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Huawei Nova Plus Review: A Premium Midranger?

by Linus 7

Huawei released quite a few devices this year and the Nova Plus is one of them. It is a premium midrange smartphone that has great looks, good camera but it costs around 430 EUR. Learn more in our full review.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: VIDEO REVIEW

Huawei Nova Plus Review: UNBOXING

In the box, you are getting all the usual stuff that includes a charging brick, USB C cable, SIM ejector pin, a pair of earphones and some paperwork that my review  did not come with.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: SPECS

Display
5.5″ 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD (~403 ppi pixel density)
Processor and GPU
Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625, octa-core, 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53,
Adreno 506
RAM
3GB
Camera
8MP Front/16MP Back, OIS
Connectivity
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
Battery
3.340 mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions
151.8 x 75.7 x 7.3 mm / 160g
OS
EMUI 4.1 (Android 6.0)
Storage
32GB (expandable via the microSD up to 256GB)

Huawei Nova Plus Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY

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The phone has a 5.5” 1080p display, which uses the LCD technology and it is pretty sharp and vibrant. Also, it is bright enough to ensure a good sunlight legibility.

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The Nova Plus sports a familiar premium design we’ve seen from Huawei. It’s made out of metal, except for those plastic top and bottom parts for antennas.

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Also, the phone has nice and tactile metal buttons.

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While the device is not the smallest around, it is pretty comfortable to hold in the hand.

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The loudspeaker sits on the bottom and the quality of sound is pretty good even if we compare it with some flagship smartphones.

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We have a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, OIS, and dual-led flash. A great thing that the camera can finally shoot 4k videos.

The Huawei phones have been usually great when it comes to fingerprint sensors and the Nova Plus is no exception. Also, the scanner serves as a little touchpad. My favorite features include the ability to open up the notification shade or scroll through the pictures in the gallery.

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As far as selfie camera goes, we have an 8MP shooter, which sits next to the notification LED light.

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We have on-screen navigation buttons and you can switch the positions of them.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

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As far as specs, we are looking at the upper-midrange phone. The Nova Plus ships with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 chip with the clock speeds of 2.0GHz, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.

The gaming performance has been good but I’ve noticed a few skipped frames when playing Asphalt 8 on the highest graphics.

A great thing is that the phone does not have any overheating issues.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: BENCHMARKS

Huawei Nova Plus Review: USER INTERFACE

The Nova Plus ships with the EMUI 4.1, which is built on top of Android 6.0.If you have used any other Huawei phone, the user interface will look exactly the same. There is no app tray, the icons look a bit cartoonish but there are quite a few added features and customization options.

Just to name a few, you can adjust the display settings, customize the navigation bar, use your knuckle to take a screenshot, easily turn on/off a convenient one-hand operation mode or use the floating dock to quickly navigate through the menus.

There are plenty of other features, settings and tweaks, so can make the phone look your own.

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Most importantly, the UI performs fine on the daily basis, the phone is very fast and I didn’t have a single hiccup in 3 weeks.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: CAMERA

The camera app is easy to use and you can quickly switch from one mode to another. Also, there are some basic settings to play with.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: IMAGE QUALITY

When it comes to the image quality, the 16MP camera can produce some great pictures that are sharp, have lots of detail and look natural as far as color reproduction goes. Also, I’m glad how the camera handles dynamic range in some tricky situations.

As far as the low-light performance, you can also take some good-looking photos. In most cases, the camera’s software does a great job with noise reduction and there is a decent amount of detail. However, there were a few shots that had a reddish tint and there was quite a bit of noise.

The 4K video quality is great but the stabilization could work a little bit better. Besides that, the footage is sharp, detailed and the continuous auto-focus feature works very well.

The 1080p footage also looks good. There is less detail if we compare it to 4k but the OIS works better. See the video review for video samples.

An 8MP selfie shooter can take some well-detailed and nice looking selfies. Also, the phone can finally shoot selfie videos at 1080p.

Download full resolution camera samples

Huawei Nova Plus Review: CONNECTIVITY

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The phone comes with a hybrid dual-SIM card tray, which can take either 2 SIMs or 1 SIM and the microSD card.

The call quality, signal reception, GPS, Wifi and all other connectivity options work just fine.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: BATTERY LIFE

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The Huawei Nova Plus ships with 3340 mAh battery, which performs great. Even though I used the phone quite intensively, I needed to re-recharge it every two days.

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That translates to over 5 hours of screen-on time, which is a great result.

Huawei Nova Plus Review: CONCLUSIONS

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The Huawei Nova Plus is a solid premium midrange device.

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It has a great build quality, nice and sharp display, the user interface that is fast and has tons of features and great overall performance.

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Also, both cameras produce nice looking images in various lighting conditions and the battery life is great.

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However, the main question is if the Nova Plus is worth the price of 430 EUR. I would say no since you can get some phones that have flagship-grade specs at this price point.

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On the other hand, the Huawei Nova Plus is still a very solid phone even at this price point since it is very fast and it does not have any major shortcomings… if you do not need all the sheer power that faster processors can provide.

The Huawei Nova Plus smartphone will be available to buy in over 50 countries starting from October, although the exact date is yet to be set.

4.3

Huawei Nova Plus is still a very solid phone even at this price point since it is very fast and it does not have any major shortcomings… if you do not need all the sheer power that faster processors can provide.

Design and Build
Display
Hardware
User Interface
Camera
Connectivity
Battery Life
Overall Performance
Value for Money
Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • bro-reac

    Thanks Linus for the great review.
    But if I could afford a phone above $200 why go for this yet there is Mi5, Le3, Axon7, 1+3 e.t.c, with better specs and lower price?
    Though am impressed by the battery life 2 days is good.

  • NextHype

    this bezels… OMG
    too bad they choose SD625, SD65x should have been better for this pricetag.

    • bob

      Even with a SD652 it would be way too expensive! I’d rather buy a LeEco Le 2 with SD652 for less than half the price showing similar design, including Le BlackBorders! 😉

      Huawei and Honor are really asking too much for their phones nowadays! They might have come a long way, but the P9 Plus for 700 € is just ridiculous!

      Also the Honor 8 for 380 € including the vmall discount is way too much! The Honor 7 was available for 300 € immediately after release last year and that is why I went for it. A slight increase like an Honor 8 for 320 € I could see, but not 380 €. And the Nova Plus for 430 €? No, thank you!

      • NextHype

        Huawei is a top tier brand, and their P9 Plus is their flagship, coming with Leica partnership over dual cam so 700€ is OK as it is on par with Sammy, LG & Co flagships pricetags. You can’t compare P9 to Mi5 or any LeEco phone, as build quality and camera don’t play in the same league, IMHO.

        For someone willing to get the best bang for the bucks, as us ppl following website about chinese phones, I admit it seems overpriced. I’ll never considere buying a Huawei phone, or I’ll wait the P10 to buy the P9 at 400€.

        • Faisal Shaharyar

          this is very similar to Asus Zenfone 3…. although benchmarks are not that same when compared with devices like Mi5 which has the same the camera sensor.

  • Overpriced IMHO