Huawei GR3 2017 Review – A Compelling Mid Range Smartphone

The Huawei GR3 2017 is the GR5 2017’s slightly less talented little brother but that is not at all a bad thing! It keeps the powerful internal hardware from the GR5 2017 intact but adds a twist to the design and also comes at a lower price. The phone costs BDT 19,900 and you get get the device from any official Huawei retailer.


Huawei GR3 2017 Main Specifications

Kirin 655 8 Core CPU (4X2.1GHz + 4X1.7GHz)
3GB RAM, 16GB ROM, 7.55GB Available (microSD up to 128GB)
5.2″ 1080p IPS Display, 2.5D Glass
3,000mAh Battery
Main Camera 12MP 1.25 micron with PDAF
Front Camera 8MP
Android 7.0 Nougat, EMUI 5.0
Fingerprint sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass, Acceleration sensor, Phone status indicator, gyroscope

Design & Hardware

The Huawei GR3 2017 has a plastic body but this is sandwiched between two pieces of 2.5D glass. This makes the phone a bit more ergonomic and easier to hold whilst adding the premium feel of glass. Because of the extensive use of glass, this pone attracts a lot of fingerprints so be prepared to wipe it down from time to time in order to keep it looking clean. In addition, Huawei has thrown in a free transparent cover with the phone so use it if you want to reduce the odds of damaging the back glass and also to keep fingerprints away.

On the right hand side of the device we have the plastic volume and power buttons which are a little soft but responsive. The opposite side has a hybrid SIM tray which can accommodate 2 Nano SIMs or one Nano SIM and one microSD card. On the back is the fingerprint 4.0 scanner and this is super fast, right up there with the best in business and also very accurate. The scanner also supports gestures so you can swipe down on it to toggle the notifications panel and also swipe through images in the gallery. On the bottom are two speaker grilles but only the one on the right is a speaker. The audio is pleasantly loud and clear even at maximum volume. Furthermore, if you are wondering where the notification LED is, it is discretely placed on the top right of the display.  


The screen is a 5.2 inch 1080p display with 2.5D glass on top. Using this phone felt great because of the vibrant display. Colours pop and you can change the colour temperature through the settings menu with a great degree of control. The viewing angles were great and the brightness especially was noteworthy. The screen can get really bright making outdoor usage a piece of cake.


The GR3 2017 is powered by Huawei’s own octa core Kirin 655 processor and I have high praise for this CPU. I used it on the GR5 2017 and was impressed by it’s performance. The CPU has 4 cores clocked at 2.1GHZ and four more at 1.7GHz. It is combined with 3GB of RAM, 16GB built in storage and a 3,000mAh battery. The battery life was good and I always made it through a full day with over 20% battery left.

Similar to the GR5, this phone took on my test games head first and performed very well. With this clockspeed you can increase the in game graphics settings and still get a smooth experience. A powerful processor like this opens up the door to an improved gaming experience as you get to enjoy more of what the game developer intended. Watch through the gameplay, which by the way is all above default settings.


I am glad that the GR3 2017 comes with Android 7.0 Nougat built in along with Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 skin. Because this is a Nougat phone you get the benefits of better battery life, performance optimizations, split screen mode and my personal favorite – double tapping the recents key to switch between apps. An interesting thing I noticed is that the launcher looks to perform faster if you use the app drawer so go into the settings and choose that. EMUI has some extra features like a one handed mode and a floating dock but my favorite feature is the ability to adjust the soft navigation keys through the settings.


The GR3’s main camera is a 12 MP BSI sensor with 1.25 micron pixels and PDAF. The front facing camera is an 8MP BSI sensor. I am quite fond of Huawei’s cameras as they leave no stone unturned when it comes to features. First of all, you get full manual photo and video controls along with various modes like time lapse and light painting. Let’s take a look at some photos. In daylight this camera shines and produces nice and vibrant colours with a good amount of detail. The depth of field in some of these shots looks great too and overall, the camera is consistent. The front facing camera too produces some nice shots. In low light the larger pixel size does help but these photos obviously succumb to the downfalls of low light photography.


Reviewing the Huawei GR3 2017 was a pleasure. The phone feels great in the hand and brings a bunch of cool features to the table. However there is room for improvement. Next time I would like to see a metal body instead of the plastic one along with better buttons and some Gorilla Glass on the screen and back which would also ease my anxiety as I don’t want to take any chances with accidental drops. Additionally I would like more built in storage. In conclusion, for BDT 19,900 I think this is a wonderful phone  which you will enjoy using and I recommend it.


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