Phone Review: Huawei GR5 Mini, a Midrange Offer with Excellent Battery Life

Huawei Technologies’ introduction of the GR5 mini smartphone goes a long way to save users from the repulsive hourly charging and power bank dependence especially for travellers.

The GR5 Mini is one of the best looking smartphones available at the moment, doctor with clean lines, illness smooth edges and a modest look, shop making it look more expensive than it actually is.

For those not in the know, the GR5 mini is a simplified model of the Huawei GR5 which was released earlier in July.

The device comes with a Full HD display on a 5.2 inches screen, resolution at 1920 x 1080pixels and navigation keys displayed in the screen. It has no app drawer so all the apps are displayed on the home screen.

Huawei GR5 mini is a dual sim device which uses only nano cards. The back doesn’t open and like iPhones, the cards are inserted in the simcard plate located on the left side.

It’s all-metal body, smooth glass front and slightly-rounded sides make it tactile and nice to hold, although the back is too slippery, making it a little harder to grip as is the case among other all-metal phones.


Screen: 5.2 Inch, Full HD (1920x1080p)


Processor: Octa Core (64bit)

Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM with expandable storage MicroSD slot of up to 128GB

Operating System: Android v6.0 Marshmallow

Camera: 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, Wi-Fi Direct, Micro USB v2.0, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery: 3000mAh non removable battery.

The device is a dual sim which uses nano cards
The device is a dual sim which uses nano cards

Battery Life

Being a techie that I am, I give less rest to my phones since am always looking out for what’s new and I always found issues with battery being spent too fast. A power bank had become my partner in this my single life.

A fully charged Huawei GR5 can last up to 48 hours for moderate users. As for me, it could go for 26 to 30 hours. That was using the phone as my primary device, listening to approximately 6 hours of music a day via corded earphones, browsing and using apps for three hours and with lots of push notifications and emails coming in through the day.

Even with heavy use, taking photos, recording videos and going live on facebook, it would still last a full day and some hours of the next day.

Asked about my experience with the Huawei GR5, I would straight away recommend it for travellers. When fully charged, the battery can last for your whole weekend trip and if you are a social media enthusiast like me, you would definitely enjoy it.

It’s also fit for the business class and the students. The burden of having to carry a power bank all over will be halted.

Finger Print Scanner

The fingerprint scanner is on the back of the phone below the camera lens. You don’t need to turn your neck while trying to unlock a phone, the scanner lies in line with where the index finger rests.

It’s so quick, just tapping the sensor is enough to unlock it if the phone is already awake. Unlike the many finger print scanning apps on Google play, this is inbuilt and is real.

Top rear end of a Huawei GR5
Top rear end of a Huawei GR5


The device has an 8MP front camera, with high chromatic resolution, 4P lens array and a 77-degree wide angle visual range.

It takes sharp looking selfies and also enables the user to include more people within the selfie shot.

The notable issue with the front camera is that the sharp selfies lack fine detail, likely due to it being fixed focus.

The rear-facing 13MP camera features an f/2.0 aperture, 78-degree wide angle visual range, 5P Aspheric lens array with a blue glass filter to improve photo quality.

It has a lot of auto focus which when trying to capture a fast moving object causes unnecessary delays but when taking still shots, you will fall in love with it.

The device also has a professional mode for taking photos with parameters similar to that of a Single-Lens Reflex (SLR?) camera that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured.


Double pressing the volume up key to take a shot can help especially journalists who would want to snap some people unnoticed. The issue with this is I got many blurry images.

The metal back is too smooth and slippery, I was always worried about it sliding out of my hands.

I carried it in my hands almost all time; the slightly rounded edges, the cold metal back felt very nice to the hands.

The camera flash is very bright, and gets out clear images even in the dark. The issue is I got many red eyes for all my night shots.

The device also supports tasks like speech recognition, low-power consumption, MP3, sensor hub, Fused Location Provider (FLP) navigation, and more efficient location-based tasks.

Pros: excellent battery life, dazzling fingerprint scanner, good screen, great feel, microSD card support, decent camera (especially for video).

Cons: fixed-focus front camera, no removable battery, Red eyes in night shots.

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