The Huawei nova 8 is a very competitive phone in the sea of mid-range smartphones. It has a stunning design and a very capable performance.
The Huawei nova 8 breaks the ice of Huawei's smartphone division since it has been a long time since the company released a smartphone in the country. However, it seems like the long wait is worth it since the nova 8 carries multiple improvements from its predecessor, except for one essential feature - the 5G connectivity.
Huawei nova 8 Review
We gave you our initial impressions about the handset, this time we are plunging into the smartphone's feature set in this review of the Huawei nova 8.
The Huawei nova 8 is a stunner when it comes to looks. This is the area where the company took a huge leap; in fact the smartphone exudes a flagship vibe rather than a mid-range appeal. The nova 8 footprint is strikingly thin at 7.64 millimeters. This makes the smartphone very easy to use and slide in our pockets.
The Blush Gold Huawei nova 8 variant is quite a spectacle. It reflects light on its panel with concentric rays that starts from the lower section of the camera. This gives off different color tones that look good on the eyes. Huawei also now uses a different arrangement of cameras in the handset's oval-shaped camera module.
On the front, there's a punch-hole display which are curved halfway towards the side bezels. This reminds me of the Huawei P30, only that this is a thinner device.
There's no 3.5-mm audio jack here, but like most of you, I'm not complaining. The usual ports are in their no-nonsense placements, and there's also a USB-C port at the bottom side.
The Huawei nova 8 frames a 6.57-inch FHD+ OLED display. In addition, the panel is treated with 90Hz refresh rate.
The handset's curved display runs seamlessly towards the side frame which looks very cool. It also supports 240Hz touch sampling rate that makes it very sensitive to touch inputs.
Like any other OLED displays, nova 8's panel is quite exceptional. Whites are clear and blacks are deep. The display also exudes higher contrast and on-point color accuracy. Viewing angles are very generous which makes this handset ideal for sharing content with friends and family. On top that, the very immersive display elevates user's viewing experience.
The Huawei nova 8 is powered by Kirin 820E SoC which is quite an efficient chipset. It can handle serious tasks like gaming, photo editing, and even video editing using mobile apps.
The Huawei nova 8 scored 572 in single-core and 1936 in multi-core benchmark test using the Geekbench 5 benchmarking tool.
To complement the immersive display, the Huawei nova 8 employs a decent loudspeaker. In turn, the device is a perfect companion in streaming your favorite shows in Netflix or watching videos in YouTube.
When it comes to connectivity, the smartphone does not support 5G which is quite a bummer since its predecessor, the nova 7, is one of the first phones to feature 5G in the Philippines. However, we are not holding this against the Huawei nova 8 since we all know the history on how the company fell short of 5G chipsets. With that being said, cellular internet connectivity is still good. On top of that, call reception is quite clear even in closed areas or inside moving vehicles.
The Huawei nova 8's camera module is top-billed by the 64MP main shooter. There's a wide-angle camera with 8MP sensor, and two 2MP sensors for the depth and macro capabilities.
As expected, the main camera outputs capable photos with good amount of detail and color saturation. Bokeh shots are surprisingly good with on-point background blurring. The wide-angle camera is also very convenient to use in taking landscape shots.
Likewise, the nova 8 is a performer when it comes to low-light shots, especially indoors. It shoots photos with decent amount of detail, contrast, and color saturation. Skyline photos also came out well even in a night setting.
The 32MP front-facing camera takes sharable selfies. You can also take night and portrait shots using the front camera.
Here are the sample pictures:
The Huawei nova 8 boots with Huawei's new operating system, the HarmonyOS. This software is streamlined from the EMUI, and became popular due to its seamless integration across the company's product portfolio like tablets, TVs, and more. However, in terms of the UI, the new skin does not depart from the older software.
Icons, toggles, and animations are still familiar but cleaner. The Huawei AppGallery is the front and center of content and apps. For the unsupported titles, you can still sideload it from the Petal Search.
There's no GMS here but you can still use the native browser when you need to use Google services. Some sideloaded apps need GMS for them to run; if this is the case, you can use the web version of the apps (if available).
In the battery department, the nova 8 packs a decent 3800 mAh battery which is also very evident in its slim profile. The handset also supports the company's proprietary 66W SuperCharge fast charging technology. Fair to moderate users may have an all-day battery life. Running graphic-hungry apps could significantly drain your battery percentage.
To be honest, the Huawei nova 8 can compete well in the mid-range department even without 5G capability and Google Mobile Services. Its design is its main turf - svelte body, curved glass screen, and minimal footprint. It also has a capable set of cameras and stunning display with 90Hz refresh rate.
The Huawei nova 8 is only priced at Php 19,999 - that's a very competitive price for a well-designed phone. If you're into the Huawei ecosystem, this is definitely an instant purchase. Those who prefer flagship-grade design, flashy display, and good camera over 5G and GMS may consider this smartphone. However, others who are looking for an all-rounder mid-range device may have to look somewhere else.
- Flagship-grade design
- Stunning display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Decent camera
- Practical price
- No 5G connectivity
- No GMS
Huawei nova 8 Specs
- 160.12 x 74.1 x 7.64 mm, 169 grams
- 6.57-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080p) OLED display
- 90Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate
- Huawei Kirin 820E (7nm) SoC
- Hexa-core (3x2.22GHz Cortex-A76, 3x1.84GHz Cortex-A55)
- Mali-G57 (6-core) GPU
- 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM
- Quad rear camera: 64MP main (f/1.9 aperture) + 8MP ultrawide (f/2.4 aperture) + 2MP depth (f/2.4 aperture) + 2MP macro (f/2.4 aperture)
- 32MP selfie camera (f/2.0)
- Up to 4K videos (rear/front)
- 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth v5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
- USB Type-C 2.0, USB OTG
- Fingerprint sensor (in-display)
- EMUI 12
- 3800 mAh battery, with 66W Huawei SuperCharge
- Blush Gold
- SRP P19,999