• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The Honor 5X is an ultra-cheap alternative to a flagship, with a premium build, an octa-core processor, a fingerprint scanner and a price tag of likely under £200.

That puts it in competition with the likes of the Moto G more than the Samsung Galaxy S6 or even the OnePlus 2. It might not be a big name but with these specs at this price it has big selling points. So is it too good to be true? Read on to find out.

Design

Look at or even hold the Honor 5X and you’d be forgiven for thinking you had a flagship in front of you, because the design is fit for one. It has a brushed metal shell, with sand blasted sides and can almost rival the HTC One M9 or iPhone 6S for looks.

It feels a little derivative of other phones, but that’s a minor complaint, especially when at this sort of price you’re usually stuck with a plastic handset.

The Honor 5X doesn’t just look stylish it also feels well-made. It lacks the waterproofing found on phones such as the Sony Xperia Z5, but for day to day use it should be durable. Having said that it is a little slippery, so you’ll want to be extra careful not to drop it.

Screen

The Honor 5X has a large 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 screen with a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. It’s full HD then and fairly sharp, though the big screen means it could actually have benefitted from being QHD, but it will probably be a long time before we see that at this sort of price.

Honor 5X Review

Full HD is impressive enough and it displays rich colours too, while the 5.5-inch size makes it great for watching videos on and even helps when web browsing, as you can see more of each page at once.

On the flip side it does mean it can take two hands to operate comfortably, so if you want a compact phone this isn’t it. The bezels also aren’t the smallest we’ve seen, betraying the fact that this is in fact an affordable phone, but this means it’s far from a small handset.

Power

There’s an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor powering the Honor 5X. It has four cores running at 1.5GHz and the other four clocked at 1.2GHz, so it’s not a high-end chip, despite being octa-core, but it’s a reasonably powerful mid-range one.

Honor 5X Review

That’s paired with 2GB of RAM, which gives it similar specs to the likes of the mid-range Moto X Play. It’s enough for smooth performance almost all the time, even when playing demanding games.

Where it falters a little is in launching apps, which can take a few seconds to open, and when switching between apps. It’s also likely to become outdated faster than high-end handsets, but for now you’ll hardly notice that this is a cheap phone.

Camera

The camera is one of the main disappointments of the Honor 5X. It’s not bad as such, but with a 13MP rear snapper and 5MP front-facing one its specs aren’t special, even at this sort of price.

Beyond the specs the camera’s performance is adequate but nothing special. In the right conditions it can take some impressive shots, but as soon as there’s too little (or too much) light it struggles.

The 5MP front-facing camera is pretty standard too. You can get some social-media-worthy selfies, but nothing that’s going to stand out. On the video front the main snapper can shoot in 1080p, which is fine, but if you’re big on video you might want to consider a phone with 4K shooting.

Interface and features

The Honor 5X is a Huawei phone, despite dropping the Huawei name and that means it comes with EMUI 3.1, an interface which is a long way from what you’ll find on stock Android.

If you’re a fan of Android or even familiar with the OS that’s likely to be a bad thing, as it takes some getting used to. The biggest issue though is the complete absence of an app drawer, meaning your home screens can quickly get cluttered.

Honor 5X Review

It fares better for features though. The main one is its fingerprint scanner. You’ll find this on the back and it’s up there with the best we’ve used. As well as being fast and accurate it can also be used for a lot more than just unlocking your phone.

You can also secure apps and files and use specific fingerprints as shortcuts to launch apps or call contacts.

Another feature worth highlighting is the fact that the Honor 5X has a nano SIM slot, a micro SIM slot and a microSD card slot. Most phones with two SIM slots use the microSD card slot for the second, forcing you to choose between the two, but the 5X lets you have all three.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

There’s a 3000 mAh battery in the Honor 5X, which is a pretty large unit. Huawei reckons it can last for around 1.5 days with moderate use and it seems to live up to that. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to quite stretch it to two full days though, so you still might want to charge it every night.

There’s just 16GB of storage built in to the phone, which is a pretty small amount. It’s a shame it’s not available in larger sizes, but there is at least a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and Bluetooth 4.1.

Conclusion

The Honor 5X is a seriously impressive phone considering it’s likely to launch for £200 or less. For that money you get a premium metal build, a fingerprint scanner, an octa-core processor, a big 1080p screen and fairly long battery life.

Sadly, Huawei’s awful interface holds it back, as does its mediocre camera and limited storage and while it’s got an octa-core chip it’s a mid-range one.

Still, for the money they’re sacrifices we can live with. The Honor 5X is far from perfect, but it’s one of the best equipped budget phones you’ll find.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2

Weight (g): 158

Battery capacity (mAh): 3000

Colours: White, Black, Gold

Screen size (inches): 5.5

Resolution: 1080x1920 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 401

Processor: 1.5GHz octa-core

Processor make: Snapdragon 615

RAM: 2GB

Internal storage: 16GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 128GB

Camera: 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel

Operating System: Android 5.1.1

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