The HONOR X5 Plus is the latest budget-friendly entry from HONOR in the market. At below PhP 6,000 in the Philippines, it assures a long-lasting smartphone experience thanks to its 5,200mAh battery and low power components. But can it live up to expectations?
HONOR X5 Plus
|Chipset||MediaTek Helio G36|
|Screen||6.56-inch IPS, 1612 x 720, 90Hz|
|OS||Android 13, MagicOS 7.1|
|Rear Camera||50MP f/1.8 Main, 2MP f/2.4 Depth|
|Front Camera||5MP f/2.2|
|Network||Dual-SIM, 4G LTE|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C|
|Battery||5,200mAh, 10W Charging|
|Others||Side-Mounted Fingerprint Scanner|
|Dimensions||163.32 x 75.07 x 8.35mm|
|Colors||Cyan Lake, Midnight Black|
HONOR X5 Plus Review – Unboxing
To keep costs low, the HONOR X5 Plus is packaged in a simple white box. It is bundled with a silicone case, a SIM ejector pin, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a 10W charger. Nothing out of the ordinary to be found here.
Design and Aesthetics
The HONOR X5 Plus is a straightforward smartphone when it comes to design. It has a boxy figure with curved corners while the chassis is made out of plastic. The rear has a two-tone design, most of it has a matte but light-reflective finish while the camera island for its dual cameras is glossy – the latter will attract dust and fingerprints if you don’t have a case.
All of its buttons are placed at the right-hand side with the power button integrating a fingerprint scanner. Logging in via the sensor is fairly quick despite being an entry-level smartphone.
Its SIM card tray is placed at the top with one dedicated SIM and the other a hybrid tray for another SIM card or a MicroSD to expand storage. Placed at the bottom are the grilles for the bottom-firing speaker, a USB-C port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Screen and Audio
At the front is a 6.56-inch 1612 x 720 90Hz IPS display with a teardrop notch for its 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera. The bezels are noticeable but nothing too egregious for this price point. HD+ resolution at this size isn’t particularly sharp but it does the job on regular use. Colors aren’t particularly spectacular as well, though they aren’t drab neither.
Fortunately, brightness is an upside reaching 510.92 cd/m2 which is bright enough to be used outside comfortably. 90Hz is also welcome addition as animations look smoother than regular 60Hz.
- sRGB – 81.70%
- AdobeRGB – 58.90%
- DCI-P3 – 61.50%
- Luminance (Minimum) – 1.93 cd/m2
- Luminance (Maximum) – 510.92 cd/m2
- Gamma – 2.36
- Contrast Ratio – 1895:1
The X5 Plus relies on its bottom-firing speaker for audio. Audio quality is decent for a budget-friendly device. It can get pretty loud at its highest setting but audio becomes muffled at that level. Toning it down at more tolerable levels reveals clear vocals but tight soundstage so some of the nuance in tracks are lost.
Running on the X5 Plus is MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13. Most of the quality-of-life features found on other HONOR devices are present here, though they have changed some things. The notification center and command center are now swiped from the top right and top left, respectively. Frankly, we prefer the double pulldown method on other Android devices, but your mileage may vary.
Large folders return in this generation allowing you to group apps together on a single folder and select them without opening a separate window. A quick and way to organize things.
The UI works well enough but there will be stuttering in some areas especially when loading apps. We think that HONOR needs to develop a separate UI on their entry-level device to cutdown on overhead and improve performance.
HONOR X5 Plus Review – Cameras
HONOR keeps the X5 Plus economical by equipping the X5 Plus with the necessities when it comes to its imaging system. There are two cameras at the back consisting of a 50MP f/1.8 main camera and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor while at the front is a 5MP f/2.2 selfie lens.
The camera app is standard affair as it packs all the standard options including Photo, Video, Portrait, Panorama, Pro, Time-Lapse, Stickers, and HDR among others. Video is limited to 1080p30fps for both the rear and front cameras.
The 50MP f/1.8 main camera takes 12.5MP photos by default and its full resolution can be used by switching to the high-resolution mode on the camera app. Photo quality is surprisingly good for an entry-level smartphone when shooting in daylight or in good lighting. Colors are slightly on the neutral side so photos might look drab at times. They do come out sharp especially at the center but quickly falls off at the sides.
Quality does take a dip at low-light conditions but that’s to be expected in any entry-level smartphones. Colors do still stick on the neutral side of things but it introduces a significant amount of noise on photos to get a proper exposure. Shutter speed also takes a toll so you may need a steady hand to have a stable hand to get good photos at night.
Its 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera is tucked on the screen’s teardrop notch. Performance is quite similar to the main camera albeit with fewer pixels. Photos in good lighting have a neutral color palette with satisfactory detail. Going below optimal lighting conditions will quickly introduce noise and lower the shutter speed.
HONOR X5 Plus Review – Benchmarks
The HONOR X5 Plus runs on the MediaTek Helio G36 platform. It is designed for budget-oriented smartphones similar to the Unisoc Tiger T612 usually found at this price point. The X5 Plus pairs its chipset with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage with the latter being able to be expanded thanks to MicroSD card support.
Benchmark figures aren’t particularly impressive but that’s expected as it is an entry-level device. Running AnTutu yields a number just below 150,000 and PCMark Work 3.0 settles at 5,482.
Gaming performance on the X5 Plus is nothing to write home about. Popular games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will run on the device but framerates will be lacking. With High Graphics, High Framerate, and HD Mode on, the game will average at 32fps with the lowest at 19fps. You may want to run games at lower settings if they can run at all in the first place.
HONOR X5 Plus Review – Battery Life
Battery life is where the HONOR X5 Plus really shines as it packs a 5,200mAh battery – 200mAh more than the average smartphone in this category. When paired with a low power chip like the Helio G36, it’s easy to reach up to 2 days of light use on one charge. Testing it with PCMark Work 3.0 yields more than 19 hours of usage with medium brightness and volume.
The X5 Plus only supports 10W charging so when paired to its 5,200mAh battery, you’re going to be in for a long wait. In our experience, charging it from 1% to 100% will take up to 3 hours.
HONOR X5 Plus Review – Conclusion
The HONOR X5 Plus is decidedly entry-level on all fronts. Performance is just enough to get you by in most basic tasks and some light gaming but don’t expect to play any heavy titles with a steady framerate.
Battery life is one of its redeeming qualities with more than enough juice to last you up to 2 days with conservative use. The cameras are serviceable especially in optimal conditions but temper your expectations if you’re shooting at night.
At PhP 5,490, the HONOR X5 Plus is a cheap and cheerful smartphone to have. If battery life is your main concern and just want an affordable smartphone to get you through the day, then it won’t be a disappointment. For those who need more horsepower, however, better look elsewhere.
HONOR X5 Plus Price and Availability
The HONOR X5 Plus is priced at PhP 5,490 in the Philippines. You can now get it via HONOR’s official Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok stores, as well as HONOR concept stores and authorized retailers nationwide.