OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which is better?

by Samrat Amatya
OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3

While looking to buy a new premium mid-tier smartphone in the market right now in Nepal two names will definitely come up- the OPPO F9 and the Huawei Nova 3i. Both these smartphones are amazing and have a lot to offer. They are also priced closely with the OPPO F9 coming in at Rs 45,590 while the Nova 3i is priced at Rs 38,900. Besides the obvious price difference, how do these two phones differ from one another? Which is the best option among the two? Let’s find the answer to these questions in this detailed comparison.

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OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i

Both the OPPO F9 and the Huawei Nova 3i are gorgeous looking devices that pack a glass-on-glass design. They also have a good in-hand feeling with an ergonomic design. The OPPO F9, however, comes with a diamond pattern finish on a gradient color. The Huawei Nova 3i also offers a gradient color option but without a pattern. It, however, has a glossy finish which I am not a big fan of. Don’t get me wrong, the Nova 3i looks and feels amazing but I am so used to the raw glass feel that I crave for it.

Talking about the rear of the devices, both the phones have a different take on the notch. The OPPO F9 houses a small waterdrop notch while the Nova 3i comes with a rather large notch. This is understandable as the Nova 3i packs a dual-camera set up at the front. More on that later! Sitting below these notches is a 6.3-inch Full HD display on the Nova 3i as well as the F9. Covering this display of the F9 is the latest Gorilla Glass 6 which is an amazing inclusion. The Nova 3i doesn’t seem to officiate any such protection!

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3

Under the hood, both the phones pack top-tier specs with the F9 boasting a MediaTek Helio P60 processor while the Nova 3i flaunts a HiSilicon Kirin 710. Both these SoC’s are great and help get the best out of the phones. But in day-to-day usage, the performance of the Nova 3i is far superior to that of its OPPO counterpart. It is mainly due to the fact that the Nova 3i offers a processor that is new in architecture. A great inclusion of Huawei’s part! That said, the F9 is no slouch and was able to handle everything that I threw at it. Day-to-day performance won’t be an issue on both these phones!

Moving on, at the software end, both the phones pack a custom skin on top of Android. Oppo has its Colors OS while Huawei boasts its EMUI. Both these skins are feature packed and are a far cry from stock Android. The similarities, however, stop there as both have a different approach to the UI. The Color OS this time is a bit cartoony and all over the place. The UI on the Huawei side is more modern but lacks any form of material design. Both these company, in my opinion, needs to work on their software. They need to bring drastic change to make the interface more light-weight and modern. Although for now the UI on the Nova 3i definitely better than the one found on the OPPO F9.

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3

Talking about the RAM and storage of the phone, the F9 packs 6GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage. The Nova 3i, on the other hand, packs 4GB of RAM but with a whopping 128GB of internal storage. This is a great inclusion on Huawei’s part! Both the phones also includes storage expansion via a micro-sd card but with a caveat. The Nova 3i has a hybrid sim slot meaning you can either use two sim cards or one micro-sd card and a sim card. The F9, on the flip side, lets you use both the sim card as well as the micro-sd card at the same time.

And now let’s talk about the cameras! Both Oppo and Huawei are focusing on the audience who values a camera. Oppo has the whole selfie expert and leader gimmick while Huawei focuses on an overall camera experience. And that show in these two phones! The Oppo F9 packs a selfie-focused camera while the Nova 3i comes in strong with their quad-camera set up.

Among the 4 cameras on the Nova 3i two are on either side of the device. At the back, we have a combination of a f/1.8 16MP and a 2MP sensor. At the front, the selfie shooters are made by a f/1.8 24MP and a 2MP sensor. The OPPO F9, however, doesn’t shy away packing a rear dual-camera set up made by a f/1.8 16MP and a f/2.4 2MP lenses. It also sports a f/2.0 25MP front camera for all your social media ready selfies. Both these phones have a very capable set of cameras. They both come with tons of features that are backed by A.I. But, among the two, the win definitely goes to the Nova 3i. It has better picture quality, especially in low-light situations. In optimal lighting conditions, however, their capabilities are not that far off. This holds true for both the rear as well as the front cameras of the device.

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3

Moving on, both these phones have the essential security options like a fingerprint scanner and a Face Unlock. They work as intended and I had no trouble using them! Both these phones also have a single mono speaker at the bottom. Among the two, the OPPO F9 has the loudest speaker but lacks a bit of base. The Nova 3i, on the other hand, packs a richer sound but is not as loud as the F9.

And finally, let’s talk about the batteries on the two phones. The Huawei Nova 3i packs a large 3340 mAh battery while the F9 comes with a 3500mAh battery. The real-world performance, however, is almost similar on both the devices. The Nova 3i seems to have a slight edge over the F9. I got around 40 minutes of on-screen time more on the Huawei’s side. On the flip side, the OPPO F9 makes a comeback packing the legendary VOOC Flash charging technology. The phone charges up faster than the Nova 3i with its normal fast charger. That said, both the OPPO F9 and the Huawei Nova 3i makes a compromise by packing in an out-dated USB Type 2.0 instead of a USB Type-C port, the new standard.

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3

Verdict: OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i

Both the OPPO F9 and the Huawei Nova 3i are amazing devices that have a lot to offer. They both have their own strengths and their weaknesses. Having said that, the Huawei Nova 3i seems to have a slight edge over the OPPO F9. It is also the expensive one among the two! The Nova 3i offers a better display, camera, speaker, and software. That said, the OPPO F9 doesn’t shy away, packing a kickass waterdrop notch design, diamond pattern finish, capable selfie camera, and fast VOOC flash charging. No matter which smartphone you get, among the two, you will not be dissatisfied. But if I had to pick one I would definitely go for the Huawei Nova 3i.

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