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Huawei Nova 8i puts style and function first

The mid-range Huawei Nova 8i features a stylish design and enhanced functions like 66W fast charging. BRYAN TURNER tested the device.



As the mid-range device segment becomes increasingly competitive, Huawei is staying on top of the game with its latest Nova 8i smartphone. There’s a lot to love about it, and we ended up choosing the top five features from Huawei’s latest mid-range device.

1. Fashion-forward

As always, Huawei is putting design first with this device. At first glance, the colour range is extremely visually pleasing, coming in what it calls Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue, and Starry Black. The curves on the back of the device make the device just as great to hold as it is to look at. For those who know its Nova 7i predecessor, it’s slimmer than that.

Along the right side of the device, one finds a slightly recessed lock button with a fingerprint sensor built-in to it. Just a little above that button is a volume rocker. The device supports a dual SIM, which enables users to have two cell numbers on one device, and built-in software enables users to have two accounts of the same app (like two WhatsApp apps for each number).

2. Large, immersive display

In true Huawei style, it has put a 6.67” edge-to-edge display, which it calls Huawei Edgeless Display. The colour reproduction is accurate, albeit slightly more on the saturated side by default. This can be changed in settings. Where it shines, however, is in its TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification, which means the phone’s screen reduces eye damage when compared to other devices. To fix the yellow-ish compensation other displays produce, it implements intelligent discolouration correction technology to ensure images look correct while protecting a user’s eyes.

3. Four powerful rear cameras

The quad-camera system follows the design of higher-end smartphone camera systems in this price range: a high-megapixel main, a wide-angle, a macro, and a depth-sensing lens set. The main camera is a 64MP main sensor, which is helped by AI Processing to make photos look sharper (when needed). The 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera is a little less sharp than the main sensor but very useful for fitting more into an image. A really nifty feature of this camera set is Macro mode, which is powered by a 2MP macro sensor. It enables photographers to take sharp close-ups of images from as close as 4cm away. The final 2MP camera helps with portrait photography by sensing depth, making natural bokeh effects in Aperture mode.

The 16MP selfie camera takes sharp selfies with great dynamic range. Against bright backgrounds, it has an unspoken HDR mode that corrects selfies with AI, even though that’s not advertised.

4. Strong processor from Qualcomm

The device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 11nm chipset, which is both lightning-fast and battery efficient. The CPU features four high-performance Cortex A73 cores, alongside four battery efficient Cortex A53 cores. Pairing this with 6/8GB RAM configurations, multitasking is a very pleasant experience on the Nova 8i. To seal the deal, it comes with a whopping 128GB of storage space.

5. Big battery and fast charging for all-day battery life

The 4 300mAh battery is mostly in line with other devices in this segment, but Huawei still wins the all-day battery life title with its software optimisations. Alongside the 66W Huawei SuperCharge charger, users can top up their device’s battery over the space of breakfast or a coffee. Other devices in this price segment are still hovering around 15-20W charging speed, so the Nova 8i is leap years ahead of its competition.

Gorgeous design, big display, sharp cameras, strong processor, and all day-battery life are the biggest pluses of the Huawei Nova 8i. Available in Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue, and Starry Black, the Nova 8i is now available for pre-order for R6,999. Pre-order from now until 29 September to receive a Huawei Bluetooth speaker for free.

To pre-order the device, click here.