sometimes a bit of a bore, and even launching into the camera app itself would mean frustrating additional moment of blackness while the camera sensor fired up.
In good light, you'll get some reasonable 'selfies', thanks largely due to the pixel-packed front facing camera. Look a little closer, and it's no surprise to see that the photos are largely noisy and a little smeared.
An LED flash situated alongside the rear sensor improved some night-time photos, and completely washed out others. Also included are a range of camera adjustments, such as HDR, panorama, beauty and an automatic 'smart' mode.
There are also six additional live effects you can implement, but other than perhaps the monochrome option, they're largely useless. If your photos are coming out overly exposed, a 'Meter' mode allows you to choose the area of the photo from which to judge the exposure level.
Overall, I'd describe the camera as 'good enough' for a budget phone such as this, and easily as good as the same resolution camera found in the Motorola Moto G.
At the 'cheap as chips' end of the smartphone spectrum, there are honestly not many worthwhile phones to consider beyond the recent incredibly successful budget models from Motorola.
With the Honor 3C, Huawei has managed to pack an impressive list of specifications into a phone that'll cost you less than half the price of anything similar from the more highly-regarded Android brands such as Samsung or HTC.
A quad-core processor, good quality HD screen and 8MP snapper are enough to meet the demands of most casual users, while the dual micro-SIM capability might be genuinely appealing for travellers on a budget, or tight-fisted business types.
The build quality is also better than I had anticipated - feeling solid in the hand without feeling either too heavy or so light as to make it feel overly cheap. If you're looking for an alternative to highly-acclaimed Motorola Moto G, and don't mind the quirkiness of Huawei's Emotion UI, then the Honor 3C might just be one to consider.
The decent-sized screen has punchy colours and a high enough resolution to make the interface, apps and photos appear crisp and clear.
The solid build, responsive buttons and a removable - but not poorly fitted - back plate that gives access to the good capacity battery, microSD and dual microSIMs, are all features that are worthy of a big thumbs up.
Though the Emotion UI isn't for everyone, the added features of the 'Gloves mode', easy-to-use power saving options and variety of themes make it more tolerable than you might think.
The inclusion of such an old version of Android is almost unforgiveable. We'd have expected Android 4.4 as an absolute minimum - even if Huawei have been cutting corners to keep the Honor 3C in budget.
Rear camera quality is nothing to write home about, neither is the audio fidelity from the single rear speaker or lack of 4G support. A quad-core processor might sound good in the marketing blurb, but at 1.3GHz it's not exactly any kind of powerhouse. Overall the components feel like they've probably been rescued from a bin of 3 year-old phone parts.
Using the phone at night and in a darker room, the lack of back-lighting for the capacitive buttons became an increasing frustration. Sure you'll learn their order eventually, but even cheapy handsets like the Huawei Ascend G330 include backlit buttons.
When you're looking at a smartphone costing merely £110, you simply can't knock the Honor 3C's quality and specification. As I've mentioned previously, beyond the Motorola Moto G there's little else worth considering in this price bracket.
Of course, you can spend a little closer to £200 and get something nicer looking or from a more well known brand, but if all you seek is a smartphone with a reasonable sized HD screen and enough oomph to watch video, play the odd game or browse the internet, then the Honor 3C ticks enough boxes to be worth a punt.