Huawei's entry in the midrange market of Bangladesh was on the back of the widely acclaimed Y series and GR series. The Y series still caters to the entry-level midrange crowd now while Huawei launched another series to cater to the upper mid-range segment last year- the Nova series. It entered the market with a nova 2i and was an instant hit. Nearly a couple months back, Huawei introduced the latest gadget of nova series: nova 3i. We were able to test out the device for nearly a month.
Starting with the design, Huawei has already hacked into the winning formula: put a sleek big screen, add glass on the back, put a metal bezel around the phone, and of course, you can't miss the notch. The nova 3i isn't an exception. Rather it has more: a purple to blue colour gradient which we loved. In short, the design is stunning but nothing groundbreaking. And once you slap a case over the phone, the glamour tones down even more.
The gorgeous display of the phone might make you mistake the nova 3i as its more expensive siblings. The tall 6.23 inch IPS LCD display comes with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and 409 ppi - almost identical to the recently reviewed OPPO F9. The screen worked flawlessly in most cases with native and third-party apps. Some apps were a bit weirded-out thanks to the unorthodox 19:9 ratio of the display. The lack of a high contrast ratio, of the AMOLED screen, is overshadowed by the sharp and accurate rendering of details. Like all the phones with a notch, Huawei tried to make the most out of it by putting up notifications up there. Also, you can hide the notch. But as it isn't a super AMOLED screen, the blacks aren't true black thus the notch sticks out like a sore thumb.
This nifty device packs a 3340mAh battery. Being a smartphone with a humongous screen the phone doesn't drain the battery at the rate you might expect it to. If you are not glued to your phone playing PUBG or other GPU hogging games, then a full charge should last you an entire day. The review unit of ours didn't come with a charger so we couldn't check it out.
The Huawei nova 3i comes with quad-cameras. In fact, it's one of their key selling points. On the rear, the phone comes equipped with 16MP f/2.2 primary sensor coupled with a secondary 2MP monochrome sensor. The camera comes loaded with way too many options and features that are bound to confuse amateurs like me. But the UI of the camera has improved significantly over the years. The most common features can be scrolled from left to right. Following the footsteps of its western counterparts, Huawei has introduced several AR capabilities in the camera. If you are creative enough, you can play around with Qmoji and 3D Objects and have fun with it. The video feature of the camera is maxed at 1080p but it does offer Pro mode on video which is kind of rare in most smartphones these days. The selfies were sharp and overblown on colours and saturation with AI on. But if you zoom in, you will see that the photos lose a lot of the details.
The nova 3i offers an above decent performance. The HiSilicon Kirin 710 in its debut device performed really well. 12 nm chipset paired with the 4GB ROM was able to play most regular apps stutter-free. But upon heavily taxing the phone with Asphalt 9, I was seeing sudden frame drops which aren't 'unexpected' in a basic octa-core like Kirin 710. The phone heated noticeably up after playing for just 15 minutes or so. I used Huawei P20 Lite (powered by a Kirin 659) and this one is a significant improvement over that. The phone comes with a 128GB ROM of which only 108GB is readily available. To be honest, this should be more than enough for an average user. If you need additional space you can always resort to the hybrid SIM tray by inserting micro SD cards. Speaking of the SIM tray, you can use dual SIM cards on 4G. Moreover, you can also forward the phone calls to the on-call SIM if someone is calling you on your other SIM.
The operating system of the phone is Emotion UI 8.2 based on Android 8.1. Huawei has kept all the usual bloatware and added a few interesting new ones i.e. Netflix, Camera 360, Booking.com and several other very uninteresting games.
Nova 3i is a stripped down version of Huawei's current flagships, while retaining its core design features and hardware. Not only did it retain the best features, it improved the overall built from the typical midrange. It comes with a big screen, great new processor, battery life reaching well into the second day and plenty of memory and storage. Retailing at 29K BDT, this phone is worth considering if you are looking for a midrange phone to buy.
Display: 6.3", FHD+ 2340 x 1080, 409 PPI
OS: EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1
CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 710
GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
RAM: 4 GB RAM
ROM: 128 GB
Camera: Rear- 16 MP + 2 MP dual; f/2.2 aperture, Front- 24MP+2MP camera
Features: AI Chipset, Elevator Mode,
Battery: 3340 mAh
Price: Tk. 28,990/-