Huawei nova 3i Summary

Huawei Nova 3i is the latest offering in Huawei's Nova sub-brand. With a price of Rs. 20,990, the Nova 3i has to compete with a series of smartphones from Oppo, Xiaomi, and Samsung. 

Its siblings Nova 3e once made a good impression in design, but the camera and performance were not convincing because it was almost identical to the previous Nova 2i. With the Nova 3i, can Huawei overcome the disadvantages and limitations of the Nova 3e to make users upgrade as well as attract new customers?

Huawei Nova 3i: Design

At first glance, the appearance of Huawei Nova 3i is not too different from the Nova 3e. The device still has a metal frame, glass sandwich design, and a gradient effect at the back in the Iris Purple version. Information about the camera cluster, Huawei logo, manufacturer information or CE certification logo is still placed vertically on the left side of the back panel.

Huawei Nova 3i: Display

Along with some design improvements, the LCD screen on the Nova 3i is increased in size to 6.3 inches, a slightly longer ratio of 19.5: 9, and a 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution,. on regular 16: 9 monitors. Compared with the screen of the Nova 3e (5.84 inches, 19:9 aspect ratio, 2280 x 1080 pixels resolution), the screen on the 3i gives a more spacious experience not only because of the larger size but also due to the slimmer bezels, especially the bottom chin.

The 3i's screen has the same quality as that of the 3e with high brightness. Contrast, color, viewing angle, and color temperature are all similar to its predecessor. By default, the colors on the screen tend to be slightly brighter than reality. If you want more natural colors, you'll need to go to the display settings and change it.

The screen of the Nova 3i can look fine outdoors, but not on shiny days. It is worth noting that the auto brightness mode is not stable, often set lower brightness than necessary, so it is better to switch to manual mode.

Huawei Nova 3i: Performance

The Nova 3i is the first Huawei smartphone to be equipped with the Kirin 710 processor. Compared to the previous Kirin 659 on the Nova 3e and many other mid-range smartphones from Huawei, Kirin 710 is significantly improved with 12nm process, octa cores(4 x Cortex A73 2.2 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.7 GHz), and Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. In addition, although the amount of RAM is still 4GB, the internal memory of the Nova 3i is raised to 128GB (with a maximum memory card slot of up to 256GB).

However, in real-world gaming, the Kirin 710 still has the same performance as Snapdragon 636. Specifically, with the game Dead Trigger 2, although the game is automatically set at the highest level of graphics, if you keep the same settings, the game only runs at 39fps with 76% stability. Lowering the graphics settings to medium will help the game run much smoother with an average of 60FPS and stability of up to 96%.

It is the same case for PUBG Mobile. You can play the game at highest-graphics settings with the Nova 3i, but it only runs at 28 fps with 74% stability. The device heats up quickly after 15 minutes of playing the game, especially the top half of the screen. It gets better if you change the settings to Balanced and disable anti-aliasing. However, the game still only runs at 26 fps despite much better stability of 96%.

Huawei Nova 3i: Camera

In terms of specs, the dual rear camera of the Nova 3i is almost identical to the 3e with a 16MP camera with f / 2.2 aperture and a 2MP secondary camera to capture portrait shots.

The improvement is that the rear camera is added with AI feature to automatically optimize the image quality for different scenes. This AI feature can be turned on and off both before and after shooting. Some other upgrades include the Qmoji, Portrait Lighting, and recording 480FPS ultra-slow-motion video in HD resolution.

During my time with the Nova 3i, it offered fast shutter speed, focus, and image processing. With favorable lighting conditions, the image has good quality, good sharpness, lots of details, accurate colors, accurate white balance, but average dynamic range.

The image quality of the device is markedly different when the AI ​​mode is activated. The results have a more vibrant color and wider dynamic range, like taken with HDR mode. All details such as the sky, leaves or hot colors are boosted to make the image look more natural, but sometimes the AI ​​overdoes it, making the image look a bit unnatural. However, being able to turn on and off AI both before and after shooting is a big plus of the Nova 3i as it allows users to fully decide the final result of the photos.

Huawei Nova 3i: Battery

Compared to the Nova 3e, the Nova 3i's battery capacity is slightly higher, increasing from 3,000 mAh to 3,340 mAh. Thanks to the 12nm process of the Kirin 710 chip compared to the 16nm process of Kirin 659, despite having a larger display, the battery life of 3i is still better than 3e, although not by a large margin. Specifically, in our regular battery tests, the Nova 3i achieved more than 5 hours of continuous gaming, more than 8 hours of continuous web surfing and nearly 11 and a half hours of continuous movie watching.

In everyday use, the device gives a decent battery life, enough for a day with high intensity, screen-on time of around 6 to 7 hours.

Read more Read less

Huawei nova 3i Full Specifications

  • Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
  • 4G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 28, 38, 40, 41
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (3CA) Cat12 600/150 Mbps
  • Announced 2018, July 18
  • Status Available. Released 2018, July 27
  • Dimensions 157.6 x 75.2 x 7.6 mm (6.20 x 2.96 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight 169 g (5.96 oz)
  • Build Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
  • SIM Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 6.3 inches, 97.4 cm2 (~82.2% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)
  • OS Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9.0
  • Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 710 (12 nm)
  • CPU Octa-core (4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU Mali-G51 MP4
  • Card slot microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
  • Internal 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM
  • eMMC 5.1
main camera
  • Modules 16 MP, f/2.2, PDAF 2 MP, (depth)
  • Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video 1080p@30fps
selfie camera
  • Modules 24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.9µm 2 MP, depth sensor
  • Features HDR
  • Video 1080p@30fps
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR, aptX HD
  • GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Radio FM radio
  • USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3340 mAh battery
  • Charging Standard charging 10W
  • Colors Black, Pearl White, Iris Purple
  • Models INE-LX1, INE-LX1r, INE-LX1, Sydney 6353, INE-LX2r, INE-AL00, INE-TL00