Is Huawei Nova 5T the successor to the market-consuming Huawei Nova 3 of 2018? Being a challenger in the upper midrange smartphone market, this phone is able to live up to its expectations quite well. It actually is in all ways superior to the Nova 3 with its impressive design and colors, rear quad-camera setup, improved fast charging and UI optimization and a flagship-level chipset for performance. Read the full Huawei Nova 5T review to find out what I mean by it being a flagship-killer from Huawei.
Huawei Nova 5T: Key Specifications
- Display: 6.26-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 19.5:9 IPS display, 412ppi
- Processor: HI Silicon Kirin 980 (7nm) 2.6GHz octa-core CPU
- GPU: Mali-G76 MP10 with GPU Turbo 3.0
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Rear Camera: 48MP F1.8 (main) Sony IMX586+ 16MP F2.2 (ultrawide) + 2MP F2.4 (macro) + 2MP F2.4 (depth)
- Front Camera: 32MP F2.0 front camera (in-screen/punch hole)
- Security: Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted) and Face Unlock
- Operating System: EMUI 9.1 (Android 9 Pie) w/ GPU Turbo 3.0
- Battery: 3,750mAh battery w/ 22.5W SuperCharge and USB 2.0 Type-C
- Color Choices: Black, Crush Blue, Midsummer Purple
Review Price: Rs. 53,990
Even with a large 6.26-inch screen, the phone feels compact and premium on the hand due to its smooth round edges and thin bezels. The metallic frame has a glossy finish to match the back-glass panel which gives off an eye-captivating 3-D light effect.
The front has a top-left punch-hole for the 32-MP selfie shooter which supports Face Unlock (decent in low-light) and placed above it is the earpiece that hides the notification light. The top houses the light and proximity sensor along with a secondary microphone. The back has a horizontal bulge on the top-left for three cameras and an LED flash with the fourth camera just outside the bulge.
Now the fingerprint sensor is not in-display but can be found on the right side of the phone below the volume-control buttons. I genuinely like its position and prefer it over the slower in-display sensor which still needs some improvement. The side sensor also acts as a power button and sometimes it gets annoying when a short press on it won’t bring up the lock screen but unlocks your phone instead but is not such a big issue.
On the left is the tray for Dual nano-SIM cards. There is no micro-SD card support.
On the bottom is USB Type-C port with the main microphone on its immediate left and single downward-firing loud-speaker on the right.
Screen and Multimedia:
The screen is an IPS LCD Full HD+ panel with a 1080p resolution or a good 412ppi (pixels per inch) and comes with a pre-installed screen protector. I was expecting an OLED display but it doesn’t mean that the viewing experience is anything to compromise on.
In addition, you have the option to save battery by lowering the resolution to HD+ or by turning on smart resolution in the Settings to let the phone adjust it for you when necessary. You can also hide the punch-hole in the Settings but it results in a thick bezel instead so I wouldn’t recommend it.
The speaker is loud and crisp but weak on the bass side and clarity lessens by a very small margin at max volume. Overall it wouldn’t hamper your daily media consumption.
For connectivity, the Nova 5T has dual-SIM support, 4G LTE, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and USB 2.0 Type-C. The only drawback is the absence of our beloved 3.55m audio port. You will be needing a Type-C to 3.55mm adapter which is already provided with your phone’s box.
The quad-camera setup on the rear blesses us with impressive shots for every occasion. The main 48MP Sony IMX586 (f/1.8 aperture AF) camera gives you absolute clarity in almost all types of shots. You may just crop the picture or decide to use up to 10x digital zoom from the main camera. The 2MP depth assist results in stunning portraits, especially in good lighting conditions. Ditching the telephoto camera, we get a 2MP macro camera that helps us get close-up shots from as close as 4cm away which is a big plus.
How can we forget the most popular sector of 2019’s camera department? The 16MP f2.2 wide-angle camera lets you capture everything to everyone you want in your photo.
Huawei has become very popular with its night mode due to the standard set by P30 Pro and this phone’s night mode doesn’t disappoint as well. Most of the time the AI does a good job on its own but to reduce noise and improve clarity, the night mode helps a lot which is backed up by the AI image stabilization for steady handheld shots.
The 32MP f2.0 selfie shooter maintains very good clarity and supports portraits. Personally, I don’t prefer beautification mode at all and it is better to post-edit your pictures instead but well I can’t ignore an AI beautifying me sometimes.
In the video department, you can shoot up to 4K at 30 FPS and the AI stabilization is decent but not good enough for a handheld hyper-lapse. What’s more awesome is being able to change from the main lens to the wide and vice versa in the same video recording. You can also shoot slow-motion of up to 960fps at 720p and up to 120 fps at 1080p. Additionally, you also get some decent background blur in videos from both the main and the wide lens backed up by AI autofocus which is a huge bonus for some people.
Also, if you are able to use Pro Mode then you can get low-light pictures with unbelievable clarity. The phone has various other shooting options like Moving Picture, Light Painting, HDR, Timelapse, Background Blur Control, etc.
OS and Performance:
The phone runs on the latest EMUI 9.1 based on Android Pie. There are no unnecessary pre-installed apps except for some useful Google apps. Unfortunately, there is no Dark mode due to this phone not having an OLED panel, I guess. There is no microSD card support but around 110GB out of 128GB is usable. The 8GB RAM is more than enough for heavy games and multitasking.
Now another highlight of this phone that makes it a flagship-killer is the high-end HI Silicon Kirin 980 (7 nm) CPU and Mali-G76 MP10 GPU with GPU Turbo 3.0 which is the same used in Huawei’s top brass phone, P30 Pro.
The phone is able to run PUBG mobile at max settings without any frame drops and still supports multitasking. The Bluetooth 5.0 can be used with wireless headphones for improved latency during gaming. Similarly, the Dual Band Wi-Fi supports 5GHz frequency which is free from most signal interferences and is most favorable for gamers demanding a no-lag high paced online gaming experience.
During heavy usage, it gets a little warm near the rear camera but not to the extent of causing discomfort. You can also turn on Performance mode in the settings if you want to ace any Benchmark tests with flying colors. This is what we got on our benchmark tests in Normal mode and Performance Mode.
5T is equipped with a 3,750mAh battery that supports 22.5 W Super Charging (just another name of fast charging by the company). The phone will last you about an entire day on normal usage. The power-saving mode and ultra-power saving mode will favor you a weekend vacation without charging. On a mixed usage, I got around 12-15 hours of battery life. Watching videos or movies will get you up to 17 hours of playback. With the supercharger included in the box, the battery can be replenished from 0 to 100 in about 1hr 40 minutes. A quick charge of 35 minutes will get you a decent 50%.
Now comes the hard part or is it the easy part? Would I recommend this phone at a price tag of Rs.54000? Well, why wouldn’t I? This beast right here is a must for everyone who wants a flagship phone while leaving your pockets only half-empty but, there’s a catch. Also on a good side, you can buy this phone at 0% interest rate EMI facility from Huawei’s authorized showrooms in Newroad. You have wide options of 10 different banks (Nabil Bank, Machhapuchchhre Bank, Mega Bank, Kumari Bank, Siddhartha Bank, Global IME Bank, Century Bank, Nepal Investment Bank, NIC Asia** and NMB Bank**) Isn’t that amazing?
Note: ** Conditions Apply.
Finally, let’s look into the pros and cons:
|Flagship processor||No 3.55mm audio port|
|Impressive Quad Camera||No OLED panel|
|Premium design and colors|
|GPU Turbo 3.0 for intelligent gaming|