Huawei nova9 SE review: It’s been a while since we’ve interacted with a device from Huawei. The company has, however, unveiled a number of other products in the local market, some of which you’ve probably seen us sharing on our social media platforms.
The latest product that the company offers in the country is the Huawei nova9 SE. Huawei officially launched this phone a week ago for Ksh. 39,999.
The nova9 SE is a more affordable variant compared to the nova9 which Huawei unveiled in Kenya last year for Ksh. 65,999. It comes with a larger 108 MP main camera at a more affordable price, making it significantly cheaper than the original nova 9.
We’ve had the Huawei nova9 SE for about two weeks now and in this review we’ll share our experiences with it.
What’s in the box?
The Huawei nova9 SE comes with the usual accessories in the box. Along with the phone itself, there’s a free soft TPU case to protect the phone, a USB-C cable, a SIM eject pin, and a 66W SuperCharge charger. The phone also has a pre-applied screen protector so you can use the phone right out of the box.
We have already made the unboxing article which you can check here.
Huawei nova9 SE design and display
As for the design, the Huawei nova9 has a large, flat 6.78-inch touchscreen that feels even more massive when you hold it. We get rounded corners and while the back has that glassy shimmer effect that’s a fingerprint and smudge magnet. The bezels are also super thin just the way we like them.
The USB-C port and speaker grille are all on the bottom. The volume rockers and power/fingerprint reader button are on the right while the top houses a dual nanoSIM card tray.
There is a floating punch-hole for the front camera while the back also houses an oval-shaped camera housing located in the top corner.
The screen, as we mentioned, is 6.78-inches with FHD+ resolution, fast 90Hz refresh rate, fast 270Hz touch sampling rate, and color gamut compliance. P3. The screen is bright and vibrant providing a good viewing experience.
The Huawei nova9 SE review unit we have is Crystal Blue which looks pretty good, but the phone also comes in Midnight Black, Pearl White color options.
Huawei nova9 SE specs, performance and battery life
Overall performance, the nova9 SE handles everything very well thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor alongside 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There really is nothing to complain about here. The phone handles everything thrown perfectly, giving you a pretty smooth experience. No glitches or lags and switching between apps and screens just fine. You can still play your favorite games and the processor will still be able to handle everything properly.
EMUI 12 is fast and responsive and comes with a number of great features. For example, we have unified menus under the control panel and you can access your music playback, bluetooth and wifi settings without having to leave your current screen.
At present, we all know that you won’t be able to access Google services from any Huawei device, but you can still get your favorite apps from Huawei’s AppGallery. Petal Search + APKPure combo has you covered too. One thing we will agree with is that support for AppGallery is growing minute by minute. There are so many improvements and new apps compared to what Huawei gave us a year or two ago.
For the battery, the nova9 SE comes with a 4,000 mAh, which is way smaller than what the competition is offering these days. He always manages to handle everything properly and should be able to get you through the day. the The 66W SuperCharge charger also does an amazing job and can charge the phone from 0% to 100% in a record time of 35 minutes.
Camera Huawei nova9 SE
The Huawei nova9 SE is equipped with a 108MP AI quad camera system, which includes the 108MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP Bokeh lens and 2MP macro lens. With more pixels, Huawei says the 108MP ultra-high definition main camera lets users unleash their creativity. It also supports Super Night Shots, Low Light Shot and AI Snapshot. There’s also a single front camera setup for selfies, featuring a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture.
The 108MP is the star here with some nice tweaks to help you capture brighter images. The camera offers excellent shots with good detail, dynamic range, and reasonably good color rendition in daylight and low-light conditions. The ultra-wide-angle camera also does a pretty good job. Night mode shots are also very good. Other camera modes include Pro, Dual-view, and super macro, among others.
The selfie camera doesn’t disappoint either. Check the sample photos below.
The camera also lets you shoot video up to 1080p.
Conclusion and availability
Should you buy the Huawei nova9 SE? Yes. The phone offers impressive specs at its asking price, just like we saw on the nova9. We get a large screen and good camera performance, among other features.
The weak point here still remains the lack of Google Mobile Services, especially for users who are fully invested in the Google ecosystem. It’s something we can’t really run away from. If you’re not, the nova9 SE is a good option to consider, and you’ll still be able to access some of your favorite apps from the app gallery, among other options. Compared to how things were a year ago, the the omission of Google services isn’t really a big flaw.
You can buy the Huawei nova9 SE from Huawei recommended resellers across the country as well as on Amaya here.
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