Price (RRP): $399
The Huawei Nova 3e offers many champagne features for a lemonade price. At $399 it is one of the better mass-market ($200-499 range) phones. It is also known as the P20 Lite in some markets.
I am torn. I have used the Nova 3e for a few days. This is straight after using Nokia 6 2018 (Gadget Guy review here) at the same price.
Both have great specifications for the price. This has more ram and a dual camera. But I like pure Android One on the Nokia. However, Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 UI is competent as well.
If both are on your shopping list, I will have achieved some success.
In the box. Huawei Nova 3e Model ANE-LX2J (review unit branded P20 Lite)
- 5mm headset/mic
- Quick Charger 5V/2A and 9/2A
- USB-C to USB-A cable
- Transparent case
- 2-year warranty – Free door-to-door pickup and delivery within Australia
The first impression
There are those who like the notch screen (as on the iPhone X) and those who hate it. I am not so passionate either way. But, I use Huawei’s handy feature to turn the top of the screen to black giving a faux top bezel. Works well for me.
The review unit is a sample replete with P20 Lite branding. As such, I can’t be sure of the exact Aussie model number. We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Carrier LTE bands and can make 000 emergency calls without a sim.
Huawei tends to use the ‘Lite’ moniker on phones that bear little resemblance to the ‘heavy’ ones. I suspect this has not worked as well as people expected a P20 Lite to do almost as much as a P20 or P20 Pro. I like that it is not using the Lite moniker here otherwise I would be disappointed in comparison to the other fine phones. Nova is what it is – a mass market phone.
GadgetGuy also reviewed the Nova 2i which was $499 but has dropped to the same price to clear as the Huawei Nova 3e.
It feels good in the hand. The alloy edge gives a nice grip. Yes, both sides of the glass are a fingerprint magnet and the supplied clear plastic bumper case is mandatory. In all, it looks and feels like a more expensive phone, especially in the Klein Blue glass back and alloy sides finish.
Specifications Huawei Nova 3e Model ANE-LX2J
We have changed our ‘monolithic’ specifications table to place relevant comments and tests after each segment.
|Screen||5.84-inch, 2280 x 1080 (FHD+), 432ppi, 19:9, LTPS IPS
Defaults to 720p when battery saver cuts in
With Notch (can be turned into a faux bezel)
Glass protection: not stated
At 5.84” in the 19:6 format very few phones in the mass-market category can compare. The front is almost all screen except for the ‘notch’ and a small bottom bezel.
Huawei uses an LTPS (Low-Temperature Polysilicon) IPS. This means lower power use for higher resolutions. It is also a little lower cost to make.
At 500 nits (white) and 1500:1 contrast sunlight readability is just above average for an IPS screen. It has a wide viewing angle, so you can tilt it to avoid reflections.
sRGB or DCI-P3 ratings are missing. It has pre-sets for default, warm and cold colour. Colours are accurate, if slightly punchy.