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Huawei Y5 2017 Review - The Affordable All Rounder

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Huawei's new Y5 2017 has impressed us out of the box. Why? It could be the device that can provide great overall experience even if your budget is very tight.
Huawei Y5 2017 Review - A Rare All Rounder On A Budget
The new budget phone to beat?


How? Among all the internationally branded phones that we unboxed, the Huawei Y5 2017 has the best overall specs on paper. It could simply translate into great performance for the price.

So, or the past few weeks, we used the Huawei Y5 2017 as one of our daily smartphones to fully explore what it can do.

Is this the new budget phone to beat?

Here's our full review!

Display Quality

5 inch HD screen!
5 inch HD screen!

Compared with its main competitors, the Galaxy J2 Prime and Vivo Y53, Huawei's Y5 2017 has a better and sharper 5 inch HD IPS screen with 294 pixels per inch.

Colors are decent. Understandably, it isn't as great compared with higher-end devices. But, for this price, we find it very acceptable. It natural looking overall with some hint of slight saturation for added color pop.

Users may adjust the color temperature of the screen to their liking in the display settings.

Viewing angles are fine and outdoor legibility is acceptable. It even has an accurate auto brightness mode.

It has 5 points of multitouch.

Audio Quality

The Huawei Y5 2017 has a high-quality speaker for the price. It's fun sounding, musical and crisp in sound. It's easily one of the be we ever heard for vocals in this price segment. Highs has nice sparkle and airiness as well.

Clear sounding speaker for the price!

Loudness is also great coming from a small single driver. Distortion is minimal on max volume too.

Headphone audio out is on the warmer and bassier sideIt produces lots of deep bass and sub-bass to let you enjoy heart thumping beats. Vocals are surprisingly detailed and well separated from the rest of the frequencies. It doesn't have the sparky highs though. Soundstage is average.

The mic for calls on this handset is good. Recordings are also better than expected. It has a good type of microphone below and a noise cancelling mic behind.

Battery Life

Great battery score
Great battery score

Huawei has equipped the Y5 2017 with large 3,000 mAh of battery capacity for the small 5 inch screen. As a result, battery performance is stellar. In our test, we were able to record almost 11 hours of work battery life.

Absolutely, better battery performance compared with competition!

On real life usage, it is good enough for an entire work day. We managed to use the Y5 2017 as our main phone from 9 am to 9 pm. 

Charging time is 2 hours and 10 mins. Speedy enough.

Camera

8 MP f/2.0 w/ AF and dual tone LED flash
8 MP f/2.0 w/ AF and dual tone LED flash

Behind, Huawei equipped the Y5 2017 with an 8 MP main camera with pretty wide f/2.0 aperture camera for better lowlight performance. Moreover, it has autofocus and strong dual tone LED flash.
Camera features
Camera features

Feature-wise, it several useful camera modes like HDR, beauty, filters, watermark, document readjustment, panorama and all focus. It has no grids as guides though.
Main  camera interface
Main  camera interface

Quality-wise, Huawei's camera game is often strong. That statement stayed true with Y5 2017 even if it's a budget smartphone.

It's simply one of the better shooters its class!

Auto focus quite quick and can go near the subject. There are even times where it'll produce bokeh-like background blur. Shutter speed isn't the fastest around though. It is just average. HDR shooting speed around a second.

Checking quality of its rendered images, we are impressed. It can deliver great daylight photos with decent color accuracy, depth and detail. It is just a tad underexposed, but that it at least much better than overexposed photos. It isn't just as saturated compared with other more expensive shooters as well.

Dim-light performance is surprisingly decent. We were able to get images with good exposure and sharpness without that much noticeable grains.

In super lowlight? Remember that this is still a budget offering. Don't expect too much even if it has an f/2.0 aperture lens. Dynamic range is simply off and images are noisy. Use the softlight flash or flash in lowlight as much as possible.

It has one of the better dual tone flash from entry-level devices.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight sample
Daylight sample
Close-up indoor
Close-up indoor
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Night shot sample
Night shot sample
Good bright flash test
Good bright flash test

In front, this device highlights a 5 MP f/2.4 shooter. It may look ordinary on paper, but it has wide enough lens for groufies. It also has a decent type of beautification mode, filters and softlight-like flash.
Selfie camera interface
Selfie camera interface

Shooting speed is average with less than a second delay. However, it has no autofocus or tap to focus. Your subject has to be steady to prevent blurry images.

For the quality of selfies or groufies, daylight shots are decent. It has accurate colors with decent exposure. Lowlight selfies is far from good, but fortunately, the Y5 2017 has a nice and bright type of flash or torch in front.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Selfie with flash
Selfie with flash


For videos, the Y5 2017 can record up to 1080p or FHD with acceptable 30 fps quality behind. It has the same colors and detail with the main camera with slight cropping. In front, it can shoot up to 720p at 30 fps. It's acceptable overall for the price. Both has no OIS for stabilization though.


Video Samples


Performance

Great benchmark scores for the price
Great benchmark scores for the price

Inside, the Huawei Y5 2017 runs with the turbo edition of MT6737. It's coupled with Mali T720 graphics, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of expandable storage.

General performance is speedier than expected!

Opening and closing of apps and moving from an app to another is quick and easy most of the time. Most won't have a problem in running your favorite social media apps.


For gaming, it loads Mobile Legends in medium settings fairly nice. For heavier games like NBA 2K17, it can run it smoothly on mostly low and ultra low settings. This handset has nice thermal management too.
EMUI 4.1 skin

Software-wise, the Y5 2017 arrived with Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with EMUI 4.1 skin. It doesn't have an app drawer, but transitions and animations are smooth. It's also intuitive, feature rich and has very minimal bloats. Most of those bloatwares are even removable.

However, there's no mention of Android 7.0 Nougat on EMUI 5.0 skin update yet for this device.

When it comes to the general telephony, Y5 2017 has very strong and steady GSM and 4G data signal reception. It's WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity are average. GPS is stable for navigation.


It has no fingerprint scanner, OTG support and gyroscope sensor.

But, this device boasts a dedicated smart keyIt can be customized as a shortcut to apps or functions. It has 3 key ways to trigger: press, double press and press and hold.

Pros - HD screen, speedy chipset for the price, strong battery performance, good main camera, selfie camera with flash, stable LTE connection, great overall price
Cons - No OTG, no fingerprint scanner, no grids as guides in the camera software

Verdict

On a budget, the Huawei Y5 2017 is a must consider. At just PHP 5,890, it's a very affordable yet capable all rounder that's not that easy to find from a premium internationally branded smartphone.

Compared with Galaxy J2 Prime and Vivo Y53, the Huawei Y5 2017 has slightly better specs screen, multitasking performance, daylight camera and battery life.

Build / Design - 3.75
Display - 3.75
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.25
Camera - 4
Performance - 3.75
Average - 4 / 5
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