Huawei nova Review, A Star is Born

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huawei-nova

Huawei nova is one of the latest Android running smartphones in the Chinese tech giant’s portfolio and if I’d have to describe it in a few words I’d say: look, it’s a Nexus 6p, deja vu all over again!

Huawei nova looks strikingly similar to the Nexus 6p, yes indeed, except it’s a tad smaller in size. But considering the fact that the Nexus 6p was built and designed by the same Huawei, well, it’s not unusual for a mid-ranger like the Huawei nova to follow into the steps of its nobler kin, which was a flagship grade droid by any metrics.

So, what is this device about after all? The Huawei nova is the definition of aurea mediocritas, which is the Latin equivalent of nowadays mid-ranger. The Chinese state owned giant just took a regular mid range droid, slapped a cool design over it, added a pinch of greatness, a slap of premium feel and a mandatory hardware minimum and voila, a star was born.

At first sight, the Huawei nova looks stunning, just like its bigger brother the P9 (another flagship), having the same full HD 1080p display, but the screen real estate was shrunk at 5 inches, which is actually great in terms of handling and pocketability.

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Of course, the system on chip was downgraded as the Huawei nova now runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, but don’t worry: the price tag was significantly shrunk also, whilst the droid still works buttery smooth in day to day use, provided you’re not a hard core gamer. Considering the price bracket and the class, Huawei made a great choice with the QSD 625, at least in my opinion.

Finally, on the rear panel you’ll find a 12 megapixels main snapper, which is again, as mid-range as it gets, but the Leica branding is now gone.

To begin with, the Huawei nova is 4 millimeters shorter compared to the P9 and weighs 146 grams, which is pretty good for a five incher, being rather light for its size actually considering that it features a full metal jacket chassis. The design is flawless, together with the build quality. Truth be told, the Huawei nova is a real looker and you’ll probably fall in love with its design. The chassis is made from hardcore-aviation grade aluminum, which means it’s both lightweight and sturdy.

The display is a five inches wide high quality IPS LCD variety with full HD 1080p resolution, boasting a density of 441 pixels per inch and the popular 2.5D glass that looks pretty cool. Overall, the screen is an average performer in all regards, sans Gorilla Glass protection though, which is kind of sad.

 

The battery powering this droid is a 3020 mAh power plant, non removable unfortunately but considering the 14 nm SoC, it comes with an impressive 84 hours of endurance rating, which means that if you’re an average user, the Huawei nova will last you for 3 days on a single charge. Not bad at all for a smartphone, don’t you think folks?

In the connectivity department, the Huawei nova is well equipped, featuring LTE cat.7, 2G/3G/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, including A-GPS with GLONASS and even an FM radio. Oh, and there’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is becoming increasingly rare nowadays!

The whole show runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0, improved with the company’s proprietary Emotion UI, a skin of sorts. In terms of performance, the Huawei nova relies on the QSD 625, i.e. an octa core architecture, with its Cortex A53 CPUs running at 2 GHz, together with 3 GB of RAM. Truth be told, the SoC is the only thing that stops the Huawei nova from playing with the big boys, in the premium niche. The SoC is manufactured in the 14 nm process, just like the high-end QsD 820, which is an uncommon feature in mid range chip-sets. The graphics department is taken care of by an Adreno 506 GPU and overall, the Huawei nova is an excellent smartphone providing a buttery smooth and more than adequate Android experience in all daily tasks.

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The camera is a 12 MP variety with a F/2.2 aperture lens, contrast detection hybrid auto-focus, phase detection and all the bells and whistles you could imagine, while the sensor seems to be the same one used in the P9, which is great news. Another good news is that the camera can record 4K videos, but I’d advise you to take vids in full HD, as they’re about the best I’ve seen in a smartphone recently. 4K recording is pretty good too, but the 1080p is absolutely outstanding.

Bottom line, the Huawei nova has a lot to offer: a great design, impeccable build quality, an above average camera and an excellent hardware platform. If you can afford it, as it was launched with a price tag of ~400 euros which is a tad rich, just go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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