Huawei Y5 2017 Review, Your Dream Budget Android Smartphone?

Huawei has launched over a dozen smartphones this year & while the flagships made it to the headlines, there were some good low-end devices as well.

One of them is the Huawei Y5 (2017), a budget Android smartphone specifically designed for the young and newbie smartphone users.

The phone itself isn’t anything extra-ordinary, but considering its price (Rs. 15,999) we can’t complain much.

Y5 offers a pretty generic look and its mostly made of plastic. The hardware fitted inside is quite adequate to perform everyday tasks but certainly not very suitable for power users. It is however a significant upgrade over last year’s Huawei Y5II – with almost double the RAM and Internal memory.

Before moving on let’s take a quick look at the box contents:

The Look and Feel of Device:

As mentioned earlier, it is a brick phone; a design that works pretty well for most of budget devices. The phone body is made completely of plastic, but gives a somewhat premium look and feel, thanks to its slimness.

The front side features a 5-inch IPS display with HD resolution. While most of the phones in this price bracket feature a lower resolution, a few extra pixels here make the screen sharper and perfect for viewing pictures & videos.

Huawei is using on-screen navigation keys for nearly all of its phones, so the front side only have a Huawei logo under the screen and then there is the usual array of light sensor, earspeaker and selfie camera on the top with an addition of an LED flashlight.

The back panel is slightly dimpled to provide a decent texture and a solid grip that ensures the phone fits perfectly in your hand. The back also features the primary 8-Megapixel camera with dual LED flash and a Huawei logo neatly etched into the back cover.

Volume rocker and the power key is on the right and there’s an extra button called “Easy Key” for assigning shortcuts on the left. Such devices are keeping the traditional 3.5mm headphones jack, so you’ll find it on the top, along with a somewhat outdated microUSB port on the bottom, flaunted by two speaker grills on each side.

Removing the back panel gives access to the dual SIM cards and microSD card slots. You can remove the battery as well, but you have to take out the screws first. Interestingly, it has a very sizable 3000mAh battery for a 5-inch phone, that’s the best you can get without making the phone chubby.

How well does it handle “Demanding Tasks”?

On the inside Y5 features a Mediatek MT6737T chipset, coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage. You’ll also get a dedicated microSD card slot, so memory won’t be an issue.

MediaTek processors for budget phones don’t really fly, but talking about basic tasks like calling and texting, web browsing, and using social networking apps, it works great.

Most of the demanding apps also run without any hiccups, but if you want to play 3D games on this device make sure to tweak the game settings and set the graphic details to the lowest.

I do feel that a 5-inch is not big enough to watch movies, but you can pretty much play everything on this phone, like 1080p videos without breaking a sweat. The battery also performs well enough and with a moderate use you’ll easily get a full day of usage after a single charge.

The phone has Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.0 skin on top of it. Though I’m a not big fan of Huawei’s custom EMUI as it makes the phone a big sluggish and its quite different from the stock Android. Especially, the absence of an app drawer is the most noticeable.

Huawei has already upgraded other phones to a newer build of EMUI based upon Android Nougat, however keeping the past experiences in mind, budget devices usually don’t get Android version upgrades.

Have a look at some of the benchmark results:

Camera & the Selfies:

Y5 is quipped with an 8-megapixel rear sensor and has a 5-megapixel front shooter with its own LED flash.

The camera app UI is very basic as well and doesn’t feature many of the cool options available in high-end devices. You only get to make time-lapse videos and scan documents other than the regular shooting modes.

The photos and videos look okay for a budget phone and usable for your everyday social media posting. In outdoors and good lighting conditions, you can easily take miraculously good photos and the auto-focus works just fine.

However, in dimly lit places, the rear camera struggles a bit and takes a long time to focus with noisy end results. The front camera however takes very good shots and you can use the LED flash to lit up your face even in the dark.

here are some of the shots taken with Y5:

Why you should or shouldn’t get Y5 (2017):

Y5 is available in the market for Rs. 15,999 and you’ll be getting an Android smartphone that performs well and doesn’t look cheap. The HD display is a good selling point for those who watch videos on their phones on the go, and the front LED flash will help in low-light selfie shots.

But it is not without its flaws, a plastic body and underwhelming gaming performance, might not attract everyone. Nokia 3 on the other hand, features almost similar specifications and offers a much premium build quality.

You can go for Y5 if you’ve a limited budget, but if there is a possibility of adding a couple of thousand more, you can easily get Honor 5x or the Redmi 4X, featuring much better specifications and a somewhat premium design.