A Honor Handset 

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Huawei has added to its range of e-brand smartphones with the release of the Honor 5X handset. Described at the launch as being the most affordable premium smartphone of 2016 (admittedly at the time we were just 35 days into the year), the Honor 5X is aimed at the young, stylish and adventurous type of customers.

Huawei Honor 5x
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The Honor 5X, with dimensions of 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2mm (H x W x D) and weighing 158g, is available in a choice of gold, silver or, as in the case of the review unit, grey, is a 5.5-inch smartphone.  As is the standard with such devices, the front of the unit, is dominated by the 5.5-inch Full-HD IPS screen.  This screen is of the capacitive touch screen variety and has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.  I was impressed with the image quality especially when watching videos while relaxing.  Arranged across the top of the screen you will find a light sensor, a front-mounted 5MP camera, featuring an f/2.4 22mm lens, earpiece for calls and a status indicator. 

The Honor 5X is a dual SIM handset allowing for the insertion of a micro and a nano SIM.  However unlike other dual SIM handsets I have looked at, which give you the option of replacing one of the SIM cards with a micro SD card for additional storage, the Honor 5X allows you to add a micro SD card without loosing the functionality of one of the SIM cards.  Situated on the left side of the handset’s body are trays, one holding a micro SIM card while the other will contain a nano SIM card and a user-supplied micro SD card.

Located on the right side of the handset, the usual position for an Honor handset, is the usual arrangement of a volume rocket positioned just above the power button.  A micro USB port for charging the internal battery and linking to a computer is positioned on the bottom of the handset.  If you need to connect a headset then an appropriate 3.5mm jack socket can be found on the top of the Honor 5X.

The rear of the handset has a diamond-polished aluminium back cover.  Here you will find the handset’s main camera which is a 13MP model, with an f/2.0 28mm lens, sitting alongside an LED flash unit.  This camera has autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and panorama.  Along with still images, this camera can capture 1080p video at 30fps.

Located just below the main camera is a frame-free fingerprint sensor that can be used for specific tasks.  In order for this feature to be activated, you will need to create a PIN or password to protect the feature.  You can then set up the fingerprint reader as you train the unit to accept fingerprints by letting the device scan different sections of your fingerprint.  It is possible to assign different fingers to launch specific tasks or features of the handset.

Huawei Honor 5x rear
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Beating at the heart of the Honor 5X is a 1.5GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 616 Octa-core processor, Cortex A53 and an Adreno 405 GPU.  The processor has access to 2GB of RAM.  As standard there is 16GB of storage space of which a heavy chunk is taken up by the Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) operating system and various pre-installed apps, including the Huawei skin placed on top of the Android vanilla software.

Using the support for a micro SD card, you can increase storage up to 128GB for storing your videos and music files for those relaxing moments.  Providing power for this smartphone is a non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery.  In my tests, running continuous video clips, I was able to get a few minutes short of eight hours of use before a request appeared to switch to a special battery saving mode.

Following a 2 to 3 second depress of the power button, the Honor 5X handset requires 35 seconds for the Android 5.1.1 operating system to carry out its house keeping tasks and arrive at the Lock screen.  A sideways swipe brings up the Home screen.  While this 35 second wait is not particular quick, the wait is similar to that I have encountered with other smartphones running Lollipop. 

As mentioned earlier, Huawei continues the company policy of adding its own influence to the underlining Android OS with this Honor 5X model.  You have a choice of the simple standard Home screen appearance or one that makes use of tiles giving access to apps and features.  Numerous Themes, available free of charge, can be downloaded to give the handset a personal look.  Along with certain gestures, motions and voice commands, there is a choice of Aeroplane, Sounds, Restart or Shut Down after pressing the power button.

The Honor 5X comes with a range of sensors.  Including the fingerprint sensor, there is an accelerometer, proximity and compass.  Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP is provided.  There is also support for MMS, email, Push Mail and IM.  The Honor 5X is an attractively looking device that performs reasonable.  Currently priced at £189.99, the Honor 5X can be purchased from various sites including Amazon, Clove, Ebuyer and the Three UK stores.

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