Huawei’s launch of the GR3 2017, also known as Huawei P8 Lite (2017), Huawei Honor 8 Lite, and Huawei Nova Lite, delivers surprisingly good value for a phone under Php 10K. The GR3 is a great option for people looking for a solid budget phone that has got all the basics for today’s demanding market.

Huawei GR3 (2017) Specs

  • HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor
  • ARM Mali-T830 MP2 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 5.2-inch FHD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2.5D glass
  • 16GB expandable storage, up to 128GB via microSD
  • 12-megapixel rear camera, BSI, phase detection AF, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM, 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (EMUI 5.0)
  • Php 8,990

Design and Build Quality

The GR3 2017 certainly looks beautiful. After all, Huawei’s known for making solid, good-looking phones; and their budget offerings are no exception. This phone actually kinda looks like the Google Pixel because of its glass front and back panel.

Huawei GR3 (2017) Review: A Phone That Hits The Right Spots

With the way the phone looks and feels, you wouldn’t notice that it is supposed to be budget oriented. Obviously, it’s expected that Huawei had to downgrade a feature or two of the phone to keep the price affordable. With that in mind, you should know that phone is encased in a plastic frame with the front and back panel covered in glass. While the glass panels may look nice and sexy, it is prone to getting scratch marks very easily if you leave it unprotected, so it would be a good idea to put a screen protector and a case.

On the rear, we have the 12-megapixel rear camera and a fingerprint sensor. While the glass back panel may look pretty, it is definitely a fingerprint and scratch magnet. Fortunately, Huawei includes a plastic transparent case right out of the box for the phone’s protection.

Going around the phone, you’ll see the power and volume rocker on the right side, while the 3.5mm jack sits on the top. On the left side we have the microSD/SIM slot, while the two speaker grilles and USB port are on the bottom.

The GR3 2017 has a beautiful 5.2-inch full HD display that easily accumulates smudges. You may want to put a screen protector on it just to keep that pretty display nice and smooth. As for the quality of the display, the GR3 2017 is definitely good. Having full HD resolution at 5.2-inches is eye-candy, especially when playing games and HD videos. The color reproduction is quite good. The color gamut is on the warm side and the color contrast and saturation are quite nice. The viewing angles are very good as well.

Performance

The GR3 2017 has very similar specs compared to the GR5 2017. Both run on a Kirin 655 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It only makes sense that both devices have very similar AnTuTu scores as well. After all, the Kirin 655 is very capable for daily tasks and for casual gaming.

 

It’s expected that the GR3 2017 will surely have an Achilles heel somewhere in the hardware department. It’s been confirmed that the device will only come with 16GB of storage. That is a big limitation, especially if you’re the type who install large, space-consuming games, movies, photos, and music.

Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 on top of Android Nougat looks and feels very snappy and responsive, not to mention the myriad of customization that it brilliantly offers. The GPS and LTE performance is very good. Audio quality is very acceptable as well. The audio speaker is definitely loud enough but the position of the grille at the bottom is expectedly limiting. You’ll want to plug in some earphones or a decent set of speakers if you really want to hear good audio.

Battery

The Kirin 655 octa-core processor is quite impressive with its power-efficiency. Despite having a full HD panel and only having 3000mAh battery to power it, the phone managed to last us an entire day of use with around 15% left in the tank. PCMark’s battery benchmark put the device at around 8 hours and 49 minutes.

Camera

We’re happy to say that the GR3 2017’s camera performs very well. It’s not perfect but if you always shoot with enough light, the GR3 2017’s camera is able to capture plenty of detail with its 12-megapixels.

Since the GR3 2017 doesn’t have optical image stabilization, the phone sometimes struggle in low light which results in slightly blurred images. However, it goes without saying that a lot of phones at this price range are struggling with low light one way or another. But looking at the images produced by this device, I would say it performs way better than most. And that is a good thing. Video recording at 1080p @ 30fps is pretty good. The exposure, white balance and saturation look good in most situations.

Conclusion

The Huawei GR3 2017 truly is a great value option when you consider the cost. The Kirin 655 octa-core processor is good enough for daily use, the display is excellent  and the battery is able to last more than an entire day.

Huawei GR3 (2017) Review: A Phone That Hits The Right Spots

Despite its beautiful but fragile frame and 16GB ROM limitation, the GR3 2017 is excellent value compared to its past iterations and competitors in the same price range. At Php 8,990, it’ll be hard to find a solid alternative to the GR3 2017.

The Pros

  • Full HD display
  • Premium aesthetic design
  • Smooth overall performance
  • Great camera quality
  • Good battery life
  • Great value for the price

The Cons

  • Only limited to 16GB ROM
  • microSD uses SIM 2 slot
  • Fragile glass back casing

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Author

Criss Galit is a multimedia artist, and an avid gamer. He is also a singer when he goes to karaoke with friends. He loves watching films when he just wants to relax and get immersed in the theater. He has done freelance graphic design work for a few years, and is now looking forward to expand and share his creativity in different mediums and technologies.

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