Huawei Nova 3i

First Look: Huawei Nova 3i

Two cameras on the back, two on the front; a 6.3-inch, 2340x1080 pixel screen; an octa-core processor; 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage; and all for $500?


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This is the Nova 3i, Huawei’s mid-range option. It even has that rarity in modern phones: a headphone jack.

The cameras use AI to analyse the scene and alter the colours and brightness accordingly. This is the same tech in Huawei’s premium phones. For example, if you photograph text with your phone, the camera aligns it to be perfectly horizontal.

The two front-facing cameras (24MP and 2MP, f/2.0 aperture lens) mean taking excellent selfies is easy. The two lenses let you create depth-of-field shots with artistic blurry backgrounds.

The 3i isn’t a small phone – in fact, its 6.3-inch display makes it larger than a lot of premium phones. However, I found this makes it a bit too big. It stuck slightly out of my jeans pocket and was hard to stretch my thumb across. Its big size does mean a large battery, and I never worried about it running out of charge the whole time I used it.

Not only that but with the purple and blue colours on the back, it looks really pretty too.

The Nova 3i doesn’t come with every bell and whistle. It lacks NFC, which means no instant connection to devices, such as Bluetooth headphones (or for those who use Snapper in Wellington, no instant top-ups). The other omission is no USB-C connection, instead it has the older micro-USB connection – so charging is noticeably slower than on more expensive phones and you need to check the cable is up the right way (USB-C is symmetrical).

The Nova 3i is great value phone. If you’re looking for a phone that looks, feels and works, for the most part, like a premium phone, this is it. While it’s not as fast as top-of-the-line phones at running some apps, its battery lasts all day, the cameras are very good, and it doesn’t cost over $1000!


Price: $499
Dimensions WxHxD: 75.2 x 157.6 x 7.6mm
Weight: 169g
Screen: 6.3”, 2340 x 1080, 409PPI
Processor: Huawei Kirin 710 octa-core 12 nm processor: 4 x [Cortex A73 2.2 GHz] + 4 x [Cortex A53 1.7 GHz]
OS: Android 8.1
Storage: 128 GB
Rear cameras: 16MP + 2MP. f/2.2 aperture lens
Front cameras: 24MP + 2MP. f/2.0 aperture lens

By Hadyn Green
Technology Writer