Which phone to get for a first phone? Samsung Galaxy S5 or Huawei GR5.


Requesting thoughts on which of these two phones to get for my child who is to start high school next year.

Why should I get one over the other?

The reason only these two is that they are the two my child likes the best within the budget we've set.

As a true OZBargainer, there is No Way I would buy anywhere near a flagship phone for a child. Heck, I don't have a flagship phone meself!

My appreciation to your responses in advance.



  • +2

    After being a long-time iPhone user, the Samsung S5 was my first phone away from Apple.

    While I can't speak about the Huawei GR5, the S5 (once the initial new phone feeling dissipated) was a poor phone. It felt cheap, and ran slow a lot quicker than I thought it should've. I'm not sure if I just expected too much from it, but I was incredibly disappointed. So much so that I ended up leaving Samsung as soon as I could (1-year later) and went back to Apple.

    On the flip side, after getting a taste of Android, I couldn't enjoy iOS anymore, and had to go back and my next phone after that was the Samsung S7, and now S8 just recently, and I absolutely love them now but I digress.

    I did not have a good experience with the S5 at all.

  • Id go one of the newer moto g series. Same price range as the s5 but much much newer.

  • +3

    Get the Xiaomi Redmi / Note 4X series (either the 3gb ram/32gb storage Note 4x $185 or the 2gbram/16gb storage redmi 4X $136 - from shopmonk.com.au). My 14 year old daughter got the 2gb/16gb Redmi note 3 , I added in a $8 16Gb microsd and she loves the phone. At that age the looks of the phone are important and its stylish. It has a beautiful screen, runs fast (the 2gb/16gb appears no slower than my sons 3gb/32gb version), decent loud speaker, great battery life.PLUS its cheap enough that if anything happens..not a huge loss. I'm not associated with shopmonk BTW, you can get it elsewhere easily enough. Just have been very happy with the Redmi note series for my daughter.

    • My 12 year old son has been very happy with his note 4, which competes admirably in every way with his friends' phones that cost 3x as much (which he finds strangely satisfying - I have brainwashed him well)

      And we both have the peace of mind of knowing that if he happens to lose or breaks it is not the end of the world

    • Hey i was looking for a Xiaomi redmi note 4x but shopmonk doesn't seem to have any xiaomi phone

  • +2

    Moto g5 plus

  • +1

    Thanks for the replies so far, my child did not like the Moto G5, hence why it's come down to the Huawei GR5 or Samsung S5.

    • I do not own a Huawei GR5, but I have a Samsung S5. It's 3.5 years old, and I can feel the sluggishness when running average things like browser, app launching etc. I am using S7 now.

    • G5 or G5 plus?

    • I handle a lot of Sasusng S5s at work and they are woeful to deal with. If the GR5 is newer, go for that. I am certain it'd have to be better than the S5.

  • OP you should also be aware that there are two versions of the GR5. There is the old superseded GR5 (Honor 5x) and there is a GR5 2017 (Honor 6x). If a seller doesn't mention its the GR5 2017 then assume its the superseded model.

    My recommendation for a high school aged kid between choosing a Samsung S5 and Huawei GR5 2017 is the GR5 2017.
    The GR5 2017 has:
    - a later version of Android (7.0 vs 6.0). ie. bragging rights.
    - better front camera for taking selfies (8MP vs 2MP).
    - built in FM radio (S5 doesn't have FM radio in the factory ROM).
    - more modern styling. ie. dual camera + rear finger print reader + larger screen (5.5" vs 5.1").
    - has hardware acceleration for the newer HTML5 video format. eg. YouTube Webm VP9.

    I own a 4 year old Huawei G series phone and would highly recommend them for build quality and great value for money as a mid-range phone.

    Samsung S5 does have a few features that the GR5 2017 doesn't. S5 has NFC and dodgy heart beat monitor. Don't know how much these features would impress high school kids.

    • Don't forget that the s5 has the IR blaster as well. I used it a fair bit not sure on other people's opinions about that as I use it to control the TVs when brat kids try and play one on me.

    • Mumbles, thanks for that.

      Im pretty sure it's not the 2017model GR5, does this mean I should go for the S5, not sure yet.

      My kid is not too fussed about impressing anyone, just over the moon we are at last allowing the 'privilege' of a phone.

      • Both are good choices. One is a flagship phone that's 1 year older than the mid-range phone. Basically the Samsung S5 is stronger in hardware features and the Huawei GR5 has a faster processor. The Huawei GR5 (Honor 5X) is +30% faster. The Samsung S5 takes noticeably better photos, is water resistant and more shock resistance (due to smaller phone/screen size).

        If its for 3D games then definitely choose the Huawei GR5 as it has a higher model graphics card, newer design, energy efficiency, less manufacturer bloatware, larger battery capacity.

        If its for photos then definitely the Samsung S5.

        If its physical durability then Samsung S5.

        Take the previous commenter's with a grain of salt. You'll notice they've been negative on speed/software/bloatware perspective and didn't mention the nice S5 hardware (eg. water resistance + camera + audio + screen quality).

        I'm risk adverse. As I don't know your kid and if he will look after their 1st smartphone I'm imagining the worst and choose the safer bet of the more durable S5.

        • I did notice the hate the S5 is getting, my brother has the S7 and had the S5 and he found it OK.
          My Child does like the bigger screen on the Huawei GR5. I wanted to get the Note 4 or 5 due to the stylus, but too expensive, must stick to our budget.

  • Thanks again everyone who's bothered to reply, much appreciated.

    • Buy him a cheap $100 one, tell him if he looks after it next year he gets a better one.


    • Hi there,

      I just wanted to reach out and see whether you would be interested in being in a news story. It’s on kids and smartphones, in particular purchasing them one before they start high school.

      Please do let me know whether this is something you’d be able to help me out with.

      Many thanks,

  • Hi ya'll. I've left my Kid's gender out of it if you haven't noticed, as I don't want the ol' Girls like iPhones, boys like Android arguments I hear all the time at work.

    Thanks, leaning towards the GR5.