June 20, 2016

Unboxing & Review: Honor 5X

Premium build, Check.
Phablet, Check.
Great display, Check.
Fast fingerprint sensor, Check.
Great battery life, Check.
Great camera, Check.
Sub-RM1000, Check.

If you happen to be looking for a phone that matches all the above criteria, I believe we have the answer for you. Today what we have in our labs is the Honor 5X, read on to find out what makes this a great phablet that doesn't break your bank.

Retails for RM899.00 at Vmall.

Specifications Overview


  • Dimension: 151.3  x  76.3  x  8.2 mm (5.96  x  3  x  0.32 in)
  • Weight: 158 g (5.57oz)
  • SIM: Dual SIM (Nano / Micro)
  • Connectivity:
    • GSM / HSPA / LTE
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.1


  • Size: 5.5 inches
  • Resolution: 1080  x  1920 pixels (~401 ppi) IPS LCD

Under the hood

  • CPU: Qualcomm MSM8939v2 Snapdragon 616, Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: Adreno 405
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB, supporting MicroSD up to 128 GB
  • Battery: Non-removable 3000 mAh Li-Ion


  • Rear:
    • 13.0 MP
    • ƒ/2.0 28mm lens
    • LED flash
    • 1080p@30fps video
  • Front:
    • 5.0 MP
    • ƒ/2.4 22mm lens


  • OS: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (upgradable to Android 6.0, coming soon)
  • UI: Emotion UI 3.1


Honor 5X is rocking their signature baby blue themed packaging with minimalist branding.

The box fits the phone like a glove yet providing sufficient protection to the phone.

We have the gold model of the Honor 5X in our labs. Of course it also comes in white and grey models.

In the box:
  • Honor 5X
  • 3pin USB charger
  • USB cable
  • Product guides and warranty

Design & Hardware

For a 5.5 incher, the Honor 5X is having the size of a standard phablet. While my hands are not I'd called big, but I still manage to hold the phone single handed comfortably, just.... forget about operating it one-handed.

The back aluminium alloy panel is a masterpiece completed with 4 different finishing process:

Aircraft grade aluminium alloy is crafted and diamond polished, followed by a special brushing technique for the consistent brushed finish. The sides are sand-blasted to complement the phone's shiny CNC milled chamfer. The Honor logo is finally laser-etched to produce an understated yet premium feel.

End result? Sleek and premium, not just to the eyes, but to the hands as well. You can't tell this is a sub-RM1000 smartphone.

Rear camera module protrudes out slightly.

That's not really good as you can never have your phone placed flat on surface and you risk scratching the chromed camera housing or worst, the lens. Nevertheless, most of the phones in the market are still having the exact same design despite all the cons.

The fingerprint sensor is strategically placed at the back so that you can unlock the phone when your pull out the phone from your pocket.

One thing worth mentioning is that the scanner is absolutely accurate and fast. With just 6 touch registration, it is able to recognize the fingerprint and unlocks the device in 0.5 seconds!

Sensors and front 5 MP camera.

SIM slot and memory card slot at the top left.

Power button and volume rocker at the right.

The power button is textured differently from the volume rocker.

There's only single speaker at the bottom despite the double grill design.

Microphone at the left while speaker at the right.


1080p full HD display has become quite a norm nowadays even for a mid-ranged phones.

The 5.5 inch IPS panel renders the colour accurately and the viewing angle is absolutely great.


The rear camera comes with a decent 13MP sensor coupled with a reasonably wide angle lens. At f/2.0 aperture, the lens is bright enough for low light shots as well as producing those dreamy out of focus effect.

Although the front camera is only a 5MP shooter, but it took us by surprise with a wide angle lens. At 22mm that is wider than most of the smartphones in the market.


Honor 5X is running Emotion UI (EMUI) 3.1 which is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Overall, the UI does resembles iOS a lot, such as the absent of app drawer and rounded square app icons.

Final Thoughts - Actual Usage Performance & Battery Life

As the 5X is positioned as a mid-ranger, you can't really expect it to perform as well as the flagships or it's brother - Honor 7. The coupling of Snapdragon 615 octa-core SoC and 2GB RAM is more than enough to handle your regular apps with minor stuttering between frames. Hey's that's still better than those low-end phones right?

Battery life is great, at 14 hours of total run time since unplug, I manage to squeeze a total of 4.5 hours of screen on time out of the 3000mAh battery from the 5X. That is achieved without any app optimization.

Of course Android 6.0 Marshmallow is scheduled to release for 5X and we expect it to further improve the overall performance and battery life.

  • Clean & compact packaging
  • Aluminium alloy body design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Dual SIM
  • MicroSD card support
  • Fast and responsive fingerprint scanner
  • Excellent display
  • Great rear camera quality
  • Excellent front camera quality
  • Good performance
  • Great battery life
  • Price

  • Software