When Huawei launched their latest P20 series in New Zealand it hit the streets with the Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro. People asked "Where is the P20 Lite?". We now know the Huawei P20 Lite hits the streets as Huawei nova 3e.
The main idea seems to be market positioning - the Huawei nova sub-brand seems to be well established as a good mid-range device series, while the P20 moniker would be a high-end series, perhaps even pushing away some consumers from this smartphone.
In terms of design, the Huawei nova 3e is very much like the Huawei P20 series - a compact frame with most of its space dedicate to an almost full screen with minimum bezel, and the notch that was introduced with that Huawei P20 series.
The screen uses LTPS TFT technology, and while not an AMOLED screen it does have a bright picture, with sharp contrast - and at 5.84 inches, its 2280 x 1080 FHD+ screen is actually a good size to fit in your hand or a breast pocket.
You will find the Huawei nova 3e has a dual lens camera as well, but unlike its bigger siblings Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro, this one is not part of the partnership with Leica. The dual-lens rear camera has a main 16 megapixel lens with a pixel size of 1.12 μm and F2.2 aperture, and a second 2 megapixel Bokeh lens. The camera software has all the modes you've seen in the other Huawei phones: photo, pro photo, video, pro video, AR, HDR, night short, panorama, light painting, time lapse, slow motion, filters, watermark, document scan and food.
Combined, the dual lens camera and software are capable of taking really good photos. Perhaps not as good as the top of the P20 series but for most of us this will be a good combination - after all a lot of a photo is in the composition too.
A 16 megapixel wider angle front camera is available on the notch. With a pixel size of 1.0 μm and a FOV wide angle of 78°, this camera is made for snapping selfies, including intelligent recognition and facial mapping to adjust lighting and shadow, ideal for portraits and close-ups.
In terms of software, Huawei is bringing the Huawei nova 3e to the market with its EMUI 8, their own OS based on Android 8.0. As of release date it came updated with the Android Security Patch June 2018.
Like in previous versions you will find all the standard Google software in there (sometimes a double up, with Gmail app and Huawei's own Email app), plus Huawei's own Phone Manager, Health, Gallery and a set of tool that include FM Radio, Compass, Mirror, Torch and Weather - a very capable smartphone out of the box.
The Huawei nova 3e supports a variety of unlock options - including the fingerprint scan and face unlock - which works really fast. The fingerprint scanner on the back can be also used to show/hide the notification list (just swipe it down) or browse through photos (swipe left - right or vice versa while in the gallery app).
To power this smartphone, Huawei selected the Kirin 659 package, with 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage - plus a slot for a microSD up to 256GB if needed. As a result you don't get a top of the range score in benchmarks (88245 Antutu, which is close to results for a Nokia 6.1 or Motorola G6 Plus) but it still feels very responsive moving between apps, loading emails and browsing the web. It's probably not your gaming smartphone though.
The Huawei nova 3e does not support NFC but comes with Bluetooth, GPS, very capable WiFi 802.11b/g/n/a/ac (both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and a single SIM card cellular support for 4G (LTE TDD / LTE FDD) 3G (WCDMA) 2G (GSM).
The EMUI launcher supports Google Feed, notification dots on icons and Themes. You can have the Launcher in two styles: Standard (all apps added to the home screen) or Drawer (all apps added to a scrollable page accessible from the home page by pressing the button in the middle of the drawer).
Since we are talking screen and the notch is always something people ask about: you have options to hide the notch (which basically change the background on the top that goes across the notch to black, making it pratically invisible, while showing the icons in a reverse white on black setting. In either case your usable screen area is not changed:
In terms of battery life, I am pretty happy with results. With low use you can easily go through a couple of days without having to worry about it and with more usage you can easily go through the day or even a bit more.
You can find the Huawei nova 3e at Spark.