Huawei Nova 3e Review: Meet Huawei’s New Mid-Range Contender


The Nova series of Huawei was released in 2016. It is targeted at the young people. Although the Nova series was only available for two years, it has created a sales record that cannot be ignored. According to He Gang, the president of Huawei terminal mobile phone product line, he says that only in 2017, almost 10 million units of Nova series was sale globally.

This sales volume is comparable to the annual sales of some domestic third-tier small-scale plants, but it is not accidental that the Nova series has this sales volume. On March 20, 2018, Huawei officially released Huawei Nova 3e. This is the first model in the Nova series to end with e.This smartphone has gone on sale with an official price of $450 and we can find it in online stores. We had the opportunity to try it for a week, and then we bring you our in-depth Review of this smartphone.

Specification Sheet

The most affordable Huawei Nova 3e, which has a screen with a great use of the front (at the expense of a “notch” in the upper area) and has a fairly powerful mid-range hardware. The Huawei Nova 3e comes with 5.84 “LCD screen with Full HD + resolution.

The Smartphone powered by a Kirin 659 processor Coupled with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage by micro-SD, it has a 24MP front camera and the rear camera is 16MP + 2MP, fingerprint reader, Face Unlock facial recognition. The Nova 3e is 145 grams, internal battery capacity is 3000mAh and its operating system is Android 8.0 with an EMUI 8.0.

Inside The Box

In the Box we will get Huawei headsets, a 9V/2A Dash charger, a headphone, USB- Type C cable, silicon cases are also included in the box.

Design and Appearance

Huawei this year has joined the fashion of smartphones with FullView screen, which have an elongated ratio 19: 9 and a few narrow frames around the screen to make better use of space. In fact, the Huawei Nova 3e does not have a superior framework, but this has been replaced by the controversial “notch” that popularized the iPhone X, although much smaller. This notch (or “notch”, as it is known in English) occupies the central area at the top of the screen and houses the front camera, the earphone, some sensors and the notifications LED.

The advantage of the notch in front of a traditional frame is that it takes advantage of the space of the screen to the left and right by displaying notifications, the time, the battery icon and other elements of interest. In a traditional smartphone, all the space would be occupied by the upper frame.

Unfortunately, Huawei has not included the option to hide the notch obscuring the area of the screen that surrounds it, which is present in the P20 Pro. We do not know if this absence is due to the fact that the Nova 3e arrives with EMUI 8, instead of EMUI 8.1, or the type of screen that uses LCD, which does not turn off pixels completely like OLED panels. 

The lower frame is quite narrow but could be better-taken advantage of. There is no element in the Huawei Nova 3e other than the Huawei logo. The frames to the left and right of the screen are quite narrow, as can be seen in the photographs, although not as much as in other high-end smartphones.

The Huawei Nova 3e has an elegant metal chassis and a back cover finished in glass, so it has a very attractive premium finish that could go through a more expensive device. The Huawei Nova 3e is available in Midnight Black, Klein Blue, Sakura Pink and Platinum Gold colors.

We have had the opportunity to try the Klein Blue model, as can be seen in the images, which is elegant but somewhat boring.The 19: 9 ratio of the screen makes it practically impossible to handle it with just one hand comfortably. Although it is possible to type by holding it with one hand, it is very complicated to drag the notification bar down without juggling the phone.

Luckily, Huawei has incorporated a one-hand mode that is activated by dragging your finger from left to right (or vice versa) over the bar of virtual buttons. Despite its large screen, the Huawei Nova 3e is not too big a phone because it measures 148.6 x 71.2 x 7.4 mm and only weighs 145 grams. In fact, it is so light that it feels like it’s plastic.

Next, we will review the elements found on the surface of the phone. The front of the Huawei Nova 3e is occupied mainly by the screen, whose side and bottom frames are very narrow as we have already commented. In the upper part of the screen, we find the notch, which houses the loudspeaker for the ear, the front camera and the usual sensors for proximity and brightness.

We also find a multi-color notification LED, which is not visible when it is off. It is a success that Huawei has included an LED notification since many manufacturers already do without this element.

In the lower part, we do not find any physical element, but we only have the Huawei logo.

On the back we find the rear glass cover, which can not be removed and, therefore, we do not have access to the battery. In the upper left corner, we find the double camera located vertically. Under the camera, we find the LED flash and, just below, an inscription that says “DUAL LENS” and, below, the characteristics of the camera: “1: 2.2 / 26 ASPH”.

In the center of the upper area, is the fingerprint reader, with a circular shape and slightly sunken so that it is easy to locate to the touch. In the lower left corner, we can see the HUAWEI logo, which is oriented vertically, as can be seen in the image.

On the right side, we find the power button and, on top of this button, the volume control, one piece and elongated. Both buttons have a good feel to the touch and a sufficient tour.

On the left side, we only find the slot to house a nano-SIM card plus a micro-SD card.

The upper part of the phone does not have any element.

The bottom of the phone has a USB-C connector in the center. On one side we find holes that hide the main speaker and, on the other side, the headphone jack.

The gloss finish of the phone causes fingerprints to be marked on the back surface, so you’ll have to get used to cleaning the phone frequently. However, in the black color, we have tried the prints are not as marked as we would have thought at first. In general, the smartphone has an attractive appearance, although it depends a lot on the love/hate you have for the controversial notch on the screen. The Huawei Nova 3e is not resistant to immersions in water, so we must be careful not to get wet.

Specs and performance

Huawei Nova 3e is equipped with a 16nm Kirin 659 processor. It is designed with 4.63GHz four A53+4 GHz 4 A53s. The GPU is a Mali T830 MP2. The 16nm process makes the processor’s power consumption even lower.

Also worth mentioning that Huawei Nova 3e runs an Android 8.0-based EMUI 8.0 system. Officially stated that EMUI 8.0 is equipped with a smart engine that intelligently schedules CPU and memory resources, matching resource usage requirements based on application priorities, and comes standard with EMUI 8.0 coupled with a  great 4GB of Ram and up to 128GB internal storage configuration.

In order to fully test the performance of the Kirin 659, we used the “King of Honor”, 4K video test, B station barrage to test Huawei Nova 3e. “Glory to the King” opens default effects for testing. During the game, Huawei Nova 3e is able to maintain stable at about 30 frames, and there is no fever during the 30-minute game.

4K video resolution

We used the classic 4K short film “Beijing Roast Duck and Beauty” to test the video analytics of Huawei Nova 3e. “Beijing Roast Duck and Beauty” source resolution: 3840*2160, data rate: 31Mbps, frame rate: 29FPS, audio sample rate: 18KHz, audio bit rate: 317Kbps.

Because the video does not adapt to the 18:9 screen, there will be black borders on the left and right sides. Here, the video that comes with Huawei Nova 3e is used to play the video. The actual playback experience is not a picture, and the progress bar is dragged during playback. There is no sign of anything.

B Station Barrage Test

Some videos have strict requirements on the hardware of mobile phones. When the barrage is fully opened, the text barrage has a refresh rate of 10 or 100 of times per second, and the requirements for the CPU are relatively high.

Here we use the famous barrage test video of station B. The video takes 5 minutes and 23 seconds and the number of barrages is 633,000. The average number of barrage per second is as high as 1900. The Barrage is fully open, and Huawei Nova 3e plays completely without issue.

Camera Specs

Huawei Nova 3e is very powerful on the camera. The first is the rear lens. It uses 16MP + 2MP dual cameras, the pixel size is up to 1.12μm, the aperture is F2.2, the FOV wide angle is 78° and the professional virtual the lens specification is 2M. One of the two cameras is responsible for imaging, and the other one is responsible for blurring.

Followed by the front lens, using a 24MP camera, to provide a new experience of beauty algorithm, according to facial features 96 points intelligent recognition, deepen the T-zone of light to distinguish, brighten the cheekbones area, enhance the effect of cheeks and nose shadow.

Camera Samples

I use autofocus here to turn on the default mode.

Very standard macro samples, at a very close distance, the first purple-leafed plum was photographed, the details of the flowers were clearly visible, the edges of the background and the flowers were also sharp, and the background was just right.

The side of the riverside building, the background noise control is fairly good, the building’s door is very clear

In general, Huawei Nova 3e’s photo samples are still acceptable. The white balance is cool, the colors are mostly slightly bright.

Shooting with the back dual camera, turning on the portrait mode, you can see the effect of background blurring, and the contour recognition of the characters is particularly accurate, and there is no situation of false negatives.

In the night shooting, the camera of Nova 3e is auto-focus. It can be seen that there is much direct light and reflection lens, but Huawei Nova 3e still has no glare and maintains a high degree of screen purity.

As can be seen from this photograph, the night time reproduction of the Huawei Nova 3e camera is very good, not only without overexposure but also with rich details. The details of the lines and pictures on the lightbox can still be clearly seen.

In the case of glass reflection, the Huawei Nova 3e rear camera still has no radiance and the light control is particularly good.

The selfie in Portrait Mode

In the photo, it can be seen that after the beauty is turned on, the character’s skin has been improved and the effect of bright eyes has been seen. From the hairline part, it can be seen that no beauty effect occurs and a large-area smearing effect does not appear.

At the same time, in the self-timer, the user can also turn on the background blurring mode. In the second photo, the background of the beauties gets a very ambiguous blur effect, which further highlights the status of the portrait in the entire image, and slightly includes some movies. The sense makes the selfie look more attractive


The Huawei Nova 3e is equipped with a 3000 mAh battery and supports 18-watt fast charging. What about its charging and cruising performance? Here I use online barrage video and games to test battery life.

Online Video Test

I use the client to play online barrage video, 40% volume, and 50% brightness, and start playing online for 30 minutes from 25% of battery power.

After 30 minutes, the remaining power is 18%, and the power consumption is 7%. Converting the Huawei Nova 3e to full power, you can watch the barrage video online for around 7 hours.

Game Test

Here once again we will use the recently popular MOBA game “The King of Honor” to test the battery life of Huawei Nova 3e, and started the default special effects, starting from 37% of battery power and playing for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, Huawei Nova 3e has 29% of the remaining power and consumes 8% of the power, which is the same as playing video online. By converting, Nova 3e can continue to play “King of Glory” for almost 6 hours when it fully charges.

Charging Test

The Huawei Nova 3e comes standard with a 9V/2A charger, charging from 10% of the battery capacity, Wi-Fi connection, no card, and recording once in 10 minutes.

After testing, the Huawei Nova 3e has been fully charged in 95 minutes, and it is worthy of praise that the nova 3e has nearly half charge in 30 minutes.

In Conclusion

Huawei Nova 3e perfectly inherits the value of Nova series. It has a profiled full-screen and double-sided glass body, which can display different light colors at any angle. It is a very good Nova series phones. In terms of appearance, Huawei Nova 3e uses the trendy full-screen, with a length and width of 19:9. Compared with 18:9 screens, the screen share is further improved.

In video and games, it has a more visual impact; the back glass material, Let the phone feel delicate and soft while enhancing the value of the phone. Performance, Huawei Nova 3e equipped with Kirin 659 processor, with 4GB of Ram and 128GB onboard storage, and its operating system is EMUI 8.0,  in daily use, will not produce a stall; will not appear even if running a large-scale 3D games the situation of fever.

Huawei Nova 3e is particularly effective in photography. The rear lens adopts a dual 16MP + 2MP cameras. The portrait is blurred accurately, especially at the edges. It seems that the camera algorithm has been improved a lot; In the front lens, it uses a 24MP camera, While enhancing the features of the face, there is no large area smearing, in other words, the beauty is very natural.

Satisfyingly, Huawei Nova 3e at igeekphone uses 18W fast charge, it takes 95 minutes for the full charge, and 30 minutes of electricity can be filled in more than half. It is a pleasant surprise. It has a more energy-efficient EMUI 8.0 on the endurance and 3000 mAh battery blessing fully meets the day-to-day use of moderate users.

Huawei Nova 3e maintains the consistent high-value level of the Nova series beautifully uses a full-screen design, as well as the dazzling performance of front and rear cameras, are all excellent, and these characteristics also cater to the current young people’s ideas and the trend. In short, the Huawei Nova 3e is a great option for those looking for a smartphone with a large screen in a small body, adequate performance, a more than competent camera and software with many features.

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