Reviewing The Huawei Y5 II: A Worthy Successor To The Y5?

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Huawei’s recently launched P9 Smartphone is certainly generating its fair share of hype from all over the world. But that doesn’t mean that Huawei is only giving their attention to their flagship devices. Today we will be looking at the Huawei Y5 II, a sequel to last year’s entry-level Y5, which we reviewed a while ago. The Y5 II is slated to be the updated model of the Y5. So what does it bring to the table? Well read on and find out.

Priced at LKR 14,199 and LKR 15,999, respectively for the 3G and 4G models, the Y5 II is available at all Singer outlets islandwide.

What’s inside the box?

As with standard packaging by Huawei, the phone comes wrapped up in a nice white cardboard box which includes the basics you would find with a smartphone (charging cable, dock, earphones). The charging cable also doubles as a standard micro USB cable for charging and data transfer.

Measuring 143.8 x 72 x 8.9 mm or 5.66 x 2.83 x 0.35 in, the device presents itself in a candybar form factor weighing in at 135g which is lighter than its predecessor at 142 grams.

Huawei Y5 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

As with most, if not all Huawei smartphones, the top of the device houses the 3.5mm audio connector and the front houses the front camera (5mp), ear piece and ambient light sensor. The bottom consists of hardware navigation (Back, Home, and Recents), microphone and the microUSB port. The power button and volume rocker are both housed on the right side of the device whilst the camera is located at the back of the devices towards the center along with the flash.

Huawei Y5 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

The Hardware of the Huawei Y5 II

Packing a 720p 1280*720 IPS LCD display, the Y5 II upgrades from a 4.5” screen to a 5” screen whilst maintaining a 66.6% screen-to-body ratio and has a pixel density of 296 ppi to go along with the updated screen. With regard to network and connectivity options, you get dual MicroSIM support with full LTE (4G) support. As for storage, you’re looking at 8 GB for the 3G model and 16 GB of the 4G model. We’re not quite sure what to make of the difference. Perhaps the faster connection would require more storage to store your downloaded files? Well if that’s not enough, the device also supports up to 32GB via a microSD card.

The Y5 II in all its gloryImage Credits: Mahesh de Andrado
The Y5 II in all its glory
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

Despite having a 5” 720p screen, Huawei again manages to make text clear and readable at both full brightness and at automatic brightness. Again we suspect that IPS displays have something to do with it so we shall not question, but rather, accept it. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, photos and playback of videos was quite clear as well.

The Software of the Huawei Y5 II

The device ships with Huawei’s basic apps which include Kingsoft Office, weather, a flashlight, a mirror app and even a magnifier. You also get the standard Google apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Play Store.

Emotion UI 3.1 running on the Huawei 5 II Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado
Emotion UI 3.1 running on the Huawei 5 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

We see the standard set of entertainment options such as an FM Radio or a media player capable of handling almost all audio formats along with audio enhancements AKA Dolby DTS which add a certain level of clarity to the music. That level is also seen in the built in loudspeaker where it’s just the right blend of volume and clarity.

The Y5 II is powered by either a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 for the 4G model or a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 for the 3G model backed by 1GB or 2GB of RAM respectively. The GPU is again either a Mali-T720MP2 for the 4G model or a Mali-400MP2 for the 3G model. Regardless of that, both these models are capable of handling your day to day processing and graphical needs.

The Y5 II ships with Android Lollipop 5.1.1 coupled with Huawei’s proprietary EmotionUI 3.1 to deliver a seemingly flawless user experience. Much like the other Huawei devices we reviewed, Homescreen switching is butter smooth and animations are fluid. Navigating within the app drawer is equally fast. As for multitasking, with either 1GB or 2GB of RAM, you can do almost anything your heart desires without breaking a sweat, although we would recommend going for more RAM as it its better to have and not need, rather than need and not have.

Equipped with a 8MP camera and a built in LED flash, the Y5 II is a decent contender in the photography department. Skinned to give off an iOS-esque, but also intuitive interface, the camera has a plethora of features such as beauty mode, a video mode capable of recording at 720P and even a time lapse mode which is really cool.

 

The Camera UI of the Huawei Y5 II Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado
The Camera UI of the Huawei Y5 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

The camera has a HDR mode and also a Panorama and Watermark mode as well. With regard to video, as we stated earlier, you can record 720p video with stereo sound. Videos are clear and again depend on the lighting condition. If you find yourself in dark times, simply use the inbuilt flash to guide you through the darkness.

Testing 1,2,3

Antutu has time and time again proven to be the choice for smartphone benchmarks. The latest version (6.1.1) has some improvements for OpenGL and OpenESL standards which also means that the benchmarking tool has undergone some radical changes to make it more challenging. The entire test takes around 5 minutes to complete and your device get heated up but that’s completely normal.

An Antutu score of 24,000 is actually good for a device n this price rangeImage Credits: Mahesh de Andrado
An Antutu score of 24,000 is actually good for a device n this price range
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

Giving a score of around 24,000, the results are more or less what we would have expected from the updated Y5. No complaints here.

A 2200 mAh battery would theoretically give you enough juice to last the whole day given the 720p screen and battery optimization tweaks put in place by Huawei. With around 1-2 hours of screen on time, whilst using a number of apps, the device had just enough juice left till I got home and put it to charge. Actual usage though depends on factors such as screen on time, network signal quality and how much you actually use the phone and its apps.

Final Thoughts

The Huawei Y5 II is the successor to the popular Y5 Smartphone. Both share similar characteristics such as build quality, a good loudspeaker and the Y5 II improves on its predecessor by having a larger screen. t. As a successor to the Y5, the Y5 II does live up to the expectation placed on it and handles everything well. At this price range, it competes with numerous the likes of the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen, Lumia 540, and HTC Desire 626 numerous Samsung models. If you’re on the lookout for a new affordable smartphone within the LKR 10,000-16,000 price. range, then the Huawei Y5 II is indeed worth looking at. Coupled with Singer’s warranty terms and Huawei’s build quality, the device certainly deserves a round of applause.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I would like to know if this model has the option where the light on the top of the phone lights when the message arrives or if there was a missed call. I had it on my previous Huawei phone and it seems this model does not have it. Thank you. Nina

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