Huawei Technologies, yet again is here with another mid-tier smartphone, the Huawei Nova 3e. The infamous notch finally makes its way to Huawei smartphone with the phone! Besides the notch, the phone packs a lot of interesting features and hardware choices. For one, the phone comes with a premium glass body flanking a rear dual-camera setup. But will a notched display, a glass body, and a dual-camera set up convince you to cash in Rs 35,900? Is the Huawei Nova 3e the best mid-tier smartphone that you can buy right now? Well, let us find out the answers to these questions in this full review.
A quick disclaimer! Before we get into the review I would like to mention that I have been using the Huawei Nova 3e for almost a week now. Unlike other reviews, this one is going to be purely based on my experience and how the device held-up in the above mentioned time span. So, without wasting your time any further, let’s get started!
Before we dive deep into all the technical stuff, let’s first talk about the in-hand feeling of the Huawei Nova 3e. It is as important for a device to have a superior in-hand feeling as the powerful internals. And lucky for the Nova 3e, the phone absolutely nails the in-hand experience. Being made out of glass and metal, the phone feels quite premium in the hands. The rounded glass back gives the phone an extra oomph in the aesthetics department. Though a bit slippery, the phone is an absolute gem to hold. The phone itself is highly compact making it easy for one hand usability. The sleek profile of the Nova 3e makes it one good looking and feeling device I have used in quite a while.
The Huawei Nova 3e is a multi-media powerhouse! The large 5.84-inch Full HD+ (2160*1080) IPS near bezel-less display makes up for quite a multi-media experience. Though, the phone packs the infamous notch it didn’t cause any hindrance in my media consumption. At first, it was a bit unusual, but slowly I got used to it. And hey, the phone does give you the option to hide the notch, just in case via software, from the settings.
Lately, I have been following up on some anime action with shows like the 7 Deadly Sins: Season 2 and Tokyo Ghoul Re. I also had some catching up to do after watching the whole Avengers Infinity War go down, literally. The Nova 3e during this escapade has been a perfect companion. This is largely thanks to the vibrant colors and variable level of brightness that the display offers. The mono speaker, this time around, was pretty good with an acceptable level of loudness and depth.
The gaming performance of the Nova 3e was also quite good! The near bezel-less display with a 19:9 aspect ratio coupled with the Mali-T830 MP2 GPU and 4GB RAM made up for a surreal gaming performance. The phone was easily able to handle the classics like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2. I also went a bit hardcore and played the mobile version of, the graphics intensive, PUBG. The phone was able to handle the game in medium settings without any problems. Overall the multi-media experience on the Nova 3e has been a pleasant one!
The Huawei Nova 3e packs a rear dual-camera set up made by a 16MP and a 2MP sensor. The image quality from the shooters was amazing with great details, sharpness, and vibrancy. The 2MP secondary camera, along with some software tweaks, did wonders to add a layer of bokeh to the photos. I took the phone out for a spin during one of my friend’s birthday. And as expected, I came back with some great looking photos. The portraits from the rear camera were some of the best images I have seen from a phone at this price point. I am quite impressed with them!
The phone also comes with a f/2.0 16MP front camera sitting snug on the top notch. The images from the shooter were as good as the ones from its rear counterpart. Selfies were sharp with an adequate amount of vibrancy and details. Even though the phone doesn’t pack a dual-camera setup at the front, it comes with a portrait mode. Being emulated by software, the bokeh effect on images from the shooter didn’t work as well as the rear cameras. The background blur comes all jagged up around the edges. It is especially noticeable around the hair portion!
Moving on, the cameras come packed with tons of useful and fun features. The AR lens makes a return from the Huawei Y9 2018, which is great! All the essentials like slow motion, fast motion, and light painting are here. The camera also retains the Pro photo mode, which is highly useful for a DSLR user like me.
Something different that I noticed with the Nova 3e is a new mode called perfect selfies. What this feature does is it asks you to take a variation of photos by turning straight, sideways and down. You then are prompted with options to smoothen your skin, brighten your face, enlarge your eyes, and thin down your face. In the end, the phone saves the settings as a preset to apply to all your selfies. It is a great way to give your selfies a touch, especially for you ladies. And surprisingly enough, it works very well! Do note, to use this feature you have to have the portrait mode on and enable perfect selfies from the settings menu.
So, in conclusion, the cameras on the Huawei Nova 3e are great especially considering its price. The portrait mode on the front camera could have been better but having the option itself is a great deal.
Overall a great package!
Like everyone else, my daily activities constitute of scrolling through Facebook, checking my E-Mail and calendar, posting a few pictures to Instagram, and a lot of messaging & web surfing. The Huawei Nova 3e was easily able to handle these task, no-brainer! I also didn’t notice any visible lags or stutters while doing so. This is largely thanks to the octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor the phone comes with. I also listen to a lot of music, use a billion apps and download a buttload of movies on a daily basis. The, already available, 64GB of internal storage and support for micro-sd card helps keep the phone ready for more files.
The battery life, on this phone, with my day-to-day usage also has been very good. The 3000mAh battery was able to get me 4-5 hours of on-screen time with my medium to heavy usage of the phone. With the power-efficient Kirin processor and optimized software, the battery life of the phone is commendable. Huawei finally has listened to their consumers and packed in a USB Type-C port instead of a USB Type 2.0 port. The phone now also comes with fast charging capabilities making fueling the device a lot easier.
The Huawei 3e runs EMUI 8.0 based on Android 8.0 Oreo. The UI on the phone is very smooth with no visible lags or stutters. Everything is where it should be with the option for customizability. The UI, although the same as the Y9 2018, packs some subtle visual changes especially in the icons. They sport a bit toned down colors which I personally like.
That aside, EMUI is feature packed as ever! Features like the HiBoard, App twin, the customizable navigation keys, split-screen multitasking are all here. I also love the changing lock screen which gave me an interesting wallpaper to glance over. Another software function that I loved using was the Face Unlock. Though it uses the front camera and software to scan the face, the feature works very well. It works so well that it was even able to detect my face and unlock the phone in a dark room. I was totally amazed by this! As long as your eyes are facing the phone without your nose and mouth being covered, the phone will unlock.
The phone also has a fingerprint scanner at the rear and it works superbly! I, however, haven’t made much use of it as I mainly use the Face Unlock. Although, it has come in handy in taking those quick selfies and using some gestures.
Verdict- Huawei Nova 3e: Nepal Reviews
Huawei with the Nova 3e is taking on the current trend of providing a phone with a notch. To be honest, at first, I thought I would despise the notch and I did. But as time grew, I slowly learnt to accept it. It is there and now I barely notice its presence while doing my day to day task! One thing though that caught my attention is the lack of optimization for the notch. Since we are dealing with Android which is a bit new to the whole notch revolution, the apps don’t sync up. While some apps are optimized for the notch, most apps aren’t! It will definitely take some time for all the apps to adopt the notch. Android P maybe?
Besides that, there is nothing else to complain about the Nova 3e. The phone looks gorgeous and I can’t stop gushing about its in-hand feeling. The phone is compact and at the same time highly premium. The processor and the UI do need a bit of an upgrade, but they work exceptionally even by today’s standard. The cameras are amazing and offer a lot of fun and useful features! Huawei also solves its biggest problem by including a USB Type-C port and fast charging capabilities. Kudos to Huawei for that!
If you can’t tell by now, I absolutely adore the Huawei Nova 3e! It ticks all the right boxes that make up a good mid-tier smartphone. For a price of Rs 35,900, the Nova 3e is one of the, if not the, best mid-tier smartphone in the market right now. And for that, we award the phone with our Editor’s Choice for the class of 2018.
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