The General Mobile GM 5 Plus is one of the first premium Android One smartphone which is being sold online by Thulo Pasal Pvt. Ltd. This device is not crap at all like the previous Android One smartphones which had lower specs and poor build quality. It is not a new phone from a not so known smartphone manufacturer that has released this phone for the users in Nepal. This phone was released way back in February at the MWC, 2016. This Turkish manufacturer has partnered with Google to come up with this premium android one device. The word “premium” in a sense that previous android one devices which were released in Nepal like the Micromax Canvas A1, Karbon Sparkle V, and Spice Dream Uno had poor specs as well as poor build quality. So, let’s see what does this Rs.25000 phone has to offer and can it name itself as one of the best android one devices in the market.
GM 5 Plus Review
Build and Design
This phone has a 5.5-inch 1080p display with on-screen capacitive buttons. For Rs.25,000, the phone offers a really good Full HD display. The colors look vibrant and well saturated but it has some reddish tint on it. It can be seen when you tilt the phone at a certain angle. The screen has a nice 2.5D curved glass with gorilla glass 4 protection. The viewing angle in this device is also good since it is an IPS display.
Talking about the build and design of the phone, the phone looks sleek and thin with only 7.9mm thickness. You have a glass front and plastic back which has the main camera of the phone as well. The back of the phone is covered with textured plastic which adds a grip to the device. Unlike the phones which have a glass back, this phone is not at all prone to fingerprints and feels more rugged.
The side of the phone is covered with metal rails on all side which gives a premium look to a budget smartphone. On the right, you have your volume rocker and a power button which has a nice ridge design which helps you distinguish it with the volume buttons. On the left, it has a hybrid SIM tray which supports 4G network connectivity.
On the top, you have your 3.5 mm headphone jack along antenna bands and at the bottom, you have the speaker grills and a USB Type-C port. The speaker is not a stereo speaker. But it gets pretty loud and the sound quality is decent. But like other bottom firing speaker, it can be easily blocked by your finger when used in a landscape mode. On the front, you have your front facing camera with flash and a microphone.
Hardware and Performance
Inside the phone, you get some decent specs, you get the snapdragon 617 octa-core 64-bit chip clocked at 1.5 GHz with the Adreno 405 GPU. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with 128GB of expandable storage via micro-SD.
For a normal user, this phone can handle day to day task pretty well but if you are a heavy user, you will start noticing lags. When you play intense graphics games like the Nova Legacy or the Asphalt 8, you start noticing frame drops and sometimes the application freezes during usage and you’ll need to force close the application.
General Mobile GM 5 Plus Key Specifications
- Display – 5-inches FHD IPS LTPS touchscreen with 2.5 D-Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617
- CPU – Octa-core ARM Cortex-A53, 1.5 GHz, 64-bit
- GPU – Adreno 405
- Memory – 32 GB internal storage with expandable storage up to 128 GB via microSD card, 3 GB RAM
- OS – Andriod 7.0 Nougat
- Primary Camera – 13 MP, f/2.0, autofocus, HDR, dual LED flash
- Secondary Camera – 13 MP camera, autofocus, selfie flash
- Battery – Li-Po 3100 mAh non-removable battery
- Connectivity – Dual SIM with 4.5G LTE Cat7 modem technology. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB Type-C with GM Turbo Charger
- Sensors – Accelerometer, compass
This phone is powered by a 3100 mAh battery which supports Qualcomm Fast Charge 3.0 which the company names it as GM Turbo Charger. And this fast charge is actually fast. It gives you 0-60% of charge in just 30-35 min and 100% charge within 80 mins. On my review period, this phone gave me 3-4 hours of screen on time with constant Wi-Fi usage, watching videos, surfing the net and playing games. Even if you have a low battery in the middle of the day, that fast charging can get you a good amount of charge in just a few minutes.
The camera app in this phone is simple but every time, you need to click on the menu button to toggle other functionality of the camera like switching to the front camera, turning on the flash or turning on the HDR mode. If all these functions were on the screen itself, it would have been a lot easier for the users. Also, you need to swipe from left to get into options like video mode, panorama mode, and other functions and swipe from right to access the gallery. So, all these features are hidden and you’ll need to get used to this camera app.
The GM 5 Plus has a primary camera of 13MP with a f/2 aperture which has a digital image stabilization and autofocus. Talking about the quality of the image, the images look over sharpened and over saturated. In well-lit conditions or at daylight the photos look good but when you zoom in, the pixels starts to split. In low light conditions, the image looks noisier and when you turn on the flash the images look warmer. The HDR mode can help you get good photos but it takes much time for processing. The video quality is just average. You get a cropped view when you enter video mode which helps to make the videos look less shaky. The front camera in this phone is also a 13 MP sensor with autofocus and flash. You get good quality selfie photos because of the high megapixel count and for low lighting conditions you have a dedicated front flash.
Out of the box, the GM 5 plus d is pre-installed with stock android 7.0 which can be upgraded to 7.1.1. The stock version of android is quick, clean and there are no unnecessary apps like you find on Samsung devices or other custom skinned phones. With the Android Nougat, you are getting the Google assistant as well. And Android One Devices have something that even most of the high-end smartphones don’t have i.e. fast and reliable OS updates straight from Google which I really like because most of the phones in the market in this price range have no Nougat installed out of the box or not even Nougat update.
You get an average performing camera and also an average performing phone. But with this phone, you are getting a good build design with great battery or I would say great fast charging which you normally don’t get in a budget smartphone. But what you get nowadays in this price range is a fingerprint scanner which is unfortunately not included in this device. And of course, the best part of the phone is the stock android.
So, the choice is yours. If you use your camera a lot or if you play high graphic games, do not buy this phone, you can wait for the GM 6 which will be releasing soon in Nepal or you could get any other phones with slightly higher price.
Here is our Review video of General Mobile GM 5 Plus. Do watch it!