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Huawei Nova 3i vs. Huawei Nova 3e: two very similar phones are battling it out

ByGB Blog Official 2018-10-15 25241

We have been trying to keep up with new Xiaomi phones in our reviews, but Huawei have not been wasting any time either. Thus, today we are looking at two of Huawei’s latest arrivals: the Huawei Nova 3i and the Huawei Nova 3e.


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So, here's what we know. The original model — the Huawei Nova 3 — is actually high-end device aimed to compete with flagships like the OnePlus 6. Huawei Nova 3i, on the other hand, is more of a mid-range option. The Huawei Nova 3e is somewhat similar in this regard — it's meant as the more affordable version of the Huawei P20 and is even known as the Huawei P20 Lite in some markets.

So, what do the two phones have in common and what is similar?

Huawei Nova 3i vs. Huawei Nova 3e : specs

Let's start the comparison with their specifications so that you will quickly know the difference between the Huawei Nova 3i  and  Huawei Nova 3e.


Product name
Huawei nova 3i 4G Phablet
HUAWEI Nova 3e 4G Phablet
6.3 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixels
5.84 inch, 2280 x 1080 pixes
Kirin710 Octa Core 2.2GHz
Kirin659 Octa Core 2.36GHz
Mali-G51 MP4
Mali-T830 MP2
Android 8.1
Android 8.0
External memory
TF card up to 256GB
TF card up to 128GB
24.0MP + 2.0MP front camera;16.0MP + 2.0MP back camera
16.0MP + 2.0MP rear camera;24.0MP front camera
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 4.2
Battery capacity
SIM card slot
Dual SIM,dual standby
GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou
GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BDS


Huawei nova 3i 4G Phablet Global Version - BLACK

Huawei nova 3i 4G Phablet Global Version - BLACK
$362.6 $329.99    


HUAWEI Nova 3e ( HUAWEI P20 Lite ) 4G Phablet International Version - BLUE

HUAWEI Nova 3e ( HUAWEI P20 Lite ) 4G Phablet International Version - BLUE


Design: a large screen vs. an even larger screen

When it comes to the design, the 3i and the 3e are quite similar. You have the same front glass panel, a sturdy aluminum frame, a plastic back and notches on the front screen. The Nova on the 3e is a bit smaller than on the Nova 3i and houses a single cam compared to the dual cam setup on the bigger notch on the 3e.

the design of Huawei Nova 3i and Huawei Nova 3e

On the back, though, the two phones are practically the same. Both come with a rear fingerprint  sensor and a vertical dual cam in the top left corner. As for the color selection, neither of the phones disappoint. The Nova 3i comes in Iris Purple, Pearl White and classic Black while the Nova 3e is available in the bright Sakura Pink, Klein Blue and Midnight Black.

the colors of Huawei Nova 3i 

the colors of Huawei Nova 3e 

Both phones  fall neatly into the phablet category. The Nova 3e sports a 5.84 inches IPS LCD display with the 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution, a 19:9 aspect ratio and the density of 432 pixels per inch. The Nova 3i, on the other hand, sports an even larger screen of 6.3 inches with the 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution, 409 pixels per inch and the 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

the IPS LCD display with the 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution of Huawei Nova 3e 

Inner workings: strong processors + 4GB RAM

On the inside, you get decent working on both devices. The Huawei Nova 3i runs on the  Hisilicon Kirin 710 chipset sporting 8 cores speeding up to 2.2GHz and Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. The Nova 3e comes with the Hisilicon Kirin 659 octa core chipset clocking at 2.36GHz and paired with the Mali-T830 MP2 GPU.

the processor of Huawei Nova 3i 

Both phones come with 4GB of RAM — but, with the Nova 3i you only get one storage option of 128GB. The Nova 3e is a bit more flexible in this regard coming with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

On the software side, the Nova 3i comes with Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2 on top and the Nova 3e falls slightly behind with Android 8.0 and EMUI 8.0 user interface.

the OS of Android 8.0 of Huawei Nova 3e 

Camera game: what is it like to have 4 cameras on your phone?

Cameras often play a big part when deciding on a smartphone. While neither the 3e nor the 3i can quite compare to market leaders like the Huawei P9, they still do come with a very nice camera offering for the price.

The Nova 3e has a high definition wide angle  (78 degrees) single front camera (24MP). Thanks  to intelligent recognition and facial mapping, the phone is capable of adjusting lighting and shadow for truly impressive self-portraits. On the back, you get 16.0MP + 2.0MP rear cameras. Thanks to the intelligent LCD light technology, the phone is noted for being especially effective  in low light photography.

the camera of Huawei Nova 3e 

The 3i comes with a dual single cam — 24.0MP + 2.0MP. Paired with the two cameras on the back (16.0MP + 2.0MP), the Nova 3i is actually a four camera phone. Thanks to the HDR Pro feature, the phone is capable of balanced photos even in the brightest sunlight with real time previews. The selfie cam on the front is equipped with  intelligent AI scene recognition and beautification mode for beautiful natural selfies.

the four cameras of Huawei Nova 3i 

the HDR Pro feature of Huawei Nova 3i 


On the battery side, the two phones offer similar performance. The Nova 3e sports a Li-Po 3000 mAh battery and the Nova 3i comes with a 3340 mAh Li-on battery. Fast charging is available for both devices.

The Nova 3e and the Nova 3i offer good connectivity with 4G support on two SIM cards and let you easily hook up external devices thanks to Bluetooth V4.2.

Huawei Nova 3i vs. Huawei Nova 3e: the verdict

While the price is often a very helpful tool in deciding on this or that phone model, this is not the case here. The difference between the two phones is (wait or it) $1. Yep, you've heard that right. With both models being on promotion on GB right now, price alone will not tell you whether the Nova 3i or the Nova 3e is right for you. In fact, the two phones are so similar, a number of uses have even been questioning the need of both on the market. But they are here and we need to chose. Our verdict may be superficial — but, hey, owning a phone with four cameras may been a long forgotten dream for some. And $1 is really not to much to pay to make it come true.  


 You may also want to read:
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 【Tech News】 HUAWEI nova 3 was launched : bring you sensational poster level selfie experience
 Fixing HUAWEI Honor Play vs. Honor 10: the battle of mid-range phones


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