Huawei’s Nova series is known for their mid-range smartphones and excellent pricing. However, Huawei has recently launched 2 new Nova phones that seem to have a higher price and upgraded hardware. But are the new prices going to be worth it?
We now have with us the Nova 3i for review. The Nova 3i comes with a mid-range chipset but not mid-range pricing. In fact, it’s higher then what people usually expect to spend on mid-range devices.
So, how does it fair with the rest of the competition in this price bracket? Let’s find out.
Review [In Urdu]
Design and Display
The Nova 3i features a slim design with glass on the front and the back, giving the 3i a premium look and feel in the hand. The glass on the back, however, makes the phone very slippery and also a fingerprint magnet. You constantly have to clean the phone from the back to see the amazing, glossy finish on the back.
On the right side, you get your power button and the volume rocker whereas on the left side of the phone you have the SIM slot. On the top, you can find the secondary noise-cancelling microphone and on the bottom, you have your 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port, and the loudspeaker.
Moving on to the back of the phone, you will find the dual-primary cameras arranged vertically, an LED flash, a fingerprint scanner, and the Huawei branding.
For the display of the phone, you start seeing the interesting features. You get a large, notched, 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and a pixel density of 409.
The display itself is pretty sharp and nice to look at. It gets bright enough to use it under direct sunlight and low enough that you are easily able to use it in complete darkness.
As far as the performance of the phone is concerned, let’s get the numbers out of the way first. The Nova 3i uses Huawei’s own home-baked HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core chipset along with 4GB of RAM.
Navigating the UI was smooth and I didn’t notice any stuttering or lag. Applications also opened up fast enough and you weren’t left waiting for an app to open, which is the case with most mid-range smartphones that skimp on performance.
The 4 GB RAM proved helpful in moving between apps and you can easily multitask without having each app refresh itself every time you open it. You do sometimes have to deal with the refreshing part only if you have around 8-10 apps open and you are trying to use a resource-hungry application. Even though you would expect 4GB to be more useful, practically no one uses that many apps simultaneously. So the phone is good as far as performance is concerned.
128GB storage is also available on board the Nova 3i and if that’s not enough, a microSD card is also available to expand the storage.
This is the part which is getting all the attention from the people as the Nova 3i comes with 4 cameras on board. 2 on the front and 2 on the back.
The back camera of the phone features dual sensors, one of them having a 16MP lens while the other one is 2MP and is used for depth-of-field. You also get phase detection autofocus and a single-LED flash.
The pictures that it takes are really good for a lot of things. There’s a lot of detail, good contrast and not overly saturated. The camera held up well in good lighting conditions, with plenty of detail and sharpness. The dynamic range was great as well. Do note that like all mid-range phones, Nova 3i falls apart in low-light with loads of noise creeping in and colors being all over the place.
The colors were natural in daylight though, and there was no over saturation which is the case with most other Huawei phones. That’s only until you turn on the AI mode. The “AI” mode on the Nova 3i works partly well and is able to detect a scene and shows you what scenario you’re shooting a picture of but the enhancements it does are mostly all the same. All photos with the AI turned on have high contrast and saturation with the pictures looking more like a painting than an actual photo.
On the other hand, the front camera’s portrait mode worked pretty well. It features a 24MP sensor along with a 2MP one which is also used for calculating the depth-of-field. The pictures taken with the front-facing camera are very detailed and sharp though it doesn’t hold up well in low light conditions.
With the 3340mAh on board, I was a bit skeptical since the phone has such a large display but to my surprise, it actually performed really well in real-world usage. The battery performed really well, lasting a full day on mobile data while taking pictures, playing games, talking on calls, checking social media etc.
Even if the battery does fall below a critical percentage, you can turn on the ultra power saving feature to squeeze a few extra hours out of the battery.
Overall the Huawei Nova 3i is an impressive smartphone for what it offers, the price isn’t aggressive and is a bit too much for what it’s worth. You’ll just be paying for a fancy design and somewhat decent performance that most mid-range phones already offer.
Pricing the Nova 3i at 40,000 means there are a lot of options available in the market in this price bracket that offer what the Nova 3i is missing. For example, the USB Type C is such a mind-boggling removal especially when you are pricing the phone like this. Most phones nowadays are coming with Type C.
Apart from the missing Type C port, the phone still holds up well in other departments. The performance is good, cameras are decent as well, the display is bright, large and a treat to look at.