Huawei showcased 2 new phones at IFA 2016 at Berlin. The newly unveiled Nova and Nova plus belong to the midrange series of the Huawei family. Interestingly, both phones look completely different from each other! The Niva plus is not a bigger sized Nova. But if you've noticed, the Nova looks absolutely similar to a shrunken Nexus 6P. So I decided to have a look at it and see if it's just another premium look alike, or is it any good. This is my review on the Huawei Nova.
Design: As I said, it's a shrunken version of a nexus 6P. The design language is pretty much similar with a smaller footprint. The power and volume buttons on the right side are swapped, as compared to the 6P, and there is the sim tray on the left. microSD expansion is supported here. On the top there's a headphone jack and a secondary mic. The bottom holds USB type-C port along with a primary microphone and speaker grill. There are no antenna cutouts as the signals are received through the wide glass visor, along the camera on the rear, which I really dig. The phone is completely made out of aluminum and feels really well made in the hand. What I did notice is that the corners are but more rounded than the Nexus 6P. So it gives a better feel in the hand. This phone is 7.1 mm thick and weighs 146 gms.
Display: This phone sports a 5' 1080p IPS LCD display at 441 ppi. The panel is bright and punchy. Color reproduction seems good and viewing angles are excellent. The screen has 2.5D glass in top, so it gives that smooth feeling when you glide your finger on the screen from side to side. I know it's not a big deal, but it looks and feels really satisfying to have on a phone. Overall, you'll be quite pleased with the display on this phone.
Performance: The Huawei Nova is powered by a 2 GHz octacore Snapdragon 625 chipset along with the Adreno 506 GPU and 3 GB of DDR3 RAM. The phone runs smooth and cool, with minor heating exhibited on hardcore gaming. That's okay as it cools down pretty fast, thanks to that aluminum body. I only gets a bit warm and I don't think it crosses anything above 40°C, so it's okay.
Day to day usage however, is a breeze. Apps open up fast and memory is well managed by the EMUI, present on top of Android marshmallow. I'm quite satisfied with the performance you can get out of it. There's 32 GB of storage on standard model, expandable upto 128 GB.
There's a fingerprint sensor on the rear and it's good enough. It's not the fastest I've seen on a midrange device, but does the job of unlocking your phone quickly.
Camera: The Nova has a 12 mp rear camera with f/2.2 aperture. Interestingly, thanks to that new processor, it is capable of 4K video recording at 30 fps! Nothing huge, but it also has an LED flash😅. Camera is capable of some good quality photos in ample lighting, but the lack of OIS is quite apparent in those shaky videos it takes. Quality of the video however, is really good.
The front camera is an 8 mp snapper. It takes some pretty bright shots too, and can record 720p videos. You can expect some pretty good quality photos from the cameras on this phone. It struggles a lot when you push it to It's limits in low light, but it won't disappoint in daylight.
Battery: The Huawei Nova houses a 3020 mAh battery unit. Huawei promises a 2 day batter backup. However the standby is quite good, the screen on time was nothing extraordinary. You can get anywhere from 3 to 4 hours of continuous usage on a single charge. I suppose it's good enough for the moderate users this phone is targeted to.
Price: Huawei said the Nova will be available at a price if $399 or 26,000 INR. That is a super competitive price bracket. With the beast: Oneplus 3 out there at the same price, it'll be interesting to see how the Nova does against it. Do I recommend it over the Oneplus 3? I'm afraid not. To me, the stock feeling UI and the blazing fast SnapD820 processor of the 3, makes a lot more sense. But it's up to personal preference, as I prefer the look of the Huawei Nova over the Oneplus flagship. I've shared my thoufhts, now it's up to you to make the move. It's your call, whether to go for it or not!