The honor 5X (Amazon) is one of the most anticipated smartphones to come out of CES 2016. It offers a 5.5″ full HD display, and a second-generation rim-free fingerprint reader, powered by a Qualcomm octa-core processor underneath its metal alloy body at less than US$220.
The honor 5X (Amazon) comes in 3 colour options, with the Grey and Silver options priced at ~$209 (RM 899), while the Gold model retails at ~$219 (RM 939). However, all three models have the same features and performance.
|Specifications||honor 5X Smartphone|
|Processor Platform||Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 (MSM8939 v2)|
|Processor||4 x ARM Cortex A53 (1.5 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex A53 (1.2 GHz)
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 405|
|Operating System||Android 5.1.1 with EMUI 3.1|
|Display||5.5" IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution (403 ppi pixel density)
- 72.5% screen-to-body ratio
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM|
|Storage||16 GB flash memory
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
|Main Camera||13 MP sensor
f/2.0 lens with LED flash
|Selfie Camera||5 MP sensor
22 mm wide-angle f/2.4 lens
|Dual SIM Capability||Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability
- One MicroSIM slot + One nanoSIM slot
|Connectivity||802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) WiFI
Bluetooth 4.1 (Class 1)
|GPS||GPS / AGPS / GLONASS|
|Fingerprint Sensor||Second-generation, rim-free touch sensor|
|Battery||3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery (non-removable)|
|Chassis||Diamond-polished aluminium alloy body|
|Dimensions||76.3 mm wide
151.3 mm tall
8.15 mm thick
|Weight||158 g (including battery)|
|Available Colours||Sunset Gold / Dark Grey / Daybreak Silver|
We are very fortunate to get our hands on one, and we present to you – our review of the honor 5X smartphone. Let’s get on with it!
Updated @ 2016-04-15 : Added a new Available Memory & Storage section.
Unboxing The honor 5X
The honor 5X (Amazon) comes in a hard aqua-coloured cardboard box, with a security seal on each side. In this video, you will witness our unboxing process and check out each component inside the honor 5X box. Take a look!
Inside, you will find the following items :
- One honor 5X smartphone
- One honor 5X travel charger
- One micro USB cable
- One honor 5X Quick Start Guide
- One Huawei Warranty Card
- One SIM card slot extractor
- One strip of 6 IMEI number stickers
Next Page > Close Look At The honor 5X, Buttons & Slots
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The honor 5X Smartphone
The honor 5X (Amazon) has a large 5.5″ IPS display that covers almost its entire front – with a 72.5% screen-to-body ratio. To achieve that, honor eschewed the use of physical buttons, in favour of virtual on-screen buttons. The honor 5X comes with a screen protector pre-installed. It is not oleophobic and therefore attracts fingerprint smears but you should not remove it because the honor 5X does not come with scratch-resistant glass (e.g. Gorilla Glass).
The back metal chassis comes protected with a plastic film that doubles as an information sheet, with labels and tips. This plastic film has cut-outs for the fingerprint sensor and camera, so you can use the honor 5X without removing it, especially if you intend to fit a case over it.
The honor 5X (Amazon) uses a second-generation rim-free fingerprint sensor. As you have seen in the Initial Setup video, it registers your fingerprint in fewer steps. It is also much faster and more accurate than the previous generation sensor at reading your fingerprint. Once you have used it, it will become second nature to turn on and instantly log into the honor 5X by simply touching the fingerprint sensor.
Although higher-end smartphones are trying to go ridiculously thin, the honor 5X (Amazon) is reasonably thick at 8.15 mm. The slight increase in thickness not only allowed the inclusion of a large 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, as well as an earphone port at the top.
Although not explicitly mentioned, the honor 5X has stereo speakers. The second speaker emits through the left row of ports in the picture above. The right row of ports is for the microphone. The honor 5X still uses a micro USB 2.0 port, instead of the newer reversible USB-C port.
Buttons & Slots
The honor 5X only has two physical buttons, because it uses virtual on-screen Android buttons instead of physical buttons. They are both on the right side – a volume switch and a Power button.
The left side has two slots. The upper slot is for a single micro SIM card. The lower slot fits two cards – a nano SIM card, and a micro SD card. The honor 5X (Amazon) is Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable, and you can use both SIM cards together with a micro SD card.
Next Page > The Initial Setup, Memory & Storage, The Cameras
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The Initial Setup
This video will show you the initial setup process when you power up the honor 5X (Amazon) for the first time. If you do not need to restore a backup, the whole setup process should take about 2.5 minutes. Note how fast it takes to register a fingerprint.
Available Memory & Storage
The honor 5X (Amazon) comes with 2 GB of memory of the LPDDR3 type. The Android OS takes up 467 MB, and the honor pre-loaded apps take up another 344 MB. After accounting for the cached processes, there is only 632 MB of free RAM to use. It would be helpful if honor can cut down on the background apps.
The honor 5X also comes with 16 GB of internal flash storage. This is expandable via a microSD card (up to 128 GB. Fresh out of the box, the honor 5X has just under 10.4 GB of available space (excluding the system files), of which 9.73 GB is free to use.[adrotate banner=”5″]
The main camera has a 13 MP sensor with a f/2.0 lens, supported by a single LED flash. The photos have a maximum resolution of 4160 x 3120 in the 4:3 format. If you prefer a wider format, the honor 5X will do that by cropping the image to 4160 x 2336 (16:9). It is capable of recording video in full HD quality (1080p).
The front camera boasts a 5 MP sensor with a f/2.4 wide-angle lens. It will deliver a maximum photo resolution of 2592 x 1944 in the 4:3 format. Again, a wider 16:9 format will crop that to 2592 x 1456. It will record videos in 720p quality.
For a smartphone in this price category, the honor 5X (Amazon) comes with a pretty decent set of cameras. We will examine its photographic and video recording performance later in the next page.
Next Page > honor 5X Camera & Video Recording Performance
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Camera Performance – Photos
The honor 5X’s main camera has a 13 MP sensor with a fast f/2.0 lens, which allows it to take pretty decent photos in relatively low-light conditions. The photos have a maximum resolution of 4160 x 3120 in the 4:3 format.
honor did not reveal what sensor was used in the honor 5X (Amazon) smartphone, but the pictures we took look like they came from the same Samsung ISOCELL S5K3M2 sensor used in Alcatel Flash 2 smartphone.
The Samsung ISOCELL S5K3M2 is a relatively noisy sensor. If you blow up the picture on a desktop, you can see consistent noise (speckling and artifacts). However, they are only of real concern if you are going to make large prints of these photos.[adrotate banner=”5″]
Camera Performance – Video Recording
The honor 5X (Amazon) can record full HD (1080p) videos. You won’t get any image stabilisation, both optical and electronic, though. Here is a sample video we recorded of a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun.
And this is a sample video taken at an ice skating rink.
The honor 5X (Amazon) did a reasonably good job of controlling the exposure of the subjects in focus, although the bright areas were overexposed. Overall, it was a decent performance for a smartphone at this price point.
Next Page > honor 5X Work, Battery & Recharging Performance
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Work Performance – PCMark
We tested the honor 5X’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.
ZenFone 2 Laser
|Work Performance Score
The honor 5X (Amazon) is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, but all that extra processing power does not matter much when it comes to basic work usage. It is only slightly faster than the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser which uses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor.
Battery Performance – PCMark
We then tested the honor 5X’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.
The honor 5X (Amazon) lasted just over 8.5 hours on the PCMark stress test. This is a stress test that simulates the worst possible workload using work apps. In our real world experience, we had no problem using it for 12-14 hours with light loads, although its battery life dropped to about 6.5 hours while playing games.[adrotate banner=”5″]
Battery Recharging Performance
The honor 5X has a large 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, but it does not have Fast Charging capability. In fact, it only comes with a 5 W travel charger. Even so, it was able to recharge its battery pretty quickly.
Our tests showed that the honor 5X (Amazon) will recharge from 19% to 100% in just over 170 minutes (2 hours 50 minutes).
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Overall Performance – AnTuTu Benchmark
AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.
ZenFone 2 Laser
|– 3D (Garden)||1492||199||8104|
|– 3D (Marooned)||954||175||12475|
|– UX Data Secure||4673||3174||5507|
|– UX Data Process||2438||2040||4392|
|– UX Strategy Games||2698||1507||6948|
|– UX Image Process||2599||1888||3413|
|– UX I/O Performance||3861||1931||3805|
|– CPU Mathematics||2968||2460||7823|
|– CPU Common Use||4696||4114||7585|
|– CPU Multi-Core||6367||4718||9994|
Gaming Performance – 3DMark
We tested the honor 5X’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Extreme test.
ZenFone 2 Laser
|Gaming Score||5543||2686||Maxed out!|
|Graphics Score||5046||2240||Maxed out!|
|Physics Score||8460||8876||Maxed out!|
|Graphics Test 1||27.5 fps||12.6 fps||59.6 fps|
|Graphics Test 2||18.3 fps||7.9 fps||49.6 fps|
|Physics Test||26.9 fps||28.2 fps||39.6 fps|
Our Verdict On The honor 5X
After testing the honor 5X (Amazon), we can see why everyone’s raving about it. The honor 5X doesn’t waste effort on being the thinnest or the lightest. It just delivers a solid set of core features at a very affordable price point.
Large full HD display? Check.
Metal alloy body? Check.
Octa-core processor? Check.
Dual SIM with microSD card expansion? Check.
Decent cameras with 1080p video recording? Check.
It only has one fancy feature – a fingerprint sensor, and honor nailed its implementation. It’s very fast and accurate. In fact, it will become second nature to instantly turn on and log into the honor 5X by simply touching the fingerprint sensor with a registered finger.
We would like to applaud honor’s decision to support both micro and nano SIM cards. This may not seem important to everyone, but this may save a trip to the telco for those who are upgrading from another smartphone. We should also point out that you can use both SIM cards together with a microSD card for extra storage. [adrotate banner=”4″]We also like the large 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. It lasted a solid 8.5 hours of non-stop benchmarking on PCMark. In real world usage, it should have no issues lasting 12-14 hours of non-stop use.
For the next version of the honor 5X, we would like to see a better camera sensor and a dual-tone LED flash. That would allow it to really shine in its photographic capabilities. We would also like it if honor would add scratch-resistant glass protection (with an oleophobic coating).
Overall, the honor 5X (Amazon) is a no-nonsense Android smartphone with a focus on practical features. If you want something that is sleek, not flashy; with only the features that matter, you can’t go wrong with the honor 5X.