Octacore JiaYu G5S Review: Our review of the stainless steel beauty


jiayu g5s review

When it comes to Chinese phones, we have an insane amount of devices to choose from. But most of you will probably agree that only a minor percentage of all these phones are really stand out from the crowd. Well, today we are take a look at one of these ‘stand out’ devices, the JiaYu G5S.

Yes, it is not exactly a new phone. JiaYu actually released the G5 last year with a Mediatek quad-core SoC. This year however they gave the phone a little hardware upgrade to the MT6592 octacore processor. The available models also changed, gone is the 32GB version and instead there are the 16GB with 2GB RAM and a 4GB model with 1GB RAM, but this has allowed JiaYu to drop the price too.

Over the past 5 days we had the chance to put the octacore JiaYu G5S 16GB model through a patented GizChina review. Here are the results.

JiaYu G5S: What’s inside the package?

P1010276

If you own a JiaYu G5 already, or have seen a review of this phone before, then you will surely recognize the packaging of the stainless steel phone, as it simply is the same box. So let’s have a look at the package contents which include a good length white micro USB cable, a Chinese mains charger (plus EU adaptor), and finally a warranty card. There is no user manual, headphones or screen protector this time, which is a bit disappointing considering the price.

JiaYu G5S review – Design

Now as already mentioned before, the JiaYu G5S definitely stands out from the crowd of Chinese phones. The main reason for this is the body of the, which is made almost completely from stainless steel. You won’t find any plastic piece on this phone, except two black elements on the upper and lower of the rear (which actually help to improve WIFI, GPS and data signals). This not only looks beautiful, but also adds a certain degree of toughness to the phone. The only negative of the design could be the iPhone appearance of the phone, get past that and you have a very well made device.

On the front you will notice the phone call speaker at the top along side an LED notification light (controllable with LightFlow from in the settings), a light sensor, proximity sensor and of course the front facing camera. A 4.5-inch screen is next and below that you can find three touch buttons with back-illumination – no light bleeding visible here.

A quick look at the sides uncover two buttons for volume control on the left, and micro USB port with OTG support, microphone  and the speaker for media on the base. The right side gets a small switch to unlock the back plate of the phone, as well as the power button. The last detail is the top mounted 3.5mm headphone jack.

In the top back plastic element is the main 13 mega-pixel camera and LED flash. Between this area and the lower plastic section is a removable stainless steel plate where you will find the removable battery, micro SD slot and dual SIM slots (normal + micro). To differentiate the G5S the removable plate has a matte black finish where as the regular G5 does not.

Sizes don’t change so the dimensions are the same 130 x 64 x 8mm. At 161g the octacore JiaYu G5S is substantial rather than heavy, the weight adding piece of mind that your phone is well made and should last the course.

JiaYu G5S review – Camera

The 13 megapixel rear shooter of the phone captures light via an aperture of F/2.2. Images do look quite good considering that this is a Chinese phone in the lower mid price range. They have a really natural color reproduction, good depth of field, they show a lot of details and the camera does not seem to have any huge issues with direct light sources or light from the sides. Another plus is that both focus and shutter times are rather fast. The LED flash also does a pretty good job, at least up to mid-sized rooms. The only real downside is the level of noise, which is omnipresent and is gets more of an issue the less light there is.

Videos can be recorded at up to 1080p and are good quality with almost no lag. Audio quality is also acceptable.

As for the he front camera, this is only a 3 mega pixels unit, so you shouldn’t expect that much from it. But yes, it’s good enough for video calls / chats or those times you need to take an emergency selfie. Below are some sample pictures for you to have a look at.

Regarding the camera app we have to say that it is mostly the stock Android camera app with a little redesign. It does have some nice features like HDR, panorama and so on, but nothing out of the ordinary.

JiaYu G5S review – battery life

Everyone who has ever used a MT6592 phone is probably aware of the fact that this processor is quite energy-consuming despite of its energy-efficient Cortex A7 cores. Unfortunately a lot of octacore MT6592 also suffer from having a battery of just 2000mAh, this usually isn’t a great combination. The good news is that although the octacore JiaYu G5S also gets these component choices the battery life is much better than expected.

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This is probably caused by the enabled power saving mode of the processor and the smaller screen size. So during normal usage you will get easily over a day with a fully charged battery, during our test we even reached one and a half day most of the time. Only if you are playing games or use the GPS a lot, the battery life will of course go down.

Read Also:  Donner Dobuds ONE: Affordable, Stylish Earbuds with ANC!

JiaYu G5S review – connectivity

The JiaYu G5S supports a wide range of GSM and WCDMA frequencies including 850/900/1800/1900MHz for GSM and 800/850/900/1900/2000MHz for WCDMA, but doesn’t have support for LTE networks. Reception quality is good, even though the phone is mostly made from stainless steel. During the test we had a 3G signal for about 60% of the time and GSM was pretty much always present with at least two bars in the signal indicator.

Other supported network technologies are Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n and GPS. In our tests Bluetooth works at a distance of around 8 meters, a bit limited compared to other phones but still enough of using a BT headset with the phone in your pocket. Wi-Fi is working quite well, but here the signal strength is also not as good as with some other phones. You might have issues getting a stable connection within your backyard for example.

GPS is the really issue here, and the JiaYu G5S like many other Mediatek phones has a terrible connection with satellites. Even using the most popular GPS hacks the GPS continued to be poor, at one point taking more than an hour searching before we finally gave up.

JiaYu G5S review – software

JiaYu unfortunately has not given the octacore JiaYu G5S Google’s latest Android 4.4 KitKat, but instead is using Android 4.2.2 JellyBean. The system is mostly stock, yet has got some UI changes and looks like a mix of MIUI and stock Android. JiaYu have resisted the urge to load the phone with junk, and also we were not able to find any viruses or trojans on the phone.

There are some bugs though, which are worth mentioning. First is the missing control for the CPU’s power saving mode, while this improves battery life it does cause the frame rate to drop. Another bug is, that if you reset the phone to factory settings, you will be left without any pre-installed keyboard. Now this is easy to fix, but still pretty annoying.

Something that might be interesting for some as well: Rooting the JiaYu G5S does not seem to be quite easy. We tried it with Framaroot, vRoot and other popular tools – all of which failed.

JiaYu G5S performance

With the persistent power saving mode of the MT6592 processor due to the JiaYu G5S ROM, benchmarks are lower than on phones with similar hardware. Below are some screenshots of popular benchmark tools for you to have a look at.

But what does that mean for real life performance? Well, you might not notice any difference as long as you are not playing any games. The UI is surprisingly smooth and all in all appears to work better than some other MT6592 phones. It seems JiaYu’s developers have put together a well optimised ROM. Thanks to the 2GB of RAM, multi tasking isn’t something to worry about and even browsing large websites in multiple tabs does not create any noticeable slow down.

Gaming does show some notable performance trade-offs. Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 on the phone are all playable, but all definitely have a lower frame rate than we have come to expect. A third-party ROM with might solve this, but for now it is something buyers will have to live with.

JiaYu G5S review – Hands on video

JiaYu G5S review: Conclusion

The octacore JiaYu G5S with its stainless steel body is definitely a beauty. The 4.5-inch screen offers great viewing, keeps the size down to an easy to handle form and helps with the battery life. For $240 (international price) you will be hard pushed to find a phone with similar quality display and rear camera in fact. The G5S is far from perfect though, the non functioning GPS is a major let down and the bugs found in the OS are irritating. Your decision to buy the octacore JiaYu G5S will rest on if you need GPS, and if you can live with the stock ROM, or at least until an alternative is released.

If you take the GPS out of the equation then the JiaYu G5S is a competitive phone, with some wonderful features and easily the best build quality in its class.

Thanks to TradingShenzhen.net for sending the JiaYu G5S over to us for review.

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60 Comments

  1. bobo
    June 28, 2014

    It won’t connect to LTE, or it doesn’t support LTE?

    • June 28, 2014

      No LTE support for this one.

      • Slav
        June 29, 2014

        No problem with gps fix on my girlfriend g5s and my s2.
        Perfect phones..

  2. bobo
    June 28, 2014

    It won’t connect to LTE, or it doesn’t support LTE?

    • Christopher Straßer
      June 28, 2014

      No LTE support for this one.

    • Guest
      June 29, 2014

      No problem with gps fix on my girlfriend g5s and my s2.
      Perfect phones..

  3. TheOracle
    June 28, 2014

    The gps problem on the g5 is an old one that Jiayu could have easily addressed. I like my g5 but won’t buy another Jiayu.

    • June 28, 2014

      Other JiaYu phones are doing quite a good job for GPS actually. Currently testing the G6, working flawlessly. But yes, it is disappointing that they did not improve the antenna and its position.

      • Ben Liu
        June 30, 2014

        I have a suspicious feeling that your G5S probably has an antenna problem. You should ask for another unit for evaluation to see if there are any differences.

        • July 1, 2014

          Nope, most have the same problem.

          • Michał Cieślicki
            July 4, 2014

            Exactly, gps is crap on g5s. Recently it took 400km to get “some” idea about the current location. Completely useless for those, who needs navigation.

      • mr.key
        August 6, 2014

        hi there is it possible to set a different ringtone for each sim card? jiayu g6. thanx

        • August 7, 2014

          Android actually can not do this out of the box. But there are apps on Google Play which can do it.

  4. TheOracle
    June 28, 2014

    The gps problem on the g5 is an old one that Jiayu could have easily addressed. I like my g5 but won’t buy another Jiayu.

    • Christopher Straßer
      June 28, 2014

      Other JiaYu phones are doing quite a good job for GPS actually. Currently testing the G6, working flawlessly. But yes, it is disappointing that they did not improve the antenna and its position.

    • Ben Liu
      June 30, 2014

      I have a suspicious feeling that your G5S probably has an antenna problem. You should ask for another unit for evaluation to see if there are any differences.

    • Christopher Straßer
      July 1, 2014

      Nope, most have the same problem.

    • Michał Cieślicki
      July 4, 2014

      Exactly, gps is crap on g5s. Recently it took 400km to get “some” idea about the current location. Completely useless for those, who needs navigation.

    • Guest
      August 6, 2014

      hi there is it possible to set a different ringtone for each sim card? jiayu g6. thanx

    • Christopher Straßer
      August 7, 2014

      Android actually can not do this out of the box. But there are apps on Google Play which can do it.

  5. Andrew
    June 29, 2014

    It actually supports all those WCDMA frequencies? I’d be tempted to get one of these had I not bought a Nexus 5 after becoming fed up with Chinese manufacturers constantly scrooging on the band support. This really looks like a nice phone.

    • June 29, 2014

      Yep it does, I checked it in the Engineer Mode. But only on one SIM Slot.

      • Ben Liu
        June 30, 2014

        It only supports 900/2100 Mhz. Does not support 850Mhz.

        • Maximiliano On Line
          July 24, 2014

          Does you checked that? Because some people had bought jiayu and they cant get wcdma 900mhz working…

  6. Andrew
    June 29, 2014

    It actually supports all those WCDMA frequencies? I’d be tempted to get one of these had I not bought a Nexus 5 after becoming fed up with Chinese manufacturers constantly scrooging on the band support. This really looks like a nice phone.

    • Christopher Straßer
      June 29, 2014

      Yep it does, I checked it in the Engineer Mode. But only on one SIM Slot.

    • Ben Liu
      June 30, 2014

      It only supports 900/2100 Mhz. Does not support 850Mhz.

    • Maximiliano On Line
      July 25, 2014

      Does you checked that? Because some people had bought jiayu and they cant get wcdma 900mhz working…

  7. kostas
    June 29, 2014

    Does jiayu stop producing this phone? 4 stores that I asked dont have it in stock. Anyone knows something abouts this?

    • Pessimist
      July 29, 2014

      actually they want to produce but cannot secure supply of certain components and whatever they produce goes to Spain and Germany where they have contracts to fulfill. That’s what some colleagues were told by some Chinese resellers.

      Perhaps that’s why a possibly fake (not sure though) version appeared in the market called Jiayu G5S+, which is not metallic, has a bigger 5″ screen with 1920×1080, KitKat preinstalled, battery 2200 or 3300 mAh, and about $100 cheaper. Once again, I’m asking GizChina, if possible, find out with Jiayu if that version is indeed theirs, or just a copy-cat

  8. jasneskis
    June 29, 2014

    Gizchina had an article about how to fix GPS about a year ago. I have a dual Jiayu and had to do it. My GPS works fine now. Maybe this is a new problem just for this phone. GPS is important to me.

    • Michał Cieślicki
      July 4, 2014

      In engineering mode there is only a button for downloading EPO’s, but it does nothing. That menu position seems to be broken (at least in my original rom)

  9. Guest
    June 29, 2014

    Does jiayu stop producing this phone? 4 stores that I asked dont have it in stock. Anyone knows something abouts this?

    • Guest
      July 29, 2014

      actually they want to produce but cannot secure supply of certain components and whatever they produce goes to Spain and Germany where they have contracts to fulfill. That’s what some colleagues were told by some Chinese resellers.

      Perhaps that’s why a possibly fake (not sure though) version appeared in the market called Jiayu G5S+, which is not metallic, has a bigger 5″ screen with 1920×1080, KitKat preinstalled, battery 2200 or 3300 mAh, and about $100 cheaper. Once again, I’m asking GizChina, if possible, find out with Jiayu if that version is indeed theirs, or just a copy-cat

  10. jasneskis
    June 30, 2014

    Gizchina had an article about how to fix GPS about a year ago. I have a dual Jiayu and had to do it. My GPS works fine now. Maybe this is a new problem just for this phone. GPS is important to me.

    • Michał Cieślicki
      July 4, 2014

      In engineering mode there is only a button for downloading EPO’s, but it does nothing. That menu position seems to be broken (at least in my original rom)

  11. pueblo23
    June 30, 2014

    Jiayu, use Snapdragons. I expect GPS of the phone work flawlessly out of the box, not after some abracadabra fixes …

  12. pueblo23
    June 30, 2014

    Jiayu, use Snapdragons. I expect GPS of the phone work flawlessly out of the box, not after some abracadabra fixes …

  13. Ben Liu
    June 30, 2014

    http://youtu.be/ZkTXHbqANV8
    For those that doubt the GPS capabilities of the Mediatek devices – I have made a video of an experiment to compare the THL T11 (6592 Octa) to the (original) Galaxy Note 3 LTE (Snapdragon 800) to the THL W8. It took the Note 3 20 seconds to get a lock, whilst the T11 took 30 seconds. The W8 took over 2 minutes, but this was because the EPO has not been updated for 111 days (as you can see on the screen). Subsequent test of the W8 after EPO was downloaded ended up being only 40 seconds or so. Obviously this various with brand and model, but the chip itself is not the issue – more so the design and the functioning capabilities and placement of the antenna itself.

    • Michał Cieślicki
      July 4, 2014

      Yeah, mine was getting fix quite fast at the beginning. After some time, it stopped to do that at all, now it takes sometimes hours (made some tests).
      The problem was and still ist, that after getting finally fix, it looses its position very frequently, it is almost impossible to use navigation in an unknown city, you may be once here, and in a second 5 street to the left, than 10 streets to the right.
      I really regret buying one.

  14. Ben Liu
    June 30, 2014

    For those that doubt the GPS capabilities of the Mediatek devices – I have made a video of an experiment to compare the THL T11 (6592 Octa) to the (original) Galaxy Note 3 LTE (Snapdragon 800) to the THL W8. It took the Note 3 20 seconds to get a lock, whilst the T11 took 30 seconds. The W8 took over 2 minutes, but this was because the EPO has not been updated for 111 days (as you can see on the screen). Subsequent test of the W8 after EPO was downloaded ended up being only 40 seconds or so. Obviously this various with brand and model, but the chip itself is not the issue – more so the design and the functioning capabilities and placement of the antenna itself.

    • Michał Cieślicki
      July 4, 2014

      Yeah, mine was getting fix quite fast at the beginning. After some time, it stopped to do that at all, now it takes sometimes hours (made some tests).
      The problem was and still ist, that after getting finally fix, it looses its position very frequently, it is almost impossible to use navigation in an unknown city, you may be once here, and in a second 5 street to the left, than 10 streets to the right.
      I really regret buying one.

  15. toioioio
    June 30, 2014

    may i ask why youve deleted my comments?

  16. toioioio
    June 30, 2014

    may i ask why youve deleted my comments?

  17. Pessimist
    July 29, 2014

    Hello. A number of sellers have started offering Jiayu g5s version (on Antutu screenshots identified as Jiayu g5s+) which is not metallic, has a bigger 5″ screen with 1920×1080, KitKat preinstalled, battery 2200 or 3300 mAh, etc. With these better characteristics than those of Jiayu g5s, the sellers offer it about $100 cheaper than the original model. This doesn’t feel right and suspect it is fake (that’s why not posting any links). But I’d really like to know the truth and would be grateful if GizChina could make an inquiry into this matter. Thank you.

  18. Guest
    July 29, 2014

    Hello. A number of sellers have started offering Jiayu g5s version (on Antutu screenshots identified as Jiayu g5s+) which is not metallic, has a bigger 5″ screen with 1920×1080, KitKat preinstalled, battery 2200 or 3300 mAh, etc. With these better characteristics than those of Jiayu g5s, the sellers offer it about $100 cheaper than the original model. This doesn’t feel right and suspect it is fake (that’s why not posting any links). But I’d really like to know the truth and would be grateful if GizChina could make an inquiry into this matter. Thank you.

  19. Martin
    September 9, 2014

    I just rooted my G5S+ with Kingo Root, others didn’t work!!!

  20. Guest
    September 9, 2014

    I just rooted my G5S+ with Kingo Root, others didn’t work!!!

  21. A. Camilleri
    October 26, 2014

    Hi, I have received my G5s and GPS seems to work fine, However the touch sensitive buttons do not light up at all, Is this a known issue and if so is there a fix please?

  22. A. Camilleri
    October 26, 2014

    Hi, I have received my G5s and GPS seems to work fine, However the touch sensitive buttons do not light up at all, Is this a known issue and if so is there a fix please?

  23. .g.e.o.
    October 30, 2014

    I have a G5S since May 2014. It’s my first smartphone. Now the GPS works fine most of the time, I suspect that occasional longer fix time depends on availability of EPO datas.
    Rather, what about KitKat for the G5S? Nothing yet?

  24. .g.e.o.
    October 30, 2014

    I have a G5S since May 2014. It’s my first smartphone. Now the GPS works fine most of the time, I suspect that occasional longer fix time depends on availability of EPO datas.
    Rather, what about KitKat for the G5S? Nothing yet?

  25. Frank
    November 1, 2014

    Hi, I have a jiayu g5s+ with MT6592 and android 4.4.2 kitkat and the gps is not working. How can I make it worked?

  26. Frank
    November 1, 2014

    Hi!

    I have a jiayu g5s+ with android 4.4.2 and MT6592 but I can not make the GPS worked. Hoc can I make the GPS worked? Please, help me. Thanks

  27. Guest
    November 1, 2014

    Hi, I have a jiayu g5s+ with MT6592 and android 4.4.2 kitkat and the gps is not working. How can I make it worked?

  28. Guest
    November 1, 2014

    Hi!

    I have a jiayu g5s+ with android 4.4.2 and MT6592 but I can not make the GPS worked. Hoc can I make the GPS worked? Please, help me. Thanks

  29. Clone
    December 7, 2014

    I have a G5S since last year. immedeately I had the freeze-on-charge error: If I didn’t reboot daily the phone would freeze. Only a removal of the battery would solve this. But i could live with this. But then the touchscreen gave in. First only the lower part, now all the screen.
    My previous phone was the G3, which als had items. No more Jiayu for me, unfortunately.

  30. Clone
    December 7, 2014

    I have a G5S since last year. immedeately I had the freeze-on-charge error: If I didn’t reboot daily the phone would freeze. Only a removal of the battery would solve this. But i could live with this. But then the touchscreen gave in. First only the lower part, now all the screen.
    My previous phone was the G3, which als had items. No more Jiayu for me, unfortunately.

  31. Nikie Lima
    January 12, 2015

    The screen interface looks ugly, distance between apps are so far…..Not a good one.

  32. Nikie Lima
    January 13, 2015

    The screen interface looks ugly, distance between apps are so far…..Not a good one.