Huawei Nova 8i Blends Premium Features and Affordability

Robert Cerff / 12-01-2022 / Reviews

The Huawei Nova 8i launched in South Africa last year and brings with it a new era of mid-range smartphones for the tech giant.

It’s the third in the range and joins the entry-level Nova Y60 and the premium Nova 8. The 8i draws from the Nova’s that came before it, combining affordability with high-end features, making it the perfect smartphone for those who want a premium smartphone experience without the hefty price tag.

Let’s take a closer look at the new Nova 8i and see how it holds up.

Display and User Experience

The large 6.6-inch FHD+ Edgeless FullView display is perfect for a mid-range smartphone, and the image quality is crisp with a wide colour gamut thanks to its 391ppi pixel density and IPS LCD panel. All these factors make for a great experience browsing the web, as well as when watching movies and videos. The Nova 8i’s 180Hz touch sampling rate offers a smooth user experience, making it easy to navigate through menus or switch between apps.

Camera Capabilities

The Nova range is known for its impressive photography capabilities, and the 8i does not disappoint. It has a rear quad-lens camera organised in an artistic circular design, inspired by the rings of Saturn. The 64MP main camera boasts a large sensor that captures every image in incredible detail without too much saturation. This is supported by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro lens for detailed close-ups and a 2MP Bokeh camera with AI depth perception to make your subject stand out.

At the front, there’s a 16MP front camera that snaps high-quality selfies. There are various modes to perfectly capture your environment in the best light, including night mode, HDR, portrait mode, aperture and pro mode.


Powering the Nova 8i is the advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset that ensures a robust on-device performance, efficiency and versatility. Multitasking is a breeze, and the device immediately responds to any request without lag. It features an Octa-core processor, enabling it to effortlessly perform more complex activities such as watching high-resolution videos or playing graphic-intensive mobile games without draining the battery too quickly. The 8i’s are complete with 128GB internal storage with the options of 6GB or 8GB RAM.

Battery Life

Completing the package is a 4 300mAh battery that can go a full day without a charge. When the battery runs low, it offers quick charge functionality at 66W, which is normally only found on flagship phones that are double the price of the 8i. For a normal load, you can expect around 36 – 40 hours of uptime and around 10 – 12 hours for a heavier load.


Huawei Nova 8i is a fantastic mid-range phone that packs a punch in its overall performance. It’s a great addition to the Nova range and is perfect for those looking for a capable smartphone that doesn’t break the bank.

Looking for a Nova 8i? Find the right deal at Mondo, starting from just R349pm here.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the tech giant’s best foldable yet

Samsung’s flagship foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, was unveiled last year and since its launch, it has been hailed as the tech giant’s best foldable yet.It boasts upgraded technology that is both practical and durable. It also hits the market at a lower price than its predecessor.Display and User ExperienceThe Flip 3 offers some of the best displays on the market today with a 6.7-inch FHD+ dynamic AMOLED 2X. It’s eye-catching with vivid, bright colours that look great both fully opened, and half folded. Although the screen is slightly narrow and tall, it offers a cinematic experience with plenty of space for content, whether it’s a movie, lengthy social media feed or a game. With a 120Hz refresh rate, you can expect a smooth user experience no matter how many apps you’re running at once.On the back, it has a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display for notifications, shortcuts and music playback controls. A nice design touch is that the cover display also serves as a front camera when the phone is "unflipped" to snap pictures and record videos.Strength and DurabilityThe Flip 3 is serious about durability. This version is 80% stronger than its predecessor owing to the Gorilla Glass Victus. The new film covers the outer display and together with Armor Aluminum material on the phone’s frame, provides superior scratch resistance.Another big addition this year is the IPX8 water-resistance rating, which makes the phone more practical for everyday use as it effortlessly shrugs off rain and can handle any accidental splashes of water.PerformanceThe Z Flip 3 is powered by Qualcomm’s best mobile processor, the Snapdragon 888 CPU, and it runs on Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI. What’s more, Samsung has committed to providing Android version updates for the next three years – this should cover the upcoming Android 12 and versions 13 and 14.For gamers, you can expect quick load times even when playing intensive games such as Genhin Impact and Asphalt 9. Its speed and efficiency make it easy to navigate and move through many apps at once without the phone slowing you down. Not only is it fast, but it is also 5G enabled to deliver the best internet speeds possible with ultra-low latency and more reliability.Camera CapabilitiesIf you’re looking for a phone with good overall camera capabilities, the Flip 3 is it!The unique design makes it fun to snap selfies as you can use the 12MP dual rear cameras while the phone is folded. You will be able to watch the display and frame your shot to get the perfect snap, or you can simply "unflip" the phone and take a selfie the good old-fashioned way using the device’s front camera.The dual rear cameras are perfect for content creators or anyone who shares a lot of images on social media. Vloggers, for example, will find the Director’s View mode useful as it switches between multiple cameras while you record a video. Portrait Mode for video is another cool feature, allowing you to focus on yourself or your subject while creatively blurring the background.Equally impressive the night mode function which delivers bright images even in the darkest conditions, and each shot takes only about 2-3 seconds to process!VerdictIf you’re in the market for a clamshell-style folding phone, it doesn’t get better than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 when considering its price point, features and durability.


Is Google Play Pass Worth Your Rands?

Google Play Pass is Android’s answer to a one-stop gaming shop.After first launching in the USA in 2019, it is now available in most countries, including right here in South Africa.If you enjoy playing games on your phone or utilising helpful apps, Google Play Pass seems like the ideal option, but is it really worth it? Let’s find out.The Cost FactorThe app offers curated access to a collection of Google Play content for a monthly or a single yearly fee, with the option to add additional devices and up to five family members at no extra charge.To sign-up, your device needs to run on Android 4.4 or higher, with Google Play Store on version 16.6.25 and above.Subscription gives you flexible payment options to suit your needs. You can choose a month-to-month option for R42.99, which you can cancel at any time, or pay R385.99 per year and save 20%.With the app you can install a range of premium apps and games, as well as free content with the full versions unlocked, meaning you won’t have to pay for in-app purchases.What’s more, Play Pass allows you to enjoy an ad-free experience not just for premium games and apps but free content as well.Close To 1 000 Apps and Games AvailableBut what exactly are you getting with Google Play Pass?According to the search engine giant, nearly 950 games and apps – a list that is constantly growing every month.Although Google doesn’t publish a list of all the content available, you can browse through the options on the Play Pass section in the Play Store or check out the Play Pass “about page” on Google’s website. Both places give you a good idea of what you can get as a subscriber so you can decide if it suits your needs.Some of the recently added games and apps include, Delight Games (Premium Library), Space Marshals 3, Aftermath, AudioLab Audio Editor Recorder & Ringtone Maker, PicLab - Photo Editor, and much more.Should you subscribe?Considering all of the above, is Google Play Pass worth your money? If you use a lot of app content, especially premium content, the answer is yes. By subscribing, you won’t have to pay the full price for each game and app you download, and you bypass in-app purchases. Ultimately, you will have hundreds of options at your fingertips for less than R50 a month. And if you choose to open a Google Play Family account, your family or friends can also have full access for the same monthly or annual fee. That means plenty of content for everyone to enjoy and the possibility of splitting the cost.  If you’re still not sold, you can try out the one-month free trial before you spend any of your hard-earned money, and if it isn't for you, make sure to cancel before the charge hits your account!


Apple Arcade – Is It Worth It?

Apple’s first gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade promises users a premium experience – but is it worth the fuss?The Arcade offers exclusive access to hundreds of games from the Apple App Store at a fixed monthly rate, eliminating the need to pay for individual games and microtransactions.For R84,99 per month with the first month free when you subscribe for the first time, Apple users can install over 180 ad-free games across a range of devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with at least iOS 13 or iPadOS13, and any Mac computer with at least macOS 10.15If you’re considering joining the Apple Arcade, here’s what you need to know:Cost FactorThe monthly rate gets you full access to a curated list of premium and free games. You can also add up to five other family members to the plan or sign up to another subscription plan that is more suited to those who use multiple devices for their gaming needs.The Apple One subscription gives you access to Apple Arcade, as well as Apple TV+, Apple Music, and iCloud storage. It is perfect for those already paying for other services and would like all their costs grouped into a single payment to save money. You can choose from Individual, Family, and Premier bundles, which range between R41 – R86, 95.Multi-Platform ServiceThe best part of Apple Arcade is its multi-platform feature that allows you to play most games on any Apple device without losing your saved files.This means you can start a game on your Apple TV, move to your iPhone and complete the mission on your Mac!However, there are some limitations because certain games are exclusive to devices – iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – while some are only accessible on Apple TV and require a controller.The service also offers an online gaming feature, meaning you can enjoy endless hours of fun even when you're not connected to the Internet.Growing Games ListOnce you’re subscribed to Apple Arcade, you will have a mix of new, exclusive titles and timeless classics at your fingertips.Apple recently added around 30 games to the Arcade library, including revived classics such as NBA 2K21 Arcade Addition, Cut the Rope Remastered and Oregon Trail as well as some newer titles.Although the tech giant’s list of games isn’t as long as other industry titans, there are plans to expand the library in the near future.To Subscribe or Not to Subscribe?The main drawcard of Apple Arcade is that gamers are able to enjoy a sizeable library with many high-profile titles without the interruption of ads, timers, in-app purchases or any other factors that affect game time.But like most other subscription gaming services, the biggest downside is that you don’t own the games. This means, once you cancel, you no longer have access to the games. But if you’re an avid mobile gamer who doesn’t mind this catch, then Apple Arcade will suit you fine.