Huawei is my biggest surprise in the smart phone market this year. It seems like the Chinese tech company cranked it up to 11 in 2016 and really hit their stride with the Honor 8, a smart device that functioned like a high end phone, with the price tag of a mid tier cell. They found their niche with that kind of functionality, which is why they also created the Nova line. In many ways the Huawei Nova Plus feels very similar the Honor 8 in the sense that it’s another flagship style device, but it more or less offers up a different experience than their other smart phones. Still, if this is Huawei’s flagship going forward, this doesn’t quite hold up
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Huawei Nova Plus though. Starting with the cosmetics, the Huawei Nova Plus looks top of the line. With an aluminum casing across the back along with a thumb reader underneath the rear camera, there’s no doubt Huawei want this to be the device people talk about. It comes in “Prestige Gold”, “Titanium Gray”, and “Moonlight Silver”. We got the gray and it looks sleek and professional in its minimalist design. Flipping the device over reveals a 5.5’ black glass screen capable of 1080p resolution. It’s unfortunate the screen is so large though considering there is no scratch resistant surface. Still, it’s simplistic design carries over on this side with no home button on the front. Aside from the front facing camera and the ear speaker the entire screen side of the Huawei Nova Plus is unobstructed.
While the outside looks high end, under the hood of the Huawei Nova Plus is a device that doesn’t quite compete with top of the line devices, but is much better than those in the middle of the pack. Running on Android Marshmallo, the Huawei Nova Plus is able to use the latest Android software. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and an octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex- A53 CPU, it’s insides are weaker than pretty much any flaghship device, but it does fall more in line with mid tier offerings, maybe even being slightly more powerful than most. Its graphics processing is in line with that assessment as well. The Huawei Nova Plus uses an Adreno 506 GPU, which for comparison’s sake is a lower graphics processor than the HTC 10, but better than say, the Sony Xperia Z5.
Battery life on the Huawei Nova Plus is decent as well. With average use, the device can last a whole day without need for a charge. It’s battery is fast charging as well, meaning even if you do get close to a dead battery, that won’t last long. The only downside is that the battery is not removable, which is understandable considering the device is a solid aluminum.
In terms of sound output, the Huawei Nova Plus offers up decent sound, but it’s nowhere near as good as other devices we’ve reviewed this year. While its dual speakers ensure your favourite tunes are loud, they feel somehow muffled. But it still has a 3.5 mm headphone jack so you’re still covered there.
At the end of the day however, Huawei pride’s itself on its camera, and the Huawei Nova Plus is no different in that regard. With a 16 MP camera, users can take some of the best pictures on the market while allegedly shooting 4K video. While I was more of a fan of the Honor 8’s picture ability, the Huawei Nova Plus shouldn’t be taken lightly, offering phase detection autofocus, and dual tone flash. Still with 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection,
They’ll just sacrifice some internal specs to achieve that. Which makes grading the Huawei Nova Plus kind of difficult. On one hand, this is a low end flagship device that does not offer up the same performance as the peers it tries to replicate, but on the other, if you compare it to most companies mid range devices, it blows them out of the water. Still, the Huawei Nova Plus functions very well despite it’s relative lack of horsepower, and it’s camera alone makes it a worthy buy. Just beware; you get what you pay for.