Huawei Honor 5X Review: Good Looks & Battery, Rest a Mixed Bag!
Mid-range smartphone segment is a pretty crowded one right now. Most smartphones launched in this segment are priced between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 range. Huawei Honor 5X made it’s entry into this segment earlier this year. At Rs. 12,999, it is firmly in middle of the pack as far as the pricing is concerned.
Honor 5X is a dual SIM phone supporting 4G LTE and comes with a dedicated SIM #2 slot. So if you are looking forward to buying a mid-range Android phone packing a large 5.5 inch full-HD display, along with a decent camera combo and good performance then you should read this review.
Design & Display
Let’s be realistic, at this price tag don’t expect Honor 5X to make heads turn, but it does sport a decent look. The phone has a brushed metal back featuring the ‘Honor’ logo at the bottom while the camera and the fingerprint scanner are located at the top. The LED flash and the fingerprint scanner are embellished by a diamond-cut bezel.
The phone has two loudspeaker grilles at the bottom, but it doesn’t have a stereo speaker setup. The right side houses the SIM slots and the microSD card slots while the top has headphone jack and the secondary mic for noise cancellation. The right side has the regular setup of power button and volume rocker.
Honor 5X boasts a 5.5 inch IPS LCD full HD display. I have been using the phone without any screen protection and still there aren’t any scratches on the display. The display is bright enough and the auto-brightness works great to make it legible under direct sunlight.
Sometimes I felt that the auto-brightness was working overtime as it brightened up the display even when I didn’t need it to, but we can bear with that by turning it off in dim lighting.
OS, Memory, and Storage
The phone runs on Android Lollipop 5.1.1 having Huawei’s own EMUI 3.1 atop. Huawei has already announced that the Honor 5X would receive Android 6.0 aka Marshmallow.
A good thing about Huawei Honor 5x is that it doesn’t come preinstalled with any bloatware apps. Huawei has added only a few basic apps like Mirror, Magnifier, Torch, Notepad, Updater, and a Backup app.
The phone is equipped with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM, and supports expandable memory up to 256 GB via microSD card. You won’t run out of RAM if you are not a hardcore user.
The phone runs on Snapdragon 616 octa-core chip and is supplemented by 2 GB RAM for multi-tasking. This is more than enough for basic usage. The phone runs smooth and the apps open pretty quickly. However, I noticed lags in the UI at some places. These lags won’t affect your usage, but indicate that there is still scope for software improvement.
You can live with the minor lags here and there while using the phone, but what you can’t live with is the poor cellular network connectivity of the phone. My unit that I used has average reception but it just can’t latch on to the network (Reliance GSM) again after losing it due to coverage issues.
At first I thought that it might be issue with the network as the Reliance is on the verge of launching 4G network, but my 7 year-old feature phone had no problem latching on to the same network. A quick fix is to change the power profile of the phone to ‘Normal’ instead of ‘Smart’ which is selected by default.
There were times when I couldn’t make some important calls and couldn’t access the internet because the phone had no network even in the middle of the city!
The 13 MP rear camera on the Huawei 5X can capture a decent level of details in bright daylight and above average image in low light. The same is true for its 5 MP front shooter. However, the white balance was slightly off the mark and so is the colour saturation.
The stock camera has various settings to tweak the camera output as per user preference. This will take care of the saturation but sadly there is no fix for the white balance.
Huawei Honor 5X is a winner in terms of the battery backup. I used the phone for more than 10 days on a 2G network and never turned off the data. The result was a consistent battery backup for more than a day. This involved WiFi and 2G usage, and occasional gaming. I never really turned the data off. Keeping that in mind, we can conclude this phone will last you a day of medium to heavy usage.
Huawei Honor 5X is a mixed bag of cookies. It has great looks thanks to its diamond cut finish at the sides and a metal back. The fingerprint scanner works seamlessly, but we wished that it covered a larger area of our fingers for scanning purposes. It offers good performance with a few lags, a full HD display discernable in direct sunlight, packs a decent camera, and offers very good battery backup.
If you are looking for a full HD display phone offering decent performance along with a day’s of battery backup, then this is it.