Huawei Nova 3i Review: Young, Classy And Reliable

Huawei has recently launched its new smartphone in mid-range at the price of Rs. 20,990/-. The device is the first smartphone with Kirin 710 processor. It also has GPU Turbo technology which enhances gaming performance. It just weighs 168 grams and has battery capacity of 3340mAh. The smartphone also has quad cameras and the device looks quite promising.

Let us look at this phone in detail today

According to Huawei, Huawei has created the Nova series for then younger generation. The new Nova 3 series focuses on 3 main aspects – affordability, great camera performance and game performance. The aesthetics of the phone stands out from the others in this range.

We had a chance to use Huawei Nova 3i for some time.  The smartphone is available in three different colours – Black, Pearl White, Iris Purple. We received the Iris Purple colour. As we are using Nova 3i for the past few weeks, here is our review of the smartphone.

First let us see the specifications of the smartphone.

Dimensions 15.8 x 0.8 x 7.5 cm
Weight 168 grams
Battery Capacity 3340mAh
Colours Black, Purple and White
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Screen Size 6.30
Screen Resolution 1080×2340 pixels FHD+ display
Pixels Per Inch 409
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor
Memory 4GB RAM and internal storage of 128GB which can be expanded up to 256GB using microSD card
Camera 16MP + 2MP rear dual AI camera and 24MP + 2MP front dual AI camera
Operating System Android 8.1 with skin EMUI 8.2
Connectivity GSM;(B2/B3/B5/B8);3G;WCDMA;(B1/B5/B8);4G LTE;TD;(B38,B40,B41);FDD;(B1/B3/B5/B7/B8), Bluetooth, WiFi Hotspot
SIM Hybrid Nano SIM Slot
Colours Black, Pearl White, Iris Purple

Most of us see the design and look of the smartphone first while buying a smartphone. The design of Huawei Nova 3i is very good in this price range. Huawei Nova 3i has a shiny design. The Nova 3i has a unique colour at the back. It has a gradient design ass the colour of the top of the smartphone is blue and it becomes purple at the bottom by gradually changing its colour.

Huawei has used a glass of varying thickness that sits on top of a nano metallic sheet with different patterns/tattoos to achieve the shiny gradient colour effect. The design looks quite pretty. The rear camera is present on the top left side of the back. The dual lens is just below the camera housing and the fingerprint sensor is present near the dual lens which is centered horizontally. Huawei has placed simple branding at the bottom. The only drawback is that smartphone attracts fingerprints and smudges a lot. The volume rockers and power buttons are present on the right side of the smartphone and the Hybrid SIM tray is present on the left side of the device. The micro USB port is present in the bottom in between the speakers.

The front of the Nova 3i has a 6.3 inch display with reduced bezels on both the top and bottom of the phone. The screen looks immersive as the bezels are reduced. There is a notch on the top as it is available in almost every phone now a days. It has earpiece in between the camera sensors. The smartphone fits comfortably in our hands but as the back is made of glass we need to be careful.

Huawei Nova 3i has 6.3 inch Full HD+ display with the screen resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and a pixel density of 409 ppi. The display looks crisp and sharp. The colours are rendered very well. There are two colour modes available which is Normal and Vivid mode and we can have three types of temperature settings in each mode – default, warm and cold. We can also adjust the screen resolution manually to HD+ or FHD+. The display is quite good in all viewing angles and the games and movies were also vividly visible. There is a notch on the nova 3i’s display, but it is not too much distracting while watching videos.

Huawei Nova 3i features HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor. The Kirin 710 SoC is fabricated on 12nm process. The chip is also has four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.2Ghz and another four low-power Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7Ghz. The GPU is also said to be 1.3 times faster than the previous generation. Nova 3i also has 4GB RAM and an internal storage of 128GB which can be expanded up to 256GB.

The performance of Huawei Nova 3i does not disappoints us. When we open and use applications like Facebook, WhatsApp, twitter, chrome and Instagram side by side there is no lag in the device and multitasking performance is good.

Huawei Nova 3i also comes with GPU Turbo feature which enhances the overall gaming performance of the smartphone. The GPU Turbo uses both hardware and software for GPU acceleration rather than using only hardware to increase performance.  It will also enable games to run at a better framerate while reducing power consumption by 30%.

Huawei has an app called Game Suite which simplifies the management of all the apps in the phone. The Game Suite is also very useful for heavy gamers. They can just use Game Acceleration mode to optimize the system settings for gaming. The gaming performance is improved. But the only drawback is that the device heats up and consumes more power quickly. We can also activate Uninterrupted Gaming option which allows only calls, alarms and low battery alerts. Other than that no notifications will be shown. We tried playing Asphalt Nitro and the smartphne performed well. There are also some pre-installed games on Huawei Nova 3i.

Huawei Nova 3i runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and has its own skin of EMUI 8.2. As usual the EMUI is loaded with lots of bloatware which could have been avoided. We can also change the home screen layout to have app drawer. The fingerprint sensor is good and is unlocks pretty fast. While the face unlock feature does not do well. It does not recognizes our face most of the time.

Huawei Nova 3i has a battery capacity of 3340mAh which lasts for almost a day with moderate usage of the smartphone. Huawei Nova 3i has micro USB for charging which is disappointing. But we can able to charge the battery with just 2 hours.

Now let us go to the camera part of Huawei Nova 3i. Huawei Nova 3i has 16MP + 2MP rear camera. Huawei Nova 3i uses Artificial Intelligence to recognize different scenarios and apply different colour settings to enhance the quality of the image. The photos taken with the camera is decent even without AI.  The photos take with AI has some difference. Some of the colours were overexposed. The photos look somewhat unnatural when using AI outdoors. But the photos taken indoors using AI is very good and showed more details. There is an option to revert back to photos without AI after taking the pictures with AI.  The portrait shots taken with Huawei Nova 3i were also pretty good.

Huawei Nova 3i also has AI capabilities in front camera also. It has 24MP + 2MP front camera. The front camera also recognizes the scenarios as of the rear camera when using AI. The selfie taken with the front camera is good. It also has beautification modes to beautify the selfies taken.

Here are some of the photos taken.

Huawei also has Qmoji feature in camera. We can use Qmoji to record facial expressions and we can generate 3D Qmoji pack in video format or GIF.


Priced at Rs. 20,990/- Huawei Nova 3i has good features. But the face unlock feature is disappointing and the smartphone has only micro USB port instead of Type C port. It can perform day to day tasks pretty well. If you want a device with better camera and performance you can select Huawei nova 3i.  Essentially Young, Classy And Reliable

About Hema

Likes Food, Technology and Mobile Devices in that order. Started as a programmer, became an architect and now a blogger. Topped University Ranks once, been in tech for two decades. Wants to travel the world and climb the everest!

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