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HONOR 5X hands-on and first impressions

The new HONOR 5X just went on sale in the US for just $200. Wondering what this new device is all about? We've gotten some hands-on time with the smartphone, so let's see what it's all about!

Published onJanuary 6, 2016

CES 2016 has been quite busy thus far, and we’ve already seen tons of interesting new gadgets that have us pretty interested. One of the most exciting announcements from the trade show is that HONOR is finally planning on breaking into the U.S. market with the HONOR 5X. This is particularly big news, since up until now, the China-based smartphone manufacturer hasn’t yet sold any of its devices directly in the US. Rather, interested folks have needed to import Huawei or HONOR smartphones through third parties, which can be a bit pricey at times. Thankfully US residents have no need to go through this process any more.

So what does the HONOR 5X bring to the table? We’ve just gone hands-on with the device, and we’re ready to give you our first impressions. Without any further ado, here is our first look at the HONOR 5X.

If you’re at all familiar with the general design of HONOR devices, you actually might be a tad surprised here. The HONOR 5X sports a metal body that feels quite premium in the hand. Around front you’ll find a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display that comes in at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It’s not often that we see smartphones at this price point sport Full HD displays, so we’re happy this HONOR device comes with a slightly higher resolution display than the rest of the pack. And just like the HUAWEI P8, the 5X has small bezels surrounding all parts of the screen.

The fingerprint sensor on the HONOR 5X is a breeze to set up
Around the back you’ll find a 13MP main camera with an f/2.0 aperture that also comes with HUAWEI’s SmartImage 3.0 image processing technology. Directly under the camera sensor there’s a touch-based fingerprint scanner that’s actually pretty easy to set up. We’re happy to see more and more manufacturers include fingerprint recognition on their devices – especially in the budget market. The front camera is a 22mm wide angle 5MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture, four elements blue glass infrared filter and 720p HD video.

The HONOR 5X measures 8.15mm thick and weighs in at 158 grams, which doesn’t make this device extremely light, but it is definitely acceptable for an affordable smartphone. Of course, the added thickness has one bid advantage – more room for a larger battery. The 5X comes with a non-removable 3000mAh unit, which HUAWEI claims can last over a full day for heavy users. On the bottom, the 5X comes with a mono speaker placed inside machine drilled holes. HUAWEI has also chosen not to include USB Type-C on this device, instead going with the standard MicroUSB.

Performance so far is pretty hit-and-miss, though EMUI v3.1 is very promising
It’s all powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor clocked at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. It also comes with 16GB of on-board storage and microSD card expansion up to 128GB. You’ll be able to use two SIM cards in this device as well. And like other Snapdragon 615 devices, the performance thus far is reasonable, though we’ve noticed some minor hiccups when scrolling through the user interface.


Speaking of user interface, the 5X runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with HUAWEI’s EMIU version 3.1 on top. There is a planned upgrade to Marshmallow sometime in the coming months, though we have no details as to when exactly we can expect it to arrive.


5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
TP & LCD full lamination
Operating system
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Octa-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 616
2GB of RAM
Internal Storage
16GB, expandable up to 128GB via microSD
Dual SIM
13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, SmartImage 3.0 image processor, 28mm wide angle lens with flash
5MP front camera with f/2.4 aperture, 22mm wide angle
Mobile Connectivity
GSM 850, WCDMA Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, LTE Bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 17
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4QG
Bluetooth 4.1
microUSB 2.0
GPS, AGPS, Glonass
Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Digital compass
3000mAh, non-removable
151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15mm
Dark Grey, Daybreak Silver, Sunset Gold


Like what you see so far? You can purchase the HONOR 5X from both Amazon for $199.99 in Dark Grey, Daybreak Silver and Sunset Gold color options. We’re really enjoying this device so far, so we’d like to know your thoughts in the comments below and stay tuned as we’ll be updating this post with a hands on video later today.

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