Huawei’s Got a Budget Flagship of their Own

It’s been a little over a week since Huawei launched the follow up to one of the best mid-range smartphones from 2017 — the Huawei Nova 3i. The hype train is still going strong for the device that’s just shy of Php 16k but we know that it just isn’t for everyone and some of you might be looking for a phone that packs a bit more punch without flattening your bank account at the same time.

Well, Ladies and Gents, it looks like Huawei has got you covered too because they just announced the availability of the budget flagship device — the Huawei Nova 3 — and we’re here to take it out of the box and show you what it has to offer before it goes through our review process.

What’s Inside the Box?

In terms of packaging, it’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Huawei recently. A clean white box with only the name of the product in front of it and the required information on the side of the box.

The first thing you see when you lift up the cover is the phone itself. Our review unit came in the gorgeous Iris Purple. Aside from that, you’ve got the usual accoutrements that you’ll typically find with most smartphone purchases nowadays. You have a jelly case to protect that gorgeous finish on the device, a SIM ejector tool, headphones, a wall charger, and a USB Type-C cable.

We’re guessing the retail package will come with documentation as well.

How Is the Nova 3 Different from the Nova 3i?

Comparing it to the Nova 3i, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two. They share pretty much have identical dimensions and weigh nearly the same too.

Huawei Nova 3i on the left; Huawei Nova 3 on the right

You have a glass back and an aluminium frame that gives it that premium look and feel plus you have the option to get in the gorgeous Iris Purple coloured variant as well. The biggest difference on the outside is that the Nova 3 has tapered edges; making ergonomics on this budget flagship a little better.

In terms of button and port layout, you have the volume rocker and power button on the right side.

Access to the SIM tray is on the left and you are getting a hybrid SIM tray on the Nova 3.

The top is pretty much bare, which means the headphone jack, speaker grille, and the USB type c port is on the bottom. Yes, friends. You can now breathe a little easy.

In front, you have a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display; something else it shares with its little brother. It has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a notch, which you can quickly hide in the display settings if it’s not your cup of tea. The display quality is great with very forgiving viewing angles and is bright enough for outdoor use as well.

Much like the Nova 3i, the Nova 3 also has four cameras. The selfie shooters are the same on paper. You’ve got a 24-megapixel main camera plus a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help with things like portrait mode to give you a really smooth bokeh effect plus the added AR features that include 3D QMojis.

On the back, you have a 16-megapixel main camera at f/1.8 plus a 24-megapixel secondary shooter at the same aperture but it’s monochrome; much like its siblings in the P and Mate series. You’re getting AI-assist to help tweak your shots as well, which you can toggle on and off even after you’ve taken a photo.

Under the hood of the Nova 3 is Huawei’s current flagship processor — the Kirin 970. This is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. We’ve had our fair share of time with this processing package, starting with the Mate 10, and it should be more than enough for day to day use. The Nova 3 is also slated to get the GPU Boost coming in August but from our experience, you can already game well on this device.

The Huawei Nova 3 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 and is juiced up by a 3750 mAh battery.

How Much Is It?

The Huawei Nova 3 retails for Php 25,990. It still has to undergo our review process but, as things stand, it’s a pretty strong contender in the budget flagship space. You can pre-order the Huawei Nova 3 from August 4 to August 10 and it should come with a free Bluetooth speaker worth Php 2,990.

Huawei Nova 3 Specs

  • 2.4GHz HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display; 1080 x 2340 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • 128GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB via microSD)
  • 16-megapixel main rear camera (f/1.8) + 24-megapixel B/W camera (f/1.8), PDAF, EIS
  • 24-megapixel main front camera + 2-megapixel depth sensor
  • 4G, LTE (Dual SIM, Hybrid Tray)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Facial Recognition
  • Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2
  • 3750mAh Battery with Fast Charging

Huawei Nova 3i Unboxing, Review: An Heir to the Mid-Range Throne?

Mid-range Mayhem: Does the Huawei Nova 3i Rule the Roost?

Watch: 5 Things We Like About the Huawei Nova 3i