Our Opinion

The Huawei Nova 3 is a significantly better phone, but the Huawei Honor Play (6GB RAM) is much better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend!

Huawei Honor Play (6GB RAM)  Huawei Nova 3 
Huawei Honor Play Huawei Nova 3
Buy Now Buy  not available currently
Excellence Score
36.8
55.2
Value for Money Score
81.3
54.5
Price ₹ 12,999 onwards ₹ 34,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Aug, 2018 Aug, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.3 inches 6.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Display Features IPS LCD, 2.5D Curved Glass, FullView Display IPS LCD, 3D Curved Glass
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name HiSilicon Kirin 970, i7 Co-processorRanked #16 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Hisilicon Kirin 970 + i7 Co-processorRanked #16 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP12, GPU Turbo Mali-G72 MP12, GPU Turbo
RAM 6 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 16MP + 2MP 24MP + 16MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 16MP: F/2.2 Aperture; PDAF; Continuous Autofocus, 2MP: F/2.4 Aperture, HDR, Panorama 16MP: F/1.8 Aperture, 24MP: B/W; F/1.8 Aperture, PDAF, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face Detection, HDR, Panorama
Secondary Camera 16.0MP 24MP + 2MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture N/A
Internal Memory 64 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 256 GB up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.5 mm 7.3 mm
Weight 176 gm 166 gm
Width 74.3 mm 73.7 mm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3750 mAh 3750 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes
Included Fast Charger Yes, 18W Fast Charger Yes
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Noise Filtration; 7.1-channel Histen Audio; Party Mode Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Well built, unibody metal design - the Honor Play is sturdy, solid, and reassuring
  • Slim & sleek at just 7.5mm thick, which is quite an achievement especially as it packs a large 3750mAh battery
  • Nice, immersive, modern 19.5:9 'notch' display - colour accuracy and viewing angles are both good - and playing games or watching videos is an immersive experience
  • Power packed performance with Huawei's flagship SoC, and super fast UFS 2.1 storage - the benchmark numbers put it not that much behind the performance monster, OnePlus 6 (and at a significantly lower price point!) - gaming performance is top-notch too
  • Also special is support for 'GPU Turbo' which reduces battery drain when playing supported games (technically it is a core level change to how the GPU handles the rendering of visuals) - Honor also is working on implementing GPU Turbo for EMUI visuals which should improve battery performance of the phone even during general use
  • Decent rear dual camera setup - takes good images in good light, and clicks decent bokeh shots too
  • Good selfie camera, especially in daylight conditions - selfies are rather pleasant and the colours, contrast and dynamic range are all within an acceptable range
  • Very good battery life - it will easily last a day and a half or more on moderate to heavy usage - and if Honor does truly end up implementing GPU Turbo for EMUI’s interface like they plan to, you can expect even better battery life over the course of time
  • Supports fast charging
  • Also enabled later via an OTA would be a feature called AI 4D Smart Shock to bring a new level of immersion for gamers - the feature will provide haptic feedback that is unique and customised to the games you play and the actions you execute within that game
  • On the whole, the Honor Play looks like a good choice at this price point - if you’re looking for a phone that’s all about great battery life, really good performance and great visuals, the Honor Play will suit your needs beautifully, as long as you don’t particularly care about having the very best imaging device as well
  • Stunning looks with a beautiful dual tone glass back - you’ll stop and gaze at the Huawei Nova 3 before picking it up, it’s that good looking - needless to say, the phone will make heads turn
  • Has a slim profile, and is easy to hold - you should have no problem using it with one hand
  • Modern, tall 18:9 display with a notch - the minimal bezels makes the screen quite immersive, for watching videos
  • Butter smooth performance throughout - the HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC inside (with a co-processor inside to handle AI workloads) handles everything you throw at it with aplomb
  • The main USP of the Huawei Nova 3 is its camera prowess, with 4 cameras too boot (2 in the rear, and 2 in the front) + some AI powered magic (such as automatic scene detection) - the results are generally quite good, and bokeh shots come out well too
  • Overall, the quality level of the cameras is similar to it's primary competitor, the OnePlus 6
  • And then there are fun things to do with the camera like making 3D Qmojis which is Huawei’s take on animojis
  • Good battery life - you will comfortably get a full day of use and then some
  • Furthermore, you get a fast-charging adapter that tops up the battery in around an hour
  • The phone has hybrid SIM slots, but if you choose two SIM cards, there’s dual VoLTE that lets you get 4G connectivity from two networks
  • On the whole, the Nova 3 is an excellent device - it has looks to die for, four cameras with AI baked-in along with a tall 19:9 display - it will compete strongly with the 2 dominant phones in this segment, the OnePlus 6 and the Asus Zenfone 5Z (it tends to beat them in looks, but falls behind on the software front)
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • EMUI is not the most simple Android UI and can be cluttered at places
  • GPU Turbo is also not an exclusive feature - it will roll it out to existing phones like the Honor 10, Honor View 10, Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X via a software update - so if you can afford the Honor View 10, it might be a better choice, since the Honor Play is basically a toned down version of the Honor View 10 (the View 10 especially has an edge with its cameras)
  • GPU Turbo support is currently limited to very few games
  • The rear dual camera setup does decently well in good light, but the low-light performance could have been significantly better - at the same time, the video recording quality is also strictly average - there are better-overall-camera phones around in this price bracket, including the likes of the Mi A2, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the Zenfone 5Z
  • While the use of glass makes for the phone's head-turning looks, it does brings down the durability of the phone - as would be the case with any glass phone
  • The Nova 3 display is good in general, but could have had somewhat better brightness levels - it's outdoor visibility is not quite up to the level of say the OnePlus 6
  • One of the issues that continued to plague Huawei's flagship level phones is that EMUI, while feature packed, is not the most refined Android UI - the big, garish icons seem like a not-that-good imitation of iOS, and there is a strong clash with the aesthetics of material design in Google apps and EMUI’s interface - there is also two folders worth of bloatware here, out of which only some can be uninstalled
  • While in most real life circumstances you wouldn't notice the CPU struggling with anything, it's performance is still not quite up to the crazy-speed level of say a Snapdragon 845 powered OnePlus 6
  • The phone also tends to warm up a little when pushed with heavy games/apps
Expert Reviews
  1. The Honor Play has one of the best bang-for-the-buck ratios, probably bested only by the Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If you play a lot of PUBG and are short on cash, the Play will keep you happy...For the regular user, though, there are better options out there
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. A power packed smartphone for gamers and non-gamers alike
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Offers stellar value for money
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. If you’re looking for a phone that’s all about great battery life, really good performance and great visuals, the Honor Play will suit your needs beautifully, as long as you don’t particularly care about having the very best imaging device as well
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. A formidable mid-range smartphone at a great value
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. An excellent smartphone that comes very close to matching a premium, flagship smartphone
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. A gaming phone for the masses
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  9. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  13. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  14. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. fonearena.com hands-on Read Review »
  19. bgr.in hands-on Read Review »
  20. tomsguide.com hands-on Read Review »
  21. thequint.com hands-on Read Review »
  22. firstpost.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. It really is a good phone...it's just not the best in its price bracket
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Affordable flagship with remarkable cameras
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Falls a bit short in delivering the knockout punch that’s needed to take down the competition
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. As a stand-alone device, Huawei Nova 3 is an impressive, affordable, flagship smartphone
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Comes off as an impressive device....It’s a good alternative if you don’t want to go for the OnePlus 6, but not the perfect substitute
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. A stylish and affordable flagship
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. Cameras lead the charge for this compelling premium smartphone
    ibtimes.co.in in-depth Read Review »
  8. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  14. indiatoday.in hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.5 332+ reviews »
  2. Amazon4.4 11,432+ reviews »
  1. Amazon4.1 435+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
Individual Review

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