Huawei Nova 3 and Nova 3i Hands on: 4 cameras but what’s more?

Huawei Nova 3

Huawei Nova 3 in Iris Purple

Huawei yesterday launched two new smartphones the Huawei Nove 3 and the Huawei Nova 3i. The Chinese brand is trying to capture a better profile and increase their market shares in India. Key highlights of the Nova range of smartphones is the presence of 4 camera sensors (2 at the back, and 2 at the front).

Both devices feature a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:5:9 with a notch and feature up to 6GB of RAM.  The smartphones feature a glossy back and are available in 2 colors Black and Iris Purple. The Nova 3 features the Kirin 970 SoC similar to other models from Huawei and Honor smartphones but the Nova 3i features an all-new chipset in the name of Kirin 710 SoC.

Huawei Nova 3 and 3i Specifications

The Huawei Nova 3 features a 6.3-inch Full-HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:5:9. The device is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC with a neural processing unit alongside for AI capabilities, coupled with Mali-G72 GPU, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Nova 3 runs on EMUI 8.2 based upon Android 8.1. The smartphone is backed by a 3,750mAh battery.

On the optics front, the primary back camera features a dual-camera setup comprising of a 16-megapixel sensor and a 24-megapixel sensor. At the front of the device, you will also get a dual-camera setup featuring a 24-megapixel lens with an aperture of f/2.0 and a secondary lens of 2-megapixels.

The Huawei Nova 3i features the same display and the display size to the Nova 3. The device is powered by an all-new Kirin 710 SoC chipset, which is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of Internal storage. Both smartphones offer Dual-SIM capabilities along with Dual-VoLTE. The device is backed by a 3340mAh battery.

On the optics front, the device at the back features a dual-camera setup comprising of a 16-megapixel lens with an aperture of f/1.8 and PDAF and a secondary lens of 2-megapixel. At the front, the device features the same lens as that on the Nova 3.

Hands-on: First Impression

Design and Display

Both the smartphones, the Nova 3 and the Nova 3i are beautifully designed. The Nova 3 features a double glass panel, to achieve the gradient effect at the back panel. On the other hand, Nova 3i features a nano-textured film to get a similar effect at the back. The Nova 3 feels very premium to hold and has considerably good grip even though it features a glass back. The curved edges that meet esthetically at the mid-frame of the smartphone let you hold the smartphone confidently.

Huawei Nova 3

Nova 3i feels cheaper and more fragile to hold than the Nova 3, which is expected considering the difference in price.

Both the smartphones are identical from a distance and can really only be set apart after you hold both devices in your hand. The colors on the device are no short of madness (the good one), the Iris Purple is a clear winner over the Black if you are looking for something to stand out. The Iris purple will leave you looking at your device’s back in different lighting more than looking at the display.

Moving on to the display, Both the smartphone feature identical displays with similar resolution. The display is vibrant, have good color reproduction but could have been better and also has good viewing angles. The FHD+ panel is one of the best in the market but I would have liked if Huawei would have used an OLED panel on the Nova 3. But considering the price of the Nova 3i, the LCD panel is more than just average.

Touch and feel of the display is super premium and smooth. The display has a good range of light settings so it’s not too bright in the night and not at all dim under the sunlight.


The Huawei Nova 3 is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC which is an old processor and is featured in quite a few older models by Huawei and Honor. But the company is claiming with the newer devices that the NPU with it’s AI capabilities is much faster than the normal Kirin 970 without the NPU.

We played the much-hyped game, PUBG on the Huawei Nova 3, which ran the game with little to no lag, The Kirin 970 handled the game easily on the highest settings. The Nova 3 and the 3i also have GPU Turbo graphics processing technology to run your games better and give a better gaming experience, so the incoming calls or messages don’t come on the screen while playing.

Read More: Honor 9N reasons not to buy and alternatives

The software that is EMUI 8.2 running on Android 8.1 is optimized for the Kirin processors but still, have a little bloatware and feature unnecessary apps, all of which can’t be deleted.

The Huawei Nova 3i features the company’s newest 12nm chip, the Kirin 710 SoC, which is said to be performing on par to the Snapdragon 660, but we didn’t have a lot of time with the device to claim anything on it yet.


The Nova 3 and the 3i are equipped with a dual-camera setup both at the front and at the back. At the front, you also get an infra-red sensor so the face unlocks on your device works fine under all lighting conditions. Which is very fast.

The more expensive Nova 3 is a 24-megapixel monochrome lens and a 16-megapixel RGB sensor both lenses featuring a f/1.8 aperture 6p lenses. Portrait mode performance is good, color reproduction is good but the AI makes the colour pop a lot which feels a bit fake but also performs incredibly under some conditions.  The device can focus really fast on even quite close objects easily. The photos don’t lose their proportion or focus if you take a photo in front of a light.

Nova 3i is a bit dialed down version of the Nova 3 in terms of camera performance, the device takes decent photos yet nothing really special. Both the device have a scene detection which works fine and can easily figure out the thing in front of it.

At the front camera, the AI makes the selfies a little too airbrushed to my liking, while the photos without AI have good depth and color. The focus of the two lenses is also high quality.  All in all the camera on the Nova 3 performs great under good lighting conditions, we haven’t tested the device in low light conditions so we can’t comment on that. The camera on the Nova 3i performance is impressive for its price but the competition for the best camera is very tight in its segment, with smartphones like Mi A2 about to launch.



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1 Response

  1. 30th July 2018

    […] Also Read Huawei Nova 3 and Nova 3i Hands on: 4 cameras but what’s more? […]

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