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Huawei nova 7i vs Samsung Galaxy A51 Comparison

OPPO
In this article, we compare the Huawei nova 7i and the Samsung Galaxy A51 and see who is the better pick for under PHP 18K.
Huawei Nova 7i vs Samsung Galaxy A51 Comparison
Mid-range face-off

Highly competitive mid-range segments have been seeing a lot of value for money smartphones over the years. In this comparison, we compare the Huawei nova 7i and the Samsung Galaxy A51 that are spec'd similarly but priced slightly apart. The Huawei nova 7i is priced at 13,990 while the Samsung Galaxy A51 is priced at 17,990.

Let's see which one is the better of the two popular smartphones.


Build Quality/Design

The Huawei nova 7i has a large 6.4-inch LTPS display with 2310 x 1080p resolution at 398 ppi while the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a slightly larger 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2400 x 1080p resolution at 405 ppi.
Samsung Galaxy A51 and Huawei nova 7i back side
Samsung Galaxy A51 and Huawei nova 7i backside

From the get-go, the A51 has a sleeker and slimmer appearance despite its slightly larger display because of the noticeably slimmer top and side bezels and smaller 158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 body while the nova 7i has slightly thicker bezels and a body that measures 159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7mm.

Neat modern designs!

At the back of both devices is the rear camera module with printed branding at the bottom. Out of the two, the Huawei nova 7i has the more head-turning design with its over the top dark green. Our only concern with the back of the nova 7i is that it is more prone to fingerprint smudges and dust accumulation than the A51. We do hope Samsung steps up its back panel game in the next iteration.


Because the nova 7i is thicker and slightly larger, it is easier to hold because of the deeper curvature of the back panel. The A51 feels sharper to hold but both are equally slippery and we recommend using their included cases.
Top and bottom side
Top and bottom side

On top of both smartphones is a single microphone port while at the bottom of both smartphones are the speaker grill, microphone port, USB Type-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Left and right side
Left and right side

On the left side of both phones are the SIM tray while on the right side are the volume rockers and the power button. The power button of the Huawei nova 7i doubles as a fingerprint scanner.

Multimedia Experience

Display performance
Display performance

Both smartphones have similar sizes and resolutions that produce images with good color, sharpness, and contrast. But when placed side by side, the Galaxy A51's panel produces the superior image with a wider color range, higher peak brightness, and more accurate colors.

Modern punch-hole screens

Both smartphones have 10 points of multitouch that detects and registers our taps and gestures quickly and accurately even with 10 fingers simultaneously. It makes both perfect for multitasking and games that take advantage of the feature.

The nova 7i and the A51 have a single bottom speaker that Both have bottom-firing speakers that surprisingly have nearly identical output. At maximum volume, both produce sound with decent range, power, and soundstage.

We recommend using the included 3.5mm jack headphones or use your own Bluetooth headphones for both phones for the better sound stage and depth.

For calls and audio recordings, both have 2 microphones set up that allow for better voice calls and recordings.

Cameras

Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back of the Huawei nova 7i is a 48MP f/1.8 main camera, 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro camera, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor and LED flash while the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a 48MP f/2.0 main camera, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 5MP f/2.4 macro camera, 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor and LED Flash.

The camera app of the nova 7i has several modes that include Photo, Video, Portrait, Night, Pro, Slow-Mo, Panorama, Aperture, Light Painting, HDR, Timelapse, Moving Picture, Stickers, Documents, Super Macro, High-Res, and AR lens. The A51's camera app on the other hand has modes like Photo, Video, Night, Single Take, Pro, Panorama, Macro, Food, Live Focus, Super Slow-Mo, Slow Motion, and Hyperlapse.

The Pro Mode of the Huawei nova 7i has controls for Metering (Average, center-weighted, and Single-point), ISO 50 to 5000, Shutter Speed (1/4000 to 30 seconds), EV (+-4), AF, and White Balance.

While the Pro Mode of the A51 has controls for ISO 50 to 3200, Shutter Speed (1/6000 to 10 seconds), AF, White Balance, and EV (+-2).

Rear Camera Samples

Huawei nova 7i daylight rear main camera
Huawei nova 7i daylight rear main camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 daylight rear main camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 daylight rear main camera
Huawei nova 7i daylight rear ultra-wide camera
Huawei nova 7i daylight rear ultra-wide camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 daylight rear ultra-wide camera

In daylight, both smartphones were able to take decently sharp images with both the main and ultra-wide cameras. In terms of colors, we see different approaches. The scene had strong daylight and the Samsung was able to recreate the scene accurately while the 

Huawei was able to control the intensity of the yellow light and properly correct for the warmer tone to make it more pleasing. 

Both did a good job, It will now be up to the user which they like better.
Huawei nova 7i close-up
Huawei nova 7i close-up
Samsung Galaxy A51 close-up
Samsung Galaxy A51 close-up

When shooting images close-up, both smartphones have a dedicated macro camera but produces results.

We recommend using the main camera and shooting at minimum focusing distance. As you can see from the two images above, the close-up images are super sharp with vibrant colors but when placed side by side, it is clear that the Huawei produced the sharper image. 

Both smartphones produced images with good sharpness, deep contrast, and with minimal noise. 

The two smartphones differed is in the white balance and color balance. There were situations where Samsung was more accurate and there were situations where the Huawei produced the more pleasing images. It will now depend on the user what approach to color reproduction they prefer.
Huawei nova 7i indoor main camera
Huawei nova 7i indoor main camera
Huawei nova 7i Indoor rear ultra-wide camera
Huawei nova 7i Indoor rear ultra-wide camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 indoor ultra-wide camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 indoor ultra-wide camera 

In indoor situations, Huawei and Samsung produced decently sharp images with good contrast. Like in daylight, they handled colors differently. The white balance of the Huawei leaned to the warmer tones while Samsung leaned to the colder tones. Neither was able to get the scene accurate colors.

What made the difference is the slightly better sharpness and detail the ultra-wide shot of the Huawei nova 7i over the Samsung Galaxy A51's ultra-wide shot. In this scenario, the Huawei nova 7i won.
Huawei nova 7i low light main camera
Huawei nova 7i low light main camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light main camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light main camera
Huawei nova 7i low light ultra-wide camera
Huawei nova 7i low light ultra-wide camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light ultra-wide camera
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light ultra-wide camera 


In low light, both Huawei and Samsung were able to produce good low light images. Both the ultra-wide and main camera low light images are sharp with good contrast.

Like the previous images, it went down to the color reproduction where the Samsung was able to reproduce the colors accurately while the Huawei produced images with a greenish tin in some areas of the image in both the main and ultra-wide low light images.

If you look closely, the Samsung Galaxy A51 produced a slightly sharper and cleaner result with both the low light main rear camera and the rear ultra-wide camera. In this round, the Galaxy A51 won.
Huawei nova 7i rear main camera night mode
Huawei nova 7i rear main camera night mode
Samsung Galaxy A51 rear main camera night mode
Samsung Galaxy nova 7i rear ultra-wide camera Night mode
Samsung Galaxy nova 7i rear ultra-wide camera Night mode

Both smartphones have Night modes but only the Samsung Galaxy A51 has night mode on the main camera and the ultra-wide camera while the Huawei nova 7i has night mode on the main camera that can use a digital 6x zoom night mode.

Like the other Huawei low light images, it produced a greenish tint in some areas but is noticeably sharper, cleaner, and with lesser noise than the night mode of Samsung Galaxy A51.

The ultra-wide camera's night mode struggled with illuminating the image with the limited light source but did make a sharp and clean image. While the main camera night mode of the A51 managed to produce a decently-lit image with the same dark conditions.

Allow us to also note that similar to other Huawei phones, the nova 7i has plenty of other useful modes for creative mobile photographers such as the Light painting mode and a more robust Pro mode than the A51.
Punch-hole selfie cameras
Punch-hole selfie cameras

In front of the Huawei nova 7i is a 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera while on the Samsung Galaxy A51 is a 32MP f/2.2  shooter.


The Huawei nova 7i has several modes that include Photo, Video, Night, Portrait, and AR Lens while the Samsung Galaxy A51 has Photo, Video, Night, Single Take, and Live Focus.


The AI beautification mode on the Samsung is a single intensity slider from level 0 to 3 while the Huawei has soften and tone with levels 0 to 10.


Selfie Camera Samples

Huawei nova 7i daylight selfie
Huawei nova 7i daylight selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 daylight selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 daylight selfie
Huawei nova 7i indoor selfie
Huawei nova 7i indoor selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 indoor selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 indoor selfie
Huawei nova 7i lowlight selfie
Huawei nova 7i low light selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 low light selfie
Huawei nova 7i Night mode selfie
Huawei nova 7i Night mode selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 Night mode selfie
Samsung Galaxy A51 Night mode selfie

In low light situations, despite the wider aperture of the nova7i's selfie camera, the auto camera mode produced a bright and somewhat color-accurate selfie but with noticeably large noise and grain while the A51's lowlight auto camera mode produced an image with slightly darker exposure but finer grain and noise. Overall, the A51's selfie camera is better in low light.

If you plan to take selfies in low light a lot, we recommend trying the selfie night mode. The night mode of the Huawei nova 7i produced a super clean image even though it had limited light source, the subject's face and features are still somewhat visible while the A51's night mode struggled with the limited light source and failed to show the subject's face. But let's not discount the fact that the A51's night mode also produced a very clean image with minimal noise.

The Huawei nova 7i can record up to 1080p 30fps on both the front and rear-facing cameras while the Samsung Galaxy A51 can record up to 4K 30fps on both the front and rear-facing cameras. 

Footage from the Huawei nova 7i's front and the rear-facing camera has decent sharpness and good color while the Samsung Galaxy A51's footage is noticeably sharper with good color. Both footages are shakey but acceptable at the price point.

Performance 

Huawei nova 7i and Samsung Galaxy A51 AnTuTu
Huawei nova 7i and Samsung Galaxy A51 AnTuTu

Inside the Huawei nova 7i is the 7nm Kirin 810 octa-core processor with DaVinci NPU, Mali-G52 MP6, 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128GB UFS 2.1 while the Samsung Galaxy A51 has 10nm Exynos 9611 octa-core processor, Mali-G72 MP3, 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128GB UFS 2.1. 

In AnTuTu the difference between 7nm and 10nm is apparent. The A51 scored under 200K while the nova 7i scored more than 320K.

Geekbench 5 scores
Geekbench 5 scores

In Geekbench, the story is the same where the nova 7i scored 607 in single-core and 1969 in multi-core test while the A51 scored 333 in single-core and 1284 in multi-core tests.


nova 7i is superior in speed despite the lower price tag

For gaming, the two can run games like the Call of Duty: Mobile at high frame rates but only the nova 7i can run COD: Mobile at Very High Graphics. This is the same for other games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and NBA. The nova 7i has more power.

Popular games like Fortnite, PUBG: Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, League of Legends, and NBA 2K20 are supported by Huawei's GPU Turbo 3.0. GPU Turbo significantly improves gaming experiences by using optimizing hardware and software efficiency that gives the best graphics performance while maintaining relatively low power consumption.

Huawei has its own version of Game mode where users can have uninterrupted and optimized gameplay. 

After an extended play session, both phones were slightly warmer than before playing the game but maintained that temperature throughout. In short, neither of the phones got uncomfortably hot.

For connectivity, both phones connect via WiFi, 4G LTE, and Bluetooth. Both phones also support OTG out of the box. Calls, texts, WiFi, and Bluetooth connections are consistent, reliable, and stable as long as the phone is within range of other devices or the cellular tower.

The GPS of both phones is good where the GPS quickly and accurately detects the phone's location especially when connected with LTE.

PCMark Battery benchmark
PCMark battery benchmark

In PCMark Battery benchmark, the Huawei nova 7i has a 4,200mAh battery that endured 16 hours and 17 minutes while the Samsung Galaxy A51 lasted for 13 hours and 52 minutes. It is clear that the extra 200mAh capacity of the nova 7i along with the aggressive software optimization of EMUI has allowed for nova 7i to last longer by around 3.5 hours.

nova 7i has better battery life and faster-charging speed as well!

In real-world use, both smartphones are able to last through the day with more than 30 percent left at the end of the workday. 

Both smartphones charge via USB Type-C but the nova 7i has the faster 40W SuperCharge that charges 4,200mAh battery in under an hour while the 15W charger of the A51 charges the 4,000mAh in 70 to 80 minutes.
EMUI and OneUI
EMUI and OneUI

Both phones are running on Android 10. The A51 has OneUI 2.1 with Google Mobile services and Google Play store while the nova 7i has EMUI 10.0.1 with Huawei Mobile services and the AppGallery.

Both the EMUI and OneUI based on Android 10 are the most polished version of each respective skin. Navigating through the OS, launching and running apps are fast and smooth on both phones.
Huawei AppGallery
Huawei AppGallery

As mentioned earlier, the Huawei nova 7i has access to the Huawei AppGallery which has the third-largest app ecosystem in the world that have local apps like GCash, Shopee, Viber, Lazada, FoodPanda, PayMaya, SSS, Viu, Security Bank, BDO, Union Bank, Cashalo, Booky and more.

If your favorite app is not yet on the AppGallery, then it is only a matter of time until it becomes available.

Huawei's new Petal Search Widget gives users access to all the apps in the AppGallery while doubling roles as a search engine. This means you can safely search for information, images, news and videos like you would any other search engine.

Huawei nova 7i advantages - Higher and better raw performance, longer battery life, faster charging, sharper main camera, better Night mode, lower price
Samsung Galaxy A51 advantages - Larger and better display, more convenient In-Display fingerprint reader, sharper selfie camera

Huawei nova 7i vs Samsung Galaxy A51 Specs Comparison

DeviceHuawei nova 7iSamsung Galaxy A51
Display6.4-inch 2.5D curved LCD (LTPS) screen w/ FHD+ 2310 x 1080 resolution at 398 ppi6.5-inch 2.5D Super AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 405 ppi
CPU
2.27GHz 7nm Kirin 810 octa-core processor w/ DaVinci NPU
2.3GHz 10nm Exynos 9611 octa-core processor
GPUMali-G52 MP6 w/ GPU TurboMali-G72 MP3
RAM8GB LPDDR4X8GB LPDDR4X
ROM128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB (dedicated)
Back Camera48MP 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 flash48MP f/2.0 + 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens + 5MP f/2.4 macro + 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera16MP f/2.032MP f/2.2
Battery
4,200mAh w/ 40W SuperCharge
4,000mAh w/ 15W fast charging
OSAndroid 10 w/ EMUI 10.0.1
Android 10 w/ One UI 2.1
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)
WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
SensorsAccelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Accelerometer, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others
Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, dual-mic, Colors: sakura pink, midnight black, crush green
In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C, Colors: prism black, blue
Dimensions159.2 x 76.3 x 8.7 mm158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight
183 g
172 g
PricePHP 13,990PHP 17,990

Verdict

Who wins?
Who wins?

The Huawei nova 7i is priced at PHP 13,990 while the Samsung Galaxy A51 is priced at PHP 17,990.

Given the huge price gap, the Huawei nova 7i has a better overall value because of its longer battery life, faster charging, and higher raw performance while being significantly cheaper.

But we cannot deny that the Samsung Galaxy A51 has a better display and the more versatile cameras.

It is now up to the consumer to pick between raw performance and better battery life over the better display and better cameras.

What about you? Do you agree with us?
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