Amazon had its first official “Prime Day” last year, which was said to be a day full of deals that were equal to or better than annual Black Friday deals. However, the first Prime Day was overwhelmingly viewed as a disappointment. I can see why as there weren't a lot of great products featured, but I did get a good deal on some Rubbermaid food storage containers.
When Amazon announced it was holding a second Prime Day, this time with really good deals that a lot of people would be interested in, I wasn’t sure what to think. Of course I was interested – as a Prime Member I didn’t have much to lose if something good popped up or not. But I didn’t really plan on buying anything. The $50 BLU R1 HD with ads seemed like a great deal for the affordable price, and still a good deal even without the ads for $100. Amazon hosted a similar deal for the Moto G4. In fact, both deals are still active. But ultimately, I personally wasn’t interested in either device.
Both of those devices were announced before Prime Day started, but there were still a ton of mystery deals set to arrive on Prime Day. One deal that I saw sparked my interest: a $119 Huawei Honor 5X, which normally goes for $199. With an $80 discount I figured, “Why not?” I have actually never owned a Huawei phone and have read a lot of good things about them, and this phone in particular had a lot of good reviews.
I didn’t set any expectations beforehand. I basically just ordered it and waited for it to come in the mail. I’ve had it for four days now, and I have to say that I’m really impressed with this device for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t look like a $200 phone as it has a very premium feel to it. The aluminum unibody design looks just like high-end flagships following similar design principles, and comes in mostly the same colors as well (Dark Grey, Daybreak Silver, Sunset Gold).
The phone is big with a 5.5-inch display, and despite its large display, the resolution is still good at 1080p with 401 ppi (when I see sub-$200 smartphones, I still think I’m going to get 720p or worse display, so this was a pleasant surprise for me). There’s also a notification LED on the front, as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. On the back you have the 13-megapixel camera and a fingerprint sensor, which has yet to fail recognizing a fingerprint. The Honor 5X comes with 16GB of internal storage, but also supports up to 128GB via microSD. It’s also dual SIM.
Actual performance of the device isn’t bad. It’s not great, either, especially when multitasking between a lot of apps (which can be expected, as you're working with 2GB of RAM). Even without multitasking there’s the occasional stutter. But other times the phone runs buttery smooth. So, ultimately I would say that it’s good for everyday “practical” use like texting, calling, social media, e-mail, video streaming, and games that aren’t graphic intensive.
And for those wondering, you can play Pokémon GO on this device. However, you can’t use your camera to find pokémon because this phone doesn’t have a gyroscope. What happens in this case is that Pokémon GO will prompt you to turn off your augmented reality, and you now have a cartoon background to work with. It looks like this:
I’ve never used Huawei’s Emotion UI before, so using it was foreign to me. Subjectively, it looks clean and really nice. It’s missing an app drawer, which doesn’t bother me too much, but I can imagine it would be bothersome to others. As expected, there was some bloatware installed; some can be uninstalled, others can’t. Some theme changes can be made, but not much. Just icons and wallpapers, mostly. As with any Android, you can always use a different launcher if the stock one doesn’t agree with your style.
The Honor 5X’s 3,000 mAh battery actually performs well, especially if you’re on the “Smart” or “Ultra” Power Plan. There’s also the “Normal” Power Plan, which utilizes your phone’s full potential. Out of the box it’s set to “Smart” for better battery life. Having the phone on Smart for both days, I’ve safely made it through a full day with battery to spare with moderate use.
Cameras are adequate. There’s nothing particularly special about them. For what you’re paying, I would have expected worse, so it’s not a bad thing that it’s basically what you’d expect from a smartphone these days. However, the quality and the amount of customization don’t really go above and beyond or anything to that nature.
Overall, I’m impressed with what you get for the price that you pay – and it was an extra sweet deal on Prime Day. Even without the Prime Day discount, though, I feel like this phone ends up giving you more than your money’s worth, particularly with its recent update to Marshmallow and EMUI 4.0.