Over the past couple of years, the budget smartphone segment has come up fast and become increasingly popular in emerging markets with acceptable sacrifices on features. It has helped a huge number of the developing population switch to smartphones, which is why such devices are pioneered today by Asian giants like Huawei. We got our first look at the sleek and beautiful Honor 5X at CES and we’ve been playing around with it ever since. There’s a lot to be said about this wonderfully cheap (Dh899) and exquisite device.
The 5X is a mid-range phone with a 5.5-inch LCD screen running at a 1080p resolution that provides a beautiful visual experience. The body is composed of a sleek, diamond-polished aluminium alloy that lends the phone a very polished feel.
The fingerprint sensor is located below the camera at the back of the 5X. It works brilliantly. Huawei boasts a half-second unlock, which it never failed to deliver. Powering all this is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 and an octa-core CPU with 2GB of RAM. You’ve got a 13MP snapper at the back that’s good enough for the average user and a 5MP front camera for selfies.
The internal memory on this phone tops out at 16GB but you can use a microSD card up to 128GB. The hefty 3,000mAh battery took me through the day without requiring a charge after medium to heavy use.
Huawei uses Android’s Lollipop base to create a fairly different OS of its own called the EMUI. It doesn’t have much bloatware, which I appreciate greatly, and the user interface is sleek and provides a good overall experience. Huawei has taken many positive design cues to make the overall OS colourful and friendly. A lot of these come from Apple’s iOS, including the lack of an app drawer — a feature that’s rumoured to become permanent on Android (shudder). The notification drawer and quick-launch tools sliding up from the bottom of the screen are all throwbacks to iOS.
Huawei comes in strongly with a mid-range handset that’s sure to delight its target audience across emerging markets as well as more tech-savvy users who are simply looking for a good device at a great price.