Huawei made us happy at IFA 2016 since the company announced a pair of new smartphones. The Chinese manufacturer with P9 device to be a big success at the high-end, said that it was seeking to capture the premium market while maintaining the mid-tier segment. So today we saw Huawei Nova and Huawei Nova Plus.
Quality and design
Taking in your hands Huawei Nova, the first thing that one could notice is the amazing resemblance, at least from the rear, with the Nexus 6P. Well it doesn’t write Nexus on the back, but the aesthetic differences basically end there.
Nova comes with a 5 inches display, with a 76 percent screen-to-body ratio, giving the idea of a really small handset.
You may agree that Huawei knows how to make phablets very well but it’s nice to see it tackle smaller handsets with similar flair. Huawei has managed this time to pack a large display onto a small frame or at least this is how it feels like; it’s an accomplished piece of work.
Nova with a 7.1 mm thickness, show how thin the mobile is. Screen and battery (more on that later) are very well packed into this handset, something that leaves a very good first impression from the very first moment.
Nova Plus, may look the same from the front, but from the back we see many differences, like a square camera sensor in the center of the device, unlike the position at the top left in the visor of the Nova. Nova Plus comes with a 5.5-inch display which doesn’t feel unwieldy and looks the part thanks to its chamfered edges and glass and metal design.
Huawei Nova and Nova Plus are equipped with Full-HD display. The color saturation looks like it is deep and the brightness strong. As for the quality, it seems to be sufficient for typical day-to-day needs.
Huawei mentions that both phones have also some kind of eye-protection mode. I guess it must be some kind of blue-light filter to prevent eye-strain, something that is always appreciated.
Both Nova run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 software out of the box. Huawei showed off a few of its software’s neat tricks at the press conference, such as the fingerprint control for notifications and its knuckle sense gestures. Huawei also introduced and some new features, like the ability to create a screenshot of pictures which normally extend beyond a single screen (it looked interesting), but software innovations don’t seem to be a focus for these new devices.
Both Nova come equipped with the Snapdragon 625 processor running at 2 GHz with 3 GB of RAM. Despite the fact that 625 is thought as a grade below from Snapdragon 820 found in modern flagships, we must see how the SoC reacts in real life and not in numbers only.
An other feature that Huawei mentioned a lot, is about the fingerprint technology which has increased security compared to competing fingerprint scanners thanks to its ability to detect depth and contour in fingerprints. Well only we have is to see it and in real life.
The first impressions are not so good as expected! The camera is a bit slow and even when everything is done, the exposure was still out of whack. I know that lighting conditions were not that great, but still is a good chance to test the camera under real conditions.
First impressions for the rear camera on both mobiles are not that good. An update here should help a lot! Both handsets feature an 8 MP front-facing camera with a slew of software features aimed at providing you with the perfect selfie.
Huawei Nova is equipped with a 3,020 mAh battery. How it fits in, is really impressive. iPhone 6s, though it’s a little smaller at 4.7 inches, has a 1,715 mAh capacity, almost half what the Nova has. Something else that the company mentions, is the five hours playgame of Pokemon Go! Perhaps this is the new barometer for battery-life measurement.
Nova Plus comes with a little bigger battery, at 3340 mAh. Both smartphones support quick-charging and USB Type-C, but neither battery is removable.
Both mobiles appear to target Huawei’s vision of millennials. They look good, they are optimized for taking selfies, and they have a battery which will allow you to play Pokemon Go for a couple of hours. Now if they are gonna be a hit, we will see. Something is missing from the whole package and Huawei must find it, if the company wants to go good on sales.
What do you think of the Huawei Nova and Nova Plus?