The Nova 2 was announced by Huawei last May. First commercialized on the Chinese market, this smartphone came later in Europe, but not in Italy. Waiting to see if it will ever be sold officially even in our country we decided to buy it in Germany and to try it, also considering its interesting features.
In fact, it is a compact smartphone with a 5-inch diagonal display and a 20-megapixel front camera, plus a Kirin 659 processor supported by 4GB of RAM.
The design is quite similar to that of the Huawei P10 which in turn resembles an iPhone. We therefore have a whole metal body with slightly rounded edges and perfectly joined to the glass that protects the front. The profile has a shiny color compared to the back that holds enough fingerprints.
Even though it is pretty slippery , ergonomics is still great in particular thanks to its small size and weight of about 140 grams. If desired, you can also reduce the size of the interface using a gesture gesture on the function keys. In packs we also find a rigid plastic cover.
On the side there are the volume control buttons, well within reach, and the light-knit ignition key . At the bottom, the audio jack , main microphone, system speaker, and Type-C USB portare positioned. On the top, however, there is only the second microphone.
On the front, in addition to proximity and brightness sensors , there is also a 20 megapixel camera and a small RGB notification LED placed next to the headset cap. The function keys are on display and can be customized through the settings.
Sensor for fingerprint recognition is at the back , fast in release, and also lets you scroll through the notifications panel, take pictures, and browse through the media gallery. Slightly protruding from the body, we also find the two main cameras and the LED flash.
From the hardware point of view we have characteristics quite similar to those of the Huawei P10 Lite . The processor is a HiSilicon Kirin 659 , a 2.36GHz octa-core Cortex-A53, slightly slower than the Kirin 658 used in the P10 Lite.
Overall, the performance is satisfactory. The user interface is always very fluid, responsive and further contributes to making it enjoyable to use. The 4GB RAM memory allows you to manage a good amount of multitasking applications and applications are always quick to start. Real Racing 3 , our reference game, takes about 11 seconds.
Benchmarking places this Nova 2 in the middle of the midfield, reaching very low scores.With GeekBench , in fact, there are 904 points in single core and 3475 in multi-core. With AnTuTu , however, the 61,651 points are touched.
At our disposal we have about 52GB of built-in 64GB that we can expand via the microSD(which can be set as the default system position), which will still occupy the second SIM card slot. Ultimately you have to choose, expand, or use the phone with two sim , a widespread but uncomfortable solution.
- Display 5 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD LTPS 2.5D
- Octa-Core Processor Kirin 659 (4x A53 by 2.36GHz + 4x A53 by 1.7GHz) / GPU MaliT830-MP2
- 4GB RAM , 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) with EMUI 5.1
- 12MP rear camera with flash LEDs, PFAF, 1.25μm pixels, aperture f / 1.8. Second 8MP sensor.
- 20MP front camera
- Sensor for fingerprint recognition
- 3.5mm audio jack , AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip, 3D surround sound
- Dinemsions : 142.2 × 68.9 × 6.9mm; Weight: 143 grams
- 4G LTE , Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS / Glonass, USB Type-C
- Battery : Integrated 2950mAh
The technical data sheet shows some shortcomings regarding connectivity. Wi-Fi 802.11, in fact, is only one-way and supports b / g / n protocols. There is no NFC and FM radio is also missing. Bluetooth is version 4.2, while the Type-C USB port supports 2.0 specifications.
Huawei’s Nova 2 is a LTPS with Full HD resolution , a diagonal of 5 inches and a density of 443ppi . From a qualitative point of view there are “lights and shadows”. In frontal view, in fact, we have a good contrast and saturated colors. In the side view, however, black tends to light up quite quickly by reducing the contrast and altering the colors a bit. However, the angles of vision remain broad.
By setting, we can adjust the color temperature, and you can also activate or program areading mode that reduces blue to less fatigue at night. Good outdoor viewing is also good thanks to a high backlight of the panel and a fairly fast light sensor. Effective also the oleophobic protection of the front glass.
However, using Nova 2 on these last summer days I noticed an annoying problem . The display, in fact, is polarized only vertically . Looking at it with sunglasses with polarized lenses, then, it almost completely darkens when we hold it horizontally, making it almost impossible to visualize it.
The Huawei Nova 2 is a Dual SIM Dual Standby with support for LTE networks only on the main SIM. On the secondary SIM, only 2G networks are supported. The two SIMs are well managed through the dedicated menu which also allows you to activate automatic call diversion to be always reachable. You can also customize the ringtone for each SIM and also choose whether or not to activate the vibration.
The reception is good as well as the audio quality in the capsule, which only have a bit of low tones. Through the system speaker, placed on the bottom, the volume is quite high and there are no distortions. Even in this case you feel the lack of lower shades. Included is a good quality headset with answer button and volume adjustment buttons and song selection.
The battery, integrated, is a 2950mAh with quick charging via the supplied charger .Charging is completed in about an hour and a half. Good autonomy though, not diagonally wide display I would have expected something more. On average I reached the 5 hour active display on an intensive use of about 14 hours . With a more moderate use you can come without any special problems at the end of the day.
If needed, EMUI also provides energy saving systems : one restricts the activity of the apps in the background, disables synchronization, and reduces some visual effects; the other, the “Ultra”, only enables the essential functionality and only makes use of few applications possible.
Among the settings there is also a function that reduces the resolution to save energy.
There are many features offered by the EMUI UI in version 5.1 based on Android 7.0 . We do not know if and when Android 8.0 Oreo will come. I do not think much about the features of this interface, now common to all the latest Huawei smartphones.
In addition to the themes and the ability to choose whether or not to use the app drawer, we can duplicate both Facebook and Whatsapp to use them with two different accounts, and enable a simplified interface with very large text and icons.
There’s no shortage of classic gestures with knuckles for making screenshots, capturing display portions, launching applications by drawing letters or starting a recording. Android Nougat dual windows can also be activated by drawing a line with the knot.
Among other settings, we also have the option to activate a floating button to replicate the function keys and choose the type of notification we want to receive (banner, lock screen, priority, ring tone and vibration) for each application.
The Nova 2 has a dual rear camera but not with RGB and monochrome sensors as seen on the P10 and P10 Plus . Here, Huawei used a 12-megapixel sensor with f / 1.8 aperture,which was joined by an 8 megapixel telephoto lens .
In addition to allowing a 2x zoom without excessive loss of quality , the two cameras work together and also allow you to get brighter and more defined photos. By measuring the depth of field, you can also use a portrait mode with background blur effect.
The camera interface is the classic one of Huawei. We therefore have many options for shooting and also many settings that can be achieved by moving your finger to the right or left. PRO mode allows you to save RAW format and is also available for videos that can have a full 30fps Full HD resolution . There is no shot with HDR , panorama mode, and Light Painting effects.
At the top of the interface, you can activate portrait mode , which uses field depth data detected by the secondary sensor, and “moving images” that associate a photo with a short video before and after shooting.
The photographic quality is good considering the price range of this Huawei Nova 2. In enlightenment lighting, you can capture detailed, contrasting images and natural colors that are not particularly saturated. Even in lighter lighting conditions, however, you can still get good quality pictures but you lose in detail and even increase the noise.
Huawei’s Nova 2 is especially suitable for those who like to take photos. The front camera, in fact, has a 20-megapixel sensor and allows excellent shooting even if there is no focus that could make the photos much better. Among the settings, there is also a portrait mode here to artificially create a bokeh effect . The end result, however, did not please me very much.
Videos are not in my view up to the photos. However, they are of discrete quality and have a maximum FHD resolution at 30fps.
As mentioned in the opening, Huawei Nova 2 is not yet officially distributed in Italy but is still sold online for about 400 euros . Too many, in my opinion, considering that at a similar price is also found the Huawei P10 or Honor 9 . Among the disadvantages of this Nova 2 we also add a bit limited connectivity and a display that did not quite convince me.
For the rest, the Nova 2 of Huawei is still a good quality, well-made, handy smartphone that takes good photos and also offers good performance. Good, not great, autonomy. A smartphone to consider if and when the price drops.a