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Huawei nova 7i Gaming Review

The Huawei nova 7i is powered by a Kirin 810 chipset with a 2.27GHz octa-core CPU, Mali-G52 GPU, and 8GB of RAM. Follow us in continue with Huawei nova 7i Gaming Review

Huawei nova 7i Review

The Huawei nova 7i smartphone boasts a modern punch-hole display, 48MP quad-cameras, and a powerful combination of Kirin 810 chipset plus 8GB of RAM.
I’ve been using it for a month and here is my full review. It includes a look at the design, gaming tests, sample pictures, battery life test, and my recommendation.

Design and Display

nova 7i gaming test

The Huawei nova 7i has a square camera bump at the back that houses four individual cameras.

Yes, it looks like the iPhone 11’s cameras but the Sakura Pink color scheme gives it an unmistakable identity.
Its back cover is made out of glass and feels quite premium in the hands. It has subtle curves in all edges making it handy and ergonomic.

However, it’s a smudge and fingerprint magnet so a phone case is a neccessity. Thankfully, a clear jelly case is included in the package for free.
The volume buttons and power button are located in the phone’s right side. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner and is slightly recessed. Meanwhile, a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and loudspeaker are located at the bottom.
On the front is a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with a punch-hole selfie camera on its upper left corner. It’s small and hardly affects apps and other UI elements.
The screen itself has decent colors and touch response but can be a little dim when used outdoors under the noon-time sun. Otherwise, it serves its purpose well and leaves narrow bezels around the device.
Overall, the Huawei nova 7i has a trendy design but I recommend the Sakura Pink color variant instead of Crush Green for a more chic appearance.

Camera Quality with Sample Pictures

The Huawei nova 7i has a quad-rear camera setup composed of a 48 Megapixel main camera, 8 Megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2 Megapixel macro camera, and 2 Megapixel depth sensor.
It takes 12 Megapixel pictures by default but there’s a shooting mode called HI-RES that uses the full 48 Megapixel resolution. Other shooting modes include PORTRAIT, AR LENS, NIGHT, SUPER MACRO, TIME-LAPSE, and LIGHT PAINTING among others.
Here are several sample pictures from the phone’s rear cameras:
The Huawei nova 7i takes good-looking pictures during the daytime. The sharpness is on point, dynamic range is automatically enhanced, and colors look natural albeit slightly washed out.
Nighttime shots require NIGHT mode to be turned on so that pictures look bright and colorful. Otherwise, low light pictures would be grainy and dull.
On the other hand, the Huawei nova 7i has a single 16 Megapixel punch-hole selfie camera. It automatically shoots in PORTRAIT mode but there’s also a regular PHOTO mode, fun AR LENS mode, and a dedicated NIGHT selfie mode.
Selfies look good with plenty of details and a balanced skin tone. Even low light selfies are Instagram worthy!
However, the device can only shoot videos up to 1080p resolution with 30 fps frame rate. That’s quite low considering that other smartphones in its price range already offer 60 fps or even 4K video recording.

Performance (Gaming, Browsing & Software)

This hardware combination is enough to run games like Mobile Legends, Asphalt 9 Legends, and Call of Duty Mobile smoothly. More resource-intensive games like PUBG Mobile needs to be in medium or low graphics quality to achieve the same smoothness.
I’ve tested the phone’s gaming performance by measuring the average frame rate of popular mobile games using GameBench Pro

While its gaming performance is impressive for its price, there are games that are incompatible with the Huawei nova 7i. This includes NBA 2K20 which requires Google Play to be installed.
The Huawei nova 7i uses Huawei Mobile Services and the Huawei AppGallery instead of Google’s software and Playstore. It requires some work from app developers to make apps run flawlessly but some apps haven’t made the transition yet.
Thankfully, apps that I usually install like Facebook, Spotify, Messenger, Instagram, Lazada, Zoom, BDO Personal Banking, and Mobile Legends all work well on the Huawei nova 7i.
It seems like the lack of Google Mobile Services actually helps the device run smoother since there are less apps running on the background. Browsing through Facebook is smooth and scrolling down mobile websites feels fluid.
Using a smartphone with no Google Play Services isn’t for everyone. However, it’s not a big problem once the phone has been properly set-up with alternatives for the neccessary Google apps.

I tested its gaming performance by playing some of the most popular mobile games and measuring the average frame rate using GameBench Pro. These games can be installed using the Huawei AppGallery, APKPure, and Phone Clone.

Huawei Nova 7i: the gaming phone? Let’s take a look

The Huawei Nova 7i is one of the most capable midrange phones in the market right now. But did you know that it’s also billed as gaming device?

That’s right. For PHP 13,990, the Nova 7i has what it takes to play the most demanding games. Let’s take a look at what makes it a good gaming device.

First off, the Nova 7i comes with a large 6.4-inch full HD+ display with perfect for games. The punch hole cutout is placed perfectly on the upper left-hand corner, barely noticeably. It comes with good saturated colors and adequate sharpness.

The handset also has a 4,200mAh battery for long gaming sessions. And if you run out, it has a 40W SuperCharge which can charge the phone to 70% in just 30 minutes, allowing you to play more games.

And speaking of games, the Nova 7i features the AppGallery, the DeFacto app store of Huawei smartphones and tablets. The world’s third largest app store has over 50,000 apps, including a handful of popular games.

For games not yet on the AppGallery, there’s the Petal Search Widget — a powerful search engine that not only helps you look for information, news and other media, but also apps and games.

But the real power is in its internals. The handset has an octa-core Kirin 810 processor. The midrange chipset was introduced in 2019. It has two fast 2.27GHz ARM Cortex-A76 cores and six small power efficient 1.88GHz ARM Cortex-A55 cores.

The processor is paired with a Mali-G52 MP6 graphics, 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The GPU offers 30% better performance compared to the previous generation. And it is 15% more energy efficient as well.

Final thoughts

The Huawei Nova 7i is quite the capable gaming smartphone. It certainly has the hardware and the software that can run play most games without any issues. And while more demanding games are playable at more modest settings, the fact that it can is still impressive.

Asphalt 9: Legends

It’s not a surprise that Asphalt 9 ran without any issues. It was smooth with visual quality set on High Quality. There was no lag or any stutters, and game play was fine.

Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the popular games now available for direct download from the Huawei AppGallery. I set its graphics quality to High during the test.
The game felt smooth with awesome animations and particle effects. However, the average frame rate is 30 fps only.
This is because the game doesn’t support 60 fps or higher. It’s not an issue with the device since this is also the resulting average frame rate for flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or Huawei P40 Pro.


I’m personally not a fan of the game, but for the sake of this article, here we are. The Nova 7i can run PUBG in Smooth or Balanced graphics modes. It runs well on either, but you can have better framerates on Balanced or lower.

NBA 2K20

Unfortunately, NBA 2K20 doesn’t work on the Huawei nova 7i. I tried re-installing the game and installing its prerequisites to no avail.

Call of Duty Mobile

This is currently my favorite game. I spend a lot of time on this one. And so far, the Nova 7i impresses. It can run the game with graphic quality set at Very High and frame rate at High.

Call of Duty Mobile on the Huawei nova 7i is set to Medium graphics quality and frame rate preset by default. I changed both to High for the test but it can even be set to Very High.
The resulting average frame rate is a near-perfect 59 fps! The game felt buttery smooth while I played a Frontline match in the Highjacked map.
Unlike NBA 2K20, PUBG Mobile works well on the Huawei nova 7i. It’s set to Balanced graphics quality by default but I changed it to HD graphics quality. It achieved an average frame rate of 30 fps according to GameBench Pro.
Meanwhile, changing the graphics quality back to Balanced lets the user increase the frame rate preset to Ultra. This results in an average frame rate of 40 fps and virtually eliminates frame drops during clashes.
However, setting the graphics quality to Smooth doesn’t enable the Extreme frame rate preset. Hence, it’s impossible for the device to achieve 60 fps on PUBG Mobile without tweaks.

Given all that it can offer, the Nova 7i should be on every gamer’s list, especially if you have a modest budget.

The Huawei Nova 7i comes in Midnight Black, Crush Green, Sakura Pink, and the new color, Space Silver. It is priced at PHP 13,990, available in stores nationwide, and online on Shopee and Lazada.

Huawei Nova 7i specs

  • Display: 6.4-inch Full HD IPS Display, 2310 x 1080, 398ppi
  • Processor: 2.27GHz Octa-core Kirin 810 Processor, DaVinci NPU
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MP6 GPU
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB Storage, NM SD Card Expansion Slot
  • Rear Camera: 48MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.4 Ultra-wide + 2MP f/2.4 Macro + 2MP f/2.4 Depth Rear Cameras
  • Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0 Punch Hole Front Camera
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Connectivity: W-Fi 802.11ac, Dual Band, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Others: USB Type-C, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Side Mounted Fingerprint Scanner
  • OS: EMUI 10.0.1, Android 10, Huawei Mobile Services
  • Colors: Midnight Black, Crush Green, Sakura Pink
  • Battery: 4,200mAh Battery, 40W Super Charge

Huawei nova 7i Gaming Test Results

Here are all the results of my gaming tests on the Huawei nova 7i:
The Huawei nova 7i is a powerful mid-range gaming smartphone that can run many popular games smoothly at High graphics quality.
I recommend setting the graphics quality of Mobile Legends, Asphalt 9, Call of Duty, and PUBG Mobile to high for casual gaming and medium for more competitive gameplays.
However, some games are not compatible with the device. This is usually an issue with paid games like NBA 2K20 that needs Google Play for purchase verification.



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