Midrange smartphones, those priced around 10 to 15K are mostly dominated by Samsung, Asus and Oppo. Things might change with this new smartphone from Huawei called the Huawei GR5. Can this mid range smartphone challenge the best of Samsung, Asus and Oppo? Let’s find out with this review.
- Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor
- Adreno 405 graphics
- 2 or 3GB RAM
- 16GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display
- 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and dual LED flash
- 5 megapixel front facing camera
- Fingerprint scanner
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- 3,000 mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop with EMUI
- SRP: P11,990
- Status: Available at Huawei stores and retailers
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
The Huawei GR5 is a beautiful and elegant piece of hardware. Flaunt it and people might think that it is in league with the Apple iPhone 6s or Samsung Galaxy S7. This gold variants gives it an expensive feel aside from the fact that the phone has a metal unibody design. Actually, it is not 100% metal because the top and bottom chin at the back are actually plastic but it is very hard to tell and we have to ask our friends from Huawei to make sure.
Overall, it is a very solid device. Since it is metal, expect it to very slippery and we felt that the metal finish can be easily be scratched. Good thing Huawei has included a free a plastic case on the case. Click here to see our unboxing and first impressions.
Audio coming out from the bottom firing speaker is generally good as long as you will not crank up the volume to maximum. The audio becomes very distorted. Listening to Spotify is very nice using our third party earphones. We come to think that Huawei might have put a dedicated audio chip here.
We do like the cooler tone of the 5.5-inch display of the Huawei GR5. It is on full HD display so expect the colors to pop. So far we do not have any problem with regards to its sunlight legibility. You can completely use it under direct sunlight
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
In the US, the Huawei GR5 has another name called the Huawei Honor 5X. We’ve read and watched many reviews of this device and all of them have one thing in common. They hate EMUI, Huawei’s custom skin on top of Android. We beg to disaggree. EMUI is clean, simple and very user friendly. One thing we don’t really like are the icons but it is an easy fix. Huawei has its own theme store to change the look of the UI. But if you are going to install a third party launcher, it won’t work. EMUI prevents it to be used.
As for the performance, we are very impressed how smooth and lag free the device is. Switching between apps and multitasking is a breeze. We never encountered any problems when playing Asphalt 8 and Clash Royale.
We would also like to point out that Huawei now holds the title as one of the best when it comes to fingerprint scanners. The fingerprint scanner from the Huawei GR5 is very quick and reliable. Unlocking the phone is a breeze and very fast.
We are also impressed with both cameras. It is not the best camera phone in the world but it is probably the best with this price range. You’ll be the judge and take a look at our photos.
One thing we like about Huawei is it excels with it comes to connectivity. We entered in an elevator from the basement all the way up to the top level at SM Aura without any cuts and delays on our Skype video call. Impressive! LTE signal is always on full bar during that time. We did the same thing with another phone going down and our Skype video call was cut upon entering the elevator. We used the same Globe LTE capable SIM during this test. It is also the best in phone calls as well.
The 3,000 mAh battery will last you a day with light to moderate usage. We got over four hours of screen on time on our moderate to heavy use which is quite impressive. To save more power, Huawei constantly reminds you battery consuming apps that you need to close every now and then
We know that many Filipinos has a soft spot with smartphones priced below 10k. But the Huawei GR5 is worth getting with the extra 2k. It is fast, fluid, takes pretty good photos, outstanding connecitivity, decent battery life, great display and that metal body with elegant looks. It is indeed the best smartphone for its price range.