Huawei nova 8i Unboxed, Hands-on

It's a whole new world
It's a whole new world

Huawei has recently unveiled its newest Nova line of phones, including the lower mid-range Huawei nova 8i that offers a great camera experience at a more affordable price point. We have a unit with us to check on, and here’s what we think of it from the get-go.

This device, announced last July, has come to our shores this month and is now available for pre-order until later next week. The folks from Huawei Philippines are kind enough to lend us a unit to check out what it offers.

Huawei nova 8i specs:

  • 6.67-inch FHD+ IPS Huawei Edgeless display, 2376 x 1080px
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 2.0GHz octa-core CPU
    Adreno 610 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage, non-expandable
  • Quad-rear cameras:
    64MP f/1.9 main
    8MP f/2.4 ultrawide
    2MP f/2.4 macro
    2MP f/2.4 depth
  • 16MP f/2.0 front camera
  • 4G LTE, Dual-SIM
  • WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • 3.5mm audio jack, Side Fingerprint scanner
  • EMUI 11 (Android 10)
  • 4,300mAh battery
    66W Huawei SuperCharge
  • Colors: Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue, Starry Black

Unboxing the device, we have a complete set including the device itself, a pair of wired, in-ear headphones, a USB Type-C cable, the 66-watt charging adapter, the SIM ejector pin, some documentation that serves as a quick guide and warranty, and the phone itself, to which we were assigned an Interstellar Blue color variant.

There’s also a TPU case for the device, as well as a printed QR code (both in the box and inside as a leaflet) for a guide on how to search for apps with the phone.

Let’s look at the sides. The left is devoid of anything noteworthy, while we have the protruding volume keys and a recessed power/lock button that acts as a fingerprint scanner on the right. The top part has the 3.5mm audio jack.

Located at the bottom are the microphone, the dual nano-SIM tray, the USB Type-C port, and the bottom-firing loudspeakers.

The backside features a deep shade of blue with nice touches of hazed illumination whenever light hits it. It definitely looks a lot premium akin to last year’s reflective, matte-looking P40 series, but this only has a polycarbonate back with a surface that’s easily become a fingerprint and smudge magnet.

The design is reminiscent of the Huawei Mate 30 series with a circular ring design housing the four camera lenses at the top-middle part. Its flash is at the top-left part, while the Huawei logo is underneath it.

Its display is slightly bigger at 6.67-inch Full HD IPS display with fewer bezels and more screen ratio than last year’s nova 7i. The punch-hole camera set up at the upper left part is now wider with the 16MP lens and other sensors in tow. The call speaker is still edged at the top-left

Huawei is pushing forward its Google-less world with the inclusion of its own Huawei AppGallery, now housing hundreds of thousands of top apps including local apps in banking, transportation, and telecommunications.

In case you can’t find the app you’re looking for, you can check Huawei Petal Search to give you a quick check on available APKs since you can still sideload apps without many issues.

The HUAWEI nova 8i will be available for pre-order until August 26 via online Huawei Store, Lazada, Shopee, or through Huawei Experience Stores nationwide. It’s priced at PHP 13,999, which is the same price point the Huawei nova 7i debuted last year.

Carl Lamiel
Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].