Review: Huawei Nova 3e – Your Budget Friendly iPhone X

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Arabian Gazette’s Aman Ali’s take on the new Huawei Nova 3e mobile phone, where he discovers that the device is packed with some cool features while still remaining pocket friendly 

When you first have a glimpse of Huawei’s new device, it would be fair to mistake it for Apple’s new iPhone X. However a closer look reveals this is no ordinary phone. As the tagline states, this is a phone designed for life on the go with no compromises. But contrary to popular belief, the reason why a majority of the latest android phones are adopting the notch design isn’t to mimic apple. In all fairness, The Essential Phone had a notch for the front facing camera way before the new iPhone was even announced. We all know the main highlight of 2017’s line of devices were its nearly bezel free display. The reason why manufacturers opt for a notch design these days is simply because they don’t want to compromise on the screen to body ratio. Having a thick bezel on the top to house the front camera and ambient sensors would waste the sides and resulted a smaller screen size. Since most brands measure their screen size diagonally from one corner to the other, having a notched design would result in a higher screen size on paper making the device stand out from the rest.

SEE ALSO: HTC Vive Pro Review: Improved and Impressive but Pricey

Also fun fact. There’s no evidence to prove that Apple has indeed patented the notch design.

Now let’s get straight to it.


  • 84 inch FHD+ Screen (2280 x 1080 at 432 PPI) with 96% NTSC Super High Color Gamut
  • Wide Angle 16 MP Front Camera
  • Dual Lens 16 MP Rear Camera (Bokeh Effect Enabled)
  • EMUI 8.0 User Interface
  • Face Unlock
  • High Speed Charging via USB Type C
  • Dual Bluetooth Support
  • Huawei Kirin 659 Octa-Core Processor with 4GB RAM
  • Android 8.0
  • 64 GB Built In Storage expandable via MicroSD up to 256 GB
  • Dual Sim Capabilities
  • 3000 mAH Battery

SEE ALSO: Huawei P20 Pro: The Smartphone Camera King powered by AI


  • Unconventional Design that offers a rather sleek look
  • Snappy Processor
  • Doesn’t dig a deep hole in your pocket
  • Stellar Display
  • 5 MM Headphone Jack


  • Camera could have been better under low light
  • Back Cover is a fingerprint magnet
  • No Water Resistance
  • No Leica Love


The Nova 3e takes it design cues from its older brothers the P20 and P20 Pro. Though from far anyone would mistake it for the iPhone X, when you hold it in your hand, its definitely something out of the ordinary. The frame is made of metal while the back is made of glass. The notch might be a downer for a lot of people but Huawei gives you the option to make it disappear via a software tweak which doesn’t seem to bad, if you’re willing to compromise on the screen’s overall real estate.


The device sports a 5.84 inch FullView 2.0 Display as Huawei likes to call it with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2280 x 1080 making it FHD+ The display panel packs a wide color gamut of NTSC 96 and uses the DCI-P3 color space. In human terms, colors look richer and more cinematic because P3 is more of an industry standard for Hollywood. Yep you read that right.


Huawei decided to opt for its Kirin 659 Processor for the Nova 3e. Now don’t get me wrong. The octa-core processor is a powerhouse on its own but its also 6 months old and the competition seems to be getting way ahead of its game in the mid-tier phone segment. Apps run smoothly without any visible lag considering the fact its coupled to a 4GB RAM module.


The Nova 3e sports a 16MP front camera and 16MP Dual lens camera in the back. Both of them come with an aperture of f/2.2 which isn’t great because low light photography totally sucks. However with adequate lighting, you can definitely snap some SLR level shots. Pictures look crisp and color reproduction absolutely stellar. Experiment with the PRO mode and I’m sure you can unlock the true potential of the phone’s camera including shooting in RAW Mode.

Front camera is pretty decent for your regular selfies. However the beauty mode made me seem like I was a heavily photo-shopped version of Kim Kardashian. Just kidding. I’m definitely way more good looking than her. Pfff…

Battery Life 

Given the 3000mAH battery, I got away with a full day’s use of power in a single charge. The fast charging function is no marketing gimmick. I legit recharged half the battery in a little more than 30 minutes which to me is pretty WOW.


Overall we were pretty impressed with the Nova 3e given its price point of AED 1199 at major retailers in the UAE. When we checked with the official Huawei Store in Dubai Mall, they were even giving a free case along with the device. The phone is sleek and definitely stands out from the crowd compared to the likes of devices like the Samsung J7 Pro or even the Moto G5 Plus. The notch might turn you off but trust me. Its no big deal. Eventually you just get used to it and don’t even notice its there. Performance is great too for multi-tasking.

The Nova 3e has color variants. Midnight Black, Sakura Pink, Platinum Gold and Klein Blue.

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