Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Just yesterday, the next generation of the new Nova line from Huawei was officially introduced. Huawei Nova 4 in our full review received a big improvement in comparison with previous models of Huawei Nova 3 or Nova 3i.

This is a great similarity between Samsung Galaxy A8s, which we compared to the Oppo RX17 Pro. What exactly? This is a front camera with an interesting location solution. This is a built-in camera in the screen itself to get a larger screen area on the front side.

What else catches the eye? Huawei Nova 4 got a large 6.4 inches with 86.0% screen-to-body ratio, performance with Kirin 970 as for last year’s Huawei P20 Pro, a triple camera with a 48-megapixel main sensor, worthy of a 3750 mAh battery.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

How good this triple camera is actually, and whether the new front camera smartphone from China knows how to convince in the other categories, shows the detailed review.

Yes, the characteristics are very decent, but the price will not be small, and you will need to remember the price for the Huawei Nova 3, which now stands at $370, but for the new generation, they ask for the price of $600 for the flagship phone.

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This is a great price, and is it worth overpaying? This is hard to say, as these are flagship features with interesting features. Let’s look at the specification of the phone Nova 4 2018.

Huawei Nova 4: Specifications

Huawei Nova 4: Specs
Display: 6.4 inches with 2310 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Hisilicon Kirin 970 Octa Core 2.36GHz
GPU: Mali-G72 MP12
RAM: 8GB
Internal memory: 128GB
Memory extension: TF card up to 512GB
Cameras: 48.0MP + 16MP + 2.0MP main and 25.0MP front camera
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS
Battery: 3750mAh (18W)
OS: Android 9.0
Connections: USB Type-C slot and 3.5mm Audio Jack
Weight: 172 grams
Dimensions: 157 x 75.1 x 7.8 mm
Price: $599

Huawei Nova 4: Design and Appearance

With the P and Mate series, Huawei has been showing for some time that you can compete in the luxury class of Apple and Samsung in terms of design and workmanship.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Also, the new Nova series is again flawless and very high quality processed. As with the iPhone X or the Galaxy S9, Huawei also uses a glossy glass back for the Mate P20 Pro this year.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Shimmering and reflecting in the colors blue, twilight or black, this is definitely a real eye-catcher – but unfortunately also a fingerprint catcher. After a few seconds, your own fingerprints collect on the back. A problem that comes with every glass back.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Made of metal, the Huawei Nova 4 in our test only has the frame, which gives the Nova 4 a sturdy frame and thanks to the rounded edges, it can sit well in the hand despite the 6.4-inch screen.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

In combination with the rounded design, the glass back, the camera build-in the display, it is visually reminiscent of the current latest model from Samsung.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The display is almost frameless, therefore, at the bottom, Huawei leaves a little bezel.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

And even with the arrangement of the three lenses, there is a certain similarity to the iPhone X and previous model Huawei P20 Pro – at least with regard to the vertical arrangement on the left side and the fact that the lenses protrude from the housing.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Another common feature is the availability of the classic headphone jack. Although with the Mate 20 Pro, but on the Huawei Nova 4 has the 3.5 mm jack. At the bottom, also there is a USB Type-C connector.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

About this can be heard with the included headphones music or charging the phone with a power plug.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

All in all, the Huawei Nova 4 in our analisis is a real eye-catcher with built-in front camera in the display!

Especially the color Twilight shimmers depending on the light sometimes purple, sometimes more green or blue.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The high-quality processing of glass and metal supports the noble impression of the device, which is also very good in the hand.

Huawei Nova 4: Display

With a 6.4-inch display, the screen of the Huawei Nova 4 is little larger than the 6.3-inch Nova 3.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

In addition, Huawei sets the Nova 4 model for the IPS LCD display like a previous model.

The black values are not so good like on OLED, but it makes black look really black from different angles.

Also in terms of color and brightness, the OLED display leaves little to be desired.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Together again, the Huawei Nova 4 with the normal Nova 3 has the Full HD + resolution of 1080 x 2310 pixels. For the Nova 4, this gives a pixel density of 398 ppi.

Of course, in the year 2018, there will be smartphones that have a much higher resolution, such as the Galaxy S9. Nevertheless, the FHD + display offers its user everything that the human eye is able to capture.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

This is a full screen without a notch and built-in front camera into display thought Huawei. This new solution for the location of the camera is a good suggestion, but it is only, at first sight, even a few months it will not be relevant, and other manufacturers will look for another solution for the front camera.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

But now it looks like an unusual and new solution, even if we compare it with the Galaxy A8s, the camera size of the Huawei Nova 4 is smaller than that of Samsung.

The display of the Nova 4 can only be said that it does not resolve in Quad HD, but “only” in Full HD +. For the human eye, however, this is barely recognizable and in return also ensures a longer battery life, which is quite noticeable as a human being.

Huawei Nova 4: Performance and Hardware

The performance and speed of the Huawei Nova 4 phone is a very positive side, since last year’s flagship processor Kirin 970 Octa-core up to 2.4Ghz was installed here.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

It has already earned the majority of users for his reliability and positive work both in speed and in autonomous work.

As for games, you will be able to play hard games on high graphics settings, and you will not feel discomfort when playing.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The Huawei Nova 4 in our test offers a very large 128GB of internal memory. Also, this is expandable up to 512GB, like the Mate 20 Pro.

In general, most users should get along without any problems – even with a larger photo or music collection.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

An amazingly fast and simultaneously intelligent processor that studies user behavior and an 8GB of RAM make the Nova 4 a powerful multi-tasking monster that gets even better every day. As a shortcoming remains the non-expandable memory.

Huawei Nova 4: Software

Up to date, the Huawei Nova 4 is not only in terms of design, technology, and camera but also in the software. With Android 9.0 Pie as the installed operating system, Huawei uses the most current version of the Google operating system.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The in-house user interface EMUI is also up to date. Apps, like the iOS operating system, are placed directly on the startup screens after installation. In addition to the pre-installed standard Google and Huawei apps, you can also find well-known apps like Facebook or Instagram already preinstalled.

Apps that would have landed safely on the phone for a majority of users anyway. Unfortunately, Booking.com, eBay and Netflix are among the top apps. If not needed, they can be easily deleted.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Overall, the design looks very tidy and clear, even if more and more additional features hide in the settings. Also on board is the Google Assistant, which unfortunately does not work if you do not unlock the device.

Also, the standard sensor on the Huawei Nova 4 in our analisis is the fingerprint sensor on the back. This unlocks safe and fast within a few tenths of a second.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

It is even enough to hang up only part of the fingertip and you already have an unlocked Nova 4 in your hands. But that’s not all. Because the fingerprint scanner can also be used for control if you want to dispense with the default preset on-screen buttons.

Not only by fingerprint but also with the face, the device can be unlocked. Unlike Apple uses Huawei here but only the normal front camera, a clear-cut Face ID camera is missing.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

In the test, a simple selfie on another smartphone was enough to unlock the Huawei Nova 4. If you want to be on the safe side, you should rather use the fingerprint scanner or the well-tried code.

If one decides despite the security concerns for unlocking by Face Unlock, it works very fast. You can choose between two variants: The phone unlocks immediately as soon as you hold it in front of your face or only after a swipe gesture was made from bottom to top.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

In the test, the second variant has proved to be the safer. So you make sure that you unlock the phone by mistake.

Huawei Nova 4: Sound

The audio enthusiasts may have already written the Huawei Nova 4 due to the fact that the Nova 4 has a 3.5mm audio jack. Also, the stereo speakers of the Nova 4 can actually be heard well.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

According to Huawei’s own statements, the Nova 4 uses the AI to determine what type of audio is being listened to and adjusts the playback accordingly to ensure the best possible listening experience.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The supplied in-ear headphones can be connected to the Huawei Nova 4 via the 3.5mm connection.

The sound is satisfactory for a supplied standard headphone, but the wearing comfort is probably not permanent in every ear shape.

Huawei Nova 4: Connectivity

Of course, even the most basic function of a smartphone should not be underestimated: phoning. As part of our battery test, we also used the Huawei Nova 4 for half an hour on the network.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

Both interlocutors have understood each other well and clearly. Also, a phone over the speakerphone function was possible, although the user of the Nova 4 for the other discussion participants seemed a little echoing.

If one uses the Huawei Nova 4 in the domestic or foreign WLAN, then this is possible in the Gigabit standard 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac. Mobile surfing with the Nova 4 also very fast with up to 1.2 gigabits per second – if the mobile network is able to do so.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

In addition, the Nova 4 still has the following sensors and interfaces: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, Glonass and Beidou.

In addition, the Huawei Nova 4 is dual-SIM capable. Both Nano-SIM card slots support LTE, making them ideal for anyone who likes to combine their professional and private mobile phone numbers in one device, for example.

Fast surfing speeds and the dual SIM function leave nothing to be desired.

Huawei Nova 4: Cameras

The 48-megapixel camera, together with the 16-megapixel secondary sensor and 2-megapixel last sensor on the back, also demonstrates its capabilities in close-up shots.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The focus of this example image is on a single cherry blossom, while the remaining flowers in the background come artistically blurred thanks bokeh effect.

The colors are full and very rich in contrast. This also shows the picture with the fruits and vegetables very well.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

By the way, when taking pictures of food, landscapes or animals, the artificial intelligence of the processor recognizes the image content even better.

For example, it differentiates between photographing a German shepherd or a poodle and setting the contrast of a pizza differently from a dessert.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

The telephoto lens mentioned above allows the user to pick up certain details without sacrificing quality. This is ensured by the so-called 5x hybrid zoom.

This consists of a triple optical and double electronic zoom. We tested the zoom on two objects. The first picture shows the standard perspective without zoom, the second with 3x zoom and the third picture the 5x zoom.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

The lighting conditions were not always the best here, and yet there are many details to see in the zoom images. At the television tower, for example, it is the individual small radio masts and windows.

It is also exciting if you look at the night mode at the Huawei Nova 4 in our test. Without a tripod, a smartphone camera gets a nightly or nightly backdrop only extremely difficult wobble-free captured.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

But here, too, Huawei relies on the AI, which includes the human in the recording. If you take a picture in the night mode with the long exposure, the Nova 4 takes pictures for six seconds and combines them into a photo.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

Thanks to the light-sensitive aperture, the camera here manages to capture more light than the human eye perceives. The night shots, like this shot from Paris in front of the Louvre, which I made with the Nova 4, are the best night shots I ever shot without a tripod. The shot of the campfire shows the strengths of the camera in dark light conditions.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

Similar to Apple’s iPhone X, Huawei now also offers a special portrait mode with the Nova 4. You can choose between different portrait modes with both the rear camera and the front camera.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

You can choose from Soft Lighting, Butterfly Lightning, Split Lighting, Stage Lighting, and Classic Lightning. While the first three modes are aimed primarily at the type of lighting, the stage lighting comes very close to the stage light of Apple.

The face is colored and sharp, while the background is completely black. Classic Lightning is a black and white mode. If a portrait has been taken in a certain mode, the portrait can also be subsequently converted to another mode.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: camera test & sample photos

All you have to do is click on the 3D sphere and you can switch to a mode. This works as often as you like.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

As for video quality of Huawei Nova 4, then you can record in 4K or 2160p at 30fps. The video quality is good for the price range, which is also the presence of gyro-EIS electronic stabilization.

Huawei Nova 4: Battery

As with the Galaxy S9 + and S9, we have also subjected the Huawei Nova 4 to a hard battery test. Huawei itself states that the Nova 4 can keep up with the battery life of the Mate 20 Pro. The Mate series has always been known for its excellent battery life.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

For the eight-hour hardcore battery test, we used the Huawei Nova 4 for half an hour to stream HD video via Netflix, stream music via Spotify, play a 3D game, check social media channels, surf the web, make a phone call and spend half an hour Photos and videos taken for test shots.

In between, the Huawei Nova 4 was taken again and again in order to check functions that are relevant to the test. Likewise, the display brightness was automatically regulated, Bluetooth and GPS and push messages for the popular social media services and Gmail active.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

After these eight hours, the 3750 mAh battery still showed a proud 46 percent. For comparison: The 3500 mAh battery of the Galaxy S9 + showed after the same test only 27 percent.

The strenuous 8-hour test was followed by a 16-hour standby phase. While the battery of the S9 + left the race already after 22 hours of running time, we awakened the Nova 4 after the total 24-hour test phase with a proud battery level of 29 percent.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The only drawback with the 3750 mAh strong battery thus remains the fact that it can not be charged wirelessly.

However, thanks to the SuperCharge function, the Huawei Nova 4 can be recharged very quickly thanks to the USB Type-C cable. In addition, it can be assumed that the already very good battery life after some time of use is even better.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

The CPU of the Kirin 970 will take care of that, which analyzes the usage behavior and optimizes the resources accordingly.

Huawei seems to have kept the promise of a Mate battery in the Nova series. The battery values are absolute upper class. A normal user should be able to spend two days with the battery. In addition, he learns daily and adapts to his own usage behavior.

Huawei Nova 4: Conclusions and Reviews

In the run-up, Huawei asked to “wait” to “see more”. The renaissance of photography was imminent. Now everyone has been waiting for the Galaxy S9 to the new Nova series and it can be seen: The wait was worthwhile.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

With the Nova 4, Huawei has created a true masterpiece in smartphone photography and has responded to the needs of mobile phone users.

Photos in low light conditions are difficult? The battery is running out fast? Do apps open delayed? Problems many users complain about but the Huawei Nova 4 fixes them all.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

At the same time, the intelligent processor learns over time, works more efficiently, and this is reflected in the battery life. If you are looking for a high-end smartphone with a very good battery life and camera, the Nova 4 is the best choice you can currently (December 2018) meet.

As a buyer, you should, however, be aware of the four rather small sticking points that the Huawei Nova 4 also possesses: A quad-HD display does not exist here (for a full-HD + display that gnaws less on the battery), the battery can not be charged wirelessly.

Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone?

If you can do without these features, the Nova 4 with its elegant and high-quality design will inspire its buyer not only visually, but also technically.

The new design that is introduced into the trend at the end of 2018 is, of course, the built-in screen front camera. This moment has already received two companies Huawei and Samsung. What do you think which model will be with the same solution, write in the comments.

Huawei Nova 4: Price and Where to buy cheaper?

As for the price, this is no longer the middle class of the phone, which can be bought for $350, but you will have to pay more for your specifications.

Now you can buy a phone for $599.99 and this is one store that offers to sell the phone this is Giztop. I would advise you to wait until the phone appears in Chinese stores at an affordable price, and you would not overpay for the phone more than it costs.

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Huawei Nova 4 Review: Flagship or Still Mid-Range Class Phone? was last modified: December 19th, 2018 by Boby Sanburn

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