Huawei nova 8i quick review: Gets the job done

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Huawei’s nova series is known for its style and value for money. Does the nova 8i live up to these?   

The Huawei nova 8i has a smooth, reflective shell that looks upscale and feels solid in the hand. Alas, said finish picks up fingerprints easily, so if you like your phone looking pristine, you’ll have to get a case or use the silicone one included in the box.

The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button. A speaker grille and 3.5mm jack are located at the top edge, while a USB Type-C port, SIM tray, and second speaker grille are located at the bottom edge. The SIM tray holds only two SIM cards; no microSD card here, although the phone does have a sizable 128GB built-in storage.

The 6.67-inch Full HD+ LCD display is reasonably bright and vivid, and offers a 94.7% screen-to-body ratio—hence the “edgeless display” moniker that Huawei gave it.

A pill-shaped cutout on the upper-left corner of the display houses the 16MP selfie shooter.

The mid-tier Snapdragon 662 is paired with 8GB of RAM, which makes for a pretty capable phone. It’s not a device you’ll use for graphics-intensive games, but for everyday tasks such as browsing, checking mails, and video streaming, you won’t find the nova 8i lacking. 

The rear camera system—64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP—delivers best results in daylight. It struggles a bit in low light, with photos appearing a bit noisy. If shooting in poor lighting conditions, it’s best to use the night mode, but make sure your subject can stay still for a few seconds.

The nova 8i can shoot 1080p clips at 30fps, and for the most part, the resulting videos are good. There’s no optical image stabilization here, so if you don’t have steady hands, your footage will suffer. 

One of the more impressive features of the nova 8i is its support for 66W wired charging—and the fact that Huawei actually included both the cable and brick needed for that. I was able to fully charge the 4,300mAh battery from zero after a little less than 45 minutes. 

Speed says

The P13,999 nova 8i is an attractive midrange phone with a good display and average overall performance. While it doesn’t have a defining quality that makes it stand out, this phone gets the job done where it counts.

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