Huawei is no stranger to well-rounded smartphones for a wallet friendly price. The company has introduced its first smartphone under its Honor brand - the Honor 5X, for the U.S. market at CES 2016. The smartphone was first launched in China last year, and the global variant was then unveiled at CES last month.
The smartphone will land in the Indian smartphone market on January 28. Consequently, the launch of Honor 5x happening less than a year after the launch its predecessor Honor 4X. We have spent some time with the new smartphone and here are our first impressions.
The Honor 5X looks and feels impressive from the moment we started using it. With the thickness of 8.15mm, the handset is sleek and the aluminum body construction with aerospace-grade diamond-polished and chamfered edges feels quite premium as well. The brushed metal finish at the back of the device also ensures to get a decent grip and there is no worry about the device slipping out of the palms.
The usual array of buttons including the power and volume rockers are arranged along the right side of the phone. On the left-hand side, you will find dual-SIM slot and a microSD card slot. Unlike other mid-ranged smartphones featuring a hybrid SIM slot, Honor has setup three separate slots: two for the SIM card and one for the microsSD card. On the back, you will see 13 megapixel camera along with dual-LED dual tone flash and there is also a fingerprint reader below the rear camera.
However, there are few downsides of the smartphone, it feels nice and durable while holding and quite lightweight, but the metal design doesn't feel like an extremely premium smartphone. The smartphone appears to have taken design cues from the Huawei Mate 8 and the Nexus 6P, with diamond-polished aluminum alloy body.
The Honor 5X sports a 5.5 inch IPS LCD display technology with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels of resolution. The display has 72.2 percent screen-to-body ratio. Carrying the 5.5 inch screen the smartphone does not feel phablet-sized or too big at any point.
The display seemed bright enough while using for a quite the device for a quite some time. How will it suits it in everyday life will only become clear once we do the full review of the Honor 5X. There was no complaints about the screen sharpness and clarity.
The display resolution is impressive with greater than 400ppi pixel density, and the saturation levels appeared well-balanced. There is no doubt that it is an excellent display, in the absence of a direct comparison with the other smartphones out in the market.
Under the hood, the smartphone is packed with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor at a clock speed of quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 paired with Adreno 405 GPU.
The handset is available in two variants differentiated by RAM capacity: 2GB and 3GB of RAM, both variants have 16GB of internal storage. There is also a microSD card slot that can further expand the storage up to 128GB.
The CPU is the same as found in the Moto X Play. During our usage, performance of the device was smooth without any lags or hiccups. Unfortunately, while using Wi-Fi, the device actually froze temporarily on several occasions in certain circumstances of multitasking.
However, judging the performance from the first test will be too harsh. A final performance test will be provided at our full review.
One of the talking features in the smartphone is its fingerprint scanner placed at the back, which is claimed to read the biometric data in half a second. The company calls it as Fingerprint Identification 2.0 technology, which not only unlock the device but also keeps learning every time for better accuracy while using the fingerprint reader.
In addition to unlocking the device, it can also be used to lock apps and files. The fingerprint reader can record up to 5 finger prints. It can reader accepts 360 degree impressions, and can be used with wet hands as well.
On the camera front, the smartphone is equipped with a 13 megapixel camera on the back featuring a dual-LED dual tone flash with f/2.0 aperture, and there is a 5 megapixel selfie camera with wide angle lens.
The camera app comes with bunch of shooting modes like Good Food, Time-lapse, Beauty and more. There is also a slow motion video recording at 120fps and a perfect selfie mode among others.
The camera performance found to be decent under ambient lighting condition, however we will provide sample shots and full camera performance report in our full review.
On the software front, runs on Android Lollipop wrapped under EMUI 3.1. The user interface offers number of energy saving features that take care of power-hungry background apps. The same feature helped the Honor 7 to achieve some remarkably good standby time and it is expected to have the same effectiveness on the Honor 5X.
The Honor 5X is packed with 3,000mAh battery that the company claims to provide more than a day battery life. Further, the battery is packed with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0, which is claimed to charge from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
The handset has a great looks with its metal construction and could be a very exciting smartphone in the mid-range price segment. Meanwhile, the company has also promised an aggressive price tag. The handset was priced at $199 and in the Indian market the handset is expected to be priced around Rs. 13,500. At this price point the Honor 5X will be a direct competition for the latest smartphones by its Chinese rival such as Lenovo K4 Note and LeEco Le 1s.
On the other side, the weak spot of the Honor 5X is the Snapdragon 615 processor, but considering the mid-range smartphone segment the processor does a great job. However, judging the performance from the first test will be too harsh. A final performance test will be provided at our full review.