Huawei Nova 3 review – excellent from all sides

You can buy Huawei Nova 3 here

The Chinese giant Huawei this year does not slow down the pace for a moment and at every step introduces very interesting devices into its offer. As a phone Huawei Nova 3, which in many ways can compete even with the flagships.

The Nova 3 smartphone is similar to the Huaweia P20 and Honor 10, but does this mean that it is a copy of them? How does the phone work in everyday use? Is it profitable to buy it? I will answer these and many other questions in the review.

Characteristics of Huawei Nova 3

We get a pretty good set. Huawei Nova 3 offers a 6.3-inch IPS-display with a resolution of Full HD + and a ratio of 15.5: 9. Its heart is an eight-core HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor with a Mali-G72 MP12 graphic chip. The kit is supported by 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded using microSD cards with a maximum capacity of 256 GB.

The quality of the shooting is the responsibility of the dual 16-megapixel + 24-megapixel main camera with an f / 1.8 aperture and the dual 24-megapixel + 2-megapixel front camera with f / 2.0. The package includes the following modules: dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, Glonass and USB-C.

Nova 3 runs Android 8.1 Oreo OS with EMUI 8.2 cover and consumes battery power with a capacity of 3750 mAh. Its dimensions are 157 × 73.7 × 7.3 mm and weighs 166 grams.

Box contents

Packaging of Huawei Nova 3 does not stand out among other devices manufacturer, which is not surprising. The box is made of thick cardboard and completely white. On the front panel you will find only the manufacturer’s logo and the inscription of the device model. Similar elements are placed on the side walls.

As always, with Huawei smartphones, attention is paid to details here. In the kit, in addition to the phone, there is a charger with a removable USB cable, a key clip that allows you to open the tray, headset, cover and basic documentation.

Appearance and design

Huawei Nova 3 attracts the design of the case, at first glance, it seems that the smartphone is aimed at young and active people who appreciate the unusual appearance and interesting solutions. Particular attention is drawn to the color version, which I had the opportunity to test, more precisely – Purple Iris, which means that we are dealing with a purple-blue case.

In practice, the glass surface flickers from different angles, shimmering from purple to blue, like in Honora 10, which I tested some time ago. It is important to note that the frame of the device is also in blue and purple colors and is made of shiny aluminum. If you look from the front, it seems that the Nova 3 looks like many other Huawei smartphones released this year.

We have a large, 6.3-inch display with a cutout, the so-called “bang”. The frames around the screen are relatively narrow – someone may say that the phone is big, but in general I think it looks very good and will appeal to many. I do not mind the logos and inscriptions on the case, provided that they are of reasonable size and do not take up much space. In the case of Nova 3 from Huawei, everything looks great, in this regard, I have no objection.

As we looked at the front, it was time to look at the back. There is a protruding camera module, which is placed vertically, which again looks very much like other smartphones of this year. It is important to note that the camera module protrudes above the case, but this is not the only “structural” flaw.

First of all, the glass surface gets dirty like crazy, which makes the process of keeping the device in frequency very difficult. Secondly, the material is susceptible to scratches, but I must note that after my tests I did not find serious scratches. And yes, I know that things may look different after several years or even months of everyday use.

And thirdly, the case is slippery, so the smartphone “runs away” even when we put it on a relatively simple surface. Fortunately, all the above reservations or defects can be “removed” by wearing a case that the manufacturer adds to the kit. True, it slightly spoils the style and appearance of the device itself, the main thing is that the gadget is protected from mechanical damage.

To top it off, thanks to the rounded edges, the device is comfortable to hold in your hand. However, you should be aware that Huawei Nova 3 is quite large, so one-handed operations can be difficult – especially if you are a man with small hands.

The location of individual elements, ports and connectors is not surprising – everything is standard. On the right side of the button for adjusting the volume and switching, on the left – a tray for two nanoSIM cards, one of which serves as a slot for microSD cards. At the bottom there is a USB-C, a 3.5 mm audio jack, one microphone and a speaker, and on the top there is a lot of unused space – there is only a microphone hole.

On the front panel, above the 6.3-inch screen, we find two front camera lenses, a speaker, a set of sensors and a notification diode. The rear panel, in turn, had two protruding cameras with LEDs, a fingerprint scanner, located slightly below, in the center, as well as the Huawei logo and several inscriptions or symbols.

Nova 3 is a really good smartphone and is made with attention to detail; it is able to please many users.

Large display

Smartphone Huawei Nova 3 is equipped with a 6.3-inch IPS display with a relatively unique aspect ratio of 19.5: 9. The screen is characterized by a resolution of Full HD +, which according to the specified parameters gives a pixel density per inch at 409ppi. In practice, meaning means good quality of displayed fonts and small icons. Even at close range you will not be able to see the jagged edges of the icons.

As I already mentioned, the smartphone has a thin frame around the display, and this is true. We have very narrow edges on three sides, and in the upper part there is a notch (bang), which some people like and others do the opposite. I am neutral in this matter, and the presence of the notch does not bother me in any way. Of course, in a few moments you will get used to it. It is important that the neckline can be “hidden”. It is enough to find an option in the settings that darkens the space on the sides.

When it comes to setting up content for unusual proportions, there are no problems here – most programs automatically scale, and the rest can do it manually. Here we have an IPS-display, which is characterized by pleasant colors, good viewing angles and contrast. It should be mentioned about the brightness – both the minimum and maximum. In the sun, I had no problems reading the contents displayed on the screen, at night I also did not feel any discomfort.

In weaker lighting conditions, we can additionally turn on the blue light filter, which is very convenient when reading at night. There is also an ambient light sensor, which during the tests did not cause problems and acted as it should. In the settings of the screen Nova 3, we can change the display mode and font size, color temperature, as well as reduce the resolution to HD +. There is an intelligent resolution feature that automatically reduces it to save energy.

It is worth mentioning that after removing the device from the box it already had a protective film, so that scratches on the screen will not appear. If the question is whether this has a negative effect on the responsiveness of the panel, then here I did not experience any inconvenience.

Four cameras of Huawei Nova 3

Phone Nova 3 boasts four cameras – two behind and in front. The main camera is characterized by lenses with a resolution of 24-MP and 16-MP. Both have f / 1.8 aperture and one LED. It is worth noting that in this case the 16-megapixel sensor is color, and the 24-megapixel is monochrome. As I already mentioned, we also get a dual camera on the front panel: 24-MP + 2-MP with f / 2.0 aperture, but here both lenses are colored.

Huawei Nova 3 camera applications have been slightly reworked compared to my previously proven models. It is still very user friendly. Movement here is carried out by moving between the right and left screens. Each has a separate mode, so you only need to move your finger in the right direction to start it. It is no longer necessary to display a separate map where all modes are available, although it is worth noting that such a section has also appeared here, but there are not very many positions in it yet.

Smartphone Nova 3 offers a variety of modes, which should be pleasantly surprised by potential users, among them it is worth mentioning: professional, slow motion, night mode, panorama, black and white, HDR, temporary, filter, three-dimensional panorama, watermark and scanning documents. As you can see, there are many additional modes, but this is not all, because the manufacturer has added AI mode or artificial intelligence, which we can disable at the top of the main view.

Photo quality

AI mode can recognize photographed scenes and objects. All this is needed to get better quality photos, more attractive to the user. The smartphone does this thanks to the NPU processor (Neutral Processing Unit), built into Kirin 970, which is responsible for the work of the already mentioned artificial intelligence. The manufacturer reports that today the algorithms are able to recognize 500 different scenes and 22 types of objects, so that the gadget can choose the best parameters for shooting.

When it comes to the quality of photos taken in AI mode, it is really good. But I have the impression that sometimes the mode mentioned embellishes colors that look unnatural too much. The camera kit, created by Huawei, works satisfactorily in all lighting conditions. The quality of images taken during the day is very good – both the number of recorded parts and the tonal range. The reproduction of colors here is positively surprising, because they are natural. Unfortunately, night shots are not like that. Photos taken in low light conditions are characterized by good color reproduction, but the details and sharpness leave much to be desired.

Two lenses allow you to take pictures of deep sharpness. The bokeh effect is visible well, and the function itself beautifully “cuts off” the first plan from the second. An additional lens in the case of the Nova 3 also allows you to take pictures with double zoom. The quality of these photos is not the best, but overall not bad.

Front camera

I have to admit that in this respect, Huawei Nova 3 is a phenomenal device. We can take pictures in HDR and AI. Photos are characterized by high sharpness, high color reproduction, as well as detail. All this makes Nova 3 one of the best smartphones for selfie.

Video shooting

You can shoot video with a maximum resolution of 4K UHD at 30 frames per second. It is possible to record in “stretched” resolution Full HD + and standard Full HD at 60 and 30 frames. The overall quality of the shooting is satisfactory – the clips are smooth, have the correct color rendition, as well as fast and smooth change of plans. Autofocus here is also positively good.


Huawei Nova 3 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1 overlay. The interface is transparent, functional and pleasing to the eye, although many may not like the fact that it is far from the pure version of Android.

The Nova 3 shell gives us a lot of personalization options, like a selection of themes, wallpapers and icons. A novelty that I first encountered in Honor 10 is the mode that allows you to connect multiple smartphones together to create a single multichannel sound system. The function is not bad, but not very useful for me.

Huawei interface is filled with a large number of functions, which contrary to many opinions is very convenient in everyday use.

Fingerprint scanner and face recognition

The Huawei Nova 3 fingerprint scanner is located at the back, just below the place where my index finger goes, so after grabbing the device, it wanders. But you can contact the reader no matter where your hands are. The scanner is placed in the recess, so it is easy to find. It is always active, which means that to unlock the device, you only need to put a finger.

The sensor is effective and works in any situation – during the tests I accidentally incorrectly applied my finger. The scanner unlocked the phone very quickly, regardless of the angle. You can also use it to shoot, view the gallery and turn off the alarm. Using the reader, you can block access to selected applications and create a safe.

Unlocking in the face on Huawei devices works without complaints. This solution is the most convenient and fast. After raising the smartphone, the screen lights up, so you do not need to wake it up yourself. Face recognition on the Nova 3 happens very quickly, regardless of the lighting. In this regard, Huawei smartphones can be considered among the best.

When it comes to face recognition after dark, I have to admit that everything works without problems, after taking the device in hand, the screen lights up, thanks to which our face is lit and the camera can recognize it.

Performance and Tests

The model under test is equipped with a HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor, which consists of eight cores: 4 × ARM Cortex-A73 with a clock frequency of 2.3 GHz and 4 × ARM Cortex-A53 with a frequency of 1.8 GHz, and a Mali-G72 MP2 graphics chip. Here we used a special SoC for artificial intelligence, performed in a 10 nm lithographic process. All supported 4 GB of RAM.

The Huawei Nova 3 phone works like an all class device. In everyday use – very quickly. Commands are executed instantly, no slowdowns occur. The device did not let me down during the whole period of testing – it quickly launched applications and switched between them.

Graphics cope even with the more demanding titles available on Google Play. We can easily run games such as Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8 or Mortal Kombat X, at the highest graphic settings. Only one thing I noticed, Nova 3 likes to bask in time for a longer game or activity. Nevertheless, this is not the temperature, which will adversely affect the comfort of using the phone.

Sound quality

Huawei in this model decided to place one speaker. Its location is not the best, because the driver is very easily closed by the inside of the hand, when held in a horizontal position. The sound quality is fine. The sound is pleasant and not “artificial”, it does not make noise and does not crack at the highest volume.

Nova 3 is not a music smartphone, but just a gadget for listening to music. We can also enjoy the 3.5mm audio jack. The sound quality in the headphones is more than satisfactory.

Connectivity and connections

We have a dual-band Wi-Fi module (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). I have no objections to its work – the module catches the network without any problems, even after a considerable distance from the router. Bluetooth 4.2, copes with additional accessories without any reservations. There is NFC, which during tests performed all tasks perfectly.

Navigation during the entire period of my testing did not cause problems – the signal and satellites were detected quickly. With the range of the cellular network everything is as good as with the quality of communication during conversations – the interlocutors heard me loudly and clearly, I also had no problems understanding people on the other side. I also enjoyed the Type-C USB port.

The equipment also includes Dual SIM, operating in standby mode – one of the cards ceases to be active when we start calling from the second one. Huawei has equipped the Nova 3 as much as 128 GB of internal memory, of which about 112 GB remains for the user, but they can be expanded with memory cards up to 256 GB.

Battery of Huawei Nova 3

I do not deny that I was most afraid during the work of this model. All of the things that offer a large display and a lot of interesting features greatly affect the battery charge. In practice, it turned out that the Nova 3 is a smartphone, which is in many ways positively surprising.

With everyday, more demanding use of energy, it is enough for one day, of which time on the screen is 4-5.5 hours on average. Several times I had to use Huawei Nova 3 at full speed. In this case, the display brightness was maximum, all basic communication modules were turned on, and Navigation and Spotify were performed continuously for several hours. The smartphone with this use allows you to get 3-3.5 hours on the screen, in practice means that the charge will last about half a day.

With a moderate energy consumption it is enough for one and a half to two days. This scenario allows you to get about 5.5-6.5 hours on the screen, and I can get even a little more than 6 hours. Of course, the running time depends on the brightness of the display, the modules and applications used.

You do not have to worry about energy losses, because Nova 3, Huawei has equipped with fast charging technology. The charger included in the kit can charge the device up to 85% per hour, and the whole process of recharging 0 to 100% takes about 80 minutes.


Huawei Nova 3 is a modern smartphone that in all respects will meet the desires of more demanding users. At the moment, it costs about Rs 34,999, which at first glance may seem like a very high price. However, if you look at it realistically, then I can find fault here only with a few things, which happens not very often.

Nova 3 received an excellent design, NFC, USB-C, good autonomy, 128 GB of internal memory and Dual SIM. In fact, there is everything you can want from the phone in this segment. I can only find fault with monodynamics. On the other hand, there are several devices in stores that are the main competitors of this model. I recommend Nova 3 without much hesitation. It is worth your attention and money.

You can buy Huawei Nova 3 here