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Huawei nova 8i Unboxing and First Impressions

The successor to the popular nova line is finally in the Philippines. Here is our unboxing experience with the new nova 8i!
Huawei nova 8i Unboxing and first impressions
Huawei nova 8i

Announced worldwide in July 2021, the new nova 8i has finally arrived in the Philippines. 

To recap, the new phone features a 6.67-inch 2.5D curved LCD screen with 2376 x 1080 resolution. Inside is the 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor, Adreno 610 GPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and 4,300mAh battery with 66W SuperCharge.

It is running on Android 10 with EMUI 11 and it comes with 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, and dual-SIM support.

Let's dive in!


Huawei nova 8 and nova 8i
Huawei nova 8 and nova 8i

The new nova 8 series comes in the familiar white box with the Huawei nova branding, AppGallery, specs, and key features.
Inside the box
Inside the box

Inside, is the nova 8i smartphone, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, 3.5mm earphones, 66W Huawei SuperCharge wall charger, SIM ejector tool, clear silicone bumper case, and documentation.

Build Quality/Design

Back panel
Back panel

Out of the box, the nova 8i is eye-catching with a unique but premium-like design. What stands out is the large circle with the quad-rear cameras and LED flash. This is similar to the look on the Mate 30 and 40 flagship phones.

Upon closer inspection, the nova 8i is made up of a combination of a glass front panel, polycarbonate frame, and glasstic back panel.

As mentioned above, the screen protector with punch hole cut-out is pre-installed on it.
SIM tray
SIM tray

The SIM tray can house up to 2 nano-SIM cards only. It does not have a microSD card slot.

The tray also features a red rubber gasket for water resistance with no IP rating.

The curved polycarbonate frame and curved back panel make the phone easier to hold. However, the front and back panel are slippery and are fingerprint magnets. Out of the box, we already have smudges from both the back and front panels.

In front of the phone is the aforementioned 6.67-inch LCD display with 2376 x 1080 resolution and with 391 ppi with a capsule-shaped punch hole.

94.7 percent screen-to-body ratio!

Around the display are slim bezels with the chin bezel being thicker than the rest. On top of the panel is the super slim earpiece. Most smartphones that have super slim bezels are made with an AMOLED panel.

But, the nova 8i's display is made of LCD which makes this an impressive feat.
Top and bottom
Top and bottom

On top, is a microphone and the 3.5mm audio jack while at the bottom are the speaker grille, USB-C port, microphone, and the SIM tray. As mentioned earlier, it only holds up two Nano-SIMs and it features a red rubber gasket.
Left and right sides
Left and right sides

On the left side is a smooth surface while on the right side is the volume rocker and the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Both the volume rocker and the power button have tactile feedback when pressed.

It measures 161.85 x 74.7 x 8.58 mm and weighs 190 grams.
Rear camera module
Rear camera module

At the back is the rear quad-cameras made up of a 64MP f/1.9 main camera, 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle, 2MP f/2.4 macro, 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor, and an LED flash. On the pill-shaped punch hole is the 16MP selfie camera.

Other features include Face Recognition (unlocking) and a fingerprint scanner. Both were easy to set up and works as they should.

Stay tuned for our full review, camera samples, and the rest of the features of the new smartphone.

Huawei nova 8i Specs

Display: 6.67-inch 2.5D curved LCD screen w/ FHD+ 2376 x 1080 resolution at 391 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 11nm Snapdragon 662 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 610
ROM: 128GB
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.9 w/ PDAF + 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP
Battery: 4,300mAh w/ 66W SuperCharge
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 11
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB-C, Colors: Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue, Starry Black
Dimensions: 161.85 x 74.7 x 8.58 mm
Weight: 190 g
Price: PHP 13,999

As of the moment

Huawei's HarmonyOS
EMUI skin

The Huawei nova 8i is an eye-catching smartphone that is made of glass, polycarbonate, and glasstic. Depending on the price, it may be a budget-conscious favorite.
AnTuTu and GeekBench results
AnTuTu and GeekBench results

The internal 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, Adreno 610, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of storage managed to score 174.7K in AnTuTu. This is not as impressive as the Kirin 810 of the nova 7i last year.

Depending on the price, the phone may or may not be an affordable capable offering.

What caught our eye is that even tho the front panel is made of LCD, Huawei managed to offer super slim bezels.

So far, we are excited to test the phone and see how it performs in real life.

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