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Huawei Nova 5T vs more expensive Samsung and OPPO phones - Can it win?

OPPO
This year a lot of smartphone brands released mid-range phones with capable specs like the latest release Huawei Nova 5T.
Nova 5T vs A70 vs Reno

It resulted in many raves online about its stunning design, powerful chipset, and AI cameras for just less than 20K.

Recently, we even compared its specs against pricier phones like the Samsung Galaxy A70 and OPPO Reno and we think that there's a chance that it can win.

So, by side-by-side comparing them, we can answer these questions: Do you really need to spend more for Galaxy A70 or OPPO Reno? and Which is the best value for money phone for the tech-loving youth among the three?

Let's begin!

Build Quality/Design

Shiny back designs
Shiny back designs

A lot of users prefer smartphones with stylish designs and the Reno, A70 and Nova 5T are not lacking at this department.

Nova 5T and OPPO Reno are made out of real glass

The OPPO Reno sports a modern design with its Gorilla Glass 5 protected back while the Galaxy A70 is trying to make it feel like premium with its glass-like material.

Nova 5T, on the other hand, combined the sophistication of metal and glass that makes its back glimmer.

Only Reno has mention of Gorilla Glass protection though. It means that you need to be more careful with the screens of A70 and 5T, but it can be resolved by using a protective cover.
Tall screens
Tall screens

Next, we can compare the screen displays of these smartphones and you can tell that all of them are aiming to give the immersive viewing experience with their slim bezels.

The Galaxy A70 has the tallest screen of 6.7-inch Infinity-U, followed by Reno with its 6.4 notch-free screen. Although it only has a 6.26-inch display, Nova 5T is still strongly competing in this aspect. 

Why? It is one of the firsts and most affordable punch-hole displays at this price point. 

Huawei was able to maximize its screen size with 91.7 percent of the screen-to-body ratio. With that in mind, Nova 5T can still guarantee pleasurable experience since the size of the screen hardly matters in this round.
Top view
Top view
Bottom view
Bottom view

On top, all of them have light and distance sensors neatly placed. However, Nova 5T managed to include a tiny LED notification that is visible from this angle.

All of them have a single down-firing speaker and USB-C port for charging. Nova 5T differs in terms of the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack, but Huawei included a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle in the kit.
Left
Left
Right
Right

On the right side, you can locate their power buttons and volume rockers. The Nova 5T combined the fingerprint scanner on its power button.

Reno's matte glass finish means it is less prone to fingerprint marks. I expected that the Galaxy A70 will have fewer smudges because of its glasstic build, but it still feels slippery and the fingerprints were noticeable.

The curved glass back of Nova 5T will make your fingerprint marks obvious, but it just took a swipe to make it pristine again.

Aside from that, its compact size makes it relatively handier. The holographic sheen of this smartphone is truly a standout, ideal for the stylish Instagram flat lays.

I personally love its midsummer purple look.

Both 5T and Reno looks and feels more premium than the plastic A70.

Multimedia Experience

Big screens
Big screens

Let’s proceed in testing the displays of Reno, Galaxy A70, and Nova 5T by watching videos and listening to music, etc. OPPO Reno is featuring a Gorilla Glass 6 protected AMOLED screen with 2340 x 1080 FHD+ resolution and as for the Samsung A70, it has a Super AMOLED screen with a "cinematic" 20:9 screen aspect ratio and 2400 x 1080 FHD+ resolution.

Large, tall screens!

Meanwhile, Nova 5T sports 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution. Surely, the previously mentioned phones are boasting their AMOLED screens but to my surprise, the Nova 5T’s IPS panel is almost at the same level as them. Perhaps the 96 percent is really great so the difference among screens is low-key.

The audio quality of these smartphones is reasonably good as their speakers are clear-sounding and not muffled at all. Bass is present in all of the three phones but not quite deep if you compare them to premium speakers of course. Aside from that their soundstage is equally adequate to let me enjoy my music especially in an indoor setting.

I was able to try the Histen sound effects for headphone/headset usage which gives an option to automatically adjust the sound effect based on the music you are playing. This brings more clarity and richness to the songs I am playing as compared to the natural and standard-setting.

Camera

Multiple-cameras at the back
Multiple-cameras at the back

It is true that nowadays that many of us prefer smartphones to take a quick snap instead of DSLRs or mirrorless cam because of the handiness factor. OPPO Reno, Samsung A70 and Huawei Nova 5T all have undeniably capable cameras but let’s inspect what smartphone excelled in mobile photography.

Nova 5T's camera is super versatile!

For the rear camera, Reno and Nova 5T are both equipped with a 48MP with CAF, PDAF and LED flash whereas Samsung Galaxy A70 has a 32MP sensor with AF and LED flash. All of them have cameras that can shoot photos with night mode, zoom, and bokeh effect. However, Nova 5T outperformed the other two in terms of versatility. 

The A70 and Nova 5T have an ultra-wide setting that the Reno lacks, but only the Nova phone has the ultra-wide night mode. Its quad-camera set-up is designed to detect all scenarios by using AI or artificial intelligence, making it the most feature-rich in this segment.

Rear Camera Samples

Scene 1 - Daylight
5T daylight
5T daylight
A70 daylight
A70 daylight
Reno daylight
Reno daylight

In broad daylight, it is just a matter of preference. All performed really well in this scene. The dynamic range on the 5T is wide, but contrast and color accuracy on the A70 and Reno is a bit better. Reno takes this round by a small margin since it has the widest field of view among the three.

Scene 2 - Daylight ultra-wide
5T ultra-wide
5T ultra-wide
A70's ultra-wide
A70's ultra-wide

However, Reno has one major weakness. It isn't as versatile as the cameras of the 5T and A70. It doesn't have an ultra-wide camera mode like the 5T and A70.

Samsung's shot is wider with the more correct color, but it doesn't have the level of detail and dynamic range of Huawei.


Scene 3 - Super macro
Super macro 5T
Super macro 5T
Galaxy A70 close-up
Galaxy A70 close-up
Reno close-up
Reno close-up

For close-ups, only the Nova 5T has the ability to shoot super macro images up to 4cm near. Samsung can't focus on super near objects and it becomes grainy and washed at the same time. Reno got the colors nicely with decent details, but it can't do what 5T can do.

Scene 4 - Portrait mode
5T portrait mode
5T portrait mode
A70 portrait
A70 portrait
Reno portrait
Reno portrait

The three phones have their own interpretation of the portrait mode. The three phones did quite well with good image to background separation. The depth effect on the Nova 5T deeper. It just depends on your preference.

Scene 5 - Indoor
5T indoor
5T indoor
A70 indoor
A70 indoor
Reno indoor
Reno indoor

In this indoor scene, it is hard to pick a winner again. But, I'll give it to 5T and Reno for their better exposure control and color accuracy versus A70. 5T and Reno's shots have less noise as well.

Scene 6 - Indoor wide
5T indoor wide
5T indoor wide
A70 indoor wide

And surprise, only Huawei and Samsung have the ability to shoot wide images again. Again, Samsung is wider, but Huawei has less barrel distortion with crisper details.

Scene 7 - low light
5T low light
5T low light
A70 low light
A70 low light
Reno low light
Reno low light

In the auto mode in low light, Huawei Nova 5T flexes. It is clear that it has less noise, better dynamic range, and nicer exposure control over Samsung and OPPO. This is even if the Reno has a higher f/1.7 aperture by default.

Scene 8 - Low light wide
5T low light wide
5T low light wide
A70 low light wide
A70 low light wide

Again Reno can't compete since it doesn't have night mode.

Even though there's some noise, the Nova 5T had the clearest image among the group. All of them are equipped with effective night mode setting but Reno and Nova 5T shots were more lively-looking.

Both Nova 5T and A70 have 32MP front cameras but the latter doesn’t include an AI HDR. Meanwhile, OPPO Reno has a 16MP sensor mounted on a pop-up selfie camera. It’s a good thing that the Reno’s selfie camera is responsive as it only took just about two seconds to position itself. 

Selfie Camera Samples

5T well-lit selfie
5T well-lit selfie
A70 well-lit selfie
A70 well-lit selfie
Reno well-lit selfie
Reno well-lit selfie

These outdoor shots did not use a filter of any sort and Huawei Nova 5T brought out the sharpness of the details while the other two have softer-looking images.
5T selfie bokeh
5T selfie bokeh
A70 selfie bokeh
A70 selfie bokeh
Reno selfie bokeh
Reno selfie bokeh

The indoor selfies with the bokeh effect from A70 and Nova 5T are indeed realistic since the details on my face were still present. Reno's selfie shot looks cartoonish and far from real image.
5T selfie indoor dim
5T selfie indoor dim
A70 selfie indoor dim
A70 selfie indoor dim
Reno selfie indoor dim
Reno selfie indoor dim


Also, I was able to test the capability of their cameras in low-light surroundings and flash is turned on. The contrast from these images is still decent and the flash from the LED light is not that harsh. However, Reno's image is paler compared to A70 and Nova 5T's photos.
5T selfie low light
5T selfie low light
A70 selfie low light
A70 selfie low light
Reno selfie low light
Reno selfie low light

The A70, Reno, and Nova 5T all can shoot 4K videos, but the stabilization at 4K 30fps is only present in the Nova 5T phone. Super slow motion settings at 960 fps are both found in A70 and Nova 5T.

Nova 5T can shoot stabilized 4K videos using the ultra-wide lens. A70 can only shoot up to 1080p, but it is slightly more stabilized than 5T.

For selfie videos, 5T has the biggest crop. But thanks to its 32MP shooter it is as detailed as the A70. Interestingly, despite having a 16MP sensor only, Reno performed well in our tests too.

All have good HDR features. Stabilization is not present for the selfie cam of the 3 phones though.

All have face beauty for selfies.

Only Nova 5T has AR stickers. But Samsung has My Emoji and regular stickers. OPPO has none.

Performance

AnTuTu scores (Reno, A70, Nova 5T)
AnTuTu scores (Reno, A70, Nova 5T)

Multitasking on the smartphone is common among users like us so we want to make sure that the phone we are using can keep up with our mobile needs. Since performance is vital, let’s see how the Reno, A70 and Nova 5T managed. OPPO Reno has a Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM with 256GB of storage.

Nova 5T,  late 2018/early 2019 flagship chip, mid-range price tag!

The next contender is the Samsung A70 with the Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of expandable storage.

Last but not least, is the Nova 5T’s Kirin 980 octa-core processor, 8GB RAM with 128GB of storage. The Galaxy A70 is the only one that has expandable storage among them.

In using the three phones mentioned, I did not encounter any issue with opening any apps even for multitasking. They were able to run apps simultaneously even with many open tabs of Google Chrome. Reno and Galaxy A70 about the same in speed, but Nova 5T’s powerful chip is incomparable since it is usually found in premium phones like P30. In fact, it bested its competitors with the highest score in the AnTuTu benchmark.
Nova 5T battery score
Nova 5T battery score

The next aspect comparison is the battery life of these mid-range phones. Samsung Galaxy A70 has the largest capacity of 4,500mAh whereas OPPO Reno has 3,765mAh.

The 3,750mAh battery of Nova 5T appears to be smaller but you should also consider that since it has an improved battery management system thanks to Huawei’s efficient 7nm chipset.
Galaxy A70 battery score
Galaxy A70 battery score

This smartphone can last more than your 8-hour shift of work or school even with medium to heavy usage.

When the PCMark battery test was run in these devices, OPPO Reno is ahead with 17 hours and 2 minutes followed by the Galaxy A70 with 14 hours and 38 minutes. Nova 5T got 14 hours and 10 minutes.

All of them are capable of fast charging. Nova 5T uses a 22.5W SuperCharge tech, A70 with 25W, and Reno with 20W. Samsung is slightly ahead from Nova 5T with 25W Super-Fast Charging.
The UI
The UI

All runs with Android Pie OS out of the box!

For the software part, it depends on your personal preference. All runs with Android 9 Pie OS out of the box. Nova 5T's skin is ultra-rich in features, but a bit cluttered looking. A70 is neat but lacks some of the features of Huawei's UI, Reno sits in the middle with good balance. It is still not as feature-rich as EMUI though, but it is cleaner looking.

The Samsung A70 and OPPO Reno have something in common: an In-Display fingerprint sensor. Both of the in-display sensors have quick responses and accurate. Those same characteristics are also present on Huawei’s Nova 5T's side-mounted fingerprint sensor. With the position of the side-mounted sensor, the user will instinctively register the left thumb for convenience. But again, the difference here is really minor.

Huawei Nova 5T vs OPPO Reno vs Samsung Galaxy A70 Specs Comparison

DeviceHuawei Nova 5TOPPO RenoSamsung Galaxy A70
Display 6.26-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 412 ppi 6.4-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 6 protected AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi6.7-inch 2.5D curved Super AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 393 ppi
CPU 2.6GHz 64-bit Kirin 980 octa-core processor w/ Dual-NPU 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 710 AIE octa-core processor2.0GHz Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor
GPU Mali-G76 MP10 w/ GPU Turbo Adreno 616Adreno 612
RAM 8GB LPDDR4X 6GB6GB
ROM 128GB UFS 2.1 256GB UFS 2.1128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB
Back Camera 48MP f/1.8 Sony IMX586 w/ PDAF, CAF + 16MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle sensor + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth w/ LED flash 48MP f/1.7 Sony IMX586 w/ PDAF, CAF + 5MP f/2.4, and LED flash32MP f/1.7 + 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens + 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera 32MP f/2.0 w/ AI HDR
16MP f/2.0
32MP f/2.0
Battery 3,750mAh w/ 22.5W SuperCharge 3,765mAh w/ VOOC 3.0 flash charge4,500mAh w/ 25W Super Fast Charging
OS Android 9.0 Pie w/ EMUI 9.1Android 9.0 Pie w/ ColorOS 6.0Android 9.0 Pie w/ One UI
Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), 4G LTE Cat 21, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, NFC, GPS (L1 + L5 dual-band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo (E1 + E5a dual-band), QZZS (L1 + L5 dual-band), dual SIM (hybrid)WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, A2DP, LE, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (nano)WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magneticAccelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others
Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, dual-mic, Colors: black, crush blue, midsummer purple
In-Display fingerprint sensor, Hi-Res audio, Dolby Atmos, dual mic, Colors: ocean green, extreme night black, nebula purple, pink mistIn-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C, Colors: black, blue, coral, white
Dimensions 154.25 x 73.97 x 7.87 mm 156.6 x 74.3 x 9.0 mm164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
Weight 190 g 185 g183 g
Price PHP 18,990
PHP 26,990
PHP 22,990 (PHP 20,990 new SRP)

Huawei Nova 5T advantages - Stunning 3D gradient design, punch-hole screen for less, ultra-fast Kirin 980 flagship processor, 8GB RAM, versatile quad-camera system, better connectivity options, LOWER price tag
Samsung Galaxy A70 advantages - Tall and big 20:9 AMOLED display, bigger battery capacity with speedier charging
OPPO Reno advantages - All-screen design, Gorilla Glass 6 protection, 256GB storage

Verdict

OPPO Reno’s strengths are mainly about the true full-screen AMOLED display, powerful 48MP main camera, Gorilla Glass Protection and massive storage of 256GB. For the Samsung A70, it is a strong contender with its huge and tall 20:9 Super AMOLED display, speedy charging technology, and expandable memory.

However, Huawei Nova 5T is still trumping these two with its remarkable advantages. 

The first one, it has the most eye-catching back design. ALSO, this phone boasts a flagship chipset that results in its terrific performance even in multitasking. No doubt it has the most functions with its 4 AI cameras on the rear then one AI camera for selfie. 

The Galaxy A70 retails at PHP 22,990 whereas the OPPO Reno is priced at PHP 26,990. 

It is AMAZING that the Huawei Nova 5T is the most affordable for the price of PHP 18,990 despite having the best specs among the bunch.

All of the three phones are available nationwide. Both in offline and online stores.

What do you guys think about this face-off?
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