Released on March 26 2020, Huawei AX3 series may be the most cost-effective WiFi6 router on the open market. Huawei AX3 series is much cheaper than similar products such as NETGEAR and ASUS, and even cheaper than the TP-Link AX3000. The AX3 regular version is only 199CNY, and the Pro version is 329CNY. So, is the router’s workmanship and materials worth the price? Let’s check out my Huawei AX3 Pro Teardown-Most Cost-effective WiFi6 Router.
According to official publicity, Huawei AX3 series has two versions: normal and Pro. The normal version is a dual-core processor with 2 RF front-end amplifiers, while the Pro version is a quad-core 1.4GHz A53 processor with 4 RF front-end amplifiers. Today we are going to teardown the AX3 Pro.
The outer packaging of Huawei AX3 Pro is about 1/3 larger than the WS5200 quad-core version with the same look. The box has a HUAWEI HiLink logo. And devices that support this protocol only need to press the H button in the middle to access the router.
On the back of the router is the introduction of the product, which supports 160MHz, 1024-QAM, intelligent crossover, 4 2.4G and 16 5G devices connected concurrently. Although the packaging is not indicated, the official website shows the support for MU-MIMO.
In terms of roaming, all of Huawei routers support one-click Mesh. And AX3 Pro explicitly supports 802.11v (one of the roaming protocols, fast access point list conversion). However, it does not show whether it supports 802.11.k/r.
What’s In The Box
There are three parts in the box: The router, power adapter, and quick-start manual.
Huawei AX3 Pro has a 12V2A, 24W power supply. Compared with WS5200 quad-core version, the output power is doubled. It may be because the frequency of the quad-core processor is increased from 1GHz to 1.4GHz.
The appearance is almost the same with WS5200 quad-core version.
There are heat dissipation holes on both sides of the back. After tearing the label, there are two screw holes near the antenna.
There is an arrow in the middle of the screw hole to indicate the position of the bayonet. During the teardown, I found that the bayonet has a moderate bite strength and you can disassemble without damage.
Opening the case, the large-area aluminum radiator and NFC antenna are notable.
Huawei AX3 Pro has really a large area NFC antenna, very impressive.
After disassembling the heat sink, you can see that the FM11NC chip of Fudan Microelectronics connected to the NFC antenna.
This chip can establish a communication channel between MCU and NFC terminal to transmit data. Here, the Wi-Fi password authentication information of the router is sent to the mobile phone.
There is a 1Gb (128MB) Flash from WinBond.
In order to remove the radiator, I first removed the circuit board. Since the 2.4GHz antenna is soldered to the circuit board, I must carefully turn the circuit board over, and it is still connected to the case.
The back also has a large area of heat-dissipating aluminum plate and thermally conductive double-sided adhesive. The bottom of the chip is with a shielding cover, which together with the shielding cover on the top of the chip forms a tight Faraday cage. This design is common in commercial-grade AP devices. It is very rare in household devices under 1000CNY($150), and many high-end routers have only one shield.
Remove the front radiator, exposing the shield of the two large chips on the front of the motherboard. And the bottom right corner is the shield of the 5G front-end RF amplifier chip.
After removing the two shields, you can see the Hi5651T quad-core processor chip and the Hi1152 (Lingxiao 650) WiFi chip. The latter supports the standard WiFi6 protocol and Huawei ’s unique WiFi6+ protocol.
HiSilicon Hi5651T processor is applied to WS5200 quad-core version, Huawei A2, AX3 and other products, the core architecture is A53. According to official publicity, this processor has a computing power of 12880DMIPS at 1.4GHz.
In contrast, Intel’s dual-core 800MHz processor (Netgear RAX40, TP-Link AX3000) and Broadcom’s three-core 1.5GHz processor (applied to ASUS TUF AX3000 and Tianyi TY300) only have 2720DMIPS and 8550DMIPS. However, the computing power of the router’s CPU does not ultimately represent the performance of the router. The core performance of the router is NAT’s packet forwarding rate (PPS). Mid-to-high-end enterprise-level routers are responsible for NAT through ASICs (dedicated processors), and their PPS performance is much higher than general-purpose CPUs.
The RAM is Nanya 128MB DDR3L memory. There is another one on the back, making up 256MB.
The switch chip is Realtek RTL8211F Gigabit.
Skyworks offers the 85333-11 2.4GHz RF front-end amplifier.
The shield of the 5GHz RF front-end amplifier is welded to the motherboard, and the two antenna interfaces are detachable.
It is worth noting that Lingxiao 650 supports three sets of 5GHz antennas. But one set of 5GHz antennas on AX3 is idle and may be used in subsequent higher-end products.
There are 6 groups of power modules inside AX3 Pro. Among them, there are 5 groups of modules with 22-CC3 screen printing
There is also a set of power modules with the silk screen printed as DBYB0B chip.
Summary Of Huawei AX3 Pro Teardown
From the perspective of the teardown, Huawei AX3 Pro workmanship and materials are very solid. It not only has a large area of radiators in the front and rear, but a lot of shielding for the chip. The RF front-end amplifier reaches 4 groups, plus a quad-core processor 256MB RAM and NFC configuration, this price is really amazing.
Where To Buy Huawei AX3 Pro?
Now it is only available on Giztop at $65.99.