Huawei Nova 3 first impressions: Elegant design with smart camera features


Huawei introduced its Nova smartphone series in India earlier this week. The series comprises Huawei Nova 3, priced at Rs 34,999, and Nova 3i, which carries a price tag of Rs 20,990.

 Huawei’s presence in the Indian smartphone market has mostly revolved around the flagship segment. The company has, however, expanded its choices for smartphones in the market with the launch of the P20 Lite at Rs 19,999. With the Nova 3, the smartphone competes in another increasing popular mid-range segment currently led by OnePlus 6 and Asus Zenfone 5Z.

The first striking and noticeable aspect about Huawei Nova 3 is its design reflected on the rear glass panel. The iris purple variant is really beautiful and will surely turn heads. Huawei and its sub-brand Honor have been actively keeping design as priority for its smartphones. With the Nova 3, its design may be a reason compelling enough to purchase it. In comparison, OnePlus 6 and Asus Zenfone 5Z also feature glass backs but none stand out like the Nova 3.

Although the phone is wrapped in glass, it’s pretty light. The 6.3-inch Full HD+ display comes with a notch cutout on top housing two cameras for selfies. Other controls include the volume keys and power button on the right side and the SIM tray on the left. At the bottom panel, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port and a speaker grille.

Coming to the user interface (UI) of the Nova 3, it runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2 layered on top. The phone comes pre-loaded with quite a bunch of apps like Facebook, Netflix, Messenger and Truecaller, in addition to Google’s suite of apps. There are some games installed like Asphalt Nitro, Sonic Runners and more. The first and brief experience on the interface was pretty smooth, with no lags as such. A detailed review will give more insight on how the phone’s software performance fares.

Another talking point of the Nova 3 is its quad-camera setup. While this isn’t news, especially for a Huawei smartphone, the company has included many ‘AI’ features that it talks about with much pride. The camera interface on Nova 3 will keep one interested with many things to fiddle around with. An iPhone user would feel familiar with the phone camera’s iOS features.

Some of these include iPhone’s ‘Live Photo’ portrayed on the Nova 3 as a moving picture, and the iPhone X’s portrait lighting effects. Another popular and trending feature on phones these days is the AR emoji first introduced by Apple on its iPhone X as ‘Animoji’. On the Nova 3, the rendition is called ‘3D Qmoji’ which are basically animated dogs, cats and rabbits mimicking one’s facial movements.

There are more features to toy around with, such as AR filters, effects, background and objects. All these can be found under the AR lens in the camera app.

These were the points that stood out in the Nova 3’s first look. Its real test in terms of user experience and performance would be talked about in our detailed review. But the smartphone does offer a refreshing choice for users against the OnePlus 6 and Asus Zenfone 5Z, which are tested performers.


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