Midrange phones are always the hottest segment in the market. Most of the top OEMs are fighting to reign in this segment. This war just heated up a notch couple week's back when Huawei launched the GR5 2017 Edition. The USP Huawei is going for is Dual Rear Camera, very similar to the much acclaimed Huawei P9. Is it just a marketing gimmick or does it actually work? You are about to find out.
The form factor of the phone didn't change from the original one. The one we reviewed came in Champaign gold colour. It comes in two other colours as well. The edges are well rounded, the back is metallic. The camera at the back is bumped out a bit. SIM tray on the left and power and volume rockers are on the right. No capacitive menu buttons on the front. The sound grille and charging port is at the bottom. At a glance the phone looks mundane; it doesn't stand out.
Time to take a peek under the hood. Powered by HiSilicon Kirin 655 Octa-Core processor of which four are clocked at 2.1GHz and rest are clocked at 1.7GHz. In comparison to the GR5 original which packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, we can't say the phone made a massive improvement. However we didn't see the performance of GR bog down at all. In fact it is much smoother than its predecessor. The RAM was upgraded to 3GB from the 2GB of the original. It comes with more space as well: 32GB internal memory. To compare we ran 'Real Racing 3' and compared to P9 the phone fared pretty well.
Yes, like always the Emotion UI v4.1 is back on top of the Android Marshmallow. But surprisingly the UI is better than before; at least it felt that way. It doesn't have any app drawer and almost no bloatware. You can access the bare essentials from the lock screen as well i.e. torch light, calculator, camera and music player shortcuts.
This is the third dual camera phone by Huawei in Bangladesh. A path that HTC paved is now adorned and adopted by most of the top brands. P9, which took the world by storm, had Leica Lens in its dual camera which yielded better results. The dual camera of GR5 2017 is no exception.
The dynamic range was great, thanks to the 12MP + 2MP rear cameras. The 1.25um large pixels and pro photo modes will surely make you feel like an armature with a DSLR. We saw the camera taking terrific photos with bokeh effect. The selfies were okay as well. It did pick up a bit of noise and made the photos a bit oversaturated. One of the things that most oriental OEMs focus on is the beauty mode. GR 2017 edition has ten of those. Yes, you read right… TEN. Oppo already showed the world auto make up mode so we weren't that shocked to find it on the GR5 2017.
The battery of GR 2017 fared better than what we expected. The whopping 3,340mAh battery survived nearly 36 hours on dual SIM and 3G. I did use the app manager to kill the background apps from time to time. But if you binge watch funny cat videos on YouTube, please make sure you carry power banks.
Gr5 2017 edition is a quick and responsive device thanks to its well speced hardware. The dual camera on the rear isn't just a marketing gimmick- it actually takes really good photos for the price that you pay. The 3rd gen. fingerprint scanner is snappy & the loud speakers are indeed loud. The size is pocket friendly. The display is gorgeous (if you haven't used a FHD before) and the battery will last you an entire day with moderate usage. Not a bad deal if you consider the price tag.
Display: 5.5” FHD 1920x1080
CPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.1GHz + 4 x 1.7GHz)
OS: Android 6.0 + Huawei EMUI 4.1
ROM: 32 GB
RAM: 3 GB
Camera: Dual Cameras, 12MP + 2MP Rear + 8MP (Front)
Battery: 3340 mAh
Sensors: i5 Coprocessor Sensor Hub Technology
Price: Tk. 21,900/-
Photos: Shahriar Rahman