HONOR X5 Plus Review: Before You Buy

The HONOR X5 Plus is the most affordable device from the recently released trio of smartphones. It debuted alongside the HONOR X6a and the HONOR 90 Lite 5G. The handset is only priced at Php 5,990; and it seems like this stunner is going to give good value to prospective buyers with its decent specs and refreshing design.

HONOR X5 Plus Review

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HONOR X5 Plus Review

I have used this smartphone for several weeks now and if you're keen on looking for an entry-level phone which could easily last more than a day of use and has great design, I bet you're on the right page. Join me in this review of the HONOR X5 Plus.


  • Stylish design
  • Decent camera capability
  • Long battery life
  • Affordable price


  • Low display sampling rate
  • Display lacks brightness


HONOR X5 Plus Review: Design

The HONOR X5 Plus' design is something you'd never expect for a sub Php 6K phone; it has a solid construction with simple yet premium-looking aesthetics. You'll have a choice between two colors: Cyan Lake and Midnight Black. We got the Cyan Lake for our review unit which has a matte finish. This also allows the back panel to be effective in negating fingerprints.

The panel has these sandblasted "nano-crystals" which give diffused light effects when viewed at certain angles. Even though it's made of plastic, the rear panel has a sturdy build which is significantly better than it competitors.

Just like the HONOR X6a, this smartphone has a flat-edge and rounded corners. However, the X5 Plus has more subtle curves to where the back panel and the plastic frame meet; this adds the feeling of comfort in the hand and also secures the device's grip.

Camera Module

The camera module is marked by a glossy square section, which is distinguishable from the overall texture of the back panel. There are two equally-sized lens enclosures with their shiny greenish-blue accents. One of which frames the secondary sensor and the LED flash. I like the implementation of these rear cameras, removing the traditional protruding camera module to give it a more modern and minimalist appearance.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Design

Ports and Buttons

We have volume rocker and power button (that doubles as a fingerprint scanner) on the right side; SIM tray and secondary mic are on the top side, and the 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grille are all housed at the bottom.

Front Panel: Waterdrop design

We still have the aging waterdrop design on the front panel which houses the front camera. The display is also framed by thick bezels, and comes with a sizeable chin. To be specific, the device measures 163.32 x 75.07 x 8.35mm which fits comfortably in my pocket. It also weighs approximately 188 grams, which is just enough weight for a typical smartphone with a large battery.

Overall, this design proves highly practical for a budget-friendly phone. The build is solid; and while it does feature a waterdrop notch and slightly thick bezels, I don't find any other aspects of the design worth complaining about. Moreover, when comparing it to the X6a, I tend to lean towards the HONOR X5 Plus in terms of its overall design.


HONOR X5 Plus Review: Display Performance

In the display department, the HONOR X5 Plus sports a 6.56-inch TFT LCD display with 20.15:9 aspect ratio. Additionally, the screen comes with 1612 x 720p HD+ resolution and 269 ppi pixel density.

90Hz Refresh Rate in an Entry-Level Phone

The display is quite what you'd expect for an entry-level panel except that it features a 90Hz dynamic refresh rate. Although you can still force the phone to run with 90Hz or just 60Hz with the high and standard settings.

The 90Hz refresh rate is fancy; but to fully appreciate it, you need to pair it with a fast sampling rate. For the uninitiated, the sampling rate is the number of times the display refreshes itself to register a user's touch input. This implies that the higher the sampling rate, the more responsive the display becomes. In the case of the HONOR X5 Plus, the smooth UI perception occurs after the panel registers the touch input. However, there are numerous occasions when I encountered delays in the phone's response to my input. Sadly, this undermines the intention of providing a smoother UI experience.

Display Quality

Using the phone indoors, I could tell that the display is of good quality. It has good color reproduction, with just the right amount of contrast and saturation. I keep wanting for more brightness though, especially when I use the phone outdoors. Additionally, using the device in broad daylight poses quite a challenge, even when it is in the brightest settings.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Display Brightness
Display in an Outdoor Setting

Eye-Caring Features

The screen also boasts the dynamic dimming feature which smartly adjusts settings to enhance user's eye comfort while efficiently managing power consumption. Additionally, there is a number of eye-caring features in this phone like the Eye Comfort for filtering out blue light. It also offers eBook Mode, Dark Mode, Color Temperature settings, and more.

Overall, the 90Hz refresh rate is a standout feature in this segment, which I love. However it should have been complemented by a responsive panel with a high sampling rate. The large display is great for content consumption; but brightness is not sufficient enough for outdoor use.


Under the hood, the HONOR X5 Plus ticks with the MediaTek Helio G36 which is fabricated using a 12-nanometer process. The chipset has an octa-core CPU with 4x Cortex-A53 clocked at 2.2GHz and 4x Cortex-A53 up to 1.6GHz.

This chipset is coupled by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage which is quite a standard capacity in this segment. Moreover, X5 Plus takes advantage of the HONOR RAM Turbo to expand RAM as needed. The phone also supports storage expansion of up to 1TB via microSD card should users require more space for their files.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Geekbench 6 CPU Benchmark Test

In our Geekbench 6 CPU Benchmark test, the device scored:

  • 186 single-core score;
  • 826 multi-core score.

These scores suggest that while the device may not be a powerhouse in this segment, it is capable of handling everyday tasks, providing smooth experience for basic functions like web browsing, social media, and messaging. In addition, the phone can handle multitasking to a reasonable extent. It might struggle with resource-intensive applications, but for common tasks, it should perform well.

HONOR X5 Plus supports dual SIM functionality and 4G networks for user's internet connectivity needs. Thus, this could be a good companion for students who need to connect to the internet every now and then. You can also answer calls while using LTE, thanks to its VoLTE feature.


HONOR X5 Plus Review: Gaming Test Mobile Legends

Gaming with the HONOR X5 Plus is such a passable experience with the chipset supporting entry-level gaming thru HyperEngine 2.0. I played the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang with the phone and the experience does not deviate from the one I had with the HONOR X6a. 

You still have to settle with the minimum settings - Low Frame Rate and Smooth Graphics - to have a "playable" experience, although I still experienced multiple hiccups and frame drops while gaming. Playing casual games like Candy Crush won't have issues with this device.

I tried streaming my current favorite series (Loki Season 2) in Disney Plus, and the whole experience did not register well. For one, the mono speaker lacks bass and proper highs. Although I should commend its loudness where I could definitely watch the show by just using the loudspeaker. It's the same story when I'm watching YouTube videos. All in all, you can still enjoy consuming content as long as you manage your expectations.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Streaming
Streaming in Disney Plus

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Watching YouTube Videos
Watching YouTube Videos


The HONOR X5 Plus employs a dual camera setup which is defined by the 50MP f/1.8 primary sensor. This is coupled by a depth camera with f/2.4 aperture. The front camera sensor is rated with 5MP with f/2.2 aperture. I like the idea that this phone has a very straightforward camera system; this is also one of the reasons why HONOR has managed to push the price of this phone at sub Php 6,000.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Camera Performance

I tried shooting photos in optimal condition and I was surprised to capture decent photos with good contrast, details, and color accuracy. Surprisingly, the phone's dynamic range, while not exceptional, is acceptable for an entry-level device. However, the details drop with shots taken in challenging lighting conditions. Colors also become muted with the buildup of noise.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Daylight Outdoor Shot
Sample Shot in Daylight

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Main Camera Photos
Main Camera Sample Photos

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Optimal Lighting vs Low-light Camera Shots
Optimal lighting vs Low-light

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Indoor Low-light Camera Shot
Indoor low-light

Meanwhile, the front camera can shoot pleasing social media selfies. It also supports 10-level beautification and bokeh effect. AI photography is available within the camera app. The HONOR Lens feature can also read QR codes when needed. On top of that, there's also a wide variety of filters that you can choose from in the main camera interface.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Sample Selfie Photos
Sample Front Camera Photos

While it may not be a standout feature, it's still worth mentioning that both the rear and front cameras can capture videos at 1080p with a 30fps frame rate. Both do not support video stabilization feature so you have to have very steady hands when recording clips for smoother and clearer video recording.


The HONOR X5 Plus boots with MagicOS 7.1, based on Android 13. If you have used an HONOR device before, the interface would be very familiar. It's easy to get around, and it's something I appreciate from my personal experience. It's convenient to access the Notifications Shade by swiping down from the top left and the Control Center by swiping down from the top right.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Software Review

The skin has sleek, flat logos and a minimalist design. From my time with it, I can say that the toggles are thoughtfully laid out and intuitive. You can also take advantage of the Google Mobile Services and Google Play Store.

The software supports the HONOR Share which is a cross device file exchange system. With this, you can share files wirelessly to computers within your network. It's a feature I've come to appreciate for its practicality. Moreover, the phone's Gesture Support is another highlight. In my time using it, I've found it to be a good alternative to traditional button navigation. This hands-free approach has made using the phone even more enjoyable.

There are also other several useful gesture support in this version of MagicOS that have proven handy. The simple three-finger swipe down allows users to save web pages, which is a function I've found quite useful for research and reference. On top of that, the one-handed gesture mode can be activated by swiping and holding from the bottom of the screen.

While the MagicOS may not be the best skin for Android phones, it still offers plenty of practical and user-friendly features.


There is a huge 5200mAh battery inside the HONOR X5 Plus. Based on my personal experience, this smartphone is capable of lasting a full day or even more with fair to moderate usage.

PCMark Battery Life Test

I tested the HONOR X5 Plus with the PCMark Battery Life Test (conducted with dynamic refresh rate and mid-level settings for volume and brightness), and the smartphone scored 15 hours and 18 minutes. This result positions the HONOR X5 Plus ahead of many smartphones in this benchmark test. It's also worth noting that it narrowly trails the HONOR X6a with 15 hours and 23 minutes in the same test.

Of course, you can employ some power-saving tricks to maximize your device's battery life.

  • Dark Mode reduces power-hungry white pixels.
  • Auto-brightness adapts to your surroundings.
  • Dynamic refresh rate optimizes power consumption by matching display performance to your current needs.
  • Shorter screen timeout conserves power.
  • Power-saving mode to fine-tune settings for extended time and ensure longer connectivity without frequent recharges.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: PCMark Battery Life Benchmark Test

Charging Test

The HONOR X5 Plus only supports 10W charging which makes this handset's battery slow to recharge. In my actual charging test conducted from 02:12 PM to 04:50 PM, a complete recharge tallied a total of 158 minutes or 2 hours and 38 minutes. Details follows:

  • 2:42 PM (30 minutes): 18%
  • 2:57 PM (45 minutes): 30%
  • 3:12 PM (60 minutes): 40%
  • 3:32 PM (80 minutes): 55%
  • 3:52 PM (100 minutes): 69%
  • 4:12 PM (120 minutes): 84%
  • 4:32 PM (140 minutes): 94%
  • 4:50 PM (158 minutes): 100%

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Battery Charging Test

Based on the chart, the HONOR X5 Plus's charging algorithm seems designed for quicker charging at its initial stage, but slows down as it nears full capacity in order to preserve battery health and longevity. The insights are summarized as follows:

  • Within 30 minutes, the battery gets to 18%. This could be due to a quicker charging rate feature at the initial stage designed to provide substantial battery life in short periods.

  • The charging rate seems to slow down after 80 minutes (at 55%). The next 20 minutes only add 14% more, and this trend continues up to 100%. This could be due to the battery protection measures which prevent overheating, and prolong the battery life.

  • The final 6% of the battery takes roughly 18 minutes to charge. This could be due to the use of trickle charging, a common technique to optimize battery health by slowing down charging speed as the battery nears full capacity.

HONOR X5 Plus Review: Should You Buy The HONOR X5 Plus?

Verdict: Should You Buy The HONOR X5 Plus?

The HONOR X5 Plus is in a good spot in terms of pricing. With this, it can either give great value to users or leave them wanting for more. In my opinion, the HONOR X5 Plus presents commendable features in camera performance and battery life; however it's hard to say that it's giving great value with the use of MediaTek Helio G36.

Of course, there's little to complain about this smartphone in this particular segment. But I wish the handset had more muscle for MOBA gaming. The display sampling rate is also an area for improvement. Having said that, the HONOR X5 Plus could still be a great companion due to its camera performance. It also has a stylish design that you'll love to sport in the wild and an impressive battery life.

If you're hard-pressed on buying a smartphone that's under Php 6K, the HONOR X5 Plus could be an option.

Related: HONOR X6a Review: Budget Smartphone with Large Battery and Storage under Php 7,000

What's Inside the Box?

The package of the HONOR X5 Plus comprises of the smartphone unit itself, SIM eject tool, TPU protective case, pre-installed screen protector, 10W adapter, USB type-C cable, and documentation.

Price, Availability

Available in two stunning colors Cyan Lake and Midnight Black, the HONOR X5 Plus is now available for Php 5,990 SRP at any HONOR Experience and Partner Stores or online via Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok Shop.

HONOR X5 Plus Specs

  • 6.56-inch HD+ TFT LCD display, 90Hz
  • MediaTek Helio G36 (12 nm)
  • 2.2GHz Octa-core CPU
  • IMG GE8320 GPU
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB Storage
  • microSD support
  • Dual rear cameras: 50MP f/1.8 main camera + depth f/2.4 camera
  • 5MP f/2.2 front camera
  • Dual SIM (nano)
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz)
  • Bluetooth v5.1
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
  • Type-C, USB 2.0, OTG
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Gravity, Ambient Light, Proximity, Fingerprint sensors
  • MagicOS 7.1, based on Android 13
  • 163.32 x 75.07 x 8.35mm, 188 grams
  • Li-Po 5200 mAh battery with 10W charging
  • Cyan Lake and Midnight Black

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