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Huawei nova 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 - Is the primary camera of nova 9 truly flagship-grade for less?

Today, we have the new Huawei nova 9It is the company's newest premium mid-ranger priced at PHP 23,999 boasting good overall specs in its class and a flagship-grade primary camera.
S21 and nova 9

In this video, we will be talking about the said primary shooter, the 50MP RYYB sensor with XD Fusion Engine.

To see if it is really as good as advertised, we will be comparing its performance against the Samsung Galaxy S21, a high-end smartphone with a starting price tag of PHP 44,990 (8GB/128GB and PHP 49,990 (8GB/256GB).

Anyway, here's the tale of the tape.

Huawei nova 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Camera Specs

DeviceHuawei nova 9Samsung Galaxy S21
CPU/ISP2.4GHz 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 4G octa-core processor w/ Spectra 570L Triple ISP (up to 192MP support)2.9GHz 5nm EUV Exynos 2100 5G octa-core processor w/ Samsung's own ISP (up to 200MP support)
Back Camera50MP f/1.9 RYYB w/ PDAF, CAF, AIS, + 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
12MP f/1.8 w/ OIS + 12MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide-angle + 64MP f/2.0 3x telephoto w/ OIS + LED flash
Selfie Camera
32MP f/2.0
10MP f/2.2 w/ Dual Pixel

For cameras, the nova 9 is boasting a 50MP f/1.9 RYYB main shooter.
The main cam can capture more light?
The main cam can capture more light?

Huawei decided to use an RYYB filter here as it is said to gather 40 percent more light than traditional RGB sensors.
In addition, this primary camera is 1/1.56-inch big and that's considered as large for a smartphone camera sensor for better performance in most lighting conditions, even in low light.

In comparison, the 12MP of the Galaxy S21 is 1.76-inch large, but it is small versus the sensor of the nova 9.

Other camera features of nova 9's 50MP shooter include PDAF, CAF, and AIS stabilization.

The 12MP of Galaxy S21 is paired with Dual Pixel focus and OIS for stabilization.

Other cameras of the nova 9 include an 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro camera, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth camera. It also has a 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera that is capable of shooting 4K videos.

S21 on the other hand has a 12MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide-angle shooter and a 64MP f/2.0 3x telephoto camera. For selfies, it uses a 10MP f/2.2 snapper with Dual Pixel focus tech.

For the camera UI, the two are relatively easy to use with easy to reach toggles to access the camera modes of each device.

Both have scene detections that use the power of AI to optimize shots.

My only gripe about Samsung's camera UI is the Night mode is hidden in more settings.

Anyway, let's compare them and see if nova 9's primary camera is truly flagship-grade.

Huawei nova 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 - Is the primary camera of nova 9 truly flagship-grade for less?

Quick thoughts

Camera UI of nova 9 and S21
Camera UI of nova 9 and S21

For us, the 50MP RYYB shooter of the nova 9 is as good as advertised and it is even better than the main shooter of the S21 in many conditions.

The nova 9 will fall a bit short in terms of zooming and video stabilization, but it held its ground in most parts even for selfies.

That's still very impressive as the S21 is a handset with almost twice the price. Flagships are flagships for a reason. 

However, Huawei proved here that they can bring a high-end primary camera experience at affordable price points. 

Remember, not everyone has 50,000 pesos to spare for a smartphone during this pandemic.

The nova 9 could be a great device for those who are looking for a camera phone for photography and even vlogging at the same time without breaking the bank.

What do you guys think?

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