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Huawei Nova 7i Unboxing and First Impressions

In the Philippines, Huawei has a new contender in the ever-competitive mid-range smartphone category, the Nova 7i.
Huawei Nova 7i Unboxing and First Impressions
Quad-cam and more!

The Huawei Nova 7i is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the best-selling Nova 3i in 2018. It is equipped with fresh-looking design, powerful specs for the price, and premium features not commonly found in the mid-range category.

In particular, it boasts a new 3D curved design with a square module to house the quad-camera system, side-mounted fingerprint reader, 6.4-inch FHD+ punch-hole display, 7nm Kirin 810 SoC, 8GB RAM, 128GB expandable storage, 4,200mAh battery with USB-C 40W SuperCharge, 48MP quad-camera system, and Android 10 OS with EMUI 10.0.1.

Like Huawei Y7p, it loads with Huawei Mobile Services with AppGallery for installing apps.

Those specs show that the Nova 7i is one of the most affordable with a 7nm SoC solution, 8GB RAM, 40W SuperCharge, and 48MP quad-cam for the price yet.

Now, let's see if this is the proper successor to the Nova 3i and the new mid-ranger to beat!

Note: Huawei did not launch the Nova 5i in PH. In case you are wondering, there is no Nova 4i and Nova 6i as well. So basically, this is the direct successor of the Nova 3i in the Philippines. 


The Huawei white box
The Huawei white box

The handset arrived with the familiar white Huawei box with the print of the logo and model name of the phone. We also noticed that Huawei is heavily promoting the AppGallery as it is printed in the front bottom part of the screen. Why not? It fast-growing app market.
Accessories inside
Accessories inside

Inside the box, you'll see the phone itself with a pre-installed screen protector along with the flexible TPU protective clear case, 40W USB wall charger, USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable, earphones with mic, and SIM ejector tool. You'll find the basic paper documents as well.

Huawei went all out with its inclusions. In short, it nearly has everything you'll need right off the bat.

Build Quality/Design

Crush Green Nova 7i

The handset boasts a premium 3D curved glasstic back at the back, a well-machined metal frame with chamfered edges and a polycarbonate layer to hold the 2.5D curved glass display.
Dual SIM/NM card tray
Dual SIM/NM card tray

There is no mention of water-resistance and Gorilla Glass, but Huawei said that the back of the phone uses a special manufacturing process that improves scratch resistance while producing a unique glare effect.

Fresh and premium aesthetics for the price!

As mentioned, the handset comes with a pre-installed screen protector and a FREE jelly case inside the box. The screen protector will prevent its screen from having unwanted scratches while the case should make its body resistant to drops, scratches, and fingerprint smudges.

The Nova 7i is available in Sakura Pink, Midnight Black, and Crush Green colorways. The unit I have is the Crush Green version with a beautiful nature-inspired gradient design. The Sakura Pink has a dreamy unicorn pastel-like gradient while the Midnight Black sports a classic and elegant look.
Big display
Big display

In the front, it uses a large 6.4-inch panel with a punch-hole at the upper left portion to house the selfie camera. There is a neatly hidden ear speaker on top of the display as well. This resulted in slimmer bezels and more screen real estate with an impressive 90.6 percent of screen-to-body ratio.

Display with near all-screen experience!

It also made the phone not that big at 159.2 x 76.3 mm. It is a bit thick at 8.7 mm due to all the powerful components inside and the large 4,000mAh battery.
Top, bottom
Top, bottom

On top of the device, you'll see a single mic. Underneath, you'll be greeted with a 3.5mm headphone jack slot (female), 40W SuperCharge-ready USB-C data/charging port, another mic, and the singe earspeaker.
Left, right

At left, you'll find the dual SIM stray slot. It supports two nano-SIM cards or a single nano-SIM + up to 256GB NM card. On the right side of the phone, there's a power key that doubles as a fingerprint reader and the volume rocker.

Huawei Nova 7i has enough heft at 183 grams.

Initial findings

1. For a 2020 phone, the Nova 7i sports an average size screen. It used an LCD LTPS panel with a punch-hole that looks great for the price. It renders accurate colors and respectable brightness levels as well. It is a little bit reflective, but I still find it great for viewing images and watching YouTube clips.
Strong AnTuTu score!
Strong AnTuTu score!

2. Inside, this phone is a monster at PHP 13,990. It runs with the 7nm Kirin 810 octa-core processor with GPU Turbo-enhanced Mali-G52 MP6 and the 
DaVinci NPU for handling AI tasks.

Older-gen flagship-like speed!

Based on benchmark scores, Kirin 810 is even higher than the Snapdragon 730G. One good example of a phone with the SD730G is the PHP 22,990 Samsung Galaxy A71. Kirin 810 is also higher than the MediaTek Helio G90T.

The reason behind that is this chip uses the ARM's 2x Cortex-A76 big cores clocked at 2.27GHz and 6x Cortex-A55 smaller cores clocked at 1.88GHz. Cortex-A76 is commonly found on premium mobile chips last year.

From my initial experience, it made the phone nearly as smooth as 2019 flagships and it can run even some heavy games with ease.
2-day battery life
2-day battery life

To even enhance the experience, Huawei added 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and 4,200mAh battery.

If you think those specs are impressive enough, think again. It has a USB-C 40W SuperCharge tech that can charge its 4,200mAh battery to 70 percent in just 30 minutes.
Camera UI

3. For cameras, it has a total of four at the back. You'll find a 
48MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.4 120-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash quad-camera system. It has Huawei's Master AI tech for auto scene detection and optimization along with the AIS Super Night mode handheld long exposure tech for night shots.

In front, there's a 16MP f/2.0 snapper aided with AI, 
 Super Night Selfie 2.0, and screen flash.

It supports up to 1080p 60fps videos at the back and 1080p 30fps videos in front.

Huawei Nova 7i: First Camera Samples

4. The other great thing about this handset is it runs with Android 10 out of the box. Its Android 10 OS is enhanced with Huawei's EMUI 10 skin that's feature-rich, faster, smoother, and more refined than the previous generation Huawei skins.

Based on my experience, it is buttery smooth and clean looking. It even comes with dark mode and easy to use screen gestures for navigation.

Due to the ongoing China-US trade situation, it has no Google Mobile Services out of the box. But, it stars the Huawei Mobile Services with the AppGallery for installing apps. The Huawei browser has shortcuts to Google search and YouTube if you still need it as well.

Huawei AppGallery has recently evolved into the world's 3rd largest app store despite its young age. Huawei also promised that it'll come with more apps soon.

If the app you are looking for is not yet there, you can use the likes of APKPure and other app stores.

5. This device highlights a side-mounted fingerprint reader that is super accurate and fast. Like other Huawei mid-range phones, it has 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, and most the essential sensors. I like that it has a 3.5mm headphone jack slot as well.

Huawei Nova 7i Specs

Display: 6.4-inch 2.5D curved LCD (LTPS) screen w/ FHD+ 2310 x 1080 resolution at 398 ppi
CPU: 2.27GHz 7nm Kirin 810 octa-core processor w/ DaVinci NPU
GPU: Mali-G52 MP6 w/ GPU Turbo
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF, CAF,  + 8MP f/2.4 120-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,200mAh w/ 40W SuperCharge
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.0.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE, SBC, AAC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, Galileo, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, dual-mic, Colors: sakura pink, midnight black, crush green
Dimensions: 159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 183 g
Price: PHP 13,990

As of the moment

Based on specs, this handset is one of the most competitive for the price yet. Based on our first look, it is a beast in its class.

This device could be the one for those who are looking for a uniquely designed handset with powerful internals, super-fast charging, and highly capable cameras for photography.

Apart from that, a lot of premium freebies to those who will pre-order the device.

To know the pre-order details, click here.

For our full review: Huawei Nova 7i Review - Mid-range powerhouse!

Attractive right? Stay tuned for our full review tom!
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