Huawei Nova 3

  • Supports Indian bands
  • VoLTE
  • 128 GB + 256 GB Expandable
  • Dual SIM: Nano + Nano (Hybr...
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • No FM Radio

Highlights from Expert Review

  • Terrific build quality and design
  • Good performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Impressive cameras
  • EMUI needs tuning
  • Bloatware


Launch DateAugust 22, 2018 (Official)
ModelNova 3
Operating SystemAndroid v8.1 (Oreo)
SIM Slot(s)Dual SIM, GSM+GSM, Dual VoLTE
SIM SizeSIM1: Nano
Network4G: Available (supports Indian bands)
Fingerprint Sensoryes
Quick Chargingyes
Height157 mm
Width73.7 mm
Thickness7.3 mm
Weight166 grams
ColoursBlack, Iris Purple
Screen Size6.3 inches (16 cm)
Screen Resolution1080 x 2340 pixels
Aspect Ratio19.5:9
Bezel-less displayyes
Pixel Density409 ppi
Display TypeIPS LCD
Touch Screenyes
Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)84.02 %
ChipsetHiSilicon Kirin 970
ProcessorOcta core (2.36 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A73 + 1.8 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53)
Architecture64 bit
GraphicsMali-G72 MP12
Internal Memory128 GB
Expandable Memoryyes
User Available StorageUp to 112 GB
Resolution24 MP + 2 MP Dual Front Cameras
Physical ApertureF2.0
Optical Image Stabilisation
Image Resolution4616 x 3464 Pixels
SettingsExposure compensation, ISO control
Shooting ModesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Video Recording1920x1080 @ 30 fps
Capacity3750 mAh
User Replaceable
Quick Chargingyes
Network & Connectivity
SIM SizeSIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
Network Support4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
Wi-Fi FeaturesMobile Hotspot
USB ConnectivityMass storage device, USB charging
USB Type-Cyes
FM Radio
Audio Jack3.5 mm
Special Features
Fingerprint Sensoryes
Fingerprint Sensor PositionRear
Other SensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope
Read Full Specifications

Expert Review


The Huawei Nova 3 priced at 34,999 is directly competing with OnePlus 6, and after reviewing it, we are confident that it can give the competition a run for their money. It comes with excellent, elegant design, flagship-level performance, amazing battery life. Though there are not many cons with the Nova 3, we felt that EMUI still needs some tweaking as the U.I is a little buggy and can get confusing for starters and wish it has SUPER AMOLED display which could give it an edge over the OnePlus 6. So, if you are in the market for the phone, you can have the Huawei Nova 3 as an alternative to the OnePlus 6.


Huawei and its sub-brand Honor are having a dream run in India with the company growing big every passing day. The company had a lot of launches in mid-range and the flagship segment giving users a variety of choice. Keeping the flow going, it recently launched the Nova 3 in direct competition to the OnePlus 6, Zenfone 5Z which seem to be doing pretty good at the moment. Having tested over a week now, we review the Nova 3 to see how well it can perform and can it offer value for money buyers would be paying.

Huawei Nova 3 specifications: The Huawei Nova 3 sports a 6.3-inch (2340 x 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 19:5:9 3D curved glass display, 85% NTSC Color Gamut. It is powered by the Huawei Kirin 970 SoC clocked at 2.4GHz 10nm Octa-Core processor, i7 co-processor, NPU, GPU Turbo. It packs 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage that is further expandable up to 256GB with microSD. It runs on Android 8.1 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.2 on top.

In terms of camera, the Nova 3 packs a 16+24MP rear camera with LED flash, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, and a 24+2MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture. It has a Fingerprint sensor. Connectivity features include Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, USB Type-C. A 3750mAh battery with fast charging support.

Design & Display:

The Huawei Nova 3 is a combination of metal and glass. It packs a glass back that is curved. The glass back looks bloody beautiful in brand new Black and Iris Purple colors which shifts the colors when exposed to light. The company says that it has achieved by applying several layers of NCVM optical coatings underneath the glass back. It is a feast for the eyes to look at the Nova 3 in bright lighting and artificial lighting conditions. However, this comes at a cost, it attracts fingerprint more than a regular metal body and is also fragile given how delicate the glass can be.

Despite sporting a large 6.3-inch display, the Huawei Nova 3 fits perfectly in hands and is also comfortable to use. However, the one-handed usage can get uncomfortable to reach all corners of the display even if you have big hands. Since it comes with a notch, the aspect ratio is 19:5:9 giving you more screen to real-estate for media of gaming consumption.

Moving to placements, up front we have the 24+2MP front-facing cameras, the usual set of sensors inside the notch, and the capacitive buttons are placed within the display to accommodate more screen real-estate. The volume rockers and the power button is placed on the right side. The SIM tray tool is present on the left. The speaker grill, USB Type-C port, primary microphone, 3.5mm audio jack are present on the bottom. There is a secondary microphone present on the top. The rear is where you find the 24MP+16MP rear cameras, fingerprint sensor, Huawei branding. The back is sealed, so the battery isn’t removable. Overall, the build quality and design of the Nova 3 is top class and very premium.

The Huawei Nova 3 sports a 6.3-inches (2340 x 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 19:5:9 3D curved glass display, 85% NTSC Color Gamut. Thanks to the 19:5:9 aspect ratio, we get the impressive 84.2% screen to body ratio. The bottom of the phone is flushed completely with no branding or fingerprint sensor seen on the P20 series. The on-screen buttons can be replaced with gesture-based navigation giving it more real-estate. The glass goes all the way to the edges, but there is a little chin on the bottom which is negligible.

Thanks to the Full HD+ resolution and the IPS LCD panel, colors look very sharp and vivid giving best user experience while gaming or viewing high-quality videos. We didn’t notice any pixilation even when zooming in images or text. The brightness levels are impressive as we never had issues accessing the content outdoors or even under direct sunlight. It Comes with an auto-brightness sensor which when enabled automatically adjusts the brightness depending on the ambient lighting. The Touch response is good; we didn’t notice any delay in response or blur effects and the viewing angles are decent; we didn’t notice any color shift while tilting the phone. It was able to play 1080p videos without any issues. Overall, the display of Nova 3 is very impressive, while it may not be as good as AMOLED panel, it surely impresses.


The Huawei Nova 3 is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC clocked at 2.4GHz 10nm Octa-Core processor, i7 co-processor, NPU, GPU Turbo and packs 6GB RAM. The performance is one of the deciding factors that a person considers before buying a smartphone. While the chipset may not be on par with the Snapdragon 845, it definitely can compete with Snapdragon 835. If you are looking for a smartphone which can handle your day-to-day needs without many hindrances, then Nova 3 smartphone is the right choice for you. Apps open up quick, and they are responsive as well. We didn’t notice any lag in multitasking as well, nor while switching between apps.

Another important thing that we came across during our testing is that the Nova 3 tends to heat up quickly while performing high-end activities and given the glass body, we aren’t surprised much. Though it is not something unbearable, it still is worth noting. Moving to the gaming, we played games like PUBG, Asphalt 9, Need for Speed, and more. We didn’t notice any lag or stutters during gameplay, and it is smooth as butter. The fingerprint sensor is present on the rear, and it unlocks the phone instantly, it is, in fact, one of the fattest. Overall, the performance of the Nova 3 is good enough.


Huawei Nova 3 comes with a 16 MP + 24 MP primary camera with PDAF and f/1.8 aperture lens. The mobile has 24+2MP selfie camera on the front side. The camera interface on Nova 3 adapts the traditional style and is similar to Camera UI of any other Huawei/Honor smartphone. The device comes with a variety of modes including Aperture, Portrait and much more. One of the highlighted features of this mobile is the AI capability of the camera, and the Huawei relied heavily on this feature to promote the Nova 3 smartphone.

The AI mode works more than it should in most of the cases. At times, the colors are over-saturated, and the images look far from the reality. In daylight conditions, the pictures taken in other normal modes turned out to be better than the ones taken in the AI mode. But, it should get better over time via the updates. Apart from that, the camera does a decent job of capturing more detail with excellent color reproduction under the broad sunlight.

The photos taken in the low-light conditions impressed us as the AI Mode did an excellent job in brightening the images with less noise and more detail. The Huawei Nova 3 lacks Optical Image Stabilization, and therefore you might get blurry images at night if the camera is not steady.

You can record videos in 4K and other lower formats. During our tests, the output looked shaking when we recorded the video while walking. And again, this can be easily fixed via a software update. The front 24+2MP selfie cameras do a brilliant job with colors and output. The front portrait detects the edges perfectly. Overall, the camera performance of the Nova 3 is impressive, but we wish Huawei improves its AI in creating more natural results.


The Nova 3 comes with a 3750mAh battery which supports SuperCharge feature. During our testing, the smartphone really impressed us with its battery life, and we were getting around 5 hours of on-screen time on every single charge. For normal users, approximately 30 to 40 percent of the battery will be left without any doubt even if no any battery saving feature is enabled. Even on heavy use, the phone was able to last an entire day, and it is a good thing. We didn’t notice any abnormal drops or drain overnight as well.

The SuperCharge feature on the Huawei Nova 3 is not as impressive as the Dash Charging of its competitor, OnePlus 6, but it does a decent job in gearing up the Nova 3 for another couple of hours in a few minutes of charge. It took a total of 2 hours to charge from 1-100%. Overall, the battery of the Nova 3 is impressive and is one of the strongest points of the phone.

Audio & Video:

There isn’t anything special regarding the audio of the Nova 3, and the experience is pretty much the same as in any other smartphone. The speakers are loud enough to play your favorite soundtracks with much detail and plugging in the headphones or earphones will improve the experience even better. The company did bundle a pair of earphones within the box, and these are of Apple’s Earpod style.

Watching videos on the Nova 3 is a treat to the eyes, all thanks to its bigger display for that. The colors are produced with an aesthetic sense and the viewing angles also give you the same feel. We were able to stream 1080p videos without any issues. Therefore, you should be able to watch the videos comfortably without worrying much.

Software & Ui:

The Huawei Nova 3 runs on Android 8.1 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.2 on top. If you are used to stock Android, the interface might be very new to you and might take some time to get adjusted. While there is no app drawer by default, you can enable it by going into the system settings. Enabling it will bring the two-level interface resembling stock Android, but the icons and animations are still customs. The EMUI 8.2’s icon pack and quick toggles shade are also tweaked to fit the theme. It also has a theme store app installed by default; this lets you change the interface right from the lock screen, app icons, wallpapers and more. Apart from Google apps, there are a bunch of bloatware apps like Facebook, Huawei Care, game shortcuts, SOS, compass, Game suite, mirror and more. Some of these apps can be uninstalled even if you are not rooted. The Software also provides the option to disable the notch, resembling a phone with typical 18:9 aspect ratio.

Other software features include eye comfort mode, an option to change screen resolution, one-handed mode and more. It also has a Full-screen display option, which when enabled displays apps that don’t support non-full-screen apps in full screen. The ‘File Safe’ feature encrypts and protects your photos, videos, and other files.

It comes with 6GB of RAM out of which around 2.69GB storage is free on first boot. The RAM management is impressive; we never noticed any apps running out of memory even when we had 7-8 apps running in the background. It was able to handle multitasking smoothly with more than 5-6 apps at a time. There is no lag or stutters in the interface even on slight heavy multitasking. Overall, the software department of the Huawei Nova 3 is excellent and doesn’t let you down in any way.

Read Full Review