Huawei Nova 3i Build and Performance
The Build of the Huawei Nova 3i, the screen, the battery, the performance of this device leaves me smiling to myself when I realize that this is a $300 smartphone. It’s impressively built like a flagship device and I must give kudos to Huawei for this. I unboxed this device about three weeks ago and I’ve been impressed since then.
The mate 20 Pro has been touted as the best-looking smartphone of 2018 by some YouTubers and the Nova 3i also follows its design ideology. Clean modern design with aluminum sandwiched between two pane of glass slabs. It’s glass back feels amazing and you just find yourself looking at the device over and over.
Button placements and port placements all feel natural. It’s got a 3.5mm headphone jack which is always welcome and a quite disappointing micro USB charging port. The 6.3” 1080p Full HD+ LCD screen is beautiful. I found watching videos on this screen really satisfying and its quite elongated. I found that reaching for the top of the screen requires some maneuvering.
This screen has got some great colors and is quite vivid.
Movies and Games
Movies and games all look great on the 1080p display of the Nova 3i. Talking about games on the Huawei Nova 3i, the Hi Silicon Kirin 710 and Mali G51 GPU this device comes with are quite efficient at playing resource heavy games, albeit at medium graphics settings. Its got GPU turbo technology that improves gaming performance
It ran all the games I threw at it without any issues and the phone stayed mostly cool. The included 3340mah battery is impressive, delivering just about a day of battery life which in my opinion is fair. I’d have loved to see a higher battery capacity here, but it is what it is. A 9V fast charger is bundled with the phone but do not expect Quick chare 3 or 4 like super-fast charging. Charging the 3340 mAh battery takes about 2 hours and few minutes to go from 0 – 100% with the included charger.
The Nova 3i is a dual SIM device and has support for dual 4G and VoLTE. It can automatically forward incoming calls on the inactive SIM to the active one when you’re on a call. One of the SIM bay is a hybrid bay allowing you to either use dual SIMs or insert a memory card of up to 256GB extra storage just in case the built in 128GB storage isn’t enough for you. Although I do not see anyone having space issues with this capacity. There also 4GB of RAM to handle multitasking and those heavyweight apps.
The Nova 3i runs on Android Oreo 8.1 with Huawei’s Emotion UI 8.1 skin over android. EMUI in my opinion is the major con with this device. Don’t get me wrong it works great but there are some things that Huawei should change/introduce.
- Icon size reduction – Icon are too big on EMUI and there’s no option to reduce them
- There’s no option to swipe down to show the notification panel. Instead you’re presented with a system search that frankly I never used
- Navigation Keys – You’re pretty much stuck with the navigation keys since Huawei does not have gesture navigation on this launcher. It comes with an option called Single-Key Navigation which is unintuitive to say the least.
If you’re able to overlook the afore mentioned pain points, EMUI has some good features going for it. For one, it’s got the Google now feed to the far left of the launchers home screens and you get to use the device the way Huawei intended it to be experienced.
Let’s talk the Cameras on the Huawei Nova 3i. The Nova 3i comes with four cameras, two at the back and two in front and these are the next best thing about this device after the Screen and build.
The 16+2MP rear and 24+2MP selfie cameras are very impressive. I always got great photos every time I hit to shutter button. Portrait mode works great although isn’t very accurate with edge detection. AI mode recognizes up to 8 different scenes and enhances images from the device with impressive results every shot.
The AR lens feature lets you use 3D AR objects with the rear camera or use effects and backgrounds with the selfie camera. 3D Qmoji is similar to Apples Animoji feature. You have six different characters that mimic your head movements but aren’t as accurate as Animojis.
Video recording maxes out at 1080p and you can record in 30 or 60 FPS. Footage will be shaky due to the lack of stabilization unless you use a tripod stand.
Overall you would be pleased with the cameras on this device.
I put the Nova 3i through a couple of benchmarks and It scored 131,626 in AnTuTu; as well as 1,580 and 4,887 in Geekbench 4’s Single and multi-core tests respectively putting it at par with the likes of the Samsung galaxy S7.
The Huawei nova 3i is a beautiful, capable and averagely affordable device, but you should know that that affordability comes without water resistance capability.
It’s fingerprint sensor on the back works seamlessly and face unlock also works quite well, although its quite slow. There’s a Pick to wake feature that enhances the Face unlock experience to be much smoother.
The nova 3i is made of glass so it would be wise for you to slap on a protective case to protect your investment.
In Conclusion you should be totally satisfied with this device if you choose to purchase it. Its meant to compete with phones like the Infinix Zero 5 and the Tecno Phantom series and it’s definitely going to give those devices a run for their money.
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