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Huawei Nova 3i Review: A lot of features in a wallet-friendly price

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Huawei Nova 3i

Huawei is known for launching smartphones with top features and good performance at competitive prices. The Huawei Nova 3i is no exception. If you pick up the phone, it will be hard to see at first glance that this is priced at just P15,990. The glass back with the fingerprint scanner and the dual camera feels extremely smooth, and the buttons have a good pressure point.

The display also contributes to the positive impression, which is held in a stylish 19.5:9 format. However, if you look a little closer, the differences to the most excellently processed high-end smartphones can be clearly seen. For example, the connector is still in the older micro-USB standard. However, these are just only minor things that hardly diminish in the very positive overall impression. Here, Huawei has done a great job again.

Huawei Nova 3i specs:

  • 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display (1080 x 2340) 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor, 64-bit octa-core
  • Mali-G51 graphics
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, EMUI 8.2
  • 128GB internal memory
  • Expandable storage up to 256GB via microSD
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16MP + 2MP dual rear camera, PDAF, LED flash
  • 24MP + 2MP front camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, micro-USB 2.0 connector
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • FM Radio
  • 3,340 mAh battery
  • Price: P15,990

UNBOXING

HARDWARE

The Huawei Nova 3i body is a metal-glass back cover with 2.5D glass on the edge. It is rounded and flat than the Nova 3. It has a luxurious feel, but this kind of glass makes it quite slippery, and prone to fingerprints.

The composition of notch parts is a space for dual cameras, sensors, and the speaker. The bottom edge of the screen is nothing. The Navigation Bar for Back, Home, and Recent App is part of the screen. It can be changed to a single-key or dock if you want to get a full-screen usage.

Flip to the back, a vertical orientation of the camera on the top left corner with a LED flash below.

The volume and power buttons are located at the right. The left part is a hybrid SIM card slot that is available in a dual-SIM option or a single-SIM and a microSD card.

The top edge is a noise-canceling mic, while the bottom edge is the 3.5 mm audio jack, the microphone, micro-USB port and the main speaker.

DISPLAY

The 6.3-inch IPS FullView Display with 2340 x 1080 pixels has a pixel density of 409 ppi. It has 16.7 million colors that support 10-point multi-touch.

The brightness is pleasantly high, the same applies to contrasts – that is hardly expected with cheaper smartphones. Even the display accuracy is very high in color. Only with the viewing angle stability, the Nova 3i cannot quite compete with more expensive models. Although the darkening is limited at shallow angles, there are different, albeit slight, color distortions. That’s not really bad, so the display of the device is great with a nice and decent screen.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

The chipset of this model is the latest Kirin 710 Octa-core processor (4 × 2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4 × 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) at 2.2GHz. This chip is manufactured under a 12nm process. It has better power efficiency and performance compared to the Kirin 659.

For the GPU, the Mali-G51 MP4 is 1.3x better than the previous model. It supports GPU Turbo, accelerating 60% of processing power, and reducing power consumption by 30%. The Nova 3i will have an update for this feature soon.

The Huawei Nova 3i is the first Huawei smartphone to use the aforementioned Kirin 710 chipset with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage running Android 8.1 Oreo. The latest version is covered with EMUI 8.2.

As usual, the smartphone is equipped with a full range of Google applications, including Google Maps, Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and more. Huawei’s basic tools, such as flashlights, and calculator were installed as well.

In addition to adjusting the brightness of the screen, color temperature, and general system, it can also disable the notch for those who don’t like it.

In terms of security, the Huawei Nova 3i supports both 360-degree face scanning and fingerprint scanning.

CAMERA

The Huawei Nova 3i is a full-featured quad-camera smartphone with dual Al front and rear cameras. Behind a pair of rear cameras, the 16-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel camera with f/2.4 aperture.

These two cameras at the back have Al Scenery Recognition system that can be analyzed up to 22 scenes to adjust the mode and settings. Images taken with Al will be customized for color, lighting, and detail. It also allows the user to choose whether to use the Al image or the original color scheme. For us, shooting with Al mode is the best.

One of the modes that we liked is the AR Lens, which is a gimmick for shooting, but the coolest. The 3D objects will put into the picture via AR technology.

On the other hand, the Pro mode can be adjusted from ISO (50-3200), Shutter Speed (1/4000 – 30 seconds), EV (-4 – +4), Focus mode and White Balance.

The back camera also supports video recording by up to FHD (1920 x 1080p) with a frame rate of 60 fps. If using the slow-motion mode, the maximum frame rate is 480 fps at 720p HD resolution.

The Nova 3i’s front camera is a 24-megapixel lens with a f/2.0 aperture and a 2-megapixel sensor with a f/2.4 aperture. It has a beauty mode using the new algorithm by separating the gender and skin color that will suit in the face.

Further, the front camera has an Al Selfie Scenery Recognition, that is used to customize the image in the background that can distinguish more than 8 scenes. It is a combination of hardware and software.

Another feature that the front of the camera received from the power of Al is the 3D emojis. It also supports recording in GIFs or VDOs format and adding cute text. Not just that, but it features AR stickers to add more fun in using the selfie camera.

Check out all the sample images below.

Auto

Portrait

Indoor

Low-light

Selfie

Group selfies

AR Stickers

CONNECTIVITY

The Kirin 710 supports both Dual SIM and 4G VoLTE. It offers LTE Cat. 12 download speeds up to 600 Mbps and uploads at 100 Mbps.

BATTERY

With 3,340 mAh, the battery of the Huawei Nova 3i is – at least theoretically – sufficient. However, the battery management seems to be quite optimal. With a running time of around 9 hours (PC Mark test), the device is on a solid level, but in view of the capacity, it would have been a bit more enduring in it.

The Nova 3i is recharged after about two and a half hours, despite the quick charge function and the corresponding power supply, which Huawei puts into the package.

VERDICT

After we tested the Huawei Nova 3i in many ways, it can be said that this smartphone can stand out from the other competitors. Up to features, smart cameras, built-in features, and most importantly, it is worth the price.

The outstanding design screen with borderless style in a shiny looks premium, the chipset Kirin 710 with the GPU Turbo. The battery life is great and the extensive use of the company’s EMUI 8.2.

With all these basic features, the Huawei Nova 3i is a mid-range smartphone that is more than just a mid-range smartphone. And to meet the use in everyday life, however, the mirror body is quite slippery. Hence, it may need to be handled carefully and always clean.

Adding to good basic features, the Huawei nova 3i has quad-cameras that are capable of shooting nice photos with good details. The Al has several scene modes to choose from, including individual photo mode with 3D Lighting feature, which enhances the effect. There are also AR features like adding 3D cartoon characters to the scene or creating animated characters that move our faces. It makes photography to be a more fun.

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