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Sunday, November 7, 2021


My very first Huawei phone was the Huawei P9, followed by the Mate 9, the Mate 10 and the Huawei P20—and I loved all of them for their cameras. I still use them from time to time but mainly to check out all my photo albums.


But it’s been a while since I last used a Huawei phone. I must admit the lack of Google apps somehow put me off from using the newer Huawei smartphones even though my partner insists that it isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. 

I’m more of a mainstream user and I do rely on Google apps a lot. I also watch a lot of YouTube for those skin care and make up tutorials. But when HUAWEI offered me the chance to review the nova 8i, I figured out it was time for me to try it out and see what I’ve been missing.


The nova 8i is Huawei’s latest budget midrange smartphone with a lot of “super” features that make it fun to use. But with all the other options in its price range, is it super enough for you to buy?

What’s in the box?

The nova 8i ships in the standard white box just like Huawei’s other phones. You’ll see the nova logo on top and the branding in the center and a QR code with the “How to Find Apps” and Explore It on App Gallery label at the bottom. Underneath the box are the serial numbers as well as the storage/color and model number of the phone--NEN-L22.

You also get the standard contents of the box—the nova 8i unit, jelly case, USB Type-C cable, 66W fast charger, as well as documentation and a QR code telling you where to find apps for the phone since it doesn’t have access to Google Play—but wait! before you store the box also check the side compartment as there’s a pair of earphones hidden underneath. 

As I slid the phone out of the plastic wrap I immediately impressed by how good it looks. Huawei still makes the best colors and designs. The color I have is the insterstellar blue and it reminded me of the finish we usually see in cars. The shiny paint that glistens in the sun. 

The nova 8i looks a lot like Huawei’s Mate 40 because of the large, circular camera module on the back and its quite different from that of the nova 8. Depending on your preference, however, it can be a polarizing factor when considering the device.  Personally, I like the design because its unique and easily identifiable. The nova 8i is also available in Moonlight Silver and Black, and while all the colors are shiny and lovely to look at, you might want to use the jelly case included in the box to protect it from your fingerprints and keep it scratch free.


Inspecting the phone, you’ll find a side-mounted fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button, together with the volume rocker on the right. There’s a speaker grille on the top of the phone placed alongside the 3.5mm jack and mic. And at the bottom is a USB Type-C port, a second speaker grille and the dual SIM tray.

I’ve been using the nova 8i for the last two weeks and here are the 8 Super things I liked about it.

1.     SUPER Stylish Design: The nova series has always been Huawei’s “junior” flagships so it inherits the same premium stylish and slim design. It is even sleeker and thinner than the previous nova 7i. The rear camera is seamlessly embedded into the rear panel so it does not wobble when placed on top of a table and together with exquisite curved edges, it makes the device feels great to hold in the hand. As I mentioned the nova 8i is available in three color variants: Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue and Starry Black; polished with a complex process, each variant exudes a distinctive glossy feel when held in your hand at different angles.


2.     SUPER Display: We spend most of our days looking at the screen of our phones so getting a phone with a nice display should be among your top considerations. The nova 8i boasts of HUAWEI Edgeless Display with ultra-narrow bezels at the top, left and right sides. It gets a superb screen-to-body ratio of 94.7%2, which lets you immerse yourself in the content when browsing webpage or watching shows.  In addition to this immersive viewing experience, the 6.67-inch FHD+ screen supports a resolution of 2376 x 1080 resolution and a wide DCI-P3 colour gamut. This means you get rich, vibrant colors and fine detail, allowing for a better visual experience. Watching movies, editing photos and even just browsing the internet looks good on the nova 8i screen.


3.     SUPER Easy on your Eyes: Looking at the screen for long periods at a time can be straining on the eyes, the nova 8i comes with an Eye Comfort feature that has passed the T√úV Rheinland low blue light certification. With it enabled, the smartphone display can filter out excessive blue light. Based on that, HUAWEI nova 8i further enhances the Eye Comfort and viewing experience for you. Leveraging a new hardware solution, it reduces blue light with higher energy. Meanwhile, its intelligent discoloration correction technology minimizes yellowish discoloration on the display. You can enable Eye Comfort feature to relieve eye fatigue by going to Settings > Display & brightness > Eye Comfort


4.     SUPER Camera sensor: Huawei makes the best cameras on a smartphone and the nova 8i reminded me of that. If you are getting a phone just for the cameras, that alone makes the nova 8i worth considering. The quad camera setup coupled with intelligent features, is suited for those who love creating noteworthy content for social media. With a 64MP Main Camera, an 8MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera a 2MP Depth Camera and a 2MP Macro Camera, allows you to shoot in various scenarios with robust camera modes such as night photography, still photo shooting, macro photos, wide aperture portraits, wide angle shots and more. Shoot even more detailed photos by going to the camera app > More and select HIGH-RES for a direct output of 64MP high-pixel photos. The nova 8i has a 1/1.7-inch sensor, which allows more light intake than a small-sized sensor. A larger sensor helps you capture crystal-clear photos with details. Under High-Res mode, you’ll get the direct output of high-res (9216 x 6912) photos which are not achieved by software. Even you can also print them out into posters with a size of up to 3.2m x 2.4m. The Depth camera works with the main camera to blur the background and highlight the subjects for you, so you can highlight your friends against the background. If you are shooting against the light you can use HDR mode to take clear bright portraits, while Aperture mode can create natural bokeh effects which work best when shooting product photos.


Since all we could do for now is just dine-out, I’ve used the nova 8i for a LOT of food photos. For foodies, bloggers and content creators the last thing you want is to post tasteless looking pics but with the nova 8i, food photos come out with lots of details and vibrant colors you could almost taste each dish. 


5.     SUPER Nightmode: One of my fave camera features on a Huawei phone is Nightmode, and there was a time we’d always bring a tripod or stand just to capture night scenery. On the nova 8i there’s Night Shot 2.0, which uses multi-frame noise reduction algorithm to reduce noises while increasing HDR to the max for clear details. Under Night mode, the smartphone leverages its high sensitivity to create bright and stunning images. Even for objects that can’t been seen in low light, you can capture them bright in the photos. I do suggest bringing a tripod or a stand as you do have to hold the phone steady for around 5 to 10 seconds to capture a clear shot.


6.     SUPER FAST CHARGING—Make that lightning fast! The nova 8i supports Huawei’s most advanced 66-watt wired charging standard and thankfully you get both charger and cable for that. I was able to charge 38% percent in under 9 minutes, 80 percent in 36 minutes and a full charge in around 50 minutes but that was with the phone turned on initially. So you don’t have to worry about leaving it plugged overnight as you can have your coffee or breakfast and have it sufficiently charged once you are done. The 4300mAh lasted me over a day of medium use, with some Youtube time, social media postings and photo editing.


7.     SUPER FUN APPs: Now here’s where we talk about the most crucial part. Will you notice the absence of Google Play and its apps? Yes. But is it a deal breaker? 


The honest answer is it depends. If you are reliant on Google Suite and don’t want any compromises even if it means using the browser versions, then the nova 8i isn’t for you. 


But it’s not as hard as other articles describe it to be. The Huawei App Gallery has improved a lot since I last used it with more of the apps I need—Zoom, GRAB, PayMaya, Netflix, Waze, Lazada, Shopee BDO can all be easily installed directly from the APP Gallery. Now for those apps that are not in the APP Gallery, the addition of Petal Search is such a convenience as it makes it easier to find the other apps you need. For YouTube, Gmail and other apps you can create shortcuts on your homescreen to quickly access them as well. It does take a bit of time to get used to but hey, you learn a lot by experimenting and trying out new things right?  


8.     SUPER EMUI—Huawei’s user interface has always been very clean, intuitive and easy to use. It also adds a lot of cool features to the android experience. You can use MeeTime to connect with friends and family as it supports high-quality video calls between Huawei smartphones and tablets. Multi-Window lets you read your socials, while replying to emails or browsing news at the same time. On top of that, you can open the third app on a Floating Window6. You can access multi window by going to Settings> Accessibility features > Multi-Window.


And perhaps one of the most convenient ways to take a screenshot is the Knuckle Screenshot. Whether it’s an entire zoom screen, partial or even shapes you don’t have to do the swipe or press power + volume to take screenshots. Just go to settings> Accessibility features > Shortcuts & gestures to learn about it. 


I also discovered something new before sending a photo. With the nova 8i you can choose to delete information including the device model and camera parameters to keep private details away from prying eyes.You can also use Note Lock to encrypt each note. Identity verification is required to access your encrypted notes.



Stylish design

Large screen

Great camera

Fast charging



No 5G capability


Huawei Nova 8i Specs:

Processor: Snapdragon 662 

8GB RAM / 128GB storage

Display: 6.67-inch Full HD+ LCD 


Rear: 64-megapixel f/1.9 main camera with PDAF, 8-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera

Front: 16-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera

Connectivity: 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC

Battery: 4300mAh  with 66w charging

Android 11, EMUI 11


Price and Availability

 HUAWEI nova 8 - SRP: PHP 19,999 

 HUAWEI nova 8i - SRP: PHP 13,999 






Visit Huawei Philippines’official pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to stay updated on latest promos and devices. 


  1. Superb reviews about this and I'm sure everybody will enjoy every minute of its features and advantages amongst other brands!

  2. Wow thank you for sharing great review , i love huawei ang ganda ng quality , color and specs niya . Must have this 😍❤️

  3. Wow that's awesome review Ms.Lou. super loved the color and also all the best specs that we've been looking for in a highly recommended phone.HUAWEI NOVA 8I is really amazing and highly recommended.


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