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Huawei Honor 5X review: Good, no-fuss phone

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The Good The Honor 5X has a nice metal build, accurate fingerprint reader and lots of expandable storage. It's much cheaper than almost-identical Huawei GX8.

The Bad There's minimal internal storage space, and some minor camera flaws with color and focus.

The Bottom Line Huawei's Honor 5X is a great deal for budget-phone seekers.

The world of low-cost phones is a world of compromise, but Huawei does a pretty darn good job making its Honor 5X a usable phone with a mix of high- and low-end features (see specs chart below). You'll still run into flaws here and there in the camera's photo quality and processing speeds, but compared to other phones in its category, the 5X is a more than decent buy.

One of the Honor 5X's best assets is the fingerprint reader on its back, which is accurate and easy to use. The phone is also more attractive than you'd expect for its $200 price tag, which converts to about £135 and AU$275. Handling its formidable 5.5-inch metal build can be clumsy, but no more so than other phones of its size.

Don't let the Honor 5X's Android 5.1 software turn you off (we're not sure about Huawei's Android 6.0 upgrade plans), nor Huawei's custom Emotion UI interface that's laid out more like Apple's iPhone than purists would like (there's no app tray, just home screens populated by folders and apps). You'll soon catch on, and besides, you can experiment with the extra software options, like gestures, various visual themes and one-handed use, that are now standard Huawei fare.

Here's where the 5X tripped up most. Camera specs sound good on paper and on the whole images look colorful and bright, though not as sharp or detailed as other phones'. It also struggled to crisply focus on people. Selfies likewise appear soft and cast a blue-grey wash on images taken indoors. The 5X's lower-end processor is common for phones in this range and mostly gets you what you need, but sharp-eyed gamers may note a dip in speed. Also, storage space is on the smaller side, but you'll be able to expand it with a microSD card if you run out of room.

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