Huawei Honor 5X is the new kid in the budget smartphone market. Honor 5X has a lot of rivals to beat and we really want to know how does it compete against the rest of the pack. So we got ourselves a trial unit. Before we got into the real review, which will be coming up real soon, here’s the unboxing experience and our first thought after some real hands-on time.

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Typical Honor Box

Honor phones always come in the blue box with the brand name printed on it. So the Honor 5X is no exception. The packaging is simple and serves its purpose. Both sides of the box are sealed with two pieces of white tapes. This will tell you whether the unit you received has been opened up before or not.

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Lifting up the box will reveal the phone wrapped in a piece of plastic. You can find the warranty documents, user manual, the SIM ejection pin and the other included accessories under the phone. The standard 5V-1A charging adaptor and an USB cable are provided. Too bad there are no fast-charging adaptor or any pair of earphones provided.

The Phone

Coming back to the phone, we have our Silver Honor 5X over here. A piece of screen protector has been applied on the front of the phone right out of the box. This is actually quite thoughtful as most people are buying the Honor phones via the Internet and it is too challenging for most people to apply the screen protector by themselves. Thumbs up to Huawei over this! If you want better protection from the tempered glass screen protector or you prefer to leave your phone naked, you can remove it anyway.

The back of the phone is covered with a piece of plastic with the positions of the ports and buttons labelled. It also shows your IMEI number as well. After peeling it off, you can now lay your fingers on the metallic body. Personally, I always prefer metal over other materials, even though I fully understood that it is not perfect. The very first time I hold the phone, I can feel that it is really well-built and it feels really sturdy in hand. This is the reason why I am so fond over metal phones.

Unlike most of the metal phones, the Honor 5X is not slippery at all. The chamfered edges at the back also help with the grip. The brushed metal finish, while looking good, might help to hide some minor scratches. The top and the bottom of the back are actually made of plastic, probably to place the antenna and to save some cost as well. Luckily, these are the parts that you are not holding frequently while using the phone, so the experience is still good.

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You can find the metal buttons on the right hand side. The power button and the volume rocker are tactile. The speaker, micro-USB port and the microphone are at the bottom of the phone and the audio jack is placed on top. There are 2 slots on the left of the phone. The upper slot houses a micro-SIM card and the second slot carries a nano-SIM card and a micro-SD card. This means that you can have dual-SIM and micro-SD expansion simultanouesly. The front of the phone looks really plain in comparison to the back. The majority of the front is taken from the screen, which is good to keep the footprint smaller. There are no physical buttons so the empty bottom chin looks a little weird.

Powering it up!

Up until this moment, I really liked what I saw. The moment I turned on the screen, I saw something I really don’t like. The black border around the display is way too thick to be ignored. I understood that it came with the panel. However, I am not a big fan of the way that Huawei tried to hide the real bezel size by minimizing the white part. I shall see if it will go out of my sight after some time.

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Luckily, the 1080p display looked nice and crisp. The phone seems to be running quite smoothly as well after the initial set up. Huawei’s EMUI is a heavy Android skin over the Android Lollipop 5.1.1 and the cartoonish icons are not really my cup of tea. Hopefully the skin will not affect the performance. The Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 616 is quite uncommon yet so we are not really sure what to expect here yet.  We have to put the phone into some tests before we can tell how well it can perform. Here’s the specifications list:

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Fingerprint Scanner

In case you miss it from the specification list, the Honor 5X has a fingerprint scanner on its back. I really amazed that fingerprint scanner is becoming a common feature among budget devices now. It is a touch-based scanner. Having it on the rear means that you can reach it with your index finger easily if you hold the Honor 5X up. However, the scanner is a little low for me as my index finger will lay between the rear camera and the scanner naturally. I guess I can get used to it after some time.

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You just need 5 taps per finger to set it up, which is remarkably convenient. The best part about it is that the accuracy does not seem to be affected by the simple set-up steps. Again, we will see if the fingerprint scanner can perform well over the time.

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So far, so good

In overall, the first impression of the phone is greatly positive, saved for the hideous black border around the display. The Honor 5X really has to thank to its metallic body for that. I shall see if I will change my thoughts or not after the honey-moon period is over. Of course, this is a very brief post and we cannot cover everything here. So stay tuned for our full review!!