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Huawei nova 8i Review

Huawei Nova 8i review: bittersweet user experience

"It may not be a cell phone for the different user profiles, but whoever manages to tailor it will, of course, feel that their investment will have been worth it."


Quality screen and good size
Featured fast charge
Level performance


The AppGallery still does not give a good experience.

After testing the Nova 8, it is time to offer the first impressions of the Huawei Nova 8i, a cell phone that has reduced specifications compared to its “older brother,” but that does not disappoint. The following review presents both your highlights and where you can improve.

For starters, the Nova 8i retains its sleek, modern design. On its back, in addition to a finish that gives the sensation of being metallic, stands out the circular module that houses the rear optics composed of a 64 MP main sensor, 8 MP ultra-wide angle, 2 MP macro and a depth sensor of 2 MP.

The volume and power buttons (the latter integrates the sensor that allows the unit to be unlocked by fingerprint), while the 3.5 mm headphone jack was placed on the top. The audio channel is on the bottom, as is the USB-C charging port and the slot for the mobile data card.

Already in the hands, the cell phone feels comfortable without the fear that it will slip easily. The curved edges on its rear also contribute to that feeling. The firm includes a transparent casing for those who want to give the phone extra protection against accidental drops (also add some simple headphones).


The display of the Nova 8i has reduced borders, which makes the still image or video stretch almost to the front space. It is only interrupted by the notch that houses the 16 MP selfie camera, located in the upper left and is not as small as in other smartphones.

The resolution of the 6.67-inch screen is Full HD + (2,376 x 1,080 pixels), which translates into graphics with a good display of colours and an acceptable level of contrast, both in still images and in the video.

Huawei does not specify its refresh rate, nor is there any parameter in the configuration to modify it to be only 60 Hz; that is, the mobile updates its image about 60 times in a second.

For greater eye protection, the firm indicates that it incorporated the enhanced Eye Comfort function, capable of filtering out harmful blue lights and minimizing yellow discoloration.

When watching a series, people can expect a satisfactory experience, for which it is also necessary that they have an internet connection that allows them to stream content without interruption. Even though the Nova 8i only integrates one audio channel, the sound is powerful and clear.

Performance and autonomy

The “younger brother” of the Nova 8 considers a 4,300 mAh battery that, in moderate use, could deliver a range of up to two days. According to the tests carried out, its fast charge is 66 watts, so the power source goes from 15 to 100 percent of its capacity in about 40 minutes.

It is still interesting that Huawei maintains its SuperCharge function in its mid-range devices, which also means that the same charger can be used both in laptops and in some compatible cell phones.

With the Snapdragon 662 processor – also seen in equipment such as the new Motorola Defy and the Poco M3 – and 6 GB RAM, the Nova 8i promises to respond to the different demands in what has to do with applications. These run quickly, regardless of whether they are for productivity or entertainment.

The internal storage is not small either: it is 128 GB, enough to download the preferred content generated by the smartphone cameras.

User experience

Whoever writes these lines still does not find a completely satisfactory experience in Huawei cell phones. For example, if they are available, downloading your favourite applications implies doing it not from the official Huawei store, AppGallery, but an external manager such as APKPure.

The fact that the manufacturer cannot access Google Mobile Services and that platforms such as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram or Uber are not yet found directly means that people will have certain complications to have a phone to suit them, with the apps they want and not with the ones they can download.

Huawei nova 8i Review

A clear example of summarizing this situation. Once HBO Max is downloaded from APKPure – running it from the Nova 8i’s mobile browser is a nightmare – when you want to open it, this message is displayed: “HBO Max will not run without Google Play services, which are not compatible with your device.” The same goes for Uber.

Is it a lot of dependence on Google and the lack of interest of developers to make their applications compatible with Huawei‘s services? Maybe yes.

Neither the Nova 8i nor all the recent phones that integrate Huawei’s EMUI layer are phones that lack quality. However, they are still not enough to offer that intuitive experience that Google’s mobile operating system may have already accustomed them: Android.

Screen, fast charging and performance are some of the most attractive specifications in the Nova 8i, in addition to its price: 8,500 pesos for the Mexican market (about 413 dollars for a better reference).

It may not be a smartphone for the different user profiles, especially because it has to do with the availability of the apps, again. Of course, whoever manages to tailor it will feel that their investment will have been worth it.

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