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Huawei Nova 7 5G Review: Cameras, Performance and Everything to Know

We give it a thumbs up!

The Huawei Nova 7 5G is among the latest smartphones released in Malaysia. It's known as the higher-spec model to the Nova 7 SE 5G, with better internals and better capabilities. Freshly launched, we were excited when we got our hands on it–and we must admit that we were truly impressed by it. 

Keen to find out more about this phone? Read on for a breakdown of the phone's features!

Phone Specifications

Processor
  • HUAWEI Kirin 985
  • CPU: Octa-core Processor
  • GPU: Mali G77
  • NPU: Dual NPUs (Neural-network Processing Unit)
Display
  • 6.53 inches OLED
  • 2400 x 1080 Pixels Resolution
  • Supports 16.7 million colours and Wide Color Gamut (DCI-P3)
Memory (RAM)
  • 8GB
Storage
  • 256GB
Main Camera (Rear)
  • 64 MP (High-Resolution Lens, f/1.8 aperture)
  • 8 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.4 aperture)
  • 8 MP (Telephoto Lens, f/2.4 aperture)
  • 2 MP (Macro, f/2.4 aperture)
  • Video recording up to 4K
Front Camera
  • 32 MP, f/2.0 aperture
  • Video recording up to 4K
Battery
  • 4000 mAh
Connectivity
  • SIM 1: 5G/4G LTE/3G/2G
  • SIM 2: 4G LTE/3G/2G
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • USB-C port
3.5mm Jack
  • N/A
Operating System
  • EMUI 10.1 (Based on Android 10)
Other Features
  • HUAWEI SuperCharge (Max 40 W)
  • Space Silver/Midsummer Purple/Black

Screen and Battery

The Huawei Nova 7 5G houses a 6.53-inch design with ultra-slim bezels. It utilises Huawei's latest-Gen OLED HUAWEI Punch FullView Display that offers 2400 x 1080 resolution and cinematic DCI-P3 color rendering. The phone's display has also been TÜV Rheinland-certified to be more comfortable on the eyes. 

The phone's battery is 4,000mAh in size, and supports 40W fast charging over USB-C. Furthermore, the 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge, (also certified safe by TÜV Rheinland) is said to be able to restore power to 75% in just half an hour.

Design and Built Quality

The phone is available in three colours – Space Silver, Midsummer Purple and Black – and features a holographic-finish which projects different shades of colours when light is reflected off of it. It has a sleek design with the word 'Nova' printed all over on its back. Although there is no headphone jack, the phone comes with a dongle supplied in the box.

  • Fingerprint Sensor

Like most phones today, the Nova 7 5G has an in-display fingerprint sensor located at the bottom of the phone's screen. While the sensor is fast and responsive, it's positioned slightly lower on the screen, which means that unlocking the phone can only be done successfully as long as your hands are angled in a certain way. As we found this frustrating at times, we assume others might as well.

Camera

The Huawei Nova 7 houses a 64MP AI Quad rear camera. Apart from the 64MP high resolution main shooter, it also has an 8MP ultra wide lens, 2MP macro lens and an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The zoom boasted with the rear cameras are 20x zoom. Considering how small the sensor is, we were really impressed by the details produced from the cameras on this phone.

  • Image Processing
Zoom Test
  • Lens moves from Ultra Wide –> 1x zoom –> 3x zoom –> 5x zoom –> 20x zoom
  • At 20x zoom, a navigation box appears at the top left of the screen to help users locate where they are within the larger frame
  • Image is decent even at 20x zoom
Ultra Wide-Angle Test
  • Great colour reproduction and HDR performance
  • Colours are vibrant and sharp even at 3x zoom
  • Quality still doesn't deplete at 5x zoom, sharpness is maintained
  • Vibrancy does degrade slightly at 20x zoom, but impressive nonetheless
64MP High Res Test
  • Impressive details that are retained even when zoomed in
  • 64MPs helps to ensure details are well reproduced despite the large file size
  • Great HDR performance; skin tones remain natural and true even under direct sunlight
Night Shots 
  • Night Mode produces shots with greater clarity and detail as compared to regular night shots, but adds a little bit of noise 
  • When taking shots using Night Mode, a countdown begins (how long this lasts depends on how dark/bright it is) before capturing the picture; quality of the image depends on how steady the phone is held
  • Video Processing
Front Camera Test (4K @ 30fps) 
  • Frame was slightly cropped in 
  • Placement of front camera is a little awkward, and having to look at the bottom of the phone is a little odd; framing is also slightly weird
  • 4K and HDR performance looks decent – we were quite satisfied
Back Camera Test (4K @30fps, main shooter)
  • Decent stabilisation
  • Zoom, focus and HDR performance is pretty good 
Back Camera Test (1080p @30fps, UWA lens)
  • Decent stabilisation and HDR performance
  • Quality is on par with most smartphones
  • Users can switch between lenses without having to stop recording – very smart feature, fixes sharpness on its own 
  • Dual View

We're not too sure how long this feature has been around, but the Nova 7 was the first time we ever came across Dual View. This feature essentially allows users to shoot using the front and back camera simultaneously, and even splits the screen into two while doing this. It's also possible to zoom in on one screen, and not the other. All in all, this was an extremely cool and helpful feature, and we really liked it! 

App Gallery

The Nova 7 is the first phone we've looked at following the Google and Huawei split. Thus, it was our first time trying out the App Gallery. The experience was pretty decent, and it offers users suggested apps to install.

Out of habit, we attempted to install Call of Duty Mobile (for the performance test) but found that we couldn't do so. There was only the option to add it to our wishlist. The same happened for PUBG Mobile, so we decided to install one of the games from the Game section instead – this was Asphalt 9. We hope in time the app gallery expands its selection of apps and games in the Google Play Store.

Performance (Gaming Test)

The Nova 7 is powered by a Kirin 985 processor, and has 8GB of RAM expandable up to 256GB. 

As previously mentioned, we usually prefer loading Call of Duty or PUBG when testing out phones' processors as they are generally heavier with their graphics. Despite this, Asphalt 9 is still graphics packed enough to place a strain on the processor. Nonetheless, we did not experience any lag issues with the Nova 7 and the gameplay experience was extremely smooth. 

Users can expect the same kind of performance when using the phone for other uses. Switching between applications is generally pretty smooth with no lag or stutter. 

Who Is This Phone For?

If you're looking for a smartphone within the 5G realm while staying within an affordable range, the Nova 7 is a great option to consider. We thought the camera was underrated because of how impressive it is in terms of performance and features. In our opinion, it might just be the phone's greatest selling point.

Additionally, the phone has great performance. The one thing potential users ought to be aware of is that this phone does not come with Android’s Google PlayStore and users will have to rely on Huawei’s AppGallery. This, however, seems quite promising and we're certain that it will be continuously improved. 

Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thank you! 

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9.0
Price from RM 1,999.00

The Huawei Nova 7 is a 5G-enabled smartphone with impressive camera features. It is powered by the Kirin 985 which is strong, ensuring that performance is always smooth without any lag. With one of the greatest cameras we've seen on a phone, we think that this is its greatest selling point, and definitely earns the phone a spot as one of the best camera phones available on the market.

What’s Good
  • Impressive camera performance
  • 5G Network support
  • Flagship level performance
  • 4K video on the front camera
What’s Bad
  • No Google PlayStore (lacking certain apps)
  • Mediocre battery (4000mAH)
  • OLED display rather than AMOLED
  • No headphone jack
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