It’s been a long time since I tested Huawei mobile devices. The other day, before the release of the new line of the Huawei Nova 8 5G smartphone, I thought that the manufacturer had ceased to exist and released new products to the mobile device market. But I was a little mistaken and these were all my assumptions.
Today in this full and in-depth review, I want to talk about the flagship smartphone model in the Nova line. Previously, the Nova line was considered a mid-budget, but now it is impossible to call the new eighth generation budget at all.
For example, the official price for the Huawei Nova 8 smartphone was about $ 450. At the same time, Chinese outbid have bought all the models of the device and are selling them at their price of $630. Is this a normal move on the part of Huawei? Why doesn’t the company keep track of prices and allow other black companies to inflate the price tag on its products?
But I will not dwell on the negative point and let me tell you about the technical features of the updated smartphone model from Huawei. In fact, the technical component touched on most aspects when comparing the new generation of the smartphone with its predecessors. For example, the new smartphone received the flagship Kirin 985 5G processor with 8 and 128 GB of memory or 8 and 256 GB versions of the memory.
The device was also equipped with a large 6.57-inch OLED screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate. In addition, the smartphone stands out with a 64-megapixel main camera and a 32-megapixel front camera. At the same time, the built-in battery capacity on the device was 3800 mAh with 66W fast charging.
At first glance, the technical features of the new smartphone from Huawei have become very attractive. But is everything as perfect as the advertising brochure assures us? Let’s find out the strengths and weaknesses of a smartphone in real life.
Huawei Nova 8: Specifications
|Huawei nova 8 5G:||Specs|
|Display:||6.57 inches OLED with 1080 x 2380 pixels, 90Hz|
|CPU:||Kirin 985 5G Octa Core 2.58 GHz|
|Cameras:||64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MPmain camera and 32MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, 5G Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and GPS|
|OS:||Android 11 (EMUI 11)|
|Dimensions:||160.1 x 74.1 x 7.6 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The new model of the Huawei Nova 8 smartphone comes in the most familiar white packaging, like most of the various devices from Huawei. On the front of the case, you can find the name of the model with its logo.
At the same time, I found the following components inside the package. This is the smartphone itself, which was packed in a protective transport film. Also in the boxes, I saw a protective transparent case for the back panel, a Type-C charging cable and a 66W power adapter.
Naturally, you can still find various documentation and a needle for a SIM tray. In general, the package bundle looked typical, like most models in this segment of devices. But the manufacturer focuses on the appearance and says that this is the most beautiful smartphone in recent years. Is this so, let’s find out.
Design, build quality and materials
The first thing that you pay attention to is the dimensions of the device, they are 160.1 x 74.1 x 7.6 mm and the smartphone weighs only 169 grams. By today’s standards, this is a fairly lightweight and compact smartphone. From a practical point of view, I was comfortable with the Huawei Nova 8, even though there was a large 6.57-inch screen on the front of the screen.
From the Aliexpress store, you can see that the new version of the smartphone comes in different color options. It is in black, yellow, purple and green. That is, the color combination is very extensive. I have a purple version of the device and it looks very interesting. That is, depending on the angle of inclination, the back of the case will change its color.
As for the materials of manufacture, both the front and the back of the smartphone received a protective glass in their performance. At the same time, the smartphone is assembled very well and I did not find any extraneous squeaks or sounds.
I would like to draw special attention to the back of the Nova 8 smartphone. The main part of the case was made of matte protective glass, on which there were no fingerprints at all. But the edge was already made of glossy glass and this really refreshes the new model of the device from Huawei.
If you look at the back panel of the smartphone, you can see a rather large oval body of the main camera. It houses four camera modules with LED flash. Also, the cut of the case had a slight rounding and this made it possible to use the smartphone with great comfort in real life.
Meanwhile, on the front of the device, in addition to the screen itself, there is also a rounding of the screen along the edges on the left and right sides. At the same time, the frames around the screen were minimal. But the front camera, which was built into the screen, received a rather large round cutout, as for modern standards. Also on top of the screen, you can see the location of the earpiece and other sensors.
The side edge of the Huawei Nova 8 smartphone on the right side received typical control buttons. These are the volume rocker and the power button. Both buttons worked properly and I did not find any comments during my testing. At the same time, there was nothing on the left side of the hull.
At the bottom of the smartphone, I found a Type-C charging connection, a main speaker and a microphone hole. But on the top of the device, there is another hole for an additional microphone and a slot for dual nano SIM cards.
As I said, Nova 8 only received one speaker. But I cannot say that he was quiet. The maximum volume value was very good, even with a good margin. I also liked the sound quality and the presence of a little bass. Of the minuses, I can highlight the lack of a 3.5 mm audio jack and there is no additional slot for a microSD memory card.
Ok, now I propose to talk about the quality of the screen and its features.
Screen and image quality
I did not find any problems with the transmitted picture on the large 6.57-inch screen on the new model of the Huawei Nova 8. In addition, I would like to note about a good and bright picture thanks to the installed OLED matrix. The color gamut was really wide and all colors had the correct shade.
In this case, the screen resolution was Full HD+ or 1080 x 2340 pixels. It was a bit unusual to see the aspect ratio being in the 19.5:9 range. Usually modern devices have an aspect ratio of 20:9.
If you look at the pixel density per inch, then it was 392 PPI. But the screen-to-body ratio on the front part was 89.3%. Other interesting features include a 90Hz screen refresh rate and HDR10 function.
Also in the settings, you can find a fairly wide list of various functions and features. For example, there are eye protection modes, reading mode, color selection, night mode, and dark mode. In addition, in the screen settings, you can reduce the screen resolution and screen refresh rate. This feature will be useful when the battery level is low.
Performance, benchmarks, games and OS
As I said at the beginning of the review, the Kirin 985 processor with 5G network support is responsible for the performance of the Huawei Nova 8 5G device. This is a pretty powerful chipset that shows solid results in benchmark tests. It is based on eight cores, where one powerful Cortex-A76 core clocked at 2.58 GHz. The other three cores are Cortex-A76 at 2.4 GHz and four more energy-efficient Cortex-A55 cores at 1.84 GHz.
You can see the benchmark test results in the album below. Everything here is not as bad as for a modern device with 7 nanometer manufacturing technology.
As for gaming abilities, the Nova 8 smartphone received a good graphics accelerator Mali-G77. I was able to easily play modern games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile and even Genshin Impact. All games started without any problems and I did not find any difficulties while playing. In addition, even after a long gaming session, the device did not get very hot.
In terms of the amount of memory, not everything is so bad either. For example, the Huawei Nova 8 5G smartphone uses 8 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. The read and write speed was very good and you can see the indicators in the picture below.
At the same time, I cannot say that the device performed poorly on the wireless side. For example, a modern dual-band Wi-Fi module is used on board a smartphone. There is also Bluetooth 5.1, accurate and fast operation of the GPS module, and in addition there is an important NFC module for contactless payment.
Okay, now let’s talk about the operating system that received Android 10. This is certainly not the best news for a smartphone from the 2021 lineup. But the user interface itself works quite fast and has many different functions and gestures on board.
As you may know, the user interface of EMUI 11 does not have on board Google services and thus applications from Google. Therefore, you will have to install third party apps through a store called AppGallery. Naturally, this is not the most comforting news, but all customers from Huawei or Honor products have been facing this problem for more than one year.
Camera and sample photos
The main camera module on the Huawei Nova 8 has a maximum resolution of 64 megapixels with an aperture of f/1.9. There are also three additional sensors located nearby. This is an 8MP ultra wide module, and two 2MP sensors for macro and bokeh shots. You can also see a dual LED flash on the island of the main camera.
At the same time, a 32-megapixel camera for selfies with an aperture of f/2.0 is located on the front of the device.
As for the image quality, I did not find any particular complaints during the use of each camera module. That is, all the sensors worked properly and did not cause any problems with performance. You can see examples of photos in the album below.
The camera app has a lot of interesting features. For example, modes such as night, portrait, beauty, photo, video, macro, ultra wide, and more. At night, when using the night mode, the photos on the 64-MP camera module turned out to be quite bright and clear, which cannot please me either.
Battery and run time
The Huawei Nova 8 smartphone has a 3800 mAh battery. You might think that this is not as much as it is for a modern device. Yes, I also thought so at first, during my testing. But it turned out to be a little different from a practical point of view.
During my tests, the device ran smoothly for two full working days. With the automatic setting of the screen brightness, the smartphone showed the result of about 7.5 hours of the screen on. Usually, this result is within 5-5.5 hours.
As far as I understand, the manufacturer Huawei has worked with the optimization of the smartphone and therefore, the battery life was so high.
Another feature of this model is the availability of fast charging. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review and from the unboxing section, the Huawei Nova 8 received a 66W power adapter. The manufacturer promises that the device will charge from 0 to 100% in just 35 minutes. But I got a slightly different result in about 44 minutes, which is also not so bad.
Conclusion, reviews, pros and cons
After in-depth testing of the new model of the Huawei Nova 8 5G device, I was left with a good impression.
For example, the smartphone showed itself from a good technical point of view. That is, it uses a modern and efficient Kirin 985 5G processor and a Mali-G77 graphics accelerator. Both of them show good performance not only in the user interface, but also in games.
In addition, the Nova 8 has received a good and high-quality build using premium materials in its design. Let me remind you that the body of the smartphone was made of protective glass with a beautiful iridescent pattern.
I can also highlight a bright and vibrant screen with OLED technology and 90 Hz refresh rate. The device also received good sensors for the main and front cameras. And most importantly, the battery life was very good, and there was a quick charge with a power of 65 watts.
The disadvantages of the Huawei Nova 8 5G smartphone are typical, as with most devices from the Huawei brand. As you can guess, this is the lack of Google services and their applications. Therefore, the average user will be a little uncomfortable using the AppGallery application to install third-party programs.
I would also like to get stereo sound, the presence of a slot for a microSD memory card and a headphone jack. But all of these above features are not on board the Nova 8 smartphone.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
As I said at the beginning of the article, the price tag for the Huawei Nova 8 5G smartphone is rather overpriced. For example, you can currently buy the device for $630.24 with a 33% discount. But in fact, the official cost should be in the range of $450.
Therefore, I cannot recommend this smartphone model due to the high price tag. If the price suddenly decreases, then the device has a good potential for its existence.