Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
- Premium feel
- Ticks all the right boxes
- Inconsistent software
The Nova 3i has all the right specs but fails to bring them cohesively together to forge an identity of its own.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
In the face of skyrocketing flagship prices, the value of mid-tier and budget options continues to grow - and the Huawei Nova 3i isn’t the exception. For the respectable price-tag of $599, there’s a lot here to like.
Still, there’s a distinct unevenness that sees the Nova 3i lag behind some of the alternatives - both from competitors and from Huawei themselves. For as many reasons that I can find to recommend this phone on its own, I struggle to find any specific case for why you should opt for it over the other options lurking just out of frame.
Sure, the camera is better and processor are better than what you'll get out of the similarly-named Nova 3e. But it doesn't always feel $200 better in the ways you'd hope and expect it to. It's a decent device left outgunned by the reality that 2018 has been a really strong years for budget and mid-tier smartphones.
Specs - Huawei Nova 3i Smartphone
Display size: 6.3-inch
Display type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, FHD+
Processor: HUAWEI Kirin 710 AI processor
Operating System: Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.0
Fingerprint Sensor: Yes
MicroSD slot: Yes
Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack + MicroUSB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Rear Camera: 16-megapixel (f2.2 aperture) + 2-megapixel (Bokeh lens)
Front-Facing Camera: 24-megapixel (f2.0 aperture) + 2-megapixel (Bokeh lens)
Colors: Black, Iris Purple
Dimensions: 75.2 mm x 157.6mm x 7.6 mm
Availability: JB Hi-Fi, Amazon, Harvey Norman, Mobileciti, Bing Lee and Officeworks.
Design - Look, Feel and Features
The Nova 3i is nothing is not if not beholden to what’s come before. As you might expect from a Huawei-brand device with a $599 price-tag, it feels slightly more premium than the Nova 3e but slightly less so than the P20 Pro. Moment to moment, it feels snazzy to hold. But I wouldn’t say it feels all that different from what’s come before.
The Huawei Nova 3i is encased in glass on both sides and comes framed by a quartet of appealing svelte, curved edges. There’s a notch - which some might be unhappy to see. There’s also a headphone jack - which most will be happy to see. In the palm of your hand, it competently mimics the feel of other, more-expensive smartphones but doesn’t quite hold up under scrutiny.
[Related Content: Smartphone Notches Explained]
The lack of any IP-ratings here feels like a key drawback. These days, even mid-tier devices are earning their stripes when it comes to water-resistance and the absence of any such durability cert here does leave the Nova 3i wanting. It also lacks in any sort of fast or wireless charging compared to flagship counterparts.
[Related Content: 3D Face Unlock vs 2D Face Unlock: Which is more secure?]
Next Page: Camera, Performance, The Bottom Line
Join the newsletter!
Toys for Boys
MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 4 XL review (2019): Full Resolution
- 2 Samsung Galaxy A70 Australian review
- 3 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 4 Moto G7 review: The new gold standard for budget buyers
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- ASUS' ROG Phone 2 finds its way onto JB Hi-Fi shelves
- Amazon Australia bring back one of Prime Day's best deals for Black Friday
- Amazon just beat JB Hi-Fi's incredible Note 10 Black Friday deal
- Best Australian Black Friday Telstra deals
- Black Friday is a great chance to save money on Google's best value smartphone
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Google Pixel 4 XL review (2019): Full Resolution
- Samsung Galaxy Fold review: Show Off
- iPhone 11 Pro review: Identical looks, superlative cameras
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies