After spending a lot of time catering to the Indian market with their affordable sub brand Honor, Huawei has finally stepped into the Indian smartphone scene. Earlier this year they released their triple P20 Pro and the more affordable P20 Lite with flagship aesthetics to compete with what India is already accustomed to – OnePlus, Xiaomi, Samsung, Apple and Google. With these two handsets at two extreme ends of the spectrum, they have thrown the Nova series into the middle class to cut part of the cake – Nova 3 and Nova 3i.
While the Nova 3i has to record it for itself in the sub-Rs 20,000 categories, the Nova 3 horns lock with the will of OnePlus 6, ASUS Zenfone 5z and its own Honor 10. On paper it forms an impressive combination of silicon, metal and glass – a flagship class chipset, a quad camera setup, a modern edge-to-edge display and a crazy color-shifting 3D glass case. We were tempted to release the Nova 3 for a test drive as a daily pilot to see if this color-shifting beauty in the real world stands up well.
Recently we experienced premium glassy smartphones. They all try to inspire the most understated yet luxurious aesthetics, except for the Zenfone 5z, which comes across style-consciously. The Nova 3i just blows the competition away when it comes to grabbing eyeballs from the world – thanks to the wild-color shifting Iris Purple finish. The back panel of the phone continues to shed various colors between purple and pink under different lighting conditions – we could not just release the rear panel in different angles.
However, the aesthetics of Nova 3 polarize. Some may prefer to show off the bling of the handset, others may find it flashy. That is why Huawei also brings a standard black variant to appease the other half.
Once you have crossed the color, the rest of the design seems very familiar to the recently revealed Honor Play. In fact, the Nova 3, Nova 3i and Honor Play bunnies seem to have been taken out of a common hat. The glass back has a vertically aligned dual camera setting and a fingerprint sensor. Because it is a premium smartphone, the edges gradually bend to the sides, providing a comfortable grip. You will also find the vertically aligned Huawei branding – this makes the Nova 3 cool. Look around and you will see a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a USB-C port and a loudspeaker.
The front has a modern edge-to-edge display with a recess at the top. Because there is an LCD screen, a fair amount of chin is prominently present, although slightly smaller than what you get on the Nova 3i and Honor Play. The recess has two cameras (more on this later), an earpiece and IR sensor for Face Unlock.
In short, the Nova 3 probably wins the election for the most attention-grabbing smartphone in its category.
Huawei / Honor have a penchant for nailing on the display department on all their smartphones. The Nova 3 does not differ from that tradition – the 6.3-inch IPS LCD display is a hoard for consuming content. It delivers photos in Full HD + resolution with a vivid dynamic range and impressive contrast. There are no problems with the readability of sunlight and viewing angles quite wide.
With a screen-to-body ratio of 84 percent you are guaranteed a praiseworthy viewing experience. For circumspect haters, Huawei's EMUI OS provides a way to hide it through software trickery.
Huawei has not yet responded to the Snapdragon 845 and Apple A11 Bionic chipsets from Qualcomm. That's why we still get the aging HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset for powering the Nova 3, which naturally matches the Snapdragon 835 chip. Huawei has thrown 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space, expandable to 256 GB. And as is ritual, EMUI marks a return on top of Android 8.1 Oreo to perform the OS tasks.
We recently saw that the Kirin 970 placed an impressive show on the Honor Play and we also had similar expectations from here. On a daily basis the Nova 3 is effortlessly fluid. Whether you switch between multiple apps for social media or sneak around aimlessly in Subway Surfers, the Kirin 970 keeps it well. Unfortunately, the same can not be said if you show the Nova 3 some graphic-intensive titles.
Just like the Honor Play, the Nova 3 should also be part of Huawei's GPU Turbo squadron. We have seen that GPU Turbo works wonders on Honor Play and delivers modern gaming performance on the aging Kirin 970. Surprisingly, we experienced somewhat choppy frame rates and inconsistent gameplay experiences on titles such as PUBG and Asphalt 9: Legends here. However, we received a test unit with one of the early OS-builds, which may be the reason behind the unsatisfactory gameplay. Probably the next update will charm the GPU Turbo for its users.
As far as EMUI-OS is concerned, we had mixed opinions. The first impressions of the operating system are disgusting, given the clumsy user interface and the amount of bloating Huawei ships the Nova 3 (luckily most of them can be removed). However, once you look beyond the overloaded UI, EMUI is well optimized for the hardware. The animations are fast and a wide range of functions make it difficult to move to other Android user interfaces with a standard / barebone approach. Similar to the Honor Play, you get various AI-based features such as smart stay, 3D audio effects and much more. The abundance of customization options should ensure that users stay involved in achieving the desired interface.
An area where the Nova 3 shines again is related to the Face Unlock. The Nova 3 is equipped with a 3D face recognition system with an infrared sensor. As expected, you can rely on the Face Unlock even in the dark of the pitch.
However, the system is not fast enough and requires some time to process the verification system. The IR system also paves the way for Qmojis – the answer from Huawei to Animoji. The Qmojis work properly, with most characters able to follow the vision systems efficiently.
To ensure that the Nova 3 can best withstand in terms of optics, Huawei has given it a number of suitable gears. There is a 16 MP + 24 MP dual camera setting for the rear, while a 24 MP + 2 MP dual camera setting allows for selfie tasks.
The rear configuration with its f / 1.8 aperture for the primary lens provides impressive photo 's in daylight with sufficient detail. As is the case with all Huawei / Honor phones, the camera tends to overexpose the images, causing details to be blown up. The AI mode, which can detect up to 22 types of scenes and adjust the parameters accordingly, enriches the photos with brighter tones with a slightly lower resolution. However, the problem of overexposure is not helped by AI mode. At night, AI mode attracts more colors, light and details, but extremely dark scenes are rendered with extreme noise – thanks to the higher ISO. That said, you will not shy away from ever having your photos show off with the Nova 3 on social media – the image quality is almost equal to what offers the best of the competition.
The front dual camera's provide selfies with lots of details and slightly saturated colors. However, overexposure also teases selfies, which means that you could spend some time editing before uploading to social media. In addition, the bokeh mode also does not impress with the edge detection of the subject in busy backgrounds. The AI makes 3D studio light effects possible on your selfies and, just like the P20 Pro, they are not as impressive as those of the iPhone & # 39; s.
With all the latest multimedia features and a flagship-class chipset, the Nova 3 needs a large fuel tank to spend a day with. Sure enough, with a 3750mAh Li-ion battery, the Nova 3 makes a day of texting and audio and video streaming, occasional selfie sessions and more. With the Quick Charge from Huawei, the Nova 3 will quickly rejuvenate.
After you have gone through the Nova 3 in detail, it is difficult not to find it irresistible. A flagship chipset merged with a pair of capable cameras, wrapped in a glass metal case that & # 39; wow & # 39; exhale every time someone pays attention to it, it is certainly a seductive smartphone. However, if you consider the price of Rs 34,999, the weaknesses of the Nova 3 start to become prominent, as the leading OnePlus 6 and Zenfone 5z offer modern and much more powerful silicon with more favorable optics. Do you have to skip this?
Absolutely not. In fact, the Nova 3, unlike its rivals, leaves no stone unused to be a style statement in your pocket and impresses you with a remarkable all-round performance. If you like to show off, do not score benchmarks and prefer to stick to a worldwide known (and now one of the leading) brands, the Nova 3 is absolutely recommended. Just do not put a bulky case over that beautiful body.
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