Huawei Nova 3i Review: Stylish, Irresistable and Pocket-Friendly

Huawei nova 3i Pearl White
Photo courtesy-Huawei
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We review the new Huawei nova 3i smartphone and find it trendy, fashionable and pocket-friendly. Loaded with AI capabilities and superior camera & processing technology, you get maximum bang for your buck.

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard or seen Huawei mobile phones. Recent smartphone market research reports by IDC, Canalys and IHS Markit has crowned Huawei to be the world’s #2 smartphone vendor in terms of volume of sales, surpassing Apple. This is not very surprising given the brand’s aggressive pricing and marketing strategy – but also attributed to the their product offerings. Huawei seems to have a specific model for every price segment giving it a competitive edge over its competitors.

We had our hands on Huawei’s flagship P20 Pro a few months ago, and it basically dethroned every single smartphone camera out there. All their phones are beautifully designed and look premium.

Quick Glance: 6 Reasons to Buy Huawei nova 3i

  1. 24MP AI Dual Front Camera. Be the AI Selfie Superstar
  2. 16MP AI Dual Rear Camera – for Professional Photography Experience
  3. Kirin 710 with AI Capability – Need for Speed
  4. GPU Turbo – for Blistering Game Performance
  5. 6.3 inch FHD+ FullView Display with Slim Design
  6. AI-powered 3D Qmojis

MORE: Review: Huawei P20 Pro. Simply Magnificient

Thoroughly impressed with the P20 Pro, we were glad to review it’s ‘lighter’ version, the nova 3i.


• 6.3 Inches Screen FHD+ 2340 x 1080 LCD Display, 409 PPI (16.7 Million Colors)
• Huawei Kirin 710 Octa Core Processor
• Android 8.1
• 4 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM
• Hybrid Sim Card Slot that supports expansion through MicroSD unto 256 GB
• GPS, Glonass, AGPS
• Bluetooth 4.2
• Micro USB, USB 2.0
• 3.5mm Headphone Jack
• 16 MP + 2 MP F/2.2 Rear Camera
• 24 MP + 2 MP F/2.0 Front Camera with HDR Pro
• 3340 mAh Battery


• Excellent value for money
• Ravishing good looks
• Camera performances is stellar
• Snappy performance
• EMUI 8.2’s user interface seems a lot more cleaner and stable
• Artificial Intelligence based scene recognition while using the camera
• Phenomenal battery life


• No USB-C Port
• Lack of NFC and wireless charging might be a bummer for a few of you out there
• No water resistance
• Abundance of Huawei bloatware
• Notch compatibility might be an issue with certain apps
• Glass back is a fingerprint magnet


There’s no point denying that over the last few months, Huawei has been coming out with some exceptionally good looking phones. Personally I use an iPhone X which is a decent contender in the aesthetics department however whenever I took the Nova 3i from my pocket, it definitely raises a few heads as the purple finish is phenomenal. You could just tilt the phone a little bit and the phone would just look entirely different with a new color. Huawei offers its customers three colors, Pearl White, Black and Iris Purple. The back is made of glass and wrapped with a metal mid frame similar to its older brother the P20 Pro. The phone definitely doesn’t feel ‘plasticky’ instead feels extremely sturdy in hand. At 169 grams, phone is decent enough to be held in one hand and shouldn’t really have any problem fitting in your tight jeans pocket thanks to its slim profile.


Usually you’d think as the price goes down, manufacturers tend to compromise on a lot of features here and there. This isn’t really the case with Huawei as the Nova 3i packs Face Unlock, Fingerprint Reader and of course the standard pin based unlock method. Sure the face unlock feature isn’t exactly top notch, but Huawei is definitely in the right direction with it. Enrolling your face isn’t a hassle and should merely take you less than a minute to have it up and running.


Bezel free displays. Slim profile. Light unibody. These are all terms used by smartphone manufactures for their 2018 line of devices and Huawei is no guest to this. The Nova 3i features a 6.3 inches edge to edge display that isn’t AMOLED but a standard IPS LCD panel however don’t get me wrong. Colors seem to pop out really well and is pretty sharp. Watching movies and other media content feels like a bliss. Sure the notch might come in your way but Huawei offers to turn it off and just blend it with the UI from the settings. See. Smartphone manufacturers do care about what you think!

Battery Life

So at Arabian Gazette, we don’t just unbox a phone, test it out for 5-10 minutes and publish a review. We actually use the phone as our daily driver to see how it goes. This help us give our reader’s an in-depth perspective as to how the entire thing feels. Truth be told, I was actually pretty impressed by this phone in the battery life department. With a colossal 3340 mAh battery, this thing can easily get you through a day without breaking a sweat. I practically charged it once in two days so you know I’m not kidding. Though the phone doesn’t exactly charge faster than its older brother’s, it should take you about 2 hours to ramp up the juice to 100%. The Kirin 710 seems to perform pretty well in terms of energy conservation and power management features so a few gaming sessions will do you no harm. We promise.


The Huawei Nova 3i is no slouch. Tried some intense multi-tasking having multiple social media apps opened in the background while switching between different games, this device just wouldn’t give up. No lag. I could totally switch between different apps and have no problems at all. The Kirin 710 Octa-core processor coupled with 4 GB RAM is ample for your fancy Instagram posts or jaw dropping party selfies.
The GPU Turbo technology comes in handy when you’re playing incredibly graphics intense games. Though this feature does give you a performance bump, know that you’re basically trading off some battery life in the process. Definitely not a marketing gimmick but some well researched software tweaks here and there.


Let’s be honest here. To get a phone at this price with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) isn’t easy. The Nova 3i comes with a 16 MP f/2.2 and 2MP lenses in the front. The camera app might seem a little overwhelming given the abundance of features from AI based intelligence tracking for scene selection (500 + scenes actually) or AR Lens to let you apply some entertaining facial animations.
Apps showcases a variety of different modes to choose from like Pro Mode, Panorama, Light painting and many more so your possibilities are unlimited. Need to unleash the terrific creativity of yours so the Huawei 3i might just be your ideal companion without digging too deep of a hole in your pocket.
Pictures look vibrant and not over saturate. Front camera might seem a little blurry if you don’t have a surgical steady hands but in all honesty that isn’t a deal breaker because the camera performance definitely gets our approval.
Overall we’re very impressed by this device. Sure there are a few trade-offs here and there given the pricing Huawei has decided to opt for but you’re still left with a premium looking device that not only looks good but also manages to impress you with what’s available from the inside.
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