One tends to get used to hype about how wonderful particular features are in generally low cost devices, and one consequently tends to develop low expectations. Which resulted in me getting a pleasant surprise with the Huawei G5 2017’s camera.

Fairly low noise in this scene, lit entirely by indirect natural light

The twin camera function involves a 12 megapixel main camera with a subsidiary 2 megapixel camera, the main function of which is apparently to help the main camera focus, and providing some effects. The phase density auto focus wasn’t super fast at all, but worked at a reasonable speed. Most of the time. Sometimes it waited what seemed like a second between pressing the button and the picture being taken. With bright light things seemed to go faster.

The photos turned out to be colourful, bright, quite detailed and with a good contrast range. They wouldn’t quite measure up to the best photos from the best premium phones, but I’ve seen current model higher priced phones with cameras that do a poorer job than this one.

Nice colour balance and good handling of darker background areas.

Unscaled detail from above: didn’t always focus precisely where I wanted (I wanted to the frond to the left) and perhaps a touch too much sharpening.

There were some interesting photo modes too. A good Panorama one, an expert mode that lets the user adjust pretty much everything, and a “Light Painting” mode, which is the same as the “B” – Bulb – setting on an old-fashioned camera. This’ll keep the shutter open as long as you like and you can “paint” the object you’re photographing with light.

The low light sensitivity was good and fairly noise free images were produced.

Battery life was very good. After 18 hours, without many calls but lots of photos and general playing with apps, the phone was left with 80 per cent power. My usual phone would be nudging 50% by that time.

Conclusion

For $399 you can’t expect a phone that’ll challenge the top models out there. But what you can expect is a practical, effective one. And that’s what the Huawei GR5 2017 model phone is. And its good functionality is nicely enhanced by its ability to take better than average photos.

Review: Huawei GR5 2017 smart phone
Price (RRP): $399 Manufacturer: Huawei
Good value for money, pretty decent camera, good full HD screen, good battery lif
Only single band WiFi
Overall
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