Friday, June 17, 2016

Huawei GR5 Review: Mid-Range, New Heights

Huawei GR5 Review: Mid-Range, New Heights
Huawei GR5 Review: Mid-Range, New Heights


Huawei's mobile business has been consistently growing worldwide and the Philippines is no exemption. It is not hard to see the reasons why, as their products are well-crafted inside and out, not to mention priced at the right level. One good example is the Huawei GR5, also known as Huawei Honor 5X in some region.

Huawei GR 5 CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

The Huawei GR5 sports a 5.5-inch IPS liquid crystal display with Full HD resolution, which translates to about 401 pixels per inch. On the inside, it is powered by octa core Qualcomm MSM8389v2 Snapdragon 616 combined with 16GB on board storage and 2GB of volatile memory.


Huawei GR5 Unboxing and Hands-on

To fully understand the physical attribute of the GR5, you can watch the above unboxing and hands-on video. In essence, it is a classy and elegant looking bar phone with premium metallic body and curves placed in the right places. Moreover, the fingerprint scanner on its back is pretty fast and accurate, and has gesture functions too, such as answering calls and taking pictures.


Huawei GR5 Software

The Huawei GR5 ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box, on top of it is the Emotion UI version 3.1. Like most, if not all devices from the manufacturing magnate, the interface has no App drawer, all applications are placed in the home screen and users can arrange them by creating folders. If you want to know every bit of the EMUI, you can check

See Also: Huawei Achieved 2.6 Million Global Shipments for P9 and P9 Plus


Huawei GR5 Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

The GR5 is one of the few smartphones from Huawei to ditch their own silicon and opt to use a chipset from a different maker, to be specific, it uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 616 SoC, which is composed of 8 Cortex-A53 CPU cores with frequency of up to 1.5GHz combined with Adreno 405 GPU. It also packs a 2GB of RAM to handle multiple applications and perform challenging tasks.

In our favorite benchmarking applications, it scored 36162 in Antutu v5.6, 39917 in Antutu v6.1, 3668 in PC Mark, 27141 in Quadrant, 60fps in NenaMark 2, 700 in Geekbench singe-core, 3194 in Geekbench multi-core, and 1202, 1735 and 2218 in Vellamo Metal, Multicore and Browser respectively. These results are similar to other devices that uses the same chipset, such as the ASUS ZenFone Laser 6.0.

The handset is a mid-range device, and it performs well for its category. Navigating through the interface is smooth, even when there are several apps opened, and playing games are more than OK, even those that are hungry in resources. Of course, it is not a flagship offering, and you still might encounter minimal hiccups from time to time, especially when there are really plenty of applications running in the background, but then again, it is only minor and normal for an Android phone with this kind of workhorse.


Huawei GR5 Camera Interface
Camera Interface

The camera interface is similar, if not the same, with other Huawei devices that runs on Emotion UI. At the bottom part of the interface are the buttons for recent item or camera gallery, shutter and filter, while the upper part is the toggle for flash options, front and back camera, and the shooting modes.

Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Day
Day Shot (Naked Island, Siargao)
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Day 1
Day Shot 1 (Cloud 9 Surfing Area, Siargao)
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Against the Light
Against the Light
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Against the Light with HDR
Against the Light with HDR
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Night without Flash
Night without Flash
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Night with Flash
Night with Flash
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Afternoon
Afternoon Shot
Huawei GR5 Sample Camera Shot - Cropped Image
100% Crop of Above

The main camera sports a 13MP resolution with f/2.0 aperture and 28mm equivalent lens accompanied by an LED flash. In good lighting situations such as outdoors, the focusing ability is quite fast and it is able to produce images with ample details, slightly warm color temperature and a nice level of vibrancy. Meanwhile, in challenging occasions such as when against the light or the lighting condition is less than ideal, the sharpness and details are noticeably lesser, not to mention brightness and contrast are on the soft side, thankfully, HDR is there to adjust the pictures. Overall, it is a pretty capable shooter when you take into account its asking price.

Also Read: Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 Review: Entertainment Amplified


The Huawei GR5 packs all the standard connectivity options, from dual SIM with LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, OTG-capable micro-USB port and 3.5mm audio jack. We are able to test both Globe and Smart networks, and both provide good LTE coverage.


Huawei GR5 Battery Stats
Battery Stats

The phone draws its power on a 3000mAh lithium-ion battery, we used it as a back-up handset mostly on standby mode, and it lasts for about 13 days before the indicator dropped to 10%. Meanwhile, on PC Mark test, it scored 9 hours and 35 minutes, which is already considered as impressive.


The Huawei GR5 is certainly a great contender in the mid-range category and offers good value proposition in many aspects. It has a very decent battery life, vibrant display, premium metal build quality, fingerprint scanner and above average performance. Sure, it is not a flawless device, but having an affordable price tag, not to mention good retail package compensates to any of its shortcomings.

Huawei GR5 Specifications:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G/WCDMA: B1/5/8
  • LTE: B1/3/5/7/8/28
  • Dual SIM (micro+nano), dual standby
  • 5.5-inch IPS capacitive Full HD (1920x1080) touchscreen display
  • Dimensions: 151.3mm x 76.3mm x 8.15mm
  • Weight: 158 grams
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with Emotion UI 3.1
  • 64-bit 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 CPU + 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 405 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8939v2 Snapdragon 616 chipset
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via dedicated micro SD slot
  • 13MP f/2.0 auto focus main camera with dual-LED flash
  • 5MP f/2.4 fixed focus secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS & GLONASS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG support
  • Bluetooth v4.1
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, light, proximity, gyroscope, magnetometer, compass
  • Battery: 3000mAh Li-Ion, non-removable
  • Price: Php10,495
  • Colors: gold, silver, gray

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