HONOR X5 Plus Impressions | HONOR’s new entry-level contender

The X5 Plus should be the most affordable in HONOR's new budget smartphone trio.

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HONOR is set to launch three new budget smartphones in the Philippines, and the HONOR X5 Plus is likely the most affordable of the trio.

The first two phones in HONOR’s new lineup are the 90 Lite 5G, followed by the X6a. While the prices have yet to be officially revealed, it’s pretty much confirmed based on the specs sheet that the X5 Plus will be the most affordable. That’s because this phone is essentially the X6a specs-wise, but with some differences that should make it easier on the wallet.

Of course, while the X6a and X5 Plus are twin phones in many ways, they don’t exactly look alike when viewed from the back. That’s because the X5 Plus has a more sleek color scheme, as well as a dual camera setup that gives it a slightly different look.

Despite the color looking a bit more plain, the shiny finish of the camera module part makes it look just that bit more striking, especially when viewed in certain angles.

Also worth noting is that the HONOR X5 Plus also has flat edges that make it feel nice to grip. Your mileage may vary of course depending on preference, but most users should find this device comfortable to hold and use.

Moving to the front, we have the phone’s 6.56 inch TFT LCD display with a 720p resolution. If you think it looks exactly like the X6a’s screen, then you’re likely right as they both share the same screen based on the specs.

Though this means the X5 Plus’ display also has a 90Hz refresh rate. Again, we don’t have an idea yet regarding the phone’s price, but we expect this to be less than PHP 10k. If that’s indeed the case, then having a 90Hz refresh rate is quite a feat, especially as high refresh rate screens like this are only usually found in mid-range to flagship phones.

For its processor, HONOR went with a Mediatek Helio G36. Again, this is the same as the HONOR X6a, so you should get a similar level of performance between the two.

As for how the Helio G36 holds up today (since it’s not exactly the latest processor out there), we expect it to run popular MOBAs and FPS games decently well at the Medium graphics setting. Though we still need to test the phone out fully before we can give a proper verdict when it comes to gaming performance.

The phone’s SoC is paired with 4GB of RAM — around what you’d expect for a budget phone today. The onboard storage isn’t the biggest at 64GB though. At least, the phone has a microSD card slot so you can add more storage if needed.

For photography, the X5 Plus is kitted with a 50MP f/1.8 main +  2 MP f/2.4 dual rear camera setup as well as a 5 MP f/2.2 front camera. On paper, this is the same as the X6a’s setup, just without the 2MP macro camera.

Given that macro shooters aren’t exactly must-haves for most users, the exclusion of it shouldn’t affect the phone’s photography capabilities. If the X5 Plus is indeed more affordable as we expect it to be, it should make for a good option for those who don’t mind giving up a macro camera for some more savings.

Finally, the phone has a 5200mAh battery. No fast charging here though as this is likely the most affordable of the new HONOR devices. Still, it’s nice to have a large battery as this should make the phone last for a day or more of use with ease.

From what we’ve seen so far, the HONOR X5 Plus is an interesting proposition. It should be the most affordable of the bunch given its specs, though it’s nice to see some of the premium features like the 90Hz screen be retained here.

As this is a budget phone, its price will be key in determining if it’s a must-buy for budget-conscious users. Though we’ll have to wait a bit before we find that out.

HONOR X5 Plus Specs:

  • Mediatek Helio G36 Processor
  • PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6.56 inch TFT LCD display, 90Hz refresh rate, 720 x 1612 resolution
  • 64GB storage (expandable via microSD)
  • 50MP f/1.8 main +  2 MP f/2.4 dual rear camera setup
  • 5 MP f/2.2 front camera
  • 3G, LTE Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, gyro
  • 5200mAh battery
  • Android 13, Magic UI 7.1

The HONOR X5 Plus will be launched in the Philippines September 26, 2023, alongside the X6a and the 90 Lite 5G. More info will be shared on the HONOR Philippines official Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.