Huawei Nova 8i: beautiful, but it doesn’t dance! – REVIEW

I’ve been using this for about 10 days Huawei Nova 8i. Surely we are faced with a good product, but unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned totally out of price. The market today offers better competitors in some situations at a very similar price range.


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Huawei Nova 8i it looks like a baby at least aesthetically Mate 30 Pro. Aesthetics may or may not be liked, of course. But at least Huawei always tries to differentiate itself from other smartphone manufacturers. On the back cover, in our case in color Moonlight Silver very particular that the light gives really interesting plays of light we find the rounded sides, the large porthole that contains the four lenses that make up the main photographic compartment with the Led flash positioned outside the porthole and the Huawei logo.

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In the frame on the right there is the power button with the fingerprint sensor embedded which works quite well, but by now we can define it as a well-established technology. It would be a problem if it didn’t work after all these years of testing. Immediately above then there is the volume rocker. How to know I don’t love when manufacturers opt for the volume keys on the right.

At the bottom there is the USB-C input, system speaker and trolley that contains two physical SIMs, at the top we find the 3.5mm jack for the classic headphones, which attention, they are not included in the package. The right side, on the other hand, is completely clean.

Read Also: HUAWEI brings the Nova 9 – VIDEO to Italy

The front of the smartphone is obviously, as usual, now mostly occupied only by the display. Interrupted by a rather important hole that we will analyze later. The frames around the display are not, once again, symmetrical to each other, as the lower one is a bit thicker.

For me, it was quite complex to use this Nova 8i with one hand due to the weight it amounts to 191g. The general dimensions of 74.7mm x 161.85mm x 8.58mm.

Overall it is a well-built smartphone that does not creak in the hand and that gives a nice touch and feel. If you are afraid of breaking it following a bad fall, however, I suggest you take advantage of the transparent silicone cover present in the package.


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I liked the display mounted on this Huawei Nova 8i very much. On paper it is not a panel that makes you cry a miracle, but by now you know it, I don’t like to dwell only on the technical data sheet. Unfortunately, however, I have to give you some data. Let’s talk about one 6.67 inch IPS screen in FHD + resolution (2376 x 1080). I liked the colors very much. They are handled very well and are saturated at the right point. Blacks are very deep. In short, I am not saying that it is like having an AMOLED, but we come very close to it.

If on the whole I liked this screen, but it was enough to use the smartphone 10 minutes to find a big problem for my point of view (which then does not necessarily have to be yours too). The screen stops at 60 Hz, and to date, it is unthinkable to offer on the market a smartphone with a display without a refresh rate equal to or greater than 90 Hz. Also because a more intense refresh rate helps the user to experience a feeling of greater fluidity. . And I already anticipate that in this smartphone it would have been useful.


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To move everything we find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (4 x Cortex A73 octa-core CPU at 2.0 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 at 1.8 GHz) flanked by the Adreno 610 GPU.

It is useless to make fun of us, and I would say to go straight to the point. In this price range, the market certainly offers alternatives that are a bit more performing. I do not deny that during daily use I have encountered various slowdowns, sometimes even quite annoying. Ok, the 6GB of RAM are certainly an adequate quantity to guarantee a noteworthy fluidity, but obviously here due to a software optimization not done to perfection it brings these bugs and various slowdowns.

Let’s understand, nothing transcendental and nothing that compromises the usability of the smartphone, but here it is, it seems fair to point out that in this price range there are smartphones a little more performing.

That’s why I said a higher refresh rate would help make up for this deficit.

I played around with this Nova 8i for a while and the performance was quite satisfactory if you accept the compromises mentioned above. The display helps in these circumstances, as it is really good, but objectively with this processor, a refresh rate of only 60 Hz and with mono audio, gaming is not exactly the best.

The internal memory available to the user amounts to 128 GB. But be careful because it is not expandable.


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When using the phone, I have nothing negative to report. Fast to hook up the signal, it does not support 5G networks, in call the volume is loud and clear and the interlocutor has always heard me well.

Present Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, AGPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo. And attention beware the NFC support is present unlike what is reported in other reviews.


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When I took this smartphone out of the box I would have expected to find anything but this software version. Huawei Nova 8i mounts Android 10 with EMUI 11 and security patches updated as of July 1, 2021.

Will it update to Android 12? Let’s hope so. Will it update to HarmonyOS? Probably not. As Huawei Nova 9 mounts the EMUI 12 and not HarmonyOS yet.

App Gallery has improved a lot over time. By now the apps are practically all present. With the exception of the Google suite of course, but otherwise we can consider it a well-established store.

Needless to say, if apps such as Instagram are not present directly on the App Gallery, it will still be possible to download them through third-party stores.


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Earlier we talked about the porthole that contains the cameras, and now it’s time to go into a little more detail:

  • 64MP f / 1.9 main camera
  • 8MP f / 2.4 ultra wide angle lens camera
  • 2MP Bokeh Lens Camera
  • 2MP macro lens camera.
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The photos are good, comparable to other smartphones in the same segment. However, it seems to me that the photos taken are always a little darker than the environment in which the photo itself is taken. There is HDR, yes, but it doesn’t help to solve this problem. Definitely solvable via software update, but in the meantime you will have to waste time to lighten the photos in post production a little.

The wide-angle lens does what it needs to do and rips enough in optimal light conditions. When the light goes down, obviously better not to use it.

The two 2 MP lenses are used to enhance bokeh effect shots and take macro shots. Here, too, nothing negative to report, I don’t particularly like to see a physical sensor for the macro, but so be it.

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The front camera is 16 MP and offers selfies in the standard, easily usable for social media if taken during the day. But when the light goes down, the smartphone really struggles.


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One aspect that surprised me a lot is that related to the autonomy of this Nova 8i. To withstand the work load we find a battery from 4300 mAh which may seem small, but they are not. The absence of Google services benefits all Huawei HMS smartphones a lot. As Google Mobile Services really suck a lot of battery from smartphones. Ending a day of heavy use with this Nova 8i is really simple.

In the package then we find a 67W charger that recharges the smartphone from 0 to 100% in just 40 minutes. Really a godsend when you go for a trip out of town maybe and you find yourself taking lots of photos and lots of videos. Being able to charge their phone this fast can make a real difference for some.

But be careful, because as long as this technology works, you must always have an original power supply and cable. So pay attention to this detail.

Price and conclusions

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So what can we say about this Huawei Nova 8i? I definitely like the design a lot especially in this color. The display is also beautiful, I remember being an IPS, but that is really close to the quality of an AMOLED. But I must admit that from the point of view of performance, more had to be done, as well as for photographic quality. Besides, there had to be a refresh rate of at least 90 HZ. And the absence of Google services? Well by now I would not consider it a big problem anymore as practically all apps can be downloaded without problems.

To take this home to you Huawei Nova 8i you have to shell out 350 euros and you also get the Huawei FreeBuds 4i as a gift. As mentioned, the market offers more interesting products at this price range, and as long as this model does not suffer a drop in terms of price, it is difficult for me to be able to recommend it.

  • Design


  • Display


  • Hardware


  • Camera


  • Battery


  • Value for money



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