It is hard to deny that smartphones are moving towards the trend of 18:9 displays. While these displays are mostly exhibited by flagship handsets, Huawei was one of the companies who defied the odds by launching a mid range device that sports a full screen display. Not only that, the Huawei Nova 2i features dual camera setups both on the rear and the front of the device. But does Huawei mean business or are those cameras more like a gimmick than anything else?

Huawei Nova 2i Review: Can 4 cameras do justice? 5

Design and Display

Let’s get the design out of the way first. Nothing too special here – the Nova 2i has a typically sleek metal chassis, which rules out wireless charging. What the company intends to boast is the fact that it is fitted a 5.9-inch display into a standard 5.5-inch form factor. The display of the phone is of Full HD+ resolution with an aspect ratio of 18:9. While the screen does somewhat provide a more immersive viewing experience at times, I personally did not realize a huge difference, possibly due to the on screen buttons.

One plus point is that the slim bezels above and below the display does make the phone look attractive. The brightness level of the display however is a huge let down, since it is more to the dim side. This makes outdoor viewing difficult especially under sunlight, although brightness has been maxed out. Colors are not the most accurate you’ll find on displays, with less than favorable saturation overall, but that is down to personal preference.

Huawei Nova 2i Review: Can 4 cameras do justice? 6

Performance and Software

The Huawei Nova 2i is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 659 processor, an octa core mid range chipset with clock speeds of up to 2.36 GHz. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. As far as performance goes, the fluidity when operating the device is generally disappointing. To be honest, I expected the Nova 2i to at least pack the punches one would usually find on a 2017 mid range smartphone. Unfortunately, the overall performance of the phone is under par.

Lagging and slowdowns can be seen especially when switching between apps, which makes it a loser when it comes to multitasking. The slower app loading times can be overlooked, but it seems like apps take a while to smoothen up when switching from another app. With slowdowns reaching a point where apps can be unresponsive for a good couple of seconds, performance is probably one of the huge drawbacks of the Nova 2i. For now, I’m giving Huawei the benefit of the doubt as it might take time for software to be optimized since this is a fairly new device.

Speaking of software, the Huawei Nova 2i runs on Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 which is based on Android Nougat. EMUI isn’t too heavy on the whole system, with only a couple of bells and whistles in some aspects. I find gestures particularly useful, especially knocking twice to capture a screenshot. At the end of the day, it is Android, and the customizability of the OS is virtually endless.

READ MORE  Huawei Mate 40 series launched with Kirin 9000 chipset and 50MP cameras

Huawei Nova 2i Review: Can 4 cameras do justice? 7

Camera

Here is where we find out whether the 4 cameras do work as advertised, and the answer is more of a yes than a no. Let’s talk about the rear camera setup first – a 16MP + 2MP setup. As usual, daylight performance is decent, with a plunge in quality under lowlight. Huawei does apply a generous amount of sharpening to its images, and some of them obviously look oversharpened. Contrast, dynamic range and color reproduction are generally fair. Night shots are rather disappointing, but only in auto mode. Toss in a tripod and some tweaking in the camera’s Pro Mode, and the results are impressive. This of course comes with the lowering of ISO and longer shutter speeds as opposed to auto mode where the camera boosts up the ISO to compensate for quicker shutter speeds. Huawei’s camera software allows the tweaking of the aperture after taking a shot, which comes in really handy. Conclusively, a pretty decent performer which can pack a surprise or two.

The front facing dual camera setup of 13MP + 2MP has a rather inconsistent performance throughout. It does do well as expected in daylight conditions, but night shots can involve overbrightening of selfies, which result in a blown out image. It comes equipped with an LED flash, which doesn’t work too well either, making it very obvious that the flash is being used in pictures. The bokeh mode, which is why there are two cameras, isn’t too bad and fun to tweak with at times. Generally, the selfie camera(s) could do better without the extra brightening and softening of images, which are likely fixable with a simple software update.

Huawei Nova 2i Review: Can 4 cameras do justice? 8

Battery

The Huawei Nova 2i packs a 3,340mAh battery, which is claimed to provide up to two days of use. Depending on whether you’re a light or heavy user, the statement isn’t entirely true. It is however capable of lasting a good 1.5 days, which is already a great achievement.

One huge caveat however is that the phone uses a micro USB port, and on top of that does not feature any form of fast charging technology. It can be viewed as a trade off for its price, or its capability of lasting well over a day’s use, but Huawei’s decision to fit a micro USB port on this handset is rather backward thinking. The absence of fast charging tech is a huge letdown as well, as charging the device for 20 minutes to half an hour only makes a tiny difference. It would be much better if Huawei equipped the Nova 2i with some form of fast charging feature, which makes a significant difference.

The Good

  • Modern design and 18:9 display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Camera performs well in Pro Mode

The Not so Good

  • Dim display
  • Lags and slows down more than usual for a mid range smartphone
  • Micro USB and lack of fast charging technology

 

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Display
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Design
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Performance
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Network
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Battery Life
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Value
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Reuben hopes to experiment in human augmentation some day. Apart from his love for mobile technology, Reuben remains loyal to his passion for music as a musician, a proof that two-timing is always possible.
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26 Comments
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MammyPk
MammyPk
2 years ago

Want to buy iPhone X buy but anyone know which telco offer plan with best package without tied up any contract…

IronMann
IronMann
2 years ago
Reply to  MammyPk

My friend just sign up from celcom easyphone, i think that one is what you are looking for right now… pretty suit what you need… check it out!

Marinda Shan
Marinda Shan
2 years ago
Reply to  IronMann

i just signup an iphone x with this plan!! seriously nice la the plan, quite many of my friends taking this plan too

Holista Yen
Holista Yen
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

Iphone x very easy break la… my friend just bought no long ago once drop then good bye… fix it also costly… so i rather take andriod phone…
and now they have easyphone even got excuse to change new phone already… hahaha

Marinda Shan
Marinda Shan
2 years ago
Reply to  Holista Yen

not all taking iphone x la, some of my friends taking android phone also. They got many brand for you to choose.

IronMann
IronMann
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

Up to date i know they offering at least 21 devices smartphone options so far with low monthly payment, device protection seem open for new user only if not mistaken…

Reena WKY
Reena WKY
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

how nice is it? does the plan famous on your place? can share more details?

Marinda Shan
Marinda Shan
2 years ago
Reply to  Reena WKY

the price for the device save alot compare to market price and you can choose the data plan that suits you, not like others forcing you to take the most expensive data plan only

Jimmy
Jimmy
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

do you think the the plan they offer is cheaper? mostly i found that the plan may focus on certain value, if you need more value, then need to pay more on monthly installment.

Kinder B.
Kinder B.
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

If you check on the easyphone price list, the plan will mostly remain the same price and add on the device protection, that also use to protect the new buyer.

YeoYeo
YeoYeo
2 years ago
Reply to  Kinder B.

Miss out they have this device protection added benefit… I’ll rather pay this protection and no need worry anything happens… anyone have sign this celcom easyphone so far?

KaccyMary
KaccyMary
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

but normally celcom’s plan is more ecpensive than others telco. if really wan low price better you consider digi or umobile

Tintink
Tintink
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

but normally celcom’s plan is more ecpensive than others telco. if really wan low price better you consider digi or umobile

MammyPk
MammyPk
2 years ago
Reply to  Tintink

I’ve checked with celcom outlet, this is really for those cannot afford can really consider this promotion… no require down payment somemore… so just select the phone and pay installment will do…

YeoYeo
YeoYeo
2 years ago
Reply to  Marinda Shan

Marinda Shan This also one of the greater part of easyphone… you are free to select the plan you need… last time the most expensive plan get cheaper price… now all the same…

Reena WKY
Reena WKY
2 years ago
Reply to  IronMann

Easy phone, what is that, a new plan?

Kinder B.
Kinder B.
2 years ago
Reply to  Reena WKY

as i know that one is the new plan for buyer who want to buy a new phone. The monthly payment will differ from with which brand you choose. Can search celcom easyphone to know more.

KaccyMary
KaccyMary
2 years ago
Reply to  IronMann

normally this kind of special offer only available for their royal customers, not for new user la

Tintink
Tintink
2 years ago
Reply to  IronMann

normally this kind of special offer only available for their royal customers, not for new user la

YeoYeo
YeoYeo
2 years ago
Reply to  MammyPk

Normally take the phone with plan will tied up with the package… but recently celcom did come out some special package like Ironmann said wihout contract… I heard from friend discussed about it… not too sure how it work…

KaccyMary
KaccyMary
2 years ago
Reply to  YeoYeo

without contract?! they sure got many t&c for the plan user if not sure many ppl using ady. better you ask and think twice before you take this kind of offer

Tintink
Tintink
2 years ago
Reply to  YeoYeo

without contract?! they sure got many t&c for the plan user if not sure many ppl using ady. better you ask and think twice before you take this kind of offer

Jimmy
Jimmy
2 years ago
Reply to  MammyPk

if can, i would like to buy with cash, straight away settle the payment. Because monthly installment style is suitable for the user that frequently call for business or personal purpose… so think before you choose…

KaccyMary
KaccyMary
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

i also prefer direct buying with cash. sometimes those telco will charge this and that and lastly the device price might slightly lower than market price but u have to continuously pay for years

Tintink
Tintink
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

i also prefer direct buying with cash. sometimes those telco will charge this and that and lastly the device price might slightly lower than market price but u have to continuously pay for years

MammyPk
MammyPk
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

If I got no financial issue I will agreed you options… but now Iphone X can take up my 1.5 month salary… that why i need some plan…