There were two Nova smartphones that were introduced earlier this month and these are the Huawei Nova 3i and the Nova 3i. The Huawei Nova 3i wow-ed us with its design as it offers a gradient color and also a quad camera which is really useful for AR and depth sensing but how about the Huawei Nova 3? Is the more powerful smartphone any good? Check out our review of the smartphone below.

Huawei Nova 3 Specs

  • Huawei Kirin 970 Octa-Core Processor
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS Display (2340×1080)
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB Internal Storage expandable via MicroSD
  • 24MP+16MP Rear Camera with LED Flash and PDAF
  • 24MP+2MP Front Camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • 3750mAh Battery
  • Fast Charging
  • Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.2

Design and Hardware

The Huawei Nova 3 is well-designed. You might not notice it but it feels more premium compared to its other brother, the Huawei Nova 3i because of its curved back which also makes the smartphone easier to hold. That feature on the Huawei Nova 3 is also the easiest way to distinguish the Nova 3 from the Nova 3i.

The one that we got for review is the Iris Purple variant and damn, it’s beautiful and it’s sexier as gradient color backs are getting popular these days. Whether you’re into masculine or feminine looking phones, the Huawei Nova 3 won’t let you down with its color.

The button placements are also the same as you can find the volume rocker and the power button of the smartphone is placed on its right side and of course, the smartphone still houses a hybrid card slot similar to the Huawei Nova 3i.

Thankfully, despite having a flagship hardware on the smartphone, the Huawei Nova 3 still managed to have a headphone jack on this one and this time we’re using a USB Type-C instead of MicroUSB which is a welcome feature as this one also features fast charging.


The Huawei Nova 3i features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display of the smartphone is great but in case you’re not a fan of the notch then you might have a problem with this one but don’t worry because you can turn off the notch of the smartphone at the settings.

Outdoor usage of the smartphone was very good as the display is still crisp and clear and the colors produced by the display was great and really vivid. I didn’t encounter any problem with the notch as most Android smartphones and apps these days are already well-adjusted to that

Battery Life

Again, the Huawei Nova 3 has a 3750mAh battery which is really fine. I’ve used the smartphone for a single day of normal usage with mobile data mostly on and I was able to to use the smartphone for a normal workday without looking for a powerbank. But in case you’re curious in our benchmark, we got a score of 8 hours of 51 hours at the PC Mark Battery Test

Software and performance

The Huawei Nova 3 is a mid-range smartphone and yet, it’s running on Kirin 970 CPU which also powered the Huawei Mate 10 series and also the Huawei P20 series. We all know that the processor is capable of AI functionalities and it’s actually great at that and yes, the SoC can really do some gaming and thanks to GPU turbo, we now have better framerates on games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends.

Since we’re running on Kirin 970 processor and 6GB of RAM, there were no problems on the usage of the smartphone as I was able to run most of it without problems. When it comes to performance, the Huawei Nova 3’s Kirin 970 is a big leap from the Huawei Nova 3i and yes, it is noticeable. Check out the benchmark scores that we got from the smartphone below.


Again, the smartphone is also made for gaming as it is powered by Kirin 970 processor and thanks to GPU Turbo, the smartphone does actually get better framerates on games. Check out the games that we benchmarked using Gamebench.

PUBG Mobile with HD Settings with Ultra Frame rates, AA on, GPU Turbo On – We got a pretty good framerates and the FPS was really stable at 40fps.The FPS only drops when there’s a heavy smoke grenades.
PUBG Mobile with HD Settings with Ultra Frame rates, AA on, GPU Turbo Off – We’re only running at 28fps. It is strongly suggested that you use GPU Turbo whenever you’re playing the game
Asphalt 9 was pretty stable and it was really playable at 30 fps with 100% FPS stability
Real Racing 3’s FPS stability isn’t 100% but the game is really playable at 59fps.

You can check out the GameBench Benchmarking app at (

You can also download the app at the Play Store (

The smartphone’s interface is very similar to other Huawei smartphones. It’s not the neatest nor the sexiest UI design but it was responsive and I really didn’t have any problems when it comes to navigating the smartphone, however, I found it a little bit annoying that the smartphone does come with a lot of bloatware.

Oh, and you won’t any problems with its storage by the way as the Huawei Nova 3 features a 128GB of Internal storage which is probably more than enough for most people.


The camera of the Huawei Nova 3 is the biggest feature that sets apart this smartphone from the Huawei Nova 3i and actually, this is my most favorite feature of this smartphone. The Huawei Nova 3 features a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture plus a 24-megapixel secondary camera which is a monochrome. This setup has been seen before on the Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P20, and the P20 pro.

There’s the AI-assist feature too but again, the AI for the camera of the smartphone isn’t as good as the one on the Huawei P20 series but thankfully, it’s easy to turn on and off the AI function on the camera of the smartphone. Most of the time I turned it off as using the AI is actually hit and miss but when I mostly shoot flowers and landscapes, the AI mode of the camera of the Huawei Nova 3 is really helpful.

Most of the shots that I took were really great and it is comparable to the Huawei P20. Check out the shots that I took using the Huawei Nova 3 and be the judge of these photos.


The Huawei Nova 3 surprisingly made it to my personal favorite smartphone of 2018. It doesn’t have the best specifications or the cheapest price but the Huawei Nova 3 break the barriers by being a midrange smartphone and yet, offers a flagship hardware and experience.

The Huawei Nova 3 is very good in all aspects – performance, design, camera, battery, and even the camera. It might not have the same camera and the Leica branding of the Huawei P20 but this one definitely acts like a flagship smartphone and holy smokes, the 128GB internal storage of this smartphone is really spacious.

Overall, the Huawei Nova 3 is a great smartphone. It’s only a mid-range smartphone but it’s acting like a flagship smartphone. The design of the smartphone is eye-catching and everything about the smartphone is really awesome. The Huawei Nova 3 is now available for Php25,990.


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