8Telcom Lets us Try the new Huawei Nova 3i and Here's what I Can Say


Earlier today, I together with fellow Davao Blogger Society members, were invited by Huawei Philippines and 8Telcom (one of the leading gadget stores in Davao City) to formally introduce to us and let us personally experience the latest quad-camera-equipped midrange smartphone offering of Huawei - the Nova 3i.

In case you missed, the Nova 3i is the Chinese electronics giant's direct follow up to last year's highly successful Nova 2i (hands on) smartphone, which by the way is now priced at only Php11,990. The Nova 3i still follows its predecessor's unique offerings which is the quad-camera set up for a very very competitive price. If you can still remember, the Nova 2i was officially launched in the local market in October of 2017 and it was priced for just Php14,990. Fast forward to today, the Nova 3i still heading to the same path, the only difference is it is now of course more high-end and more stunningly-looking for an asking price of just Php15,990.


 The Huawei Nova 3i

At first look, it is very hard to differentiate from the also-new Huawei P20 series of smartphones. Even the camera arrangement on the back together with the LED flash is just the same. And of course that is not a bad one as aesthetics of the P20 series are simply gorgeous. So while we may say that the Nova 3i is the sequel to the Nova 2i, in terms of looks, they are a thousand miles away from each other.

The Huawei Nova 3i's back panel is now made of glass compared to the Nova 2i's metal back plate. The one I had was in Iris Purple, and it is just nothing but a complete stunner. Its glass back panel sports a what the company is calling "gradient color", which means the color gets from darker to lighter from its bottom and it slightly changes depending on the surface's angle to your eyes. Needless to say, it is smudge and fingerprint hungry as we would expect from a glass panel, but apart from that, it's a beautiful touch.


You don't see anything on this back panel besides the dual rear camera, LED flash, and the fingerprint scanner.

On the right of the phone is where the volume rocker and power/lock key are located, while on the other side is  the dual-SIM tray. It can hold up to two SIM card at the same time. And in case the default 128GB onboard storage is not enough for you, you can use the SIM 2 slot to slide in a microSD card with up to 256GB in size.

Down at the very bottom are the microphone, speaker grille, microUSB port, and the 3.5mm audiojack port. Unlike the P20 Lite which has USB Type-C port already, this Nova 3i still has the microUSB. And that's not a big deal at all, at least yet.


The Huawei Nova 3i's front panel sports a 6.3-inch display. Compared to its predecessor, it sports even thinner bezels from all sides. The Back, Home, and Multitask buttons remain on-screen. Display resolution wise, this one is pegged at 2340 x 1080 (Full HD+) with a total of 409 pixels per inch (PPI). And yes, as you can see in the image above, it has the notch up the screen which houses the dual front camera, proximity sensor, and earpiece.


Don't like the notch on a smartphone? Don't worry, Huawei got you covered on this one. Through the display settings, you can hide the notch by darkening its surrounding.

In terms of the display quality, this handset appears to have a much brighter display. At least that's what I immediately noticed during my very limited time with the phone at the store. The display quality looks even more vivid than my Nova 2i's and color reproduction on the screen is more vibrant. Another big difference I noticed is that the display itself appears to be really close to the screen, the images really pop out if you would. This makes the viewing experience even more immersive. And to be honest, I really liked it as soon as I realized this enhancement.


The camera is definitely one of the highlights of this Nova 3i smartphone. Like I already mentioned above, it has four cameras in total - two on its back and another two on the front. Both are now equipped with AI technology to help users produce even more realistic and enhanced photos of their favorite subject or their selfies. The rear shooters are pegged at 16MP for the primary and at 2MP for the secondary with f/2.2 aperture, autofocus, and LED flash.  The front side, on the other hand, has 24MP primary selfie shooter with a secondary 2MP snapper accompanied by an f/2.0 aperture for a much better performance even in low light scenes .

Unfortunately due to my very limited time with the unit, I was not able to capture sample photos to be shared here in this blog post. However, during my short time with the said device, I can say that the photo quality is even better now compared again to its predecessor, maybe because of the amount of AI tech that Huawei managed infuse in the device, I can't really say for sure.

The usual smartphone camera features are still present in this device including the ones powered by the new AR (Augmented Reality) technology. And in addition to those, there are new features that are now offered with the Nova 3i. One of those that I liked the most is 3D Portrait mode, I think that's the correct feature name, where it captures your face's image when you place your face within the circle in the screen and then blackens everything outside your face in the finished photo. The final image looks great and you facial features are enhanced and focused, perfect for profile photos on your social media accounts.


Another new additions to the camera functionalities of the Nova 3i is what Huawei calls as 3D Qmoji. Through this feature, you can create animated version of your facial experience though any of the currently available Qmojies such as Penguin, Robot, Chameleon, Cat, Rabbit and others. You can record short video clips of this Qmoji and share them to you r social media accounts or through messaging apps to add more fun to the conversations.

There is also the Super Slow Motion feature which users can record slo-mo video clips with up to 480 frames per second.

Final words

I think Huawei has launched yet another midrange device that all of its competition will have a hard time competing with. The Nova 2i was definitely a hit, and even up to this date still being purchased by a lot of customers. That being said, the Nova 3i will definitely follow the same track, especially knowing that it has all what it takes to be one of the best midrange smartphones around - impressive design, great performance, and very affordable asking price.

We were told that it's the black version will be ready for pre-order until July 27 and for pick up beginning July 28. The arrival of the Iris Purple version is still to be announced in the future.

Huawei Nova 3i specs:
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ LCD Display
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio screen
  • 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Kirin 710 processor
  • Mali-G51 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage 
  • Supports microSD card
  • 16MP +  2MP dual rear camera f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, LED Flash
  • 24MP + 2MP dual front camera with AI and f/2.0 aperture
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Dual-SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • FM Radio
  • Face Unlock
  • Fingerprint Scanner 
  • 3.5mm audiojack port
  • Iris Purple / Pearl White / Black
  • 3340mAh battery
  • Php15,990

Currently, the Huawei Nova 3i is available for pre-order. You can pre-order yours from 8Telcom physical stores here in Davao for a minimum downpayment of just Php1,000 until July 27th. Also, every pre-order of the Nova 3i will come with wireless bluetooth speaker, as shown in the last image above, for free. And this wireless speaker is worth Php2,990. According to 8telcom, apart from this audio accessory, they will also throw in a couple more freebies during the pre-order period.


You can now visit any 8telcom stores or the Huawei concept store at Vitoria Plaza Mall here in Davao City to personally experience the Huawei Nova 3i and place your pre-order right in there. Huawei representatives at the stores are more than happy to assist you learn more about the device and try its cool features especially in the camera department.

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