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Huawei Nova 3 : Worth the Price or Not?

GadgetFrame 29 Sep, 2018

Day by day, smartphones brands are launching smartphones embedding varieties of features, to keep going on a race in this competitive technological World. Similarly, 2018 has been a busy year for Huwaei so far with several new launches. And among those launches, Nova 3 is one of them to get a good response from the market.


Nova 3, the flagship phone from Huwaei is itself absolutely stunning and gorgeous. The phone comes in three colors which are black, iris purple and airy blue. Here, I have a black one for the review which looks premium and very similar to the Huawei P20 Pro in that same color. This phone is really unique because it has quad cameras- two rear cameras at its back with LED flash and two shooters surrounded by the notch at its front along with a tiny attractive speaker between the cameras. On its right, we have a power button and a volume button. Whereas on its left we have a triple-card slot. Down below there is a 3.55mm audio jack, Type C USB port, and the main microphone. Also, its smooth texture and 3D curved design offers a good grip and counters the slipperiness making it easy to hold even with one hand. However, being an all-glass design, it quickly attracts finger smudges. And if this bothers you then you can simply put case either on one side or both the sides. The fingerprint scanner is conveniently placed on the back and like other Huwaei phones, it's very fast and accurate to unlock the phone. You will also find vertically aligned Huawei branding-this makes Nova 3 cool. Overall, Nova 3 is such eye catchy that I would love to call it as an attention seeker.


Moving on, Nova 3 rocks 6.3-inch full view display with the resolution of 1080 pixels by 2340 pixels. Brightness is good, viewing angles are wide and there are no issues with sunlight visibility. With an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and pixels density of 409 PPI, everything on the screen appears pleasing to my eyes. I am not a notch hater. But for notch hater, Huawei EMUI OS does provide a way to hide it through software trickery. However, the display lacks any form of scratch protection, which is not something we expected from a phone at this price. Besides this, the display is another best thing about this phone.

Performance and Storage

Talking about performance, powering Nova 3 is Hisilicon Kirin 970 packed with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 256 GB, which isn’t there in its closest competition, the Oneplus6. Performance wise, I didn’t find any lags and stutters. App launching is quick and switching between app doesn’t stress the phone. Heavy games like PubG was easily loaded and even while gaming the phone doesn’t heat up much. I have played a few games on this device which ran quite well. And even for once I didn’t feel like this smartphone is lagging behind in terms of performance. I also checked the Benchmark performance which showed up with the good results. Hence the device is fast and performs pretty well. No doubts about that.


The quad cameras with AI features obviously are the highlight of Nova 3. Its back inbuilds a 16 MP primary sensor and a 24 MP monochrome sensor, both with f/1.8 aperture lens so you can expect some good result even in the low light condition. Just like P20 Pro, Nova 3 can recognize object and scenes and will automatically enhance color and exposure accordingly. But most of the time the bright colors like green, red, yellow are oversaturated that makes the scenes come out unnatural. But that’s not a problem because Huawei now has added an option in the gallery to turn off AI enhancement if you don’t like it. Here we have the photos taken. One with AI turned on and another with AI turned off. In daylight, the camera tends to overexpose the image, thus blowing out details and image quality will never let you down. But low light images weren’t very appealing for me as the autofocus was slow and disturbing. Due to the lack of OIS, one has to be steady while clicking them or else they will end up with blurry images.


On the front camera again, you get 24 MP selfie along with a 2 MP depth sensor. The front shooter facilitates with face unlock feature which is quick and responsive. With AI sprinkled all over the front camera, selfies were pleasing with no blemishes and more lighting effect. HDR Pro mode also enhances the selfies making it look more and more natural.

Apart from that, the camera too has many other options such as aperture mode, portrait mode with different 3D lighting effect, adjustable beauty mode, pro mode, slo-mo, panorama, monochrome, time lapse, filters and more. Also, I enjoyed the AR lens shooting mode to the fullest and found it the most interesting one. The 3D Qmoji along with gesture effects and 3D backgrounds were so much entertaining that I could easily cut off my leisure time and getting bored was way too far. The phone can shoot up to 4K resolution at 30 fps. And even at 1080p, there is no any sort of image stabilization. The video quality seems to be good in a day but is average in low light.


When it comes to battery, its 3750 large mAh battery has offered me a full day of use even with extensive gaming, web surfing, camera, and everything on a single charge. Also, with Huawei quick charge, this phone was fully charged in less than 2 hours, which is not a ‘wow’ thing but is somehow impressive.


All in all, its great to see Huwaei coming up with more impressive products. I didn’t find any lags in this phone regarding its design, battery, and camera. The only thing which pinched me was its performance. Performance is good, no doubts on that, but when compared to its competitors such as Oneplus 6, Asus Zenfone 5Z, people will rather pick either of other two over Nova 3. Also, I was expecting Optical Image Stabilization in this range of price. Unfortunately, in this case, Nova 3 couldn’t meet up my expectations. But when it comes overall features, Nova 3 has rocked the market with its excellent build quality, featured rich camera, good battery life, crisp display, and satisfactory performance. And all these things make it a worthy purchase.

Specs Overview of Huawei Nova 3

OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 970
CPU: Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU: Mali-G72 MP12
RAM and Storage: 6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB internal storage expandable up to 256 GB
Battery: 3750 mAh Non-removable Li-Po
Display: 6.3-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR, aptX HD
Ports: Type C USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Rear camera: Dual: 16 MP (f/1.8) + 24 MP B/W (f/1.8), gyro-EIS (1080p), PDAF, LED flash
Front-facing camera: Dual: 24 MP + 2 MP (no AF, depth sensor)
Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Colors: Black, Blue, Purple, Gold
Price in Nepal (Rs.): 59,900



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