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Huawei Nova 3i Vs Oppo F9: Tough Mid-Range Competition!

As you know, Huawei launched the Nova 3 and the Nova 3i near the end of July 2018 to much fanfare. Similarly, Oppo launched it’s Oppo F9 a month later near the end of August.

While the Nova 3 sits in a different league in terms of price and performance, the Oppo F9 and the Nova 3i are similar devices. Nova 3i costs Rs. 38,900 and the 4GB version of the Oppo F9 costs Rs. 41,590. As Oppo and Huawei are very popular among Nepali consumers, we thought to compare these two phones to see who comes out on top. Let’s dive in.huawei nova 3i vs oppo f9

Huawei Nova 3i Vs Oppo F9

Huawei Nova 3i Key Specifications

  • Display: 6.3 inches LTPS LCD display with 1080×2340 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 710
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
  • Memory: 128 GB, 4 GB RAM
  • OS: Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2
  • Rear Camera: Dual: 16 MP, f/1.8, PDAF and 2 MP
  • Front Camera: Dual: 24 MP and 2 MP
  • Battery: 3340 mAh battery
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Huawei Nova 3i Price in Nepal: Rs. 38,900

Oppo F9 Key Specifications

  • Launch Date: August 2018
  • Display: 6.3-inch LTPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)
  • Chipset: MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
  • OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo) skinned with ColorOS 5.2
  • Memory: 4GB/ 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable up to 256GB using micro SD card)
  • Primary Camera: dual 16 MP, f/1.9, PDAF + 2 MP, depth sensor
  • Secondary Camera: 25 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3500 mAh battery

OPPO F9 Price in Nepal: Rs. 41,590 (4GB)/ Rs. 45,590 (6GB)

Design and Build

There’s no doubt that these phones are some of the best looking mid-range phones in the market. Huawei has championed the blue to purple shifting gradient finish on the glass back that looks astonishing. The Oppo F9 has some visual tricks of its own. It has some color shifting feature when you look at it from the sides and there’s a unique geometric pattern that’s visible when a phone is tilted in a certain angle. When it comes to the looks, both these phones hit the right notes.

The dimensions of Oppo F9 and Nova 3i are similar. They both weigh 169 grams. The F9 is shorter and narrower but the Nova 3i is thinner. Both the phones are easy to grip in the hand. But when it comes to build quality, Nova 3i takes the edge.


Both these devices have a 6.3 inch 1080×2340 screen. The panel on the 3i and the F9 uses LTPS LCD technology. Technically, LTPS panels provide larger pixel densities, lower power consumption than standard LCD panels.

However, Nova 3i’s panel looks amazing in itself. It is one of the best LCD panels we have tested. What we can say is that both these display look gorgeous. That’s all.

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The Nova 3i has a traditional notch, like the one on the One Plus 6 but the Oppo F9 has a new tear-drop shaped notch. It is just a cutout for the front camera to sit on. Everything else is just screen. As people tend to like an all-screen phone, most would prefer the design of the Oppo F9 over the Nova 3i. But both these smartphones look gorgeous.


What good is a smartphone if it doesn’t perform as you need it to? The Nova 3i has a Huawei-made Kirin 710 processor inside. While the Oppo F9 has a MediaTek Helio P60. The Kirin 710 is an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A73 2.2GHz cores combined with four Cortex-A53 1.7GHz cores. The MediaTek Helio P60 is an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A73 2.0GHz cores combined with four Cortex-A53 2.0GHz.

If these numbers don’t mean much to you, don’t worry. These phones perform equally good. Even there AnTuTu benchmark is nearly equal. In terms of performance, as both phones have the 4GB RAM, it’s a tie. You can play some games at medium settings but none are meant to give you the best gaming experience. That is reserved for flagship phones.


The Nova 3i has a quad camera setup, dual 24MP + 2MP cameras in the front, dual 16MP + 2MP cameras in the back. While the Oppo F9 has only 3 cameras, dual 16MP+2MP cameras at the back, a single 25 MP cameras in the front. The Nova 3i has features like portrait mode, pro mode, panorama, 3D emoji, AI scene detection etc. The cameras on the F9 are no slouch either. They have features like HDR, timelapse, Slo-mo, AR stickers, etc. And typical with Oppo, there is a face beauty feature for the selfie camera.

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Looking at shots from both these cameras and having used the Nova 3i ourselves, we think the rear cameras of the Nova 3i capture better photos than the Oppo F9. The colors are more vibrant, the shots are brighter. This might be due to Huawei’s experience in making the P20 pro, one of the best camera smartphone in the market. For the selfie camera, though, it is a tough call. They both are equally good.

Storage and Battery

The Nova 3i has 128GB built-in storage while the F9 has 64GB for the base variant. So, in terms of the storage facility for the price, Nova 3i is the clear winner taking account of the fact that both these phones also support external micro-SD card.

For the battery, Nova 3i has a 3340 mAh battery while the Oppo F9 has a slightly larger 3500mAh battery. Taking a look at battery drain tests from various reliable sources, it is seen that the Oppo F9 lasts slightly longer than the Nova 3i. Also, Oppo F9 supports their proprietary VOOC fast charging which is the fastest charging mechanism in the market. In terms of battery, Oppo F9 takes the crown.

Final thoughts

There are some departments that Huawei reigns supreme while in some Oppo comes out on top. Oppo edged Huawei a little on the display and the battery department, whereas Huawei beat Oppo in terms of Build quality, rear camera, and storage. The performance, design, and front camera of both phones were a tie. The 4GB version of both these phones cost nearly the same. Nova 3i costs you Rs. 38,900 while the Oppo F9 costs Rs. 41,590. So, technically Huawei Nova 3i gives you a better price to performance ratio than the Oppo F9 and provides more value. But the margin is very small and which phone you should buy comes to your individual preference.

So, there you have it guys. The specs comparison between the Huawei Nova 3i and the Oppo F9. If you have any questions or suggestions, drop it in the comments section below.

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