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Huawei launches the Nova 3 promising it will be your 'selfie companion'

We got our hands on the phone this weekend to find out more about the AI selfie skills that the brand is so proud of.
Updated Sep 10, 2018 06:39pm

Huawei's latest entrant, the Nova 3, was launched over the weekend.

A glitzy affair packed with celebrities and phone enthusiasts, the launch event celebrated our love for selfies with Huawei's new mid-range phone, the Nova 3, and its junior version, the Nova 3i.

Aima Baig was introduced as the face of the phone. She performed the 'Nova song' that will go with the phone, which, I must admit, was quite catchy.

There was a time when selfies were a trend. Now they're just a regular part of our social media habits. Huawei recognises this, and have chosen to market most of their new phones with the tagline 'AI Selfie Superstar.'

I got my hands on the Nova 3 to find out more about these 'AI Selfie' skills that the brand seems to be so proud of.

And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

The phone we got came in the 'iris purple' colour. Its shifting colours reminded me of cyborg unicorns. For those who might find this look too loud, there is also a black variant, which has a metallic finish so that you're not missing out on the style factor.

Of course the pretty purple did not distract me from the phone's capabilities, but still, it was definitely a plus.


Before we go into my experience of using the Nova 3, here's a quick peek at the specs:

Display: The Nova 3 sports a 1080 x 2340 resolution which might not be top notch, but is still above average. It can render in full HD and resist sun glare.

Processor: One of the many impressive factors of the phone is the Kirin 970 chipset that runs the octa core phone.

Storage: The Nova 3 also boasts 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage, a feat not yet achieved by phones in this price range. If that still isn't enough, one can add up to 256GB worth of memory with an SD card.

Camera: What makes the Nova 3 really shine is the camera. The phone packs a dual AI-enabled 24mp + 2mp front camera, and a dual 24mp + 16mp rear camera, which can take your pictures to the next level.

It can also zoom 10x and still manage a solid image.

The camera

Having heard so much about the camera, I decided to test it further and get cracking on some photography around town.

The AI means the camera picks up colours really well and knows what to enhance. The phone also comes with eight in-built scene recognition modes and 22 scenarios which it can automatically detect. So when you point your camera at a flower or food, your phone will guess what it is and take the shot accordingly, adjusting the contrast and lighting as needed.

The phone also handles low light situations perfectly: we had fun taking pictures in dim settings, which happens quite a lot when you are dining out, for example.

Other pros

If you want your phone to have the face unlock factor, you can do that with the Nova 3, as it can use face detection in any light or setting.

Checking the performance otherwise, I gamed on this phone for over three hours straight and it did not heat up even though I was playing a pretty heavy duty game. The battery also didn't give in and was less than halfway used during all this time. That's the charm of a 3750 mAh Li-ion battery.


The one point I found irksome, and was mostly surprised by, was the fact that the Nova 3 I received was not compatible with the Netflix app. The Nova 3i, its junior, can sport it just fine while the 3 refuses to install it. Sure, we can watch Netflix anywhere else, but, that's odd right?

If I am being nitpicky, I would say that the metallic back, despite being pretty, is prone to getting a lot of fingerprint smudges. The speaker of the phone is pretty average too.


Let's come to the pricing. The Nova 3 has been launched with a price tag of Rs60,000. For those who want the selfie experience but at a lesser price, Huawei also has the Nova 3i for Rs40,000. This one has the same AI enabled front camera, but a smaller processor which gets the job done just as fine. A colleague tested out the 3i and was happy with its performance.


The Nova 3 is a solid entry from Huawei for the social media savvy. Its a handy phone for those who need to take photos (for various reasons) and are on the go. The camera is a major plus point and the hardware does not disappoint.

While the cost of Rs60,000 may seem steep, for the hardware and features this is actually a win phone (just a phone with 128gb storage is usually way pricier). As a mid-tier phone, I can see the Nova 3 doing well in Pakistan.