OPPO F9 trumps over Huawei Nova 3i in Gaming Performance


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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I can almost declare that this year is the toughest for us, tech bloggers and vloggers. Toughest in terms of recommending the best gadgets for our viewers and consumers, and toughest when it comes to even try to understand how brands price their products.

The mid-range category is the hottest among consumer price ranges this era. To be exact, things get even wilder as we draw closer to Christmas time. Everything starts in July when Filipinos have recovered from paying tuition and fees or have received their mid-year bonuses.

Case in point is two of the hottest products this quarter – the Huawei Nova 3i and OPPO F9! We love both phones but at the end of the day, there are certain aspects and categories that make Filipinos decide and eventually take out their wallets to buy the right one for them.

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i 48Just recently, we ran a poll on our Facebook page, which received quite a number of votes. Total number of votes is growing every day, but as things unfold, we noticed that gaming performance is favored more by our audience. So, in this regard, let me focus this comparison on gaming performance and energy efficiency.

Note that at during the duration of this comparison, GPU Turbo update on Huawei Nova 3i is not yet available. So, we shall give you an update through a separate post once we received the said update on Nova 3i.

OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i 12Specs Fight: OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i

OPPO F9vsHuawei Nova 3i
MediaTek Helio P60System-on-ChipHisilicon Kirin 710
ARM Mali-G72 MP3GPUARM Mali-G51 MP4
3500 mAhBattery3340 mAh
64GBInternal Storage128GB


On paper, OPPO F9 significantly topples the Huawei Nova 3i in terms of SoC, RAM and GPU, albeit having an older set of technologies. OPPO F7 features the same SoC, and for its updated price of PhP14,990 the performance range of difference isn’t so significant vs its latest version. Perhaps, the only updates, which F9 stands out are its new design and cameras.

Let’s me not delve away from the subject here though. Zipping back to our gaming performance comparison between OPPO F9 and Huawei Nova 3i, you will see the former’s superiority in this aspect based on the metrics I have gathered during our benchmark. Overall performance – at onset – does not seem to be greatly different, but there’s a lot of things going on that we must explain.

We played 4 most requested games on both devices: Arena of Valor, PUBG Mobile, Dragon Nest and Real Racing 3. As we did so in the past, for this gaming performance comparison, we used our preferred gaming benchmark tool GameBench. Using this tool, we can monitor spot slow-downs that impact on perceived fluidity and touch-responsiveness. We are also able to monitor and assess the amount of power drain. There are 4 things we want you to focus on when reading this comparison:

  • FPS
  • CPU Usage
  • mA Consumption (Battery)
  • Memory Usage

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535291396748{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”PUBG Mobile” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20italic%3A500%3Aitalic”][vc_single_image image=”47414″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”FPS” tab_id=”1535291561861-ca6cdc4e-7460″][vc_column_text]

Frames per second (Higher is better)

Under the similar settings and circumstances (HD High, high frame rate mode, colorful filter), both phones were able to deliver maximum FPS of 32 fps. Obviously, even high frame rate is turned on, both devices failed to reach 60fps. It isn’t a bad thing as the game is playable between 27 – 30fps. For a relatively demanding game, both devices attained a median fps of 27, which rates as playable by our standard. Lags we encountered were brought about by server issues, and we played the game with an average ping of 44ms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”CPU Usage” tab_id=”1535291616628-91466095-767e”][vc_column_text]

CPU Usage (Lower is better)

At some point while playing PUBG, OPPO F9 used up a significant amount of CPU resources. During normal circumstances, OPPO’s latest midrange flagship used up the least amount of CPU resources than Huawei Nova 3i. The difference isn’t night and day, but this shows that OPPO F9 emerged as the clear winner in terms of managing CPU resources than Huawei Nova 3i.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memory Consumption” tab_id=”1535291889622-701a5fa1-c292″][vc_column_text]

Memory Consumption (Lower is Better)

It is obvious that PUBG Mobile is a memory hog. At similar settings and game time though, it behaved differently on both phones. F9 wins as the game only required an average of 914mb during the whole duration of 1 full round of PUBG.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”mA Consumption (Battery)” tab_id=”1535291794072-4208ae85-08fb”][vc_column_text]

mA Consumption (Battery) (Lower is Better)

Despite the almost similar performance of OPPO F9 and Nova 3i when playing PUBG, specifically with FPS and CPU Usage, it is clear that the former is more optimized for being used for a longer period at performance duress.  At 182mA for a full round 30-minute game time of PUBG, you can play more rounds using OPPO F9 than Nova 3i from a full charge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535291396748{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Dragon Nest” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20italic%3A500%3Aitalic”][vc_single_image image=”47415″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”FPS” tab_id=”1535292023666-70d5c602-0289″][vc_column_text]

Frames per second (Higher is better)

Dragon Nest is a pretty demanding game, but probably the most optimized mobile RPG we’ve played so far. Both phones reached the maximum game FPS, which is 30fps. Registered FPS on chart more than 30fps are times when we were at menus. During the course of our benchmark, we received more FPS drops using Huawei Nova 3i while playing the game. FPS stability is higher on OPPO F9 as well: 93% vs 88% on Huawei Nova 3i.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”CPU Usage” tab_id=”1535292023727-e2c17ea8-19d4″][vc_column_text]

CPU Usage (Lower is better)

In terms of CPU Usage, Dragon Nest is more optimized to run on Nova 3i. Its maximum registered CPU usage reached 16%, which is very impressive by our standards, compared to OPPO F9’s max CPU usage of 23%. This seems to be a case of throttling issue on the part of OPPO F9, as it was trying to keep a consistent performance at the expense of higher CPU resource consumption.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memory Consumption” tab_id=”1535292023854-cd6caee6-fba0″][vc_column_text]

Memory Consumption (Lower is Better)

Again, this may have something to do with OPPO F9’s case of throttling its resources to achieve smooth gameplay. While it is a tough call for us, we believe that OPPO F9 has a better edge than Nova 3i when it comes to resource management. Yes, it used up more CPU and memory resources when playing Dragon Nest, as seen on our chart, but it managed to consume less energy in the process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”mA Consumption (Battery)” tab_id=”1535292023793-b01a7863-7320″][vc_column_text]

mA Consumption (Battery) (Lower is Better)

Surprisingly, even at OPPO F9’s seeming CPU throttling activity to have a consistent gaming performance, it proved to have better energy consumption than Nova 3i. While the latter didn’t push its limit by using its CPU, it still consumed more energy compared to OPPO F9. Perhaps, this is an SoC optimization issue, which should be fixed via software patch. We hope that when Nova 3i gets the GPU turbo update, it should optimally use a fair amount of CPU without using much energy just like hope OPPO F9 did it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535291396748{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Real Racing 3″ font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20italic%3A500%3Aitalic”][vc_single_image image=”47416″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”FPS” tab_id=”1535292207097-47a58acc-f776″][vc_column_text]

Frames per second (Higher is better)

If you’re looking for the best racing game, nothing beats Real Racing 3. It’s the best we’ve played since we started playing it when it launched using our iPad, and its cross-save function allowed us to retrieve our progress on the phones we’re reviewing.

Beautifully rendered cars and courses, Real Racing 3 is best played at 60fps. Unfortunately, neither OPPO F9 nor Nova 3i reach 60fps during our benchmark. Nova 3i got the best FPS stability at 75% (vs OPPO’s 71%), albeit having the least number of FPS at 47 (vs F9’s 49).[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”CPU Usage” tab_id=”1535292207164-47d0a9b7-f0e5″][vc_column_text]

CPU Usage (Lower is better)

It was obvious that F9 was throttling again based on the metrics we gathered. It was obviously higher than Nova 3i, that isn’t necessarily bad. I guess the only downside of this apparently throttling is temperature. The more CPU resources are used, the higher the temperature it gets. This is actually the case that happened when we played Real Racing 3. The phone registered a maximum temperature of 41°C vs 39°C on Nova 3i.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memory Consumption” tab_id=”1535292207293-9d13653f-0698″][vc_column_text]

Memory Consumption (Lower is Better)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”mA Consumption (Battery)” tab_id=”1535292207230-9d6defd7-9e1f”][vc_column_text]

mA Consumption (Battery) (Lower is Better)

Surprisingly though, similar to happened while playing Dragon Nest and PUBG Mobile, Huawei Nova 3i has the highest number of consumed energy during the duration of gameplay. Therefore, based on experienced and metrics gathered, you can play Real Racing 3 longer on OPPO F9 than Nova 3i.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535291396748{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Arena of Valor (AoV)” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20italic%3A500%3Aitalic”][vc_single_image image=”47417″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”FPS” tab_id=”1535301190563-82a62073-26e8″][vc_column_text]

Frames per second (Higher is better)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”CPU Usage” tab_id=”1535301190693-617c3e03-4092″][vc_column_text]

CPU Usage (Lower is better)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Memory Consumption” tab_id=”1535301190858-008cd7d2-6074″][vc_column_text]

Memory Consumption (Lower is Better)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”mA Consumption (Battery)” tab_id=”1535301190983-b6822220-26d6″][vc_column_text]

mA Consumption (Battery) (Lower is Better)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For a difference of PhP2,000, the pricier OPPO F9 isn’t exactly a worthy upgrade from its predecessor, but definitely much better for gaming versus the Huawei Nova 3i.

Overall, the OPPO F9 trumps over Huawei Nova 3i when it comes to gaming performance. OPPO’s midrange flagship presents a plethora of convincing case of having a more optimized software and hardware that are built for gaming. However, OPPO cannot just simply rest on its laurels as this is just a facet of its features. Gaming performance is just a pinch among the many reasons why Filipino consumers buy smartphones. In fact, at the time of this posting, Nova 3i’s GPU Turbo update is not yet available. Therefore, at this time, if you’re after other features than gaming – like photography and design – then you’ll save up PhP2,000 by getting a Nova 3i instead.

How about design, camera and storage? That’s something we’ll have to reserve for another comparison.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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