Huawei nova 8i hands-on impressions

Huawei has recently announced its latest mid-range phones, the nova 8 and the nova 8i, for the Philippine market. And on this article, we’re going to look at the latter.

The Huawei nova 8i is the more affordable phone of the series. For Php 13,999, you get a spacious 6.67-inch display, a 64MP main camera, and support for 66W fast charging. Join us as we unbox and share our initial impressions of the phone. Let’s go.

Price and Availability

Huawei Nova 8i: Php 13,999

The Nova 8i retails for Php 13,999. Pre-orders are available starting until August 26 on the Huawei Online StoreShopee, and Lazada.

Pre-orders come with a free Huawei Band 4 worth Php 1,890, Wireless Charging Lamp worth Php 2,499, and Huawei Cloud storage with benefits up to Php 2,308.

The Huawei Nova 8 is also available for pre-orders for Php 19,999.


The Huawei nova 8i comes in a standard white box with the phone’s branding. It’s very simple and there’s nothing out of the ordinary here, except maybe that the box itself seems to be made with lower quality cardboard compared to Huawei’s more expensive devices.

SEE ALSO: Huawei MateView set to arrive in the Philippines on Aug 13

The handset comes with a full set of accessories, including a set of earphones which you rarely get in mid-range packages nowadays.

In the box

  • Huawei nova 8i
  • Pre-installed screen protector
  • Protective case
  • Earphones
  • USB-C cable
  • 66W fast charger
  • SIM eject tool
  • Documentation
Huawei nova 8i initial review

Initial Review and Impressions

The nova 8i features an interesting design, one that borrows from the Huawei’s Mate series. Its rear cameras are on a round island, which highlights its focus on photography.

Huawei nova 8i initial review

The shiny back panel is made from a plastic material that curves on the side to meet the frame. As one can imagine, it is fingerprint prone. However, the curved edges make the phone easier to grip and give it a sleeker look.

Our unit is in Interstellar Blue. Huawei used a refined NCVM technique to create the effect where you see the color and shadow shift. The effect is actually very pleasing to the eye.

Huawei nova 8i initial review

At the front, you have a 6.67-inch FHD+ Edgeless IPS display with a 2376 x 1080 resolution and a pill-shaped punch hole for the selfie camera. The bezels are very narrow, greatly enhancing the viewing experience.

On the right side, you have the volume rockers and the power button/fingerprint scanner. The left side is bare. But at the bottom, you have the dual SIM tray, a microphone, a USB-C port, and the mono speaker; And on top, the headphone jack, the earpiece (tucked on the edge between the frame and the display), and a secondary mic.

As for performance, the nova 8i is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It’s not the latest SoC available, but it gets the job done. Basic navigation is fast and snappy.

Battery capacity is at 4,300mAh with a 66W SuperCharge. Huawei says it can charge the phone up to 60% in 17 minutes and fully charged in 38 minutes. This is something I am looking forward to.

SEE ALSO: New Huawei MatePad and MatePad T10 LTE launch in the Philippines

The handset runs on EMUI 11.0.1 based on Android 11. It’s not HarmonyOS 2, but it’s fine. EMUI is mature at this point. The UI is clean and intuitive.

Huawei nova 8i initial review

And for the cameras, the aforementioned four include a 64MP main, an 8MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP for depth information. The selfie camera has just one 16MP sensor, so it’s not slightly weird that they opted for a pill-shaped punch hole.

Huawei nova 8i initial review

Anyhow, the camera quality does look good. Check out some of our test photos below:

Huawei nova 8i camera test
Huawei nova 8i camera test
Huawei nova 8i camera test
Huawei nova 8i camera test

Wrap Up

For Php 13,999, the Huawei nova 8i has the makings of a decent mid-range phone. It looks good on paper with a premium design, a 64MP main camera, and a blazing 66W Huawei SuperCharge, and initial tests do show a lot of promise. We’ll reserve our final assessment in the final review, which will come soon.

Huawei nova 8i specs

Display6.67-inches FHD+ Edgeless IPS Display, 2376 x 1080, 94.7% Screen-to-body Ratio
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 662, 11nm Octa-core
Storage128GB Storage
Rear Cameras64MP Main, f/1.9
8MP Ultra-wide, f/2.4
2MP Macro, f/2.4
2MP Depth, f/2.4
Front Camera16MP Selfie Camera
Network4G LTE
ConnectivityWi-Fi AC Dual Band, Bluetooth 5, GPS
OthersSide Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock, USB-C, Headphone Jack
OSEMUI 11, Android 11
Battery4300mAh Battery, 66W SuperCharge

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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