With the launch of Huawei’s first low cost flagship the Nova 3 at an attractive price tag of Rs 34,999, Huawei now has its own offering in the segment once dominated by OnePlus.
The Huawei Nova 3 was launched alongside the watered down Nova 3i that packs in a brand-new Kirin 710 SoC, which is something new from Huawei after Honor overused the Kirin 659 in a number of budget to mid-range devices.
As for the Huawei Nova 3 it features a large 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio, which also includes that massive display notch. The design is also more in line with the P20 series than any of Honor’s offerings so it is a bit more polished than Honor 10 and looks good in the new Iris Purple finish.
Inside, there’s a Kirin 970 SoC (also available in the Honor 10 and the Huawei P20 Pro) that’s paired with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage that is expandable up to 256 GB using a microSD card (OnePlus loses out once again).
Then there’s the cameras and Huawei like the Honor 9i, has four of them.
There’s a 16 MP (f/1.8) RGB primary sensor + 24 MP monochrome sensor at the back while the front cameras get a 24 MP (f/2.0) primary sensor + 2 MP monochrome sensor. Both secondary sensors are present solely for the depth effect that produces photographs with a bokeh effect.
Apart from this the Nova 3 also packs in face unlock system using the front cameras and a fingerprint reader at the back. There’s Qmoji’s as well, which is basically Huawei’s take on Apple’s Animoji.
The smartphones also offer 480 fps Super Slow Motion video recording, a feature that is also available on the ZenFone 5Z and the OnePlus 6.
Indeed, the Huawei Nova 3 has got our attention when it comes to pricing, cameras and that flashy new design as well.
With such competitive specifications on offer, it makes plenty of sense to find out which smartphone brand offers better value for their respective price tags. Especially with Asus’s Zenfone 5Z recently dethroning the OnePlus 6 overall (even though the OnePlus 6 has the better camera of the two).
Let’s take a look at the table below that gives us a better idea of what each smartphone has to offer.
|Smartphone||Huawei Nova 3||Asus ZenFone 5Z||OnePlus 6|
|Display Size (inch)||6.3||6.2||6.28|
|Resolution (pixels)||1080 x 2340||1080 x 2246||1080 x 2280|
|Pixel Density (PPI)||409||402||402|
|Display Type||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||AMOLED|
|Dimensions(mm)||157 x 73.7 x 7.3||153 x 75.7 x 7.9||155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8|
|Connectivity Types||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE|
|Processor||HiSilicon Kirin 970 + i7 microprocessor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|CPU Clock Speed (GHz)||4 x 2.36 GHz Cortex A73 + 4 x 1,8 GHz Cortex A53||4 x 2.7 GHz Kryo 385 & 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 385||4x2.8 GHz Kryo 385 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 385|
|GPU||Mali-G72 MP12||Adreno 630||Adreno 630|
|RAM||6 GB||6, 8 GB||6, 8 GB|
|On-Board Memory||128 GB||64, 128, 256 GB||64, 128, 256 GB (Avengers)|
|Expandable Memory||Yes (256 GB)||Yes (256 GB)||No|
|Sensors||Proximity, gyroscope, accelerometer, fingerprint (rear-mounted), compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Primary Camera||16 MP, f1.8 + 24 MP||12 MP, f/1.8 + 8 MP f/2.0||16 MP, f/1.7 and 20 MP, f/1.7|
|Optical Image Stabilization||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Camera Array||Dual Camera||Dual Camera||Dual Camera|
|Autofocus System||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus|
|Secondary Camera||24 MP, f/2.0 + 2 MP||8 MP, f/2.0||16 MP, f/2.0|
|Video Capture||1080p @ 30/60fps, 2160p @ 30fps||720p @480 fps, 1080p @ 60 fps, 2160p @ 60 fps||720p @480 fps, 1080p @ 60 fps, 2160p @ 60 fps|
|OS Version||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.0||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|AI (Smart Assistant)||Google Assistant||Google Assistant||Google Assistant|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||4.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|Fingerprint Scanner||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button|
|USB Type||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|USB Standard||USB v2.0||USB v2.0||USB v2.0|
|Colors||Airy Blue, Primrose Gold, Iris Purple, black, red||Meteor Silver, Midnight Blue||Midnight Black, Mirror Black, Silk White|
|Prices in India||Starting at Rs 34,999||Starting at Rs 29,999||Starting at Rs 34,999|
Since this is a comparison of the smartphones based on their specifications on paper, it’s easy to conclude that Huawei’s Nova 3 is the most feature-packed offering in the lot.
The Nova 3 offers a slightly bigger display than the OnePlus 6 and the ZenFone 5Z.
Then there is that quad-camera setup that boasts of the 24 MP sensors not just at the back, but on the front as well. This allows the Nova 3 to click depth effect photos using both front and the rear cameras unlike the software-based portrait modes on the 5Z and the OnePlus 6.
Talking about cameras, the Nova 3 does come short with the lack of a 4K 60 fps video recording mode.
Last but definitely not the least is that massive 3,750 mAh battery that offers the highest capacity in the range. Let’s just hope that it keeps up with the Asus ZenFone 5Z during our testing as well.
Indeed, Huawei has done its homework. It brings something different to the segment with a dual front-camera setup and also offers the biggest battery, but Huawei’s HiSilicon SoC are not exactly known to perform as well as Qualcomm’s finest. But we delve into the performance bits in our full review.
For now, that striking design, the quad-camera setup and the large battery should be enough reason for choosing the Nova over the rest. But if you are looking for better value, then the ZenFone 5Z is still the ideal choice and you get Snapdragon 845 inside as well. Don’t like EMUI or ZenUI software? Well, the OnePlus 6 should appeal to purists with an almost stock Android software experience.