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Huawei nova 8i Review

Huawei nova 8i

The Huawei nova 8i is the brand's latest mid-range smartphone in the nova series, it's packed with a slew of features, including a stylish design, 64-megapixel AI quad cameras, and a 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge charger.

Huawei nova 8i

We already shared the unboxing and early impressions of the nova 8i before it was released on the market; now it's time to share our hands-on experience with this promising mid-range smartphone.

Huawei Nova 8i Specs

Android 10, EMUI 11
6.67-inch TFT LCD (IPS) Full HD+ Huawei Edgeless display, 2376 x 1080 resolution, 391ppi
2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor
Adreno 610 GPU
8GB RAM / 128GB internal storage
64MP f/1.9, PDAF + 8MP,f/2.2 ultra-wide + 2MP, f/2.4 macro + 2MP depth sensor rear cameras, LED flash
16MP selfie camera
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Dual SIM, Dual standby
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C
4,300mmAh battery, 66W SuperCharge
Colors: Interstellar Blue, Moonlight Silver, Starry Black

At first glance, the nova 8i looks to be a visually appealing device; its curved back design allows it to be held comfortably in the hand when in use.

Huawei nova 8i

There are four cameras in a circular pattern at the back of the device, and the LED flashlight is located in the upper right corner, which is uncommon because it is generally located next to the camera lenses, but it still looks quite attractive. There is also the HUAWEI branding below.

Huawei nova 8i

The nova 8i is available in three different color schemes: Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue, and Starry Black. Each color scheme. Our review unit is painted in Moonlight Silver, which is highly reflective and may even be utilized as a makeup mirror if desired. Unfortunately, it is also a magnet for smudges and fingerprints, which is not attractive; however, it does come with a FREE case, which will alleviate this minor problem.

Huawei nova 8i

Moving on the right side is the volume rocker and the power button that also double as the fingerprint reader, which we love since it's the efficient way of implementing this security feature. In terms of tactile, it works well and feels nice when pressing the buttons so no complaints here.

Huawei nova 8i

The 3.5mm audio jack is placed on top, while the Type-C USB connector, SIM tray, microphone, and speaker grille are located at the bottom. Nothing fancy, but overall it's well-designed.

Huawei nova 8i

For security, the nova 8i supports fingerprint ID, Face recognition, Lock screen PIN, and smart unlock which is a nice feature that lets you unlock the phone with a Bluetooth device like the Huawei band without verification.

The 6.67-inch display with its 94.7% screen to body which it's quite huge for a mid-range handset. It lacks some of the more advanced capabilities, such as high refresh rates and AMOLED display but it performs well enough for everyday users.

Huawei nova 8i

Images and videos look great thanks to its 2376 x 1080 pixel resolution and high colour gamut. Both watching videos and playing games are enjoyable.

Huawei nova 8i

Apart from the Dark mode and Eye Comfort features of the display, it also includes an intriguing eBook Mode that disables colors and switches to monochrome mode, which is an excellent feature for reading ebooks. It also offers simple shortcuts and motions like swiping down with three fingers to take a screenshot, swiping left and right to minimize the current window, and it also supports one-handed mode.

The nova 8i is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset, and it has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but the absence of a microSD card slot is a bit disappointing. Still, the 128GB should be sufficient for most users. It does have a dual nano-SIM tray, with support of 4G LTE mobile data connection, no word if Huawei will release a 5G version of the new nova 8 series.

Huawei nova 8i

On AnTuTu it scored 170,398, while on Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark it scored 310 for single-core and 1301 for multi-core. Graphics performance on 3DMark's Sling Shot Extreme managed to get 1063 points.

Huawei nova 8i

The nova 8i is a capable device, with a Snapdragon 662 chipset that can deliver good performance. It can handle regular tasks such as social media updating, web browsing, and the usual usage of smartphones. We did experience occasional stutters when scrolling. It can also easily handle multitasking and smooth IU performance of the EMUI 11 thanks to its 8GB RAM.

In terms of gaming, both PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile work smoothly and without any issues on medium settings. High-graphics games like Genshin Impact run great as well as good graphics and frame rates. When it comes to racing games, Asphalt 9 is an excellent example because it works well and the action scene is enjoyable.

Additionally, it is an excellent device for streaming videos and listening to music. Despite its 60Hz maximum refresh rate, the 6.67-inch Full HD IPS screen delivers excellent video quality. While the audio quality is outstanding, the music is crystal clear, and the speaker quality is above average.

Android 10, EMUI 11
The nova 8i, like other new Huawei devices, runs on the most latest edition of Huawei's EMUI user interface. If you are new to Huawei devices, its good to know that it does not come with Google Services, hence no Google Play store where you can download apps, instead it has Huawei APPGallery.

Huawei nova 8i

The downside is not all app is available on App Gallery, not All Apps are available on App Gallery, but APKs can be downloaded on third-party app repositories such as APK Pure, just make sure you download the original APK, not the one's that are custom made for security reason.

The nova 8i is equipped with a quad-camera system that includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro lens with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. for taking selfies, there's a 16-megapixel pouch hole camera in the display.

Huawei nova 8i

In addition to several camera modes, such as night, panorama, time-lapse, and ultra macro. In addition, there is a Pro mode that offers more precise control over ISO, white balance, and aperture settings. It can record videos in 1080p or 720 at 30 fps, sadly no support for 4K video recording.

Huawei nova 8i

In the images taken in well-lit environments the 64-megapixel camera, as expected has an impressive degree of image detail. Though the colors were a bit overly saturated, the contrast for images was fine as well. For the most part, it's capable camera that meets expectations for the new generation of smartphone camera sensors.

Most photos taken at night are unlikely to yield stunning results. Phots seem to lack details, It could also be seen when using the night mode. On the other hand, it doesn't make much noise, which is a plus. Although it is not recommended to snap photographs in dimly light environments, you can use the flash to get better images at night if necessary.

Battery Life
The 4,300mAh battery in the Nova 8i can last for a whole day on a single charge. During our test, the battery dropped by 40% in three hours of continued use. A full charge can last roughly eight to ten hours, though the length of time depends on how you use the phone.

Huawei nova 8i

The 66W fast charger, on the other hand, is capable of charging the battery to 80 percent capacity in just about 40 minutes, which is very remarkable. Wireless charging is not supported, which would have been a nice feature.

Visually stunning design
Comfortable to use
Capable processor
Decent camera performance
Vibrant and bright display
Good battery life

Smudge magnet back cover
Low-light pictures underwhelming
Too many bloatware
No MicroSD card support

Final thoughts
Mid-range phones are known for their compromises, which is why they can stay at an acceptable price point. Huawei's Nova 8i smartphone offers a nice premium design with good performance, a nice display, a decent set of cameras, and long battery life. If you are looking to upgrade from your old nova 5i the nova 8i is your best bet.

The Huawei nova 8i is priced at ₱13,999 and it's now available on both online and offline Huawei stores.

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