Home Android Huawei Nova 3 Review: a midranger with flagship specifications

Huawei Nova 3 Review: a midranger with flagship specifications

Huawei Nova 3

By having almost the same specification from the Huawei P20 Pro, let’s see if it can really perform like a pro. Read our Huawei Nova 3 review!

Huawei Philippines has recently launched their two new revolutionary midrangers – the Huawei Nova 3i and the Huawei Nova 3. Both are now equipped with a premium-looking glass body, a huge 128GB of internal storage, improved quad-camera system, and the flagship Kirin 970 for the Nova 3.

Huawei Nova 3

What’s in the box:

  • Nova 3 unit
  • wall adaptor
  • USB Type-C cable
  • earphone
  • jelly case
  • SIM ejector tool
  • manuals

Huawei Nova 3

Huawei Nova 3 Specs:

  • 6.3-inch FHD+ display,19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2340×1080 resolution
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970, Octa-core processor
  • Mali-G72 MP12 w/ Turbo GPU
  • 16MP (f/1.8) + 24MP rear cameras w/ PDAF, Master AI, and LED flash
  • 24MP (f/2.0) + 2MP front cameras w/ AF, Master AI, HDR Pro, and screen flash
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
  • 128GB ROM up to 256GB
  • 6GB RAM
  • 4G/LTE, Dual SIM
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Fingerprint sensor, 3D Face Unlock
  • accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
  • USB Type-C, OTG support
  • 3750 mAh battery


The new glass body construction and the eye-catching gradient color of the Nova 3 are the first thing you will notice on this device. Because of these upgrades, the phone itself became more premium to look at.

Huawei Nova 3

We also like the power button for having a slightly rough texture as compared to the smooth feel of the volume rockers. This is very helpful for consumers so that they could easily recognize and differentiate which is which.


Huawei Nova 3

The Nova 3 series doesn’t actually have a very significant improvements on the display as compared to the Nova 2 series. The notch gives a taller viewable display which results to a 6.3-inch display and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The rest, they are just the same with its predecessor.


The Huawei Nova 3 now comes with the latest EMUI 8.2 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The OS and the custom skin of Huawei are working pretty well together. Even though the EMUI 8.2 was heavily customized, it’s still easy to use and you can see a lot of features that are very usable.

Out of the box, Huawei has included some games and apps that you might want to try. But if you feel that you don’t need them, you can actually just uninstall them.


Huawei Nova 3

The Nova 3 and the older P20 Pro actually have almost the same specifications like the HiSilicon Kirin 970 CPU, Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, and 6GB of RAM, which are contributing to the overall performance of the phone.

Having said that, using the Nova 3 as our daily driver is like using the P20 Pro without the amazing low-light cameras. Opening of apps and games are faster compared to other midrange phones.

For your reference, here are some benchmarks scores:

For additional security measures, the fingerprint scanner and the new 3D Face Unlock features of the Nova 3 are able to unlock the device on a short period of time. The face recognition is a little bit longer as compared to other smartphones which only uses the camera to match your face from the record. The reason is that, the 3D Face Unlock of the Nova 3 is using an Infrared blaster to map your face. This is a more secure way to unlock your phone and since it’s using the IR technology, you don’t have to worry about lighting conditions because IR can work even in dim environments.


Huawei Nova 3

The Nova series of Huawei are well-known for having the quad-camera system on a smartphone here in the Philippines. From the Nova 2i, the cameras on the Nova 3 are now improved by having bigger megapixels and aperture size.

Huawei Nova 3

At the back, it has a 16 Megapixels main sensor with f/1.8 aperture plus a 24 Megapixels B/W secondary camera with an aperture of f/1.8 also. As we use the Nova 3, we are quite impressed with the rear cameras specially now that it has an AI feature. It can recognize different scenery real quick.

On the other hand, we noticed that most of the times, it only boosts the saturation of the photos when the AI is ON. Although some of us might be in favor of punchy colors, some are still looking for the natural colors that they could play with when uploading their photos on social media. But the good thing is, you can still turn OFF the AI or the pre-enhanced photo after you take the shot which shows the original image and you have the option to save which you prefer the most.

Huawei Nova 3

The selfie cameras of the Nova 3 now also comes in 24 Megapixels + 2 Megapixels configuration. While some of us might feel that there are no huge upgrades on this, the real enhancements are done on the camera app itself.

The Nova 3 has these new fun camera features like the 3D Qmoji, AR Effects, Gestures, and Backgrounds. It also added different artificial lighting on the Portrait Mode.

Here are sample photos:

Back Camera (Auto with AI)

Portrait Mode

Pro Mode / Night Mode

Front Camera


Huawei Nova 3

The Huawei Nova 3 has an impressive battery life. It can actually last a whole day of average usage like texting/calling, social media/internet browsing, and some occasional gaming. You also have the option to lower the screen resolution to save some juice from the battery. Aside from that, it also has Power saving and Ultra power saving modes to extend the battery life even further specially if you have long trips to go.


If you look at all smartphones on the mid-range category, the Huawei Nova 3 will surely stands out. By just looking on its physical appearance, most of us will surely love the premium glass coating and the beautiful Irish purple color of the Nova 3. Not to mention, it has nearly the same specifications from the flagship devices such as the Mate 10 and the P20 series on a much lesser price.

The Huawei Nova 3 is a real midranger with the traits of a flagship-grade device. It has able to inherit premium design and top of the line specifications without compromising too much for the price.

What do you think of the Huawei Nova 3? Is it the one for you?

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