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Huawei Nova 3i vs OPPO F9 Build/Design Comparison - The better looking device is?

The Huawei Nova 3i and OPPO F9 are two mid-range smartphones with great specs and actual performance for the price. Arguably, both of them are the most beautiful as well.
Huawei Nova 3i vs OPPO F9 Build/Design Comparison - The better looking device is?
Midrange smartphones with gradient design battle!

But, before our full comparison of both devices later this week, let's see who has the better looking build/design first. Let's start!

Build Quality

One is plastic the other is glass
One is plastic the other is glass

In terms of materials used, the Huawei Nova 3i boasts of REAL metal and glass design build.

The frame is made out of high-quality and sturdy aluminum metal frame. At the back, it has a 2.5D curved glass material. Most mid-range smartphones only has an all plastic build or metal clad construction.
Simple gradient of the Huawei Nova 3i
Simple gradient of the Huawei Nova 3i

Commonly, the metal and glass sandwich design are reserved for flagship smartphones.

The result? The Nova 3i feels premium for the price.

Huawei is generous enough to introduce this type of material on a mid-ranger.

My only gripe is Huawei failed to mention if it has glass protection on the screen and at the back. Fortunately, the company included a screen protector on the top.
Petal-shaped gradient design of the OPPO F9
Petal-shaped gradient design of the OPPO F9

On the other hand, the OPPO F9 is made out of mostly plastic. The last mid-range OPPO device we reviewed with metal clad build is the OPPO F3.

If you put it under a bright light, you will notice that it has a petal-shaped pattern back design with a gradient color of red-purple.It looks decent and eye-catching enough but honestly, we expected more out of it. 

But unlike the Nova 3i, we are sure that it has Gorilla Glass protection on the screen. OPPO just failed to mention the exact version of Gorilla Glass it has.

It would have been better if both Huawei and OPPO specified the exact material glass they used for the Nova 3i and F9 respectively.

Both feels good to hold, but I will give it to the Nova 3i here due to its more premium choice of materials.


Small notches, full view display
Small notches, full view displays

Both are stunning looking phones for the price. 

Huawei pioneered the gradient trend when they released the twilight color of the P20 Pro  a few months ago. The Chinese smartphone brand recently revealed how they came up with the "Iris Purple" color

The brand uses a structural coloration to create brilliant colors that cannot be achieved with simple pigmentation. It is caused by the microscopic irregularities that bend visible light in a way that light beams are retracted, reflected, and interfere with each other.

This technology gives a certain iridescence to surface that allow the viewer to perceive different colors at different angles. Huawei also uses five layers of nano coating to achieve the gradient color. However, our eyes can only see the rich and illusionary blue-purple gradient color. 

Huawei also shared that the ultra violet color Pantone of 2018 is the inspiration of the Iris Purple gradient. It took the Chinese brand more than a year to develop the gradient color and they used tens of thousands pane of glass for testing purposes. Hence, it took Huawei half a year to finalize the gradient color combination. 

Gradient smartphones!
Gradient smartphones!

For the OPPO F9, the brand offers three different gradient colors of sunrise red, twilight blue, and starry purple. OPPO has not yet revealed how they came up with this catchy design, but they are they boasting of the petal-shaped pattern matched with a drop-shaped notch display.

Both phones have slim profiles and has nice grips. With or without case, we did not have the issue of slipping off the phone on our hands. Overall, the Nova 3i and F9 have nice ergonomics.

Speaking of the notch, the Nova 3i has a smaller screen than the iPhone X. But OPPO F9 made it more simpler and much smaller by sporting drop-shaped notch. For us, the drop-shaped notch of the OPPO F9 made it have the larger screen-to-body ratio  than the Huawei Nova 3i's. Therefore, it has wider and huge screen display.

Overall, the Huawei Nova 3i's simple gradient design wins for us. 


Overall, we appreciate and happy how these two brands come up with rare designs for the price. The gradient trend is being made available to everyone through the Huawei Nova 3i and OPPO F9. 

We liked the design of both smartphones. But, we prefer the simple gradient design of the Huawei Nova 3i. In person and when put side-by-side with the OPPO F9, the iris purple gradient of the Nova 3i looks more eye-catching.

Go for the Huawei Nova 3i if you're looking for a phone with real metal and glass and a simpler gradient design.

But don't get us wrong, we also liked how OPPO came up with the petal-shaped gradient back design and drop-shaped notch. 

How about you? What gradient-colored smartphone catches your eye? 

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