Is this the $600 iPhone killer?

OUT of the box, the Huawei nov 3i smartphone looks super slick.

It's shiny, has the notch of the Apple iPhone X, sports a decent screen and a more-than adequate camera.

Yet there is a world of difference in prices.

While the latest iPhone starts at $1600, the Huawei comes in at under $600.

This for a phone which offers facial and fingerprint security, an Artificial Intelligence driven camera, 480 fps super slow-motion video, and a beautiful 6.3 inch display.

But there are differences.

BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo.
BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo. Mark Furler


The camera is not to the same level of the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S9 or Note 9.

We tested (unfairly) against the iPhone XS Max.

In close-up scenarios, the Huawei performed beautifully.

BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo.
BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo. Mark Furler


But in some of the wider scene shots, the background was washed out, while the iPhone pulled in every detail - and displayed it much better on the screen.

For a $600 phone, though, the Huawei is no slouch.

It has four cameras - two on the front and two on the rear - all driven by the new generation AI processor.

Huawei says the Kirin 710 processor allows the rear camera to differentiate between a cat, dog, fireworks, plants, snow and more - more than 500 scenarios across 22 categories.

The results can be a little hit and miss but in the main part more than acceptable for most people who just want a nice pic.

For the novice, the phone also features AI Intelligent Composition that shows the user how to frame the shot using digitally overlaid visual cues.

BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo.
BUDGET BUY: For a phone under $600, the Huawei nov 3i takes a reasonable photo. Mark Furler


It's a nice feature that those just getting into mobile photography will like.

The dual rear camera set-up has 16 megapixel primary sensor and 2 megapixel secondary sensor.

The dual 24MP +2MP front facing cameras are optimized for more natural selfies and a more authentic wide aperture effect.

With an ageing face, one of my favourite features in the Huawei line-up is 'beauty mode', where using a sliding scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the most unrealistic) you can take out the wrinkles and make yourself look a lot younger.

BEAUTY MODE: Take off some wrinkles please, Huawei.
BEAUTY MODE: Take off some wrinkles please, Huawei. Mark Furler


I'm sure it's being heavily used in the world of Instagram.

The camera also can map out facial features in 3D, allowing for nice portraits.

The front facing camera also supports 3D Qmoji, allowing you to transpose a digital avatar onto your face. It's not at the same level as that offered by Samsung or Apple, but it's a fun novelty feature.

Huawei is well known for its camera technology with its flagship P20 Pro rated as one of the best on offer in 2018.

It says the nova 3i model brings much of that cutting edge technology to a wider audience.

The nova 3i comes with 128GB of built-in memory while an optional MicroSD card can offer up 256GB of additional storage.

GOOD LOOKING: The Huawei nov 3i smartphone has the sort of finish you would expect in a top of the range smartphone.
GOOD LOOKING: The Huawei nov 3i smartphone has the sort of finish you would expect in a top of the range smartphone.



For added security, the contents on your microSD card can also be encrypted according to your user ID.

The 3340mAh capacity is more than enough to keep you going all day.

The Huawei nova 3i is available in two colours - black and Iris purple.

For the price, it's worth checking out.

The nova 3i is available from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Mobileciti, Bing Lee and Officeworks.

News Corp Australia

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