Honor has recently announced the Honor 5X, their latest offering which brings a great phone to the masses, at an incredibly amazing price of £169.99. The phone offers the same design philosophy as the Honor 7 before it, adding certain features to the Finger Print Sensor such as Quick Launch to quickly launch apps with the tap of a single finger on the back. What probably makes it rather interesting is the fact that LG make another well known phone called the Nexus 5X, and Huawei make a Nexus phone called the Nexus 6P. However, Honor have had the ‘#X’ series going for a while and the Honor 5X is just the natural progression after the Honor 4X.
In the box
- Honor 5X Phone
- SIM Removal tool
- Micro USB cable
- There is no headset or headphones in the box.
- Android 5.1, running EMUI 3.1 on top
- 5.5″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display, 443 ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 Octa Core processor
- 2 GB RAM
- 13MP Rear Camera, 5 MP Front Camera
- 3000 mAh Battery
- 16 GB ROM, Micro SD up to 128GB
- LTE Connecitivity
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0
- 151.3mm x 76.3mm x 8.15mm
- Weight 158g
- Dual SIM Card slot (Nano and Micro SIM)
- Fingerprint sensor
- Available in Grey, Gold, Silver
Look and feel
This phone may be sold at under £200, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a cheap phone. The beautifully brushed Aluminium and the laser etched logo on the back add up to give this phone a premium feel you only see in more expensive phones. However, Honor is no stranger to giving you premium looking devices at a not-so-premium price.
This is a beautiful phone. There is no doubt about it.
The front features the 5.5″ screen, which is hidden a screen protector that comes straight out of the box. You are welcome to take this off, but since the screen looks great with it on, I wouldn’t bother.
There is also the camera and and the earpiece on the top, along with the proximity sensor. Also hidden on the right is a notification LED, that flashes in various colours.
The back features a camera, which pokes out of the back. Next to it is the flash. Below it is the fingerprint sensor.
The top and bottom on the back feature the detail put into the design by Honor.
The bottom ‘design’ also features as a grill for the speaker.
The bottom on the phone has a grill for the microphone, as well as the micro USB port. The bottom is probably the most interesting part of the design, as it features quite a lot of detail packaged into quite a small area.
The top features the 3.5mm headset slot and an extra microphone.
The right side features the volume key and the power key, while the left has the two slots for the dual SIM and micro SD cards.
The screen features a high brightness display, which promises to be visible in bright sunlight. Our tests did not disappoint, though the sun we had was a sunny London day, and allegedly not a hot beach in the Middle East. The colours are natural and vivid, and work well.
The phone features a reasonable camera. It works good in most settings, and the Infrared sensor is designed to help you take photos in sharp sun light. We took a little walk around Shoreditch, and these are some of the images we got, on a day which has sun at an interesting angle.
And I notice this image as I am listening to ‘I get knocked down!’.
Not an easy shot to take for most cameras, but you can see if there is a sharp difference in light, you may struggle to capture detail. Of course, you can focus on one half of the light, and it should work well.
A bit more cool graffiti out and about.
And a bit of indoor photography, looking at some cool wall paper.
And looking at some bright lights and contrasts indoors.
The depth of field is reasonably good on the camera as well.
Honor and Huawei have made a habit of paying a lot of attention to selfies. This works in interesting ways, giving you the ability to tune your phone to take the perfect selfie, allowing you to adjust various things such as face thickness, your eye size, smoothness of your skin and the colour of your skin. This allows you to go from something like this:
The various changes are visible on the skin, but if you have seen me in real life, it isn’t that difficult for you to tell if it brushed up a bit. However, if Instagram likes and selfies is your thing, this is definitely a useful feature.
Like most new Android phones coming out these days, the Honor 5X features an Fingerprint Sensor. It uses the same technology as the one that can be found on the likes of Huawei Mate S and the Honor 7. However, the Honor 5X brings with it even more features to an already great range of things you can do with the fingerprint sensor on any Huawei/Honor phone.
You have the following features available:
- Unlock phone
- Launch apps
- Take Photos
- Manage Calls
- Notification Bar Management
- Snooze/Dismiss Alarm
A lot of effort has gone into the Fingerprint Sensor from Huawei/Honor, and it shows. As of now, this is the only phone that I am aware of which takes the Fingerprint Sensor quite a few paces ahead of just simple lock screen. Extra functionality is not the only thing on offer, as it also features a very quick register, which takes only 6 taps, and takes only 0.5seconds to register. In a ‘phone off’, it is clearly the winner to unlock the phone with a simple tap of the finger on the sensor.
Then there are the extras. A slide down on the back brings up the notification bar. A slide up your recent notifications. Different fingers can be enrolled so they can open different apps, take pictures, and more. You can also answer calls or dismiss your alarm. They may seem like little gimmicks to most, but a few days spent with the phone, and any other phone you pick up you will be wondering why the little gestures you are so used to are not doing anything. They are so useful, I am surprised that not only are no phones including this as a standard, but there is not a whole range of apps out there trying to make sure of fingerprint sensors on the back of all the other phones. You may go and get any other phone, but so far Huawei and Honor have one up on all.
With a decent processor and 2GB of RAM, this is set up right in the midrange for performance. The phone is reasonably fast and snappy, and the usuals such as email, taking pictures and your social media etc works rather well. It also packs in a few games as standard, and I tried Asphalt Nitro, which is normally enough to showcase exactly how slow a phone is. While it took a little while to load, once playing, the game play was rather smooth and no jitters nor graphics issues were noticeable.
Like with all Huawei and Honor phones, the phone comes with EMUI as standard. This means that there are a lot of things to get used to when it comes to the standard Android user. For example, you need to allow almost every single app you install to run in the background, and show you notifications. While this works great to save battery life, simple apps such as email and instant media such as Twitter and Instagram may suffer if you do not go in the settings and change that. Other than that, one of the biggest issues to deal with here is the fact that there is no App Drawer, and though folders are easily usable to hide any apps you don’t really want to see, it can still be bit of a jump for the average Android user. However, if you have or are already EMUI, there shouldn’t be too much of a jump, and there are plenty of videos and articles about EMUI out there to help the user.
However, for me, it is definitely something that goes more as a negative rather than a positive for me when it comes to this phone.
While you can always install a launcher to make it look like stock Android, EMUI hides and alters the settings menu, making it a bit difficult to chop and change things as needed.
Dual SIM and Micro SD slot
I really like this. Most phones with Dual SIM slot need you to sacrifice one of the SIM slots if you want to put in a Micro SD card. This one works around this.
In fact, you have a Nano SIM slot, a Micro SIM slot, AND a Micro SD card slot. The three slots mean you can have all three going at the same time, and either of the two SIMs can go up to 4G. However, only one can run data at a time, but that is pretty standard for any Dual SIM phone.
The original review unit that was only handed to us for about a day, and in that day we set the phone up, played with it as much as possible, and in about 4 hours it jumped to about 70% from a 100%. This included downloading most of the apps I use on a daily basis, setting them up, and taking a lot of photos. A few hours of playing game, struggling with Twitter, as well as the other usual stuff.
However, later that day we were told we could take the units home with us, so I got a better chance to use it as a daily phone.
The performance was reasonable, being around the 30% mark near the end of the day on my average use.
More information on the Honor 5x can be found on the Honor website:
It is available from VMall.EU at £189.99, and will be available on the likes of Amazon and Three UK soon.
For under £200, this is a lot of phone to buy. I am not a big fan of EMUI, but with all the bells and whistles put together, this is definitely one of the best phones you can buy. The design and the features offered by the fingerprint sensor mean that I am happily able to overlook any frustration I may have due to EMUI.