Smartphone selfie challenge: HUAWEI nova 3 vs. iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy A8+

The world ‘selfie’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary at the end of 2013. This phenomenon that is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media” has become a part of our daily lives all over the world. Whether it’s to check how you look or capture a moment you’re experiencing, selfies have become our way of to showcase our lives.

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, it was found that 56 per cent of the UAE residents take selfies daily and on an average, people in the UAE take more than three selfies before they're happy with the result. That number is actually much lower compared to the number of shots that we take here at TechRadar Middle East for any product that comes in to get that perfect shot. We need technology that is better and more intelligent to help us cut that time and effort. 

Huawei has made tremendous leaps and bounds in the last year by adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) to it’s flagship products but with the latest HUAWEI nova3 series, it promises to fill the gap in taking better selfies with a breakthrough in the smartphone selfie camera technology. 

The HUAWEI nova3 is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and offer dual front camera (24MP+2MP) that work with AI beautification solutions to recognize age, gender and skin tone and optimize a picture to its ultimate perfection. The phone also has an AI scene recognition feature, that instantly identifies over 200 different surroundings across eight unique categories that include blue skies, beaches, plants, night, stage performances, flowers, and rooms, to sharply capture all elements in that moment and create the most stunning AI selfie.

The proof is in the pudding. Let’s find out how much of a difference AI makes when taking the same photo on the HUAWEI nova 3 with and without AI enabled across multiple scenarios such as low light, indoor and outdoor lighting and busy backgrounds. To make things more interesting, these shots are compared to the selfie cameras of Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy A8+  

While all three smartphones had their own strengths and weaknesses, one smartphone was the most consistent in selfie game.

A simple outdoor daylight selfie scenario

If there are two things that anyone in the UAE can relate to, they’re sun and sand- we love taking pictures on the beach. However due to the harsh sunlight in the face of the camera, most of us end up with photos that are either too dark or washed up with blurry backgrounds that don’t capture the beauty of nature.

The HUAWEI nova 3 captures images perfectly and clearly, without any loss of detail, color or contrast, offering an outstanding AI selfie. The AI kicks in to make the blue skies look bluer in the background with better contrast and a sharper image while keeping the blacks blacker.

When compared to Samsung Galaxy A8+, it is visible that the skin looks washed out in the picture with no detail in the background. There is no sharpness in the image and the image looks more yellow, blurred and making the blacks look duller. Similarly, with iPhone X, the face looks saturated, with no detail in the background and foreground, offering a yellow based image.

The HUAWEI nova 3 is definitely the clear winner when it comes to taking daylight selfies.

An outdoor selfie with busy background scenario:

There’s tons of parks in the UAE that offer stunning backgrounds for your selfies so let’s use that as the next example.

In the above comparison, the selfie taken on HUAWEI nova 3, offer greens that are greener with more contrast whereas, with Samsung Galaxy A8+, there is less detail in the background with lesser vibrant colors, illustrating an overall washed out appearance that even makes the blacks look too dull. The pictures don’t get any better with iPhone X, as it makes the skin look darker with multiple shadows and an oversaturated image. In fact, the focal length and aperture makes the model appear bigger with a distorted face.

The results are crystal clear even to the naked eye, giving the HUAWEI nova 3 an edge for every selfie lover.

An outdoor night time low-light selfie scenario

Moving from day to night, here’s how the three phones performed with their respective night or low light modes.

Evident in the comparison above, night and low light selfie taken with Samsung Galaxy A8+ is blurry with lack of detail blowing out the whites more than needed. Even when we see the picture taken with the iPhone X, the face is oversaturated with less detail both in background and foreground with a very yellow looking picture. iPhone X’s focal length and aperture makes the person appear bigger with a distorted face.

However, the selfie taken with HUAWEI nova 3 has more detail, clarity and better contrast colour in comparison to the competitors. HUAWEI nova 3 guarantees to offer a cutting edge low light photography experience. Enabled with AI, the device recognizes the surroundings and background to capture a best-in-technology AI Selfie.

An outdoor backlight selfie scenario

In our last leg of comparison, the setting is a sunset with the mesmerizing colors of the sky and sun reflecting on the sea.

Both iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy A8+ captured weaker images than Huawei nova 3: with and without AI, with clearly visible results that would capture anyone’s attention.

Sunset pictures taken with Samsung Galaxy A8+ show dull colors, making the face appear darker than it is which results in loss of detail and an overall washed out appearance. The iPhone X does not have a beautification model making all blemishes clearly visible. There’s also complete loss of detail in the background and once again, the focal length and aperture makes the person appear bigger with a distorted face.


HUAWEI nova 3 clearly sets itself apart from all its competitors offering the most precise AI selfie that retains clarity, colour, contrast, better gradient, detail and sharpness. On top that, you also get beautification solutions and scene recognition that offers natural sky gradients and colour reproduction to create a perfect AI selfie.

Cutting across the clutter and the competition in the smartphone market, HUAWEI nova 3 is set to change the game of the selfie industry offering unparalleled AI capabilities.

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