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Honor 5X review: A great example of how to cut cost without cutting corners

Florence Ion | Jan. 20, 2016
Huawei's Millennial phone packs all the essentials: long battery life, capable camera, premium body, and lots of slots!

Honor 5x
Credit: Florence Ion

If you’re choosing an affordable phone, you want something with all the basics: a little style, enough processing power to play your favorite casual games, a capable camera, and battery life that can get you through the day.

The Honor 5X offers all of these things for a measly $199. That’s a hell of a deal, but it comes with a few compromises. What’s more: Honor is supposed to be Huawei’s cooler, hipper brand that’s meant for a younger crowd, but it might take more than what the 5X is offering to turn those millennials into repeat customers.

It looks like it should cost more

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The back is all brushed aluminum metal.  Credit: Florence Ion

When I think of the Honor brand and how it relates to Huawei, I think of the difference between buying a knockoff dress at H&M and purchasing the real thing at Bloomingdale’s. The quality garment from the department store certainly looks and feels the best overall, but its exorbitant price point is not usually worth the splurge. And no one will really be able to tell how much you spent on your clothes, anyway.

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The rear-facing camera lens pops out a bit. Credit: Florence Ion 

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It’s light, but not flimsy. Credit: Florence Ion

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Hey Millennial: does this look like a phone that would sit on your table? Credit: Florence Ion

That’s how I feel about the Honor 5X. It’s a relatively attractive device, and though it doesn’t feel as preened and polished as HTC’s One A9, for example, it has all the finishing of a high-end device: a brushed aluminum backside, pearl white trim around the edges (it’s available in black and gold, too), and a ridged power button and volume rocker on the left-hand side. It also offers dual SIM slots—one nanoSIM and one MicroSIM—and a MicroSD expansion slot, so you can store your music, movies, and photos without worrying too much about taking up space.

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What’s more worth it: NFC or a rear fingerprint scanner?  Credit: Florence Ion

There’s also a rear-facing fingerprint sensor that’s just as quick as the Nexus 6P’s, which you won’t typically find on phones in this price range. However, the 5X is missing a few other smartphone staples, like NFC and wireless charging. You shouldn’t expect to have it all for $200, but I feel like millennials will want to at least unlock a phone with their fingers and use it to pay for things.

 

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