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Huawei GR3 2017 Unboxing And First Impressions

Finding a smartphone with good looks and great specs isn't an easy task. Huawei, a brand known for creating new possibilities is aware of that. It's the reason why the company has recently introduced the GR3 2017 for the Philippine market, a well crafted handset with good internals and affordability.
Huawei GR3 2017 Unboxing And First Impressions
Time to check it out!

Note: To avoid confusion, the Huawei GR3 2017 is also known as the P8 Lite 2017Honor 8 Lite, and Nova Lite in other parts of the world.

How? At just PHP 8,990, the Huawei GR3 2017 is equipped with specs that can compete pricier phones and never before seen aesthetics for the price. Is it worth all the hype?

Huawei GR3 2017 Specs

Display: 5.2 Inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 424 ppi
CPU: 2.1 GHz 64 Bit Kirin 655 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T830
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 12 MP f/2.2 w/ 1.25μm pixels, PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0 w/ wide angle lens and screen flash
Battery: 3,000 mAh
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat w/ EMUI 5.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Proximity, light, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope
Others: Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions: 147.2 x 72.9 x 7.6 mm
Weight: 147 g
Price: PHP 8,990

Disclaimer: This Huawei GR3 2017 unit was only borrowed for our honest review.

Unboxing / Accessories

The red enticing box of the phone
The red enticing box of the phone

Unboxing the Huawei GR3 2017 is quite exciting! It arrived in an enticing "premium" red box with clever and neat compartments inside.
The rest of the inclusions inside
The rest of the inclusions inside

First, you'll find the gorgeous handset. Then upon digging further, the 1A USB wall charger, USB to micro USB data / charging cable, earbuds w/ mic, translucent plastic case, SIM ejector tool, and quick start guide would be present.

Build Quality / Design

2.5D curved glass behind!
2.5D curved glass behind!

The general construction of this handset is decent for the low asking price. It is one of the very few phones in its class that'll come with a gorgeous 2.5D curved glass at the back and in front. However, there's no mention of Gorilla Glass or other type of protection against damages and hairline scratches. Screen is also prone to fingerprint smudges.

Construction is made out of decent brushed plastic and curvy 2.5D glass!

Initially, we thought that the material used in the frame of this handset is all metal due to its proper heft and solid feel. Instead, Huawei cleverly used a brushed type of plastic that looks and metal to keep the cost of this smartphone downFortunately, Huawei included a free case in the package that could protect this phone from unwanted damages.
Mic and headphone jack on top
Mic and headphone jack on top
Another microphone, micro USB port, and single speaker below
Another microphone, micro USB port, and single speaker below
Hybrid SIM slot at left
Hybrid SIM slot at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

Design-wise, this handset is a true head-turner for the very low price! It reminds us of the higher-end Huawei P10 w/ the lack of fingerprint scanner in front. Instead, Huawei placed the fingerprint sensor behind, the traditional placement of our choice.

It can put most higher-end smartphones to shame in looks and ergonomics!

The GR3 2017 is very slim at 7.6 mm and has sweet curves all over. We also liked that it has no camera bump and the screen bezels are slim. To be honest, this even looks smaller, slimmer, and better compared with most midrange and some flagship phones with the same screen size. It simply looks that great!

Ergonomically, holding the GR3 2017 is an absolute wonder. It's super handy and usable for one-handed operation. Moreover, all the buttons and ports are either easy to reach or locate.

Initial findings

1. Best aesthetics on any sub PHP 10K smartphone yet. Build is decent, but don't expect it to be as tough as metal clad phones. The 5.2 inch FHD screen is a performer with rich colors and outstanding viewing angles. It even has 10 points of touch.
2. For less than PHP 3K, it has identical specs to the midrange-grade Huawei GR5 2017 w/out the dual cam setup and bigger 32 GB of storage. So far so smooth.
3. As expected, the EMUI 5.0 skin based on Android 7.0 Nougat is sleek, clean, and functional. This is also one of the few sub PHP 10K devices that boots with Nougat out of the box.
4. The 12 MP main camera has large 1.25μm pixels, f/2.2 aperture, and PDAF focus for taking good shots. The 8 MP f/2.0 front camera has wide angle lens to let more people or subjects inside the frame. The camera software is feature rich.
5. There's OTG support, LED notification, and FM Radio. The fingerprint scanner is quick and it is complete with basic phone sensors. Only one of the two speaker grills works, but the sound quality via headphones is GREAT so far.

Related: Huawei GR3 2017: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The Huawei GR3 2017 is easily the best looking smartphone in its class in terms of design and ergonomics. On top of that, it has the internals and hardware that has the ability to compete or beat most similarly priced devices. Another winner from Huawei? There's a good chance!

For our review: Huawei GR3 2017 Review - Style Meets Performance And Affordability?
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