Huawei’s committed on making 2017 the year of the dual-camera, as the company has launched two new dual-camera equipped smartphones. While the Mate 9 phablet will probably get the most oohs and aahs from bystanders, a majority of consumers who want to try out the dual-camera magic will most certainly drop towards the more affordable GR5.

The GR5 is a big improvement over last year’s model, though it’s also more expensive. Today we’ll be checking out what Huawei’s dual-camera arrangement brings to the table, and what it means for you.

A premium-looking exterior .

Huawei’s original GR5 looked more expensive than it actually, The 2017 GR5 has a composite metal body, meaning, a body that’s been infused with both metal and glass to achieve a premium-looking exterior, and the phone mostly looks the part. The rear of the device has a metal back with plastic strips on the top and bottom for the requisite antennas. There’s a very slight chamfer on the side where the plastic front meets the metal back.

The dual-rear camera module stick out a few millimetres from the rear, sporting a concentric circle design and a metal-looking bezel. If there’s one flaw in the phone’s design, it’s definitely this, since the bezel isn’t completely flat with the glass protecting the cameras, it’s the first thing that contacts a surface when you lay the phone down, camera first. Since the bezel is so thin, it’s very easy to damage and chip. To be fair Huawei does include a case with every purchase that should mitigate that, though it makes the phone a wee bit stouter when installed.

Right below the dual-camera setup is the fingerprint scanner, and much like the other fingerprint scanners on Huawei’s phones, the one in the 2017 version of the GR5 unlocks the phone quickly and easily. Setting up that fingerprint scanner is quick and easy.

Going around the phone, you’ll see the volume rocker and power button on the right, while the 3.5mm jack is located up top. The micro SD/SIM tray is located on the left side of the device, while the USB port is on the bottom, flanked by speaker grilles (though only the right grille actually generates audio).

The phone uses a 5.5-inch LCD display that has full HD resolution (1920 x 1080). Colors are good overall and the display is bright enough to see even under noonday sun. One thing that we did notice though that it’s a little washed out for our tastes, though we’ve probably been spoiled by the amount of AMOLED displays we’ve been seeing lately. In any case, the phone’s display does its job well, and we have no major issues with it.

Phone GR5 takes a huge leap in terms of processor performance over its predecessor, armed with a HI Silicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor motoring along at blistering 2.1GHz, compared to the Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor in the previous model. Aside from higher clock speed, the 2017 version of the GR5 also benefits from a better, smaller and more efficient 16nm manufacturing process, unlike the 28nm lithography of the Snapdragon 616 processor in last year’s model, and Snapdragon 430 in the GR5 2017’s closest competitors.The 2017 GR5 has no issues with connectivity, with the phone receiving excellent LTE speeds as long as your network does its part. The phone connects to GPS satellites quickly, and we experienced zero issues with call quality. Sound from the speakers are a little soft though, and sound a bit tinny.

The 2017 GR5 is equipped with two cameras at the rear: a primary 12-megapixel shooter and a 2-megapixel secondary camera. Just like the Honor 6 Plus, the 2-megapixel secondary camera is for taking depth information, which is combined with the 12-megapixel main camera to produce software bokeh in shots.

This year’s GR5 gets a leg up in the battery department compared to its older brother, packing a 3340mAh battery inside of its body. Huawei quotes around two days of battery life on a single charge, which is quite a claim.