Huawei GR5 2017 Review; Good Camera, Affordable Price Tag

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Huawei GR5 2017 Review; Good Camera, Affordable Price Tag
Huawei GR5 2017 Review; Good Camera, Affordable Price Tag


Huawei aims to be the go-to-brand of consumers when it comes to camera-centric Android phones. Remarkably, the Chinese smartphone giant teamed up with Leica to upgrade today’s mobile photography. This partnership gave birth to its then flagship smartphone – the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus – the brand’s first devices to sport a dual-lens camera co-engineered by Leica.

Looking outside the walls of Huawei, big smartphone companies have also introduced their new devices that are equipped with the dual lens camera setup too. While it’s evident that only premium smartphones had license to sport this camera system, Huawei surprisingly unveiled something similar under a different price range, the GR5 2017 (also known as Honor 6X or Mate 9 Lite in some region) – an affordable smartphone that comes with dual camera designed for the mid-range market.


Huawei GR5 Quick Hands-on Review

The revamped version of Huawei GR5 now sports a 5.5-inch LCD display that supports Full HD resolution, that's 1920 x 1080 pixels. While it provides nice output and good viewing angles, we just felt like its display is slightly less stunning compared to other mid-range smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017). However, the latter also comes with a heavier price tag.

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Front

Encased with a combined metal and 2.5D glass body, the device gives a comfortable touch. It also sports slight curves at the back, which makes it easy to hold and operate even when using just one hand.

Like any other Huawei smartphones, the device is boasting an on-screen buttons to navigate the user interface. Meanwhile, the speaker grills and standard MicroUSB port are located at the bottom portion of the phone.

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Back

At the back, the design is also straightforward. The fingerprint sensor, which lets us open the phone quickly, is placed below the dual-camera setup, while the LED flash is situated at the side of the camera. We would also like to note that its fingerprint sensor is really fast and responsive during the course of our tests.

See Also: Also Read: Huawei Y5 2017 Now at Lazada for Php5,890; Comes w/ Tons of Freebies

On the right side of the phone, controls for volume and the power button are situated. On the left side, you’ll see the SIM card and MicroSD slots in a single housing. Users could choose between making it a dual-SIM device or expanding its storage through a MicroSD card.

Gadget Under A Minute - Huawei GR5 2017

Overall, the phone comes with a not-so-fancy but well-designed appearance. In fact, it looks more expensive than its actual price.


Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Software

Running on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system upon launch, this year’s version of the GR5 is equipped with Emotion UI 4.1, that's the same software found on the Huawei P9 when it was released last year.

Like any other Huawei smartphones, it has no app drawer and bit more unique than other Android devices in the market. It runs smoothly, and there was very little lag during our tests, in fact, it won't be noticeable at all if you are not accustomed to high-end Huawei handsets like the Mate 9.

But, it does not get too long and it receives the 2.54GB Emotion 5.0 update. Below is the change log

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - EMUI 5.0 Change Log
EMUI 5.0 Change Log

With the update to EMUI 5.0, which is basically based on Android Nougat, the handset becomes more responsive and the user experience is similar, if not the same with other Huawei devices that runs on the same skin.


Huawei GR5 2017 Review - CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

The GR5 2017 is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor clocked at 2.1GHz, which means that Huawei decided to jump over its predecessor’s performance. Apart from this, it is complemented by 3GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.

See Also: Top 5 Smartphones Under Php10K for First Half of 2017 in PH

To give us what to expect, we ran it on different benchmark applications. Here are the scores:

Antutu - 56,883
Quadrant - 18,145
NenaMark2 - 59fps
Geekbench - 816 (single core)
Geekbench - 3,359 (multi core)
Geekbench - 2,727 (compute)
PC Mark - 4,177
3D Mark Sling Shot - 563
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 380

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Benchmark Results
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

As for our actual performance tests, we used it on our daily activities from small to heavy tasks including sending emails, running multiple social media applications at once, watching several videos, and playing games.

Well, we could say that it’s not flawless, but, still, it was able to give us a decent performance. Lock ups and freezes were not evident when we used it for easier purposes. We continuously used it for taking photos, and surprisingly, the device didn’t get too hot, except when the battery was almost running out of power.

Apart from these, the device could also manage multi-tasking as it could smoothly switch applications. The device allows us to play several videos with heavy graphics and animations, too. However, the glitches became obvious when we played resources-heavy games.


Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera UI
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Interface
Camera Interface

Equipped with dual rear cameras, it comes with a primary 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel secondary cameras. Compared to Huawei Honor 6 Plus, the colors are more accurate with the GR5 2017. Also, image details were completely captured when the right camera settings were provided.

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Good Lighting
Good Lighting
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Without HDR
Without HDR
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - With HDR
With HDR
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Without HDR_1
Without HDR_1
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - With HDR_1
With HDR_1
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Wide Aperture Mode
Wide Aperture Mode
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Close-up
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Shot at Night
Shot at Night
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Night Mode
Night Mode

Its bokeh effect did a perfect job when we took a number of shots, too. We’re also happy that it could capture photos with minimal noise even in places with bad lighting conditions. It also has tons of preset shooting modes that work very well, not to mention manual mode that enhances its photography capability level.

Related: Top 5 Mid-Range Smartphones Released in 1st Trimester of 2017 in PH 

Although it gave us a bunch of ‘Instagram-worthy’ photos, users should not expect that it shares the same quality level with Huawei’s flagship devices. Nonetheless, as a camera-centric phone, great quality images are the best thing it could offer to its users.

Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Selfie
Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Camera Sample - Selfie at the Dark with Screen Flash
Selfie at the Dark with Screen Flash

Meanwhile, its front camera also took great snaps in places with good lighting. It also has built-in beauty mode that can enhance your selfies. Photos in a challenging condition, however, were soft and not as good as expected.


The Huawei GR5 2017 supports a dual-SIM usage with LTE, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with A-GPS, and standard micro USB port with OTG function.

We never had a problem with its connectivity. During our tests wherein we used the GR5 2017 as our primary phone, the device received fast LTE speeds. It could quickly connect to GPS satellite, too. Receiving calls and SMS have been never an issue, although, this result might differ depending on your network’s signal.


Huawei GR5 2017 Review - Battery Stats
Battery Stats

The Huawei GR5 2017 is powered by 3,340mAh battery. If users intend to use the device constantly for taking photos, the GR5 2017 could last for almost five hours of nonstop shooting. Powerful enough, its battery life didn’t let us down during our tests.

When used as a basic phone or mainly for SMS and answering calls, its power lasted for almost one and a half day. Also, it gave us almost 10 hours of battery performance when we made it as our primary phone, but with minimal usage of the data connection. With heavy usage, however, it lasted for six hours of combined SMS and answering calls, data connection, watching several videos, and running multiple applications.

Meanwhile, when we challenged it to go through PC Mark Battery Test, and we’re truly impressed about the results, almost 12 hours! With this, the GR5 2017 could give you the satisfaction you’ve been looking for in terms of the long span of usage.


Priced at Php11,990, the Huawei GR5 2017 enables its target market to experience the privilege of holding a premium smartphone without the burden of heavy price tag.

Aside from its photography capability, it also has great overall performance and large battery that could provide the users’ necessities. As a mid-range smartphone that could stand heavy usage, the GR5 2017 will surely be a good upgrade if you consider getting a new one.

Huawei GR5 2017 Specifications:

  • Dual nano SIM, dual standby, supports LTE connectivity
  • 5.5-inch IPS capacitive FHD (1920x1080) touchscreen LCD
  • Dimensions: 150.9mm x 76.2mm x 8.2mm
  • Weight: 162 grams
  • Android Marshmallow with Emotion UI 4.1, updated to Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.0
  • 64-bit 2.1GHz Cortex-A53 CPU + 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, ARM Mali-T830MP2 GPU, HiSilicon Kirin 655 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via micro SD card, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 12MP + 2MP PDAF main cameras with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 8MP secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • 3.5mm audio jack, DTS audio
  • 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
  • Battery: 3340mAh lithium-ion, non-removable
  • Price: Php11,990
  • Colors: gold, gray, white

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