Huawei structures its businesses around a core brand – Huawei – and a number of sub brands, such as HiSilicon (the chipset business unit) and Honor (a smartphone division). 2015 was a brilliant year for Huawei in the Android world. The manufacturer released a number of new smartphones, a beautiful Android Wear smartwatch and the flagship Nexus device, the 6P. Huawei’s chipset business, HiSilicon, also announced the Kirin 950 chipset, one of the first new generation System-on-Chips based around the high performance ARM Cortex-A72 processor core. These new products are designed to help Huawei push into the North American market, where traditionally the business has struggled against competitors that already have a foot into the door. We have seen how Huawei are making plans to introduce more and more devices into North America and to this end, Huawei are officially launching the Honor brand starting with the mid-range Honor 5X.
By mid-range, the Honor 5X will have a price tag of $199.99 on both Huawei’s online website and Amazon. The device is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor (there’s no Huawei HiSilicon Kirin chipset here), which is backed up by 2 GB of RAM. The device comes with 16 GB of internal storage. There’s a 1080p resolution, 5.5-inch display and a 13MP rear camera complete with Huawei’s SmartImage 3.0 processor, which is said to help image quality in low light conditions. Selfies are covered by a wide-angle 5MP front camera. The device runs Android 5.1 under Huawei’s EMUI 3.1 software and comes complete with a fingerprint scanner, too. There’s a 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery under a “diamond polished aluminum alloy” body. We’ve no word when Huawei may release Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the device, but otherwise these specifications are very much classic mid-range.
It will be interesting to see how well the Honor 5X sells when released at the end of the month. The North American cell ‘phone market is changing with carriers ditching conventional contracts and more and more cost-aware consumers looking to pick up devices independent of their chosen carrier. In the case of the Honor 5X, $200 buys a respectable sounding, metal made, large-screen handset that is for many customers going to be at least comparable to a two year old flagship device.