Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a significantly better phone, but the Huawei Nova 3i is significantly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend! But if budget is not a constraint then we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

huawei nova 3i  samsung galaxy note 8 
Huawei Nova 3i Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
35.8
55.5
Value for Money Score
59.2
47.7
Price ₹ 21,999 onwards ₹ 49,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Aug, 2018 Sep, 2017
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version Android 7.1 Nougat, 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) 1440x2960 pixels (~ 522 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Type IPS LCD AMOLED
Display Features IPS LCD, FullView Display Super AMOLED, HDR10 Compliant, 3D Touch (Home Button Only), Always-on Display, Infinity Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.2 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Hisilicon Kirin 710Ranked #34 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Samsung Exynos 8895Ranked #21 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G51 MP4, GPU Turbo Mali-G71 MP20
RAM 4 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB USB-C
Primary Camera 16MP + 2MP 12MP + 12MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 16MP: F/2.2 Aperture, PDAF, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face detection, HDR, Panorama Wide-angle: F/1.7 Aperture; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4 µm Pixel Size; 26mm Focal Length, Telephoto: F/2.4 Aperture; 1/3.6" Sensor Size; 1.0 um Pixel Size; 52mm Focal Length, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) in both Cameras, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), 2x Optical Zoom, Dual-LED (Dual Tone) Flash, Geo-tagging, Simultaneous 4K Video and 9MP Image Recording, Touch Focus, Continuous Autofocus, Face/Smile Detection, Auto HDR, Video HDR, Dual-video Recording; Live Focus, Pro mode, Panorama, Slow Motion, Hyperlapse, Food mode
Secondary Camera 24MP + 2MP 8.0MP
Secondary Camera Features N/A F/1.7 Aperture, Autofocus, 1/3.6" Sensor Size, 1.22 µm Pixel Size, Full HD Video Recording, Dual Video Call, Auto HDR
Internal Memory 128 GB 64 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 Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.6 mm 8.6 mm
Weight 169 gm 195 gm
Width 75.2 mm 74.8 mm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Rated (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Battery Capacity 3340 mAh 3300 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 22.00 hrs
Fast Charging Support Yes, Quick Charge 2.0
Included Fast Charger Yes
Other Battery Parameters N/A Audio Playback Time (Speaker): Upto 47 hrs, Audio Playback Time (Earphones): Upto 74 hrs, Video Playback: Upto 16 hrs, Internet (WiFi): Upto 14 hrs, Internet (3G): Upto 12 hrs, Internet (4G): Upto 13 hrs
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Noise Filtration Scratch Resistant (Corning Gorilla Glass 5) Back Panel; S-Pen; Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX); Fast Battery Charging (Quick Charge 2.0); Wireless Charging; Bixby Assistant; Bundled AKG Headphones; Edge Gestures; Live Messages; NFC; TV Out; ANT+ Support; Miracast; Google Cast; Noise Filtration; Samsung Pay
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Exquisite design - looks pretty much similar to the flagship Huawei Nova 3 from every angle, sticking to the premium design recipe which consists of using a combination of metal and glass - the Nova 3i features a metal frame, which is essentially sandwiched between the glass coating at the front and the back - they also blend very well around edges, accentuating the seamless design
  • For security, there is both a fingerprint sensor and face unlock
  • The fingerprint sensor is easy to setup and works pretty fast as well - besides security, the fingerprint sensor can be further used as a capacitive button for taking pictures, scroll down the notifications drawer, scroll through pictures in the gallery, pick up calls and even turn off alarms
  • Face Unlock work reasonably well too
  • Good, modern, tall 6.3 inch display with a notch - overall, the screen looks sharp and can also get pretty bright - it also holds up pretty well with viewing angles
  • Huawei's EMUI interface is fairly decent, and allows a lot of customization and features like one-handed operation, and motion control (it does have plenty of bloat though in the form of both Huawei and third-party apps and games, only some of which can be uninstalled)
  • Additionally, the security settings also include App lock, where you can lock an app and get access through fingerprint authentication or face ID
  • Good, mid-range performance backed by the capable Kirin 710, which is similar in performance to the Snapdragon 636 - day-to-day tasks are handled with ease, and games mostly run fine too, except the most demanding ones
  • Also supports the much-hyped GPU Turbo technology, which should improve battery consumption while gaming, for supported games
  • The biggest USP of the phone is the set of very good cameras - 2 in the rear and 2 in the front - arguably among the best in this price bracket - they are able to take good shots and portraits in most lighting conditions, with some additional help from Huawei's AI engine which works behind the scene to optimize the pictures
  • Good battery life, backed by a 3340mAh battery - will comfortably last the work day and then some
  • On the whole, Huawei hasn’t sacrificed a lot with the Nova 3i, when compared to its flagship the Nova 3 - the only significant downgrade is in terms of performance - and unless you are into heavy gaming, its not a difference that you will notice - all in all, for most users, the Nova 3i will be a very good choice in this price bracket, and will compete well with best of the competition, with the very good cameras being its main trump card - if you do want to prioritise the performance over the camera however, then its similar prized sibling Honor Play is worth looking at - and if you want the best of all worlds (camera + performance + battery), then the new champion in this price segment, the Poco F1 is definitely worth considering, as long as you can grab one in the flash sales
  • Beautiful, attractive design that builds off the GS8 - it's tall, slim, and goes lean on bezels
  • Excellent, water-resistant build
  • Beautiful, vibrant 6.3-inch 'Infinity Display' is a joy to use
  • Samsung's new UI over Android continues to be one of the most refined, well done UIs out there
  • The top-of-the-line processor (comparable to the Snapdragon 835), along with a meaty 6GB of RAM ensures some of the best performance you can get from a smartphone
  • Samsung's first foray into dual camera setups tops Samsung's already excellent S8 and S8 Plus cameras - can create some pretty amazing depth-effect portraits, especially in good lighting - you can also adjust the blur intensity before you take the photo, and even afterwards in edit mode, which is a great feature - in addition, the Note 8 automatically saves a wide-angle version of the picture as well as the artistic portrait, so you can hop back and forth between the two
  • The photos are excellent, with sharp detail and strong color reproduction - low-light and night shots also come out fairly good
  • OIS on both rear lenses helps keeps videos smoother than they otherwise would be when you're walking, jogging and driving a car
  • Camera-wise, this is right up there with the best of the lot, including the iPhone 7 Plus
  • Pretty good loudspeaker
  • Good battery life - keeps enough charge to get through a day, even with the very heavy use
  • Wireless charging support is there too
  • The S Pen Stylus comes with a boatload of stylus tricks, and it gives some real efficiencies that you don't get on any other phone - the top of that list of course is the ability to quickly jot down notes anywhere
  • Expandable storage is useful, and something missing on many other flagships
  • On the whole, this is the most feature-rich Android phone you can buy, and retakes the throne as the ultimate Android phone for now
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • No fast charging support - takes a little over two hours to charge completely
  • Supports the old microUSB standard instead of the modern USB-C standard
  • This is of course a big phone, and the tall size makes reaching certain spots difficult
  • The awkwardly placed, off-center, fingerprint reader repeats what was the Galaxy S8's most important design flaw
  • The Notes app that goes along with the stylus could do with a refresh, and can be more intuitive - it isn't always easy to figure out how to do exactly what you want, including how to get in and out of tools
  • With Samsung stuffing a ton of new tools into the camera app, filters and menus can be sometimes harder to find
  • Battery life is good, but not outstanding, like some other competing flagships
  • On the whole, while its the most feature-rich Android phone out there, for most people the Note 8 will tend to have more features than they need - and outside of the stylus, and the dual camera setup, it will provide little reason to upgrade from the already excellent Galaxy S8 or S8+
Expert Reviews
  1. Stands out in the crowded mid-range category
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If you want a device that offers a great balance between everything on your device, along with a major focus on the cameras, the Nova 3i is one of your best bets
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Xiaomi has priced the Poco F1 quite aggressively, making the Nova 3i and all other phones at this price look less appealing
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Almost a flagship smartphone
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. A premium-looking budget smartphone with little to no complaints
    ibtimes.co.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. themobileindian.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. indiatoday.in hands-on Read Review »
  1. gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. wired.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. independent.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  11. telegraph.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  12. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  14. bgr.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  16. mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. trustedreviews.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. indiatoday.intoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  21. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  23. hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  24. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  25. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  26. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  27. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  28. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  29. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  30. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  31. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  32. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  33. pcworld.com in-depth Read Review »
  34. time.com in-depth Read Review »
  35. mirror.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  36. businessinsider.in in-depth Read Review »
  37. alphr.com hands-on Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
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