Huawei GR5 has a metallic body, comes with a fast and responsive fingerprint scanner, it features a 3000 mAh battery supported by fast charging, has a 5.5-inch FHD display with 401 ppi plus a solid pair of cameras both at the back and front ends. With such specs, one would expect to get a steep price tag, but no!—Huawei sells this device at a measly price of Ksh. 25, 000. If you were planning to buy an entry-level mid-range smartphone and are currently reading this, you are in luck because you have just stumbled into a smartphone jackpot!
I kid you not, this phone should not be this cheap. As usual, this is the only blog where we inform you of the best deals you can get on any device. A spot check of various online and offline retailers revealed that this phone is being sold for as much as Ksh. 30, 000 in some shops. You can check out the different retailers and their price offerings at PriceKenya.com for further details. We also have more information on other best deals and detailed specifications at the end of this review, so read on.
Another cheeky trick some retailers are using to cash in from this gem is by selling it at a higher price under the name Huawei Honor 5X. Remember, the 5X and the GR5 are the same product—think of it as batman with the suit and batman without the suit… or as some pundits like to put it; a GR5 by any other name!
Just to be clear, the manufacturer only gave the device different names depending on the markets they were going to be sold. As it turns out, the two brand names are here in Kenyan shops selling side by side and only the perceptive buyer can spot the right deal. So now that the secret has been lain bare for all to see, let us round up the features more keenly to establish if there is a catch to such a lowly priced bombshell of a smartphone.
Inside the phone’s packaging, you will get the phone itself which is a unibody so this already hints to you that the capacious 3000 mAh battery has been glued permanently inside the underbelly. There’s the usual literature (wonder who else reads this apart from the authors), a sim removal tool, an AC adapter (which supports quick charge), a USB cable and of course a pair of earphones. It weighs 158 grams which will provide a significantly lighter load to you than Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016). Despite the fact that the Galaxy A7 phablet has fancier features such as Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on both the front and rear panels, the GR5 matches it on specs almost pound for pound, yet the former goes for twice as much. The cheapest deal for the A7 according to our latest research puts it at Ksh. 42, 999.
Again, to put things into proper perspective in the interest of maintaining objectivity, the A7 even though it seems to have similar specs as the GR5, will offer other distinct advantages such as the higher quality Super AMOLED display, a more capacious 3,300 mAh battery, better antennae offering more network bands and NFC sharing capability. However, if you are not a nitpicker the differences will simply be a huge blur.
Although the back side is made of brushed aluminum on the GR5, it is not of the premium kind you would find in the flagships such as the revered Huawei P9 Plus. All in all, the idea to use metal allows this phone to deliver the razzle-dazzle effect especially for the gold color variant. Still at the back, you will find a 13 megapixel camera sensor paired with its own LED flash. It is fitted with an f/2.0 aperture which is larger than the one on the Galaxy A7 (2016) to allow in more light and produce better pictures. Video quality is 1080p at 30fps, just what you would expect from a leisure camera capable of shooting short movie clips.
The f/2.4 aperture on the 5 megapixel selfie camera takes good selfies in low light situations as would be expected. A blue glass infrared filter has also been fitted on this camera according to GSMarena, and this is what enhances the low light pictures further.
Being a dual-SIM phone you can take advantage of multiple offers across different networks. Call quality is quite good and there is an LED notifications light for when you have messages or missed calls. The SIM slots and the micro USB slot are located in drawers on the left side of the phone.
In terms of software operations, Huawei has gone for its own version of Android Lollipop 5.1.1 which is slightly modified courtesy of EMUI user interface. There are plans to upgrade this to version 6.0 Marshmallow in the near future, and the hardware is sure to be up to the task. Although 16 GB is available as internal storage space, in reality after the installation of the OS and the initial apps, the space available is roughly 9.5 GB. You will therefore need to have a plan for extra storage via micro SD cards.
The specific hardware I referred to earlier is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor otherwise known as the Qualcomm MSM8939v2. This system consists of a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A53 CPU and another quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex A53 unit alongside it. The phone is however prone to lagging a few times owing mostly to the original operating system and the modifications done to it, an issue that can quickly be fixed by subsequent software upgrades… hopefully.
The processor itself is powerful and will be worth much more than your expectations. On the GeekBench 3 multi-core test, this processor performed better than the one on Apple iPhone 6 Plus. To compare this offer to other similarly enticing offers like Lenovo Vibe P1, Wiko Fever and Infinix Note 2, check out the compare feature at PriceKenya.com.
|Dimensions (LxWxD)|| 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2 mm
|OS||Android OS, 5.1 Lollipop|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Quad-core Cortex A53 &
1.2 GHz Quad-core Cortex A53,
Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 chipset
|Internal storage||16 GB|
|External storage||Micro SD, up to 128 GB|
|Screen size||5.5 inches|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (Full HD)|
|Pixel density||401 ppi|
|Screen type||IPS capacitive, 16M colors|
|SIM||Micro SIM + Nano SIM, dual SIM|
|Speed||3G Up to 42.2 Mbps DL, 5.76 Mbps UL
LTE Up to 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct|
|Battery||3000 mAh Li-Ion|
|Camera||Primary 13 MP, LED flash
Secondary 5 MP