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Head-to-Head: Huawei GR3 2017 VS Huawei GR5 2017

We pit two of Huawei’s budget offerings against each other!

Now that we’ve actually had an opportunity to fondle Huawei’s newest budget phone, the GR3 2017, many of you are probably thinking how it stacks up to another budget Huawei handset, the GR5 2017. Well, today is your lucky day – we’re pitting both the GR3 2017 against the GR5 2017 in this head-to-head to see how both phones stack up on paper. Before we start, let’s take a quick look at the specs:

Huawei GR5 2017

  • 2.1GHz Kirin 655 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 12-megapixel rear camera with 2-megapixel secondary camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3,340mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow, EMUI 4.1, upgradable to Android 7.0 Nougat and EMUI 5.0
  • Php 11,990

Huawei GR3 2017

  • 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

The GR3 2017 looks marginally better, but the GR5 2017 has a tougher body

Despite being the cheaper of the two phones, we kind of like the GR3 2017’s design better than the GR5 2017. Obviously your mileage may vary in this regard, but there’s something about the GR3 2017’s flat, glass-clad body that tickles our fancy more than the GR5 2017’s curved metal exterior.

Of course, the GR5 2017’s design is sturdier, as it’s not as scratch prone as the GR3 2017’s unprotected glass rear. We already have several small scratches on the GR3 2017’s glass rear, which means you’ll have to keep its back protected at all times via the included plastic case.

Slightly bigger display, almost the same display quality

As far as screen sizes go the GR5 2017 wins out over the GR3 2017, since it has a bigger 5.5-inch panel compared to the GR3 2017’s 5.2-inch panel. Screen resolution is the same though, at full HD, and surprisingly enough there’s really not a big jump in display quality for the two devices.

Dual-camera advantage

Of course the GR5 2017’s claim to fame is its dual-camera setup, something that the more affordable GR3 2017 lacks.

If you take the 2-megapixel secondary camera of the GR5 2017 out of the picture though, things are a little more even, since both phones sport 12-megapixel rear camera sensors. We’re not sure exactly if both devices share the same sensor or if the two phones have the same image quality in practical use, unfortunately.

Essentially the same hardware under the hood

Despite the two phones sitting in different price points, they both share the same hardware underneath: Huawei’s home-grown HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor, paired with 3GB of RAM. It’s not surprising that both phones have almost identical AnTuTu scores.

The main difference here is storage and battery: the GR5 2017 has more juice (3340mAh VS 3000mAh) and storage (32GB VS 16GB) compared to the GR3 2017.

While the GR5 2017 first shipped with Android Marshmallow, there are user reports of phones already receiving Android Nougat along with EMUI 5.0. Our review unit hasn’t received that particular update yet, but it’s safe to say that retail units will probably already have Android Nougat out of the box if the OTA is already available. The GR3 2017 gets Android Nougat and EMUI 5.0 out of the box.

Verdict: Dual camera or budget price tag – you choose

The GR5 2017 and the GR3 2017 have big similarities and differences. Both phones essentially sport the same hardware underneath, though one is more focused on photography while the other is made for people who want a relatively speedy phone for not much money. If you’re not swayed by the dual-camera promise of Huawei, you can opt to go for the GR3 2017 over the GR5 2017 since you’re really not giving a lot of things up in terms of features and hardware.

The GR5 2017 is now priced at Php 11,990, while the GR3 2017 is priced at Php 8,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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One Comment

  1. Bummer, I bought the gr5 a week before they released gr3. Anyway, I enjoy bigger screen and battery. Also love the design of gr5 than gr3. Only drawback is there’s no NFC.

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