Huawei Nova and Nova Plus Review
posted by Stephen S. / Oct 14, 2016, 8:04 AM
Interface and Functionality
EMUI still isn't for everyone – but it can be a nice change of pace
Using EMUI 4.1 on the Huawei Nova and Nova Plus is a lot like running into someone at a costume party. You recognize, them, sure, but all these little details have changed (Dan doesn't normally have vampire fangs, right?). That's pretty much the experience you get from Huawei's Android skin.
It's Android 6.0 underneath, with all the functionality that entails, but a lot of effort's gone into creating a new facade for that framework.
Once you get used to things being in slightly different locations than you'd expect, or appearing a little unfamiliar, there's a lot to like in EMUI. The design is quite clean, with many fine lines and basic shapes, and that helps keep it feeling lightweight despite the breadth of changes present. It still comes across like it's trying a little too hard to recreate the feel of iOS on an Android device, but none of this detracts from usability in a major way.
Processor and Memory
Power users should look elsewhere, but most of us will manage just fine with this hardware
While the Nova and Nova Plus may each have distinct looks, they're both powered by the same silicon. That means pairing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with 3GB of RAM.
It's a combination we've seen before on other mid-priced phones like the Moto Z Play Droid, and it again works pretty well here, combining decent performance with relatively meager (and all sorts of battery-friendly) power requirements.
Neither phone is poised to compete against handsets running flashier chips (and even same-tier upgrades like Qualcomm's Snapdragon 652 would represent a big performance boost), but considering the market segment Huawei appears to be going after, it ends up with a nice sense of balance from this hardware. We'll get to the impact on battery life shortly, but so long as you aren't trying to run too many high-end 3D games on a Nova phone, this processor's adequately equipped to keep up with many software demands.
AnTuTu Higher is better
Huawei nova 63886
Huawei nova Plus 64152
Honor 8 89824
OnePlus 3 140007.66
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Huawei nova 1491
Huawei nova Plus 1482
Honor 8 2922
OnePlus 3 3678.66
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Huawei nova 3252
Huawei nova Plus 3269
Honor 8 4758
OnePlus 3 4936.66
JetStream Higher is better
Huawei nova 30.799
Huawei nova Plus 30.987
Honor 8 45.665
OnePlus 3 46.685
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Huawei nova 23
Huawei nova Plus 23
Honor 8 40
OnePlus 3 59
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Huawei nova 10
Huawei nova Plus 10
Honor 8 18
OnePlus 3 30
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Huawei nova 1296
Huawei nova Plus 1298
Honor 8 1957
OnePlus 3 2118
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Huawei nova 844
Huawei nova Plus 847
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Huawei nova 3103
Huawei nova Plus 3157
Storage is available as a sole 32GB option, which seems OK for mid-priced devices like these; at least it's not 16GB, and the option for microSD expansion keeps the door open for users who'd prefer more.
Dual-SIM support is right in line with Huawei's international interests
With a focus on global markets, it's no surprise we don't see any particularly US-targeted band support with the Nova and Nova Plus – nothing like CDMA support for Sprint and Verizon here. Instead, the phones are nicely equipped with a spread of international-friendly bands.
One plus, depending on your usage habits, is that the phones support dual-SIM operation where available. Of course, since Huawei's using a hybrid SIM/microSD tray, taking advantage of that secondary nano-SIM slot means giving up your access to expandable storage, a trade-off we wish phone manufacturers would stop forcing us to make.
Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016
Well!! Xiaomi. Is killer
posted on Oct 14, 2016, 8:23 AM 1
Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014
Redmi 4 FTW... same processor, RAM, and storage.. (at least that's the rumor said :P) plus bigger battery, and probably better camera... for 1/3 of the price but with s**tty availability :-/
posted on Oct 14, 2016, 9:18 AM 1
Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011
I've tried the Mate 7 and 8. I really wanted to like them. Heck flick a Pokémon ball on the Mate 8 it stutters. The GPU is terrible. The software is just weird. Oh and the battery is way over exaggerated.
posted on Oct 14, 2016, 3:06 PM 0
Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015
I am really worried about those thin bodies (7.1 mm and 7.3 mm respectively) of Nova and Nova Plus stuffed with huge 3020 and 3340 mah batteries. After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, I am not touching any phone that has even a distant hint of exploding.
posted on Oct 16, 2016, 4:31 PM 0
Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012
Phone Arena your reviews are always rubbish. I've got the Nova and the camera is sharp and excellent with good dynamic range. I'm a keen photographer and am very fussy but the Nova takes nice well exposed photos even in grey light. As usual you're always biased towards Apple or Samsung with pointless gimmick features. And this reviewer is a prat
posted on Feb 23, 2017, 12:03 AM 0
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