Most of us are more than happy to use our phone the way it came from the factory. Things mainly work as intended, and other than a few hiccups here and there, most new Android phones are more than capable of doing the stuff we want them to do. But for some of us, things need some changing.

If you fall into the second category and just love to mess with things — whether it makes them better, or just different — the Honor 5X is a phone you should be looking at.

The Honor 5X has the three things needed to be a perfect phone for tinkering.

  • It's cheap. And we don't mean it was poorly built, because the thing feels like quality and has decent internals. We mean it's not going to set you back five or six hundred dollars. If you're a person who wants one phone to just use for doing phone things, and another to play with, break stuff and then fix things, you can pick up the Honor 5X for under $200.
  • Huawei helps you unlock the bootloader. Some companies do everything they can to prevent you from having access to all of the software on the phone you paid for. Sometimes it's done in the name of security — we can appreciate that — and other times it's done so you can't remove apps and services they want to force down your throat. The Honor 5X is unlocked and free from any of the malignant carrier nonsense you find with other phones and Huawei doesn't care if you unlock the bootloader. They happily give you everything you need to do it safely. Good guy Huawei.
  • It already has community support. Easy instructions that tell you how to unlock the bootloader and flash a custom recovery are available, and custom ROMs and assorted hacks will be coming. Want to monkey around with Xposed modules? That's gonna happen. As will a handful of other assorted performance hacks, interface tweaks, custom scripts to make stuff better and everything else you would want to do for fun and profit.

A lot of words have been written about the Honor 5X and why it's a good buy at $200 for just about anyone. EMUI makes things a bit funky, but it will do all the phone things you need your phone to do right out of the box. But if you want or need to have it your way, it can do that too.

Go forth and break stuff.

How to unlock the Honor 5X bootloader

TWRP recovery for the Honor 5X