Huawei redefines ‘budget’ with the $200 Honor 5X, a sleek metal phone with a fingerprint sensor and a powerful processor.
We all like to dress a little flashy once in a while, and if you’re a shrewd shopper, there’s no need to spend a fortune to look rich. It’s the same with smartphones. Take care with research, and you can pick up a phone that looks the part, performs well, and won’t force you into a long-term contract just to make it affordable. The Huawei Honor 5X is an excellent case in point. It looks fantastic and refuses to compromise on power, all for a surprisingly low price. We’ve spent a couple of days with the phone.
Honor is a spin-off brand of Huawei, producing devices that will attract younger buyers. Making the resulting phones stylish and not charging very much for the devices is its strategy, and it’s a good one. The Honor 5X has a metal chassis with a cool, high-tech-looking brushed metal effect finish on the rear panel. The phone’s quite chunky, with flat sides blending comfortably into the back of the phone. The 5.5-inch screen has a pronounced border, and there are two plastic end panels ensuring the antenna functions correctly. Unlike the ZTE Axon Elite, these sections aren’t very flashy, and they have a subtle mottled effect.
In the looks department, the Honor 5X is a winner, particularly considering that it costs a mere $200 without a contract. However, does that mean the performance suffers? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Android 5.1.1 is installed with Huawei’s EMUI 3.1 user interface over the top, which separates it from Google’s untouched version of
It’s not unpleasant to use, but it’s not quite as feature packed or as smooth and fast as EMUI version 4.1, which is found on the Huawei P9 and the newer Honor 5C. It’s also a shame
Gamers will be pleased
An octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of
Bullet-hell shooter Danmaku Unlimited often challenges slow phones with its HD mode activated, but even on the graphically dense Hard setting, the Honor 5X displayed very little slowdown, and the game remained perfectly playable. It’s a definite plus for a phone that costs so little. The screen is also attractive, bright, and easy on the eyes with its 1080p resolution.
It’s more than fast enough for everyday tasks, including navigation, and also coped with gaming well.
Where the Honor 5X’s low price does affect things is when we get to the camera. It has 13-megapixels and an array of different modes, such as a panorama setting,
We tried the Honor 5X right before using the Honor 5C, and the comparison is an interesting one. The Honor 5C costs slightly less, and we preferred the design, shape, and size of the 5C over the 5X. It’s the fingerprint sensor that will motivate you to spend a little more on the 5X, but be aware the phone doesn’t have
For $200, the Honor 5X is definitely a bargain. It’s $30 less than the top-spec Motorola Moto G4, our current favorite budget
- Great design
- Bright, Full HD screen
- Strong processor
- Expandable memory
- No Android Pay
- Camera is only average
- Software is out of date
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