Huawei nova 9 review


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The Huawei nova series is intended for the younger generation with flashy looks and relatively low prices. The Nova 9 family is not far from the original formula. We got the vanilla nova 9 for this review, but the Pro model seems to be only slightly different – it has a larger screen, a smaller battery with faster charging and a secondary selfie camera. Unfortunately, only the standard nova 9 is on its way to the international market, leaving the Pro to be an exclusive China.

Huawei nova 9 review

However, one would argue that the right nova 9 may be the more sensible option of the two due to its lower price and relatively same set of features. In fact, the larger battery is usually preferred over faster charging according to our Sunday debate poll from that time. Either way, you can use this review as a reference for the Pro model, as most of the hardware is matched.

Huawei nova 9 specifications in an instant:

  • Body: 160.0×73.7×7.8mm, 175g; Glass front and back, plastic frame.
  • Screen: 6.57 “OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10, 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5: 9 aspect ratio, 392ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G 4G (6 nm): Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Kryo 670 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 670); Adreno 642L.
  • Memory: 128 GB 8 GB RAM, 256 GB 8 GB RAM; UFS.
  • OS / software: HarmonyOS 2.0 (China), EMUI 12 (Europe), no Google Play services.
  • Rear camera: Wide (head): 50 MP, f / 1.9, 23 mm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f / 2.2; Macro: 2 MP, f / 2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f / 2.4.
  • Front camera: 32 MP, f / 2.0, (wide).
  • Video recording: Rear camera: 4K, 1080p, 720p @ 960fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 240fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4300mAh; Fast charging 66W, 60% in 18 min, 100% in 38 min (announced), reverse charging.
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC.

For € 499, the nova 9 offers a flagship quality 6.57-inch, 120Hz OLED panel and 10-bit color depth, potent Snapdragon 778G and a capable 50MP main camera. The 4,300 mAh battery also charges over a fast 66W block. A well-rounded midfielder who would certainly face plenty of opposition outside of China.

After all, the whole Huawei USA drama is not over, so Huawei’s phones are shipped without Google Mobile Services, which is less than ideal outside of China. It is a great obstacle to overcome. To be honest, Huawei’s HarmonyOS has come a long way with version 2.0. There are already plenty of native apps, and the so-called Petal search provides a quick and easy way to sideload apps through third-party stores.

Huawei nova 9 review

However, Nova 9 runs on EMUI 12 based on Android 11, which is quite close to the China-exclusive HarmonyOS. In any case, we will check if the HMS-powered EMUI 12 will make us forget all about the GMS and see how the device performs in relation to the competitors in terms of raw power, endurance, screen quality, etc. You may get a surprise.

Unpacking the Huawei nova 9

Huawei nova 9’s retail box is nothing out of the ordinary, as it contains the corresponding 66W charging pad, USB-C to USB-A cable and the included user manuals.

Huawei nova 9 review

We also received a transparent silicone case, but we were told that it will not be part of the package for all markets.


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