Header Ads

Realme banner

Huawei Nova 7i Review - Mid-range powerhouse!

OPPO
Huawei's new Nova 7i is one of the most interesting mid-range smartphones that we recently tested.
Huawei Nova 7i Review - Mid-range powerhouse!
Nova 7i

For just PHP 13,990, you get a handset with a trendy design, blazing speed, big battery with super-fast charging, a lot of cameras, and other features that make it ultra attractive for the price.

Now, let's see if it is the one for you. Is it the next great Huawei mid-ranger? Here's our Huawei Nova 7i full review.


Multimedia Experience

Big display
Big display

One of the reasons why you might be interested in this handset is its screen. Why? it has a beautiful 6.4-inch LCD (LTPS) panel with crisp enough FHD+ resolution at 398 ppi and a punch-hole for the selfie camera to help the phone achieve a more immersive near bezel-less display.

Pretty good screen quality!

At 6.4-inch and 90.6 percent screen-to-body ratio, the display is not too small nor too big. The quality is quite nice as well as it can render images with accurate colors. Screen brightness and viewing angles are also acceptable, but the display is a bit reflective.

AMOLED panels are still better in contrast and blacks, but this type of screen is still acceptable at this price point. Buttery smooth 90Hz screens are not common on mid-rangers yet, so I can forgive it for not having that feature.

I enjoyed it the most for watching YouTube clips, playing games, and taking a look at social media pages, especially for indoor use.

I'd like to note that this screen also has 10 points in touch for a more accurate touch and swipe response.

Underneath, the Nova 7i has a single down-firing speaker to enhance your multimedia experience. It can go quite loud and it is fairly detailed. It is just a bit airy and peaky at max loudness. Bass response is not its strong point as well.

I find its speakers more enjoyable to use for watching movies than listening to music.


It uses the Huawei Histen sound effects when listening to wired or wireless audio thru your headphones. Huawei Histen sound effects can let you choose Auto, 3D audio, Natural, Standard, Headset type, and Equalizer to adjust the audio experience to your liking.

For wired music using the Standard mode, I find its driving power to be alright. But, it isn't that strong. You'll need around 80 percent loudness to make the headphones shine.

For calls, it has an earspeaker neatly hidden on top of the display and it performed nicely. This handset also has a mic on top and below which performed nicely on both calls and audio recordings.

Cameras

Quad-cam

Nova 7i sports a quad-camera system and it is a very interesting setup for photography.

The star of the show is its 48MP f/1.8 primary camera with speedy PDAF and CAF focus tech. Huawei didn't mention the exact type of 48MP camera that is used, but it has PDAF and CAF focus which is not that common for the price.

Mid-range phone photography powerhouse

The primary camera paired with an 8MP f/2.4 120-degree ultra-wide-angle secondary camera, a 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro third camera, and another 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor for portrait shots.
Camera UI
Camera UI

As mentioned in our first camera samples article, it has most of the Huawei modes such the Master AI (auto scene detection and optimization), HDR, different filters, Aperture, Portrait with Face Beauty,  handheld AIS Super Night, Light painting, and Pro modes.

The Pro camera mode is robust as it has up to ISO 5000 and 30s shutter. That's rare for a mid-ranger. Most only have ISO 1600 or 3200.

The cameras of this phone are assisted by Kirin 980's DaVinci NPU.

Rear Camera Samples

Natural-looking colors
Natural-looking colors

Thanks to the PDAF and CAF tech of its primary camera, the Nova 7i has a speedy focus for the price. At the same time, it is accurate, especially for well-lit scenarios.

Like most 48MP cams, it shoots images with plenty of details in daylight. It has accurate colors with sharp details and good dynamic range. Images don't look artificial, overexposed, and oversaturated.

The dynamic range is decent, but it could be better. At least, exposure is great.
Kinda against the light
Kinda against the light

For against the light shots, it'll struggle a little. But, the results are still quite good. Just adjust the exposure and shadows in photo editing apps.
For against the light shots, it'll struggle a little. But, the results are still quite good. Just adjust the exposure and shadows in photo editing apps.
100 percent crop

As you can see, even the 100 percent crop looked alright and not that grainy.
Normal vs 6x zoom
Normal vs 6x zoom

This device has up to 6x digital zoom and I find its output to be as long as you will only use it in daylight or well-lit scenarios.
Well-lit ultra-wide
Well-lit ultra-wide
Kinda against the light ultra-wide
Kinda against the light ultra-wide

This device has a nice ultra-wide camera with lesser distortion versus other ultra-wide cams found at this price point. It is still detailed and the colors are consistent with the main cam. 

This is an enjoyable mode to use if you want to capture sceneries or you simply want a shot with a wider field of view.

Understandably, it'll just have lesser details and dynamic range for against the light wide shots.
Normal cam vs macro cam
Normal cam vs macro cam
When I tried it at the same distance
When I tried it at the same distance

If you want to take super close-up images, the macro cam of the Nova 7i is one of the nicest for the price. In well-lit situations, it performed really well and it is highly detailed unlike other macro cams from budget phones that I've tried in the past.

The macro mode will struggle for dim indoor and low light scenes.
Bright light source
Bright light source
Slightly dim indoor shot 1
Slightly dim indoor shot 1
Slightly dim indoor shot 2
Slightly dim indoor shot 2

For indoor scenes, it depends on your light source. If your light source is the sun, you'll likely get really good shots.
Normal vs 6x zoom indoor dim
Normal vs 6x zoom indoor dim

If the lighting is artificial, it depends. If it is a bit dim, expect a little loss of details. But, I can safely say that it still did a great job overall considering the price.
Bokeh effect
Bokeh effect

The fourth camera at the back is a 2MP f/2.4 sensor and it is designed to assist the primary camera when taking shots with artificial DSLR-like background blur or bokeh. It did an okay job,
Low light 1
Low light 1
Low light 2
Low light 2
Low light 3
Low light 3

In low light, it did a pretty decent job even on point and shoot mode. Noise is there, but hardly noticeable unless you pixel peep. Details are decent along with colors and exposure.
Night mode 1
Night mode 1

Dynamic range is a bit lesser, but you can always use the AIS Super Night Mode that shoots up to 6s handheld long exposure. Colors are a little warmer than point and shoot low light shots, but it truly improves details and dynamic range.
Nice colors, exposure, and highlights
Nice colors, exposure, and highlights

I like that this type of Night mode is not overly bright and artificial. It has artifacts, but not too much.
The selfie cam
The selfie cam

In front, the Nova 7i sports a 16MP snapper found in the punch-hole part of the display. The 16MP shooter has an f/2.0 aperture size and respectable wide field of view.
Selfie UI
Selfie UI

It also has AI for auto scene detection and optimization, 10-level Face beauty on the Portrait mode, different background blur effects on the Portrait mode, and AR mode with different Effects and 3D Qmojis (Huawei's 3D emojis).

This is also one of the few with a Night mode for selfies apart from the screen flash feature.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie

While this handset was not tagged as a selfie-centric smartphone, it can take respectable selfies. As a matter of fact, it is fair to call its daylight selfies great. It is crisp and the colors are alright.
Normal vs Face beauty with Bokeh 1
Normal vs Face beauty with Bokeh 1
Normal vs Face beauty with Bokeh 2
Normal vs Face beauty with Bokeh 2

The auto face beauty is a hit or miss. In my experience, it makes my skin whiter in daylight. For indoor shots with good lighting, the exposure is well-controlled. I find the beauty effect as acceptable up to level 3. Level 4 and above would make your skin look overly soft and fake.
Selfie bokeh and the same cropped image
Selfie bokeh and the same cropped image

Talking about the bokeh effect, I like that you can choose the type of blur effect that you want such as hearts and more. Personally, I'll go with the default circles effect.
100 percent crop
100 percent crop

It is far from perfect, but at least it still looks decent considering that it only has one camera in front. Huawei's software did its job right here for me.
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

Low light selfies are acceptable. It also has a Night mode and screen flash for better-looking selfies in the dark. 
Normal low light selfie vs Night mode selfie
Normal low light selfie vs Night mode selfie

Even if you don't use the screen flash, the Night mode for selfies can take a sharper selfie with punchier colors. It isn't the long exposure type of Night mode, but it still did a decent overall job.

For videos, the device can record up to 1080p 30fps using the main back cam, wide cam, and the selfie cam. At the back, you also get the Time-Lapse feature and the 480p Slow-Mo.

Weirdly, it has no 60fps like other budget Huawei handsets. There is no 4K 30fps mode as well.

It takes videos with good details, but it will be shaky since it has no OIS.

For selfies, it isn't too cropped and that's a nice thing. Don't expect the stabilization to be great, but the shake is acceptable. If you want a video with face beauty, you can at 720p.

Overall, I believe that this is one of the most capable camera phones found in this price point.

Video Samples


Performance

Strong AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmark scores
Strong AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmark scores

The 7nm Kirin 810 chip inside this phone is a beast. It is a mid-range chip based on the 7nm manufacturing process with 2x Cortex-A76 big cores clocked at 2.27GHz and 6x Cortex-A55 smaller cores clocked at 1.88GHz paired with the Mali-G52 MP6 GPU and the DaVinci NPU that with an even higher AI score than Snapdragon 855.
PCMark Work 2.0 performance and 3DMark benchmark scores

It is still slotted below the Kirin 980 flagship chip of the Nova 5T, but it is nearly as fast as the Snapdragon 845 in terms of RAW computing power.

To keep it simple, it is a very powerful mid-range chip with 2019 flagship-level efficiency and AI capabilities.

To make things more interesting, it has 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 fat storage.


Faster than most similarly priced phones!

In our experience, the said combination gave us a very fluid experience. The phone is super responsive, there's little to no lag at all, and the multitasking experience is superb due to its large RAM size.

The 128GB storage is big enough for most, but you can further expand it with the help of Huawei's proprietary NM card slot. I appreciate that there's expandable storage, but NM cards are more expensive than usual microSD cards.
It has a game-assistant for uninterrupted gaming and more
It has a game-assistant for uninterrupted gaming and more

Gaming on this device is also impressive. Running several demanding games on max settings like the NBA 2K20, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and more is a piece of cake.



After a few hours of gaming while on 4G LTE or WiFi, the handset gets barely warm. That's a good sign as it shows that this phone has good thermals. 

This device also has dual-band WiFi for a more stable WiFi connection, Band 28 700MHz 4G LTE for better indoor signal reception, Bluetooth 5.0, accurate dual-band GPS, and dual SIM slots. The telephony experience is great as expected.

For security, this device has a face unlock tech that works even in the dark. But, you can always opt for the more reliable side-mounted fingerprint reader. I would have liked it better if it has a new-gen In-Display fingerprint reading solution though.
Strong battery performance
Strong battery performance

The other strong point of this handset is its battery. This device has a large 4,200mAh battery capacity. Using PC Mark's Work 2.0 battery life test, it lasted for 19 hours and 32 minutes.

See also: Huawei Nova 7i vs Huawei Nova 5T Specs Comparison


In my experience, it can last for 2 days based on my regular usage. That's insane as I usually use my phone for checking social media updates, taking photos, playing games occasionally, and even as my WiFi hotspot device.

Strong battery performance with 40W SuperCharge!

Not only that, but this device also has the USB-C 40W SuperCharge solution of Huawei. It can fill the phone's battery to 70 percent in just 30 minutes. To fully charge the device, you'll need 50 to 55 minutes only.

You don't need to worry about its safety as its charger is certified by TÜV Rheinland.
EMUI 10 based on Android 10
EMUI 10 based on Android 10

For software, the Nova 7i uses the open-source version of Android 10 paired with the EMUI 10 skin. EMUI 10 is currently Huawei's nicest and smoothest Android overlay yet.
EMUI 10 Light and Dark Mode
EMUI 10 Light and Dark Mode

It is easy to use, feature-rich, and buttery smooth. You can choose a mode with an app drawer or not depending on your preference and there is an option to use the Three-key navigation and Gestures with or without the Navigation dock.

Like other skins, it has a few pre-installed apps, but you can always remove them if you like.
AppGallery
AppGallery

Since it is using the open-source version of Android and because of the ongoing China-US trade situation, it has no Google Mobile Service with Google Play Store out of the box.

EMUI 10 is beautiful and fast!

Huawei has replaced it with its own Huawei Mobile Services with the AppGallery. In a short period of time, Huawei has added a lot of top-rated apps such in different categories such as Games, Books and references, Business, Cars, Communications, Media and entertainment, Tools, and more.

Some of the notable popular apps found here are TikTok, iflix, and more. Popular local apps such as iWant, PayMaya, GCash, and more are now available to the AppGallery as well.

As of writing, the AppGallery is now the 3rd biggest app marketplace in the world.

See also: Huawei improves AppGallery, now with more local apps

If some of the apps you need are not found in the AppGallery yet, you can check the Huawei Browser. For example, the Huawei Browser has a shortcut to YouTube, Google, and other mobile services.
APKPure app
APKPure app

You can also download the APKPure app and check other workarounds to use the apps that you want.

Pros - Flagship-grade design, Kirin 810 is really fast, stellar battery performance, super-fast charging, great cameras for photography, attractive price
Cons - Speaker quality could be better, no 4K video, no EIS stabilization

Huawei Nova 7i Specs

Display: 6.4-inch 2.5D curved LCD (LTPS) screen w/ FHD+ 2310 x 1080 resolution at 398 ppi
CPU: 2.27GHz 7nm Kirin 810 octa-core processor w/ DaVinci NPU
GPU: Mali-G52 MP6 w/ GPU Turbo
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF, CAF,  + 8MP f/2.4 120-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,200mAh w/ 40W SuperCharge
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.0.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE, SBC, AAC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, Galileo, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, dual-mic, Colors: sakura pink, midnight black, crush green
Dimensions: 159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 183 g
Price: PHP 13,990

Verdict

Huawei's Nova 7i is the company's answer to all the competitive mid-rangers out in the market today.

AND, it could be the one for you thanks to its trendy design, competition-beating speed, stellar battery life with super-fast charging speeds, and capable cameras for photography.

It did nearly everything right for the price except for its lack of 4K video capability and the not that good loudspeaker.

Other than that, it's an excellent device for the price. The "Nova i" is back in the country with a bang.

Build/Design - 4.25
Multimedia Experience - 4
Cameras - 4.5
Performance 4.75
Average - 4.375/5
Powered by Blogger.
close
gizguide