Huawei launched a bunch of new phones during the 1st quarter. They capped it off with a series that is very familiar with Filipinos – the Nova 7i. Huawei Nova series is synonymous with power and style. Smartphones in this series are known to have a flagship-level performance at an affordable price point.

While Nova 7i does not have Kirin 980 or 990 installed (because Nova 7T might have it), we have seen what’s good (and not) about it. Today, we’re breaking everything down in this review.

Design

What we got is a Nova 7i in Crush Green colorway. Huawei Nova 7i employs a minimalist design, which reminds me of the Huawei P40 Lite. The latter was announced in some countries, and given the number of devices being launched in the Philippines, Huawei Philippines seems to be not keen in bringing it to the Philippines. We’ll see about that in the next few weeks though.

Nova 7i’s build is mainly built out of plastic, but gives the illusion that it’s made of something else. I would like to commend Huawei for making a stylishing looking device that – I feel – really resonates to their young and vibrant market.

Nova 7i Review 24The back panel is a smudge magnet though, so do keep in mind that you will need to wipe any marks off of it every now and then.

Like modern smartphones, Huawei Nova 7i has side fingerprint sensor, which doubles as a sleep and wake button. On top of it are volume rockers, which in my opinion, is the best and ergonomic location for quick and uninform access.

Nova 7i Review 1Software

At the time of this writing, Huawei has not yet rolled out the EMUI 10.1 update to Nova 7i, which is expected to bring more functions to the device. Right now, the interface that EMUI 10 offers a lot of great features like its beefed up camera software, sleek UI and growing number of apps in AppGallery.

Huawei App Gallery has all the essential apps from banking applications to photography apps. In fact, 70% of the applications that I would normally download on Google PlayStore is in Huawei App Gallery.

Nova 7i Review 2It only took me less than 5 seconds to get to top applications to see the ones that I can readily download. To my surprise, the apps I saw are from reputable banking companies and government agencies, which dispel issues that Huawei App Gallery is not a secured platform. It is time to take out that negative notion of Huawei App Gallery, and move on.

Here’s the hard fact though – consumers need more apps. While I think that more apps will come in, Huawei must focus on bringing more developers and app/game developers to support their ecosystem.

Camera

In terms of camera, this one packs a 4 cameras at the back, and a wide 16MP with f/2.0 camera in front.

Nova 7i Review 23The rear cameras are:

  • Front camera: 16 mega-pixel , F/2.0 aperture
  • Rear camera
    • 48 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture)
    • 8 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens)
    • 2 MP (Macro lens)
    • 2 MP(Bokeh lens)

Photos look impressive, and I can say that this is one of the best shooters available in the market at its price point. Dynamic range is good. Color saturation and sharpness are on point. Bokeh and portrait photos can be improved but it’s close enough to get to the flagship territory.

This phone is packed with camera features, which includes light painting, HDR, moving picture, Super Macro and High-Res apart from the standard ones. Unfortunately, video features are somewhat lacking. Slo-Mo can only go up to 16x and there is no Pro Mode available for video.

Here are some sample photos below:

Performance

In terms of performance, you can be sure that the Nova 7i has all the necessary components to make you play your games without any issues. However, as a midrange smartphone, it could have performed better had Huawei put older flagship chipsets like Kirin 980.

Nova 7i Review 5This device is a monster especially when you crank it up by enabling Performance Mode. The latter is disabled to save on battery, but if you want to play your games at relatively better performance, enabling this mode helps a lot.

To get your familiar with the specifications of P40 Pro, check out the table below.

Huawei Nova 7i
SRP PhP13,990
Display 6.4 inches
2310 x 1080 pixels
Chipset HUAWEI Kirin 810
GPU Mali-G52 MP6
RAM 8GB
ROM 128GB
Front camera 16 mega-pixel , F/2.0 aperture
Rear camera 48 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture)
8 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens)
2 MP (Macro lens)
2 MP(Bokeh lens)
Fingerprint Side-mounted Display
Battery 4200mAh
Charge HUAWEI SuperCharge (Max 40 W)
*HUAWEI SuperCharge cable and charger is required
OS Android 10; EMUI 10.1
Colors Sakura Pink
Midnight Black
Crush Green

 

I ran a few benchmark apps on this device with performance mode enabled and got the following scores.

Antutu 270,128
3D Mark (Sling Shot Extreme) Open GL ES 1,976 (Open GL ES)
Vulkan 1,916 (Vulkan)
PC Mark  (Work 2.0) 7,849
Geekbench Single Core 589
Multi-Core 1,888
Androbench Seq. Read  830.41 MB/s
Seq. Write  579.69 MB/s
CPDT Benchmark Seq. Read  476.07 GB/s
Seq. Write  373.08 MB/s

 

I managed to play triple A titles on this smartphone without any issues. With the help of AppGo, I was able to find the games I was looking for. Games like Mobile Legends, Black Desert and Call of Duty Mobile are playable at maximum settings too.

Battery

In terms of battery performance, its 4200 battery lasted up to 16 hours and 12 minutes with the following conditions:

  • Medium Usage
  • Wifi Enabled
  • Played 3 instances of Black Desert Mobile (15 minutes gameplay each instance)
  • Played 4 instances of Call of Duty Mobile Battle Royale
  • Facebook usage is clocked at 1 hour 40 minutes

Price

Huawei nova 7i is currently on sale right now for PhP13,990. Participating stores include Huawei Concept Stores, Abenson, Lazada, Shopee, Silicon Valley and MemoXpress.

Verdict

Huawei nova 7i offers the best in class in terms of photography at its price range. If there’s any feature that I’d gladly highlight, it would be its photography features. The video features seem to be lacking though, which I hope Huawei would consider beefing up in the future via patch or updates. Though its price is wildly acceptable, Huawei may also want to reconsider bring this down to PhP11,990 in order for it to competitively compete in the range it’s playing.

Founded in 2009 by Gian Viterbo, Gadget Pilipinas is one of Philippines’ top sources for news, tutorials, reviews and tips about the latest trends in technology, gadgets, games, social and digital media and cyber culture.