Huawei Honor 5X review: Aiming High
Honor made a last minute swipe at CES and blew us away with what its 200 dollar phone could offer: a metal body, a large 3000mAh battery, quick fingerprint unlock, and a 5.5" 1080p screen. Honor is also entering the US market with the launch of the Honor 5X, selling it as an unlocked and dual-SIM smartphone.
Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei, but it is not a totally separate company seeing as the charger in the box says "HUAWEI" on it. Also, as seen on some of the built-in apps, "Huawei" and "Honor" are used almost interchangeably.
The Honor brand has grown quite fast and will grow even more with its US launch. As of now, Honor only sells the Honor 5X through Amazon, Newegg.com, and directly from Honor's own online store.
Honor has since focused on making mid-to-low end hardware for the low-cost markets. With this iteration of Honor's X Series, there is a fresh new design language and a reason for it. It wants to give you bang for your buck. The Honor 5X is targeted at the millennial demographic, younger adults who would like to individualize themselves while also making a statement (or maybe college students who can't afford an iPhone).
- Dual-SIM functionality
- Full metal body design
- 5.5-inch LCD IPS 1,080 x 1,920px resolution, 401ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 - Octa-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 w/ Adreno 405
- Android 5.1.1 with Huawei's EM UI 3.1 on top (plans for Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
- 13MP rear-camera sensor, f/2.0, dual-LED flash, 1080p@30fps video, 5MP front-facing camera sensor
- 16GB of storage, expandable up to 128GB via microSD
- LTE Cat.4 150 Mbps, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio
- 3000mAh battery
- Fingerprint reader
- No NFC
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi
- No Marshmallow (yet)
- No Quick Charge support
For this price, the lack of 5 GHz Wi-Fi and NFC are more than forgivable, though the lack of the latter would mean no Android Pay support. We can live with both, but we wish this device came with support for Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0. Some might wish it had a removable battery, that's one compromise you would have to accept.
While the Honor 5X currently does not have Marshmallow, the company has promised an update down the line.
On the positive side, the Honor 5X has a fingerprint scanner and a metal backside, features that other phones of this price range do not offer.
The Honor 5X comes in 3 colors: Silver, gold, and gray (not pictured). The gray unit is the only one that has a black front side which the metal backing is a few shades darker than the silver unit.
Compared to the Honor 4X, its predecessor, the 5X comes with a bump in the display resolution from 720p to 1080p, increased internal storage of 16GB, a modest increase in processing and graphics power, and greatly improved hardware design that no longer looks generic and boring.