Huawei wants to shake up the US mid-range market with the Honor 5X - an all-metal phone with a $200 price tag. Instead of relying on its family connection to the well-loved Nexus 6P, the 5X wants to push the Honor brand and build a name for it.
This is the first Honor to reach the US and it is marketed to millennials who want to express their individuality at an affordable price point. Huawei stressed the "no nonsense" philosophy of the 5X.
"Cool, stylish, and iconic" is how the company describes the Honor 5X. And it does look a lot like the Mate 8 flagship (which isn't coming to the US yet).
It doesn't quite have the fingers-cutting thin bezels around the screen like the Mate, but the Honor 5X houses its 5.5" display with surprisingly small borders for the price class. It's about as wide as an iPhone 6s Plus, noticeably shorter and 1mm thicker. And 34g lighter.
Building the metal chassis is a complex process, but the end result can rival HTC's metal unibodies. It's a stark contrast with the usual plastic bodies of $200 commitment-free phones. And most of those don't have a fingerprint reader.
The one on the Honor 5X can unlock the phone in half a second. Some self-learning tech allows the sensor to get more accurate over time. It can be used to trigger gestures including taking a photo, canceling an alarm and checking the notifications.
This reader is on the back, below the 13MP camera, which offers 1080p video and a F/2.0 28mm wide-angle lens. Huawei added some anti-reflective and infrared-absorbing coatings on the camera's front glass. The selfie camera on the front is wider, 22mm lens, giving you 88° of view.
The 1080p screen is plenty sharp, but the viewing angles are not great. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 615, which is often used in premium mid-rangers. You get 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, no options here, but you can add extra room with a microSD card.
It goes on the same tray as the nanoSIM card, while a second tray can hold a microSIM card. The Huawei Honor 5X is a dual-SIM phone with LTE, but strangely, it misses 5GHz Wi-Fi support (no NFC either).
The phone will run Android 5.1 Lollipop when it launches later this month. Note that it is styled with EMUI 3.1, which may be unfamiliar to US customers - it has bright and colorful icons and no app tray, to name a few differences from stock Android.