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Honor X5 Plus Review: Best Camera Phone Under 15K in Nepal

Pros

  • Impressive camera
  • Stunning design
  • Solid battery life
  • Fingerprint sensor

Cons

  • Mediocre performance
  • Slow charging

Earlier this month, Honor launched an entry-level smartphone in Nepal dubbed the Honor X5 Plus, along with the Honor X6a. Although almost identical in specs, the Honor X5 Plus is priced cheaper than the X6a at Rs. 15,490 for the sole 4/64GB variant.

The phone competes with other entry-level phones like the Redmi 12C and Infinix Hot 30i. Currently, the Redmi 12C sits atop our list of the best phones under Rs. 15,000 in Nepal.

With the launch of the Honor X5 Plus, will it be able to take the throne as the best entry-level phone? Let’s find out in my Honor X5 Plus review.

Honor X5 Plus Specifications

  • Body: 163.32 x 75.07 x 8.35 mm, 188 g
  • SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.56 inches TFT LCD, HD+, 720 x 1612, 90Hz, 20.15:9
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio G36 (12 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: IMG GE8320
  • Memory: 64GB/4GB RAM
  • OS: Android 13, MagicOS 7.1
  • Rear Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
    • 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
    • Video: 1080p@30fps
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, (wide)
    • Video: 1080p@30fps
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5200mAh battery, 10W
  • USB: USB Type-C 2.0, OTG
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, ambient light sensor
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes
  • Colors: Cyan Lake, Midnight Black

Honor X5 Plus Price in Nepal: Rs. 15,490 (4/64GB)

ALSO READ: Honor Mobile Price in Nepal (July 2024 Updated)

Honor X5 Plus Review

Stylish Design

  • 163.32 x 75.07 x 8.35 mm
  • 188 g
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Honor X5 Plus Review
Design

A lot of cool designs are on the rise for entry-level phones in 2023. The same is the case with the Honor X5 Plus. For a phone of just 15.5k, I do not have any complaints.

The plastic back has a frosted glass finish, which does not retain any fingerprint smudges. The back camera area has a shiny rectangular design with a radial effect. This part, however, shows fingerprint smudges at an angle.

The Honor X5 Plus surely looks like a more expensive phone than it really is.

However, once you turn around the phone, you will realize it is indeed an entry-level phone, thanks to the dated waterdrop notch and thick bezels surrounding the display.

As usual, the power and volume buttons are on the right side of the device. The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, which works reliably.

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For charging, there is a USB-C port on the bottom side, alongside the headphone jack, mic, and speaker. The SIM card tray is located on the top side and can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card. However, it’s a hybrid slot, meaning one of the slots can only hold either a SIM or a microSD card.

ALSO READ: Best Mobile Under 15000 in Nepal (July 2024 Updated)

Display

  • 6.56 inches TFT LCD
  • HD+ (720 x 1612 pixels)
  • 90Hz refresh rate
Honor X5 Plus Display
Display

The phone has a 6.56-inch LCD display. It has a refresh rate of 90Hz, which is quite generous for an entry-level phone. Even the display of the Redmi 12C does not support a high refresh rate.

However, the X5 Plus’s display does not feel that smooth. In comparison, it is somewhat smoother than the standard 60Hz display, but still, it is not as fluid as I would like a true 90Hz display to be.

The panel is a typical HD+ TFT LCD one with a waterdrop notch. The display is comparable to other entry-level IPS displays with good viewing angles and colors.

When compared side by side with the Redmi 12C, the Redmi 12C’s display may seem slightly better than the display of the Honor X5 Plus. However, it should not matter much to the general consumer.

Although the viewing angles of both devices are great and the colors do not change, the Honor X5’s display seems dimmer when looked at from an angle, which is not an issue with the Redmi 12C.

Those are nitpicks, though. Although the Redmi 12C may seem slightly better, for general usage, the Honor X5 Plus’s display is equally good.

One issue I found with the Honor X5 Plus is that while watching videos on YouTube, the color and sharpness change when I change the volume with the side button. The same issue was also found on the Honor X6a. Hopefully, Honor will fix this in an update.

Unfortunately, the phone only has Widevine DRM Level 3 (L3) certification. It means that the phone will not be able to play HD playback on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Moving on, the display brightness is sufficient. It is visible in direct sunlight as well. Overall, for an entry-level phone, the display is good.

Performance

  • Mediatek Helio G36 (12 nm)
  • Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • IMG GE8320
  • 64GB/4GB RAM, supports microSDXC

The Honor X5 Plus comes with a MediaTek Helio G36 chipset and 4GB of RAM, along with 64GB of storage.

The processor itself isn’t particularly fast, as confirmed by benchmark scores. Therefore, it’s clear that the phone is not designed for resource-intensive activities.

For a general user who uses only a few lightweight apps, including social media, the phone is sufficient. It can handle these tasks, but you may notice some lag when opening and switching between apps.

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Gaming Test

While you can engage in some light gaming on it, I would advise against using the Honor X5 Plus for playing demanding games like PUBG Mobile.

In PUBG Mobile, the highest settings achievable are “Balanced” graphics and a “Medium” frame rate. Even when reducing the graphics to “Smooth,” the frame rate remains the same at “Medium.”

The gameplay experience is quite unsatisfactory, averaging only 23 frames per second. The game feels excessively choppy, with frequent stutters and frame drops.

And gyro gamers out there, if you’re wondering, no! The Honor X5 Plus does not support a gyroscope.

The Call of Duty is comparatively smoother than the PUBG Mobile. It is at least playable. With “Low” graphics and “High” frame rate, the phone delivered an average of 30fps with some frame drops here and there.

In Free Fire, the graphics can be set to “Ultra,” and resolution and FPS to “High.” The Free Fire was the smoothest among the three. The average frame rate was 30fps, but it was very stable and responsive with fewer frame drops.

Benchmark

Camera

  • Rear Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
    • 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
    • Video: 1080@30fps
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, (wide)
    • Video: 1080@30fps
Honor X5 Plus Camera
Camera

The Honor X5 Plus features two cameras: a 50MP main camera and a 2MP depth sensor.

Main Camera

Surprisingly, the phone captures really good photos, especially considering its price.

The colors appear natural, and despite having a cooler tone, they are pleasing to the eye.

In comparison to the Redmi 12C, you might notice slightly lower detail, but it remains respectable. However, when it comes to color accuracy and dynamic range, the Honor X5 Plus excels and outperforms the Redmi 12C by a significant margin.

Redmi 12C vs Honor X5 Plus

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ALSO READ: Benco V91 Review: Good Design, Bad Camera

Portrait

The portrait mode performs well overall. While there may be a few instances where it struggles to accurately detect complex subject edges, most of the time, the phone is able to produce a convincing blur effect.

When other objects are in proximity to the subject, the phone intelligently identifies them and either refrains from applying blur automatically or gradually applies it based on the object’s distance, resulting in a more natural overall photo.

In a recent review, we also tested the Benco V91 phone, which failed in this aspect by focusing solely on the subject, leading to unnatural portrait shots.

Regarding the overall quality of portrait photos, the skin tone appears good, and the colors remain natural. While occasional instances of washed-out photos may occur, the portrait mode, on the whole, leaves a positive impression.

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Front Camera

The selfies are also of good quality considering the price. Faces are properly exposed, and the skin tone looks good.

The default beauty mode may produce a somewhat unnatural appearance with an overly smoothed face, but you can adjust it to your liking.

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Video

The video quality is also decent; it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

However, the footage is extremely shaky and lacks stability. Nevertheless, the video quality remains satisfactory, with decent detail and sharpness, especially considering the price. The dynamic range, on the other hand, is poor.

Battery Life

  • Non-removable Li-Po 5200mAh battery
  • 10W Charging
Magic OS Battery
Battery

The battery department of the Honor X5 Plus is strong with its unusual 5200mAh battery capacity. A full charge easily delivers 1–2 days of battery life.

However, the charging speed is disappointing, supporting only 10W, which is very slow. It took me around 2.5 hours to fully charge the device from 4% to 100%.

The upside is that it features a USB-C port, a feature lacking in the Redmi 12C.

However, concerning charging speed, both the Honor X5 Plus and the Redmi 12C fall short. The Narzo N53, priced at Rs. 16,000, offers 33W fast charging support.

Software

  • Android 13
  • MagicOS 7.1
Magic OS
Magic OS

Out of the box, the Honor X5 Plus comes with MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13. MagicOS itself is quite good, but due to the phone’s relatively slow performance, the UI navigation feels sluggish. It lacks the responsiveness you might find in, for example, the Redmi 12C.

Nonetheless, MagicOS offers a range of features, including customization. The Yoyo suggestion on the home screen intelligently recommends frequently used apps, which I found helpful.

Additionally, you can take a screenshot by tapping the screen twice or capture a partial screenshot by circling with your knuckle. Accessing multi-window by swiping from the edge and pausing works well, and you can change app icons and themes from the settings.

One notable missing feature is that when adjusting the volume using the buttons, it only controls one type of volume, primarily media control, which handles music, videos, and games by default. In contrast, other operating systems like MIUI allow you to adjust various volume types, including notifications, calls, alarms, and media.

Regarding software support, Honor mentions on its website that the Honor X6a and the Honor X5 Plus will receive quarterly security updates.

What do you think of the Honor X5 Plus review? Let us know in the comments!

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