Huawei Nova 9 Review: Missing some big features

by -248 views


The Nova 9 offers a handful of premium features at an attractive cost, just the connected absence of a big number of popular apps in the Huawei AppGallery makes this phone tough to recommend.


  • Sharp, speedy display
  • Vibrant 50-megapixel camera
  • Long-lasting battery with support for fast charging


  • The AppGallery lacks many popular apps, including Google services
  • Some of the camera sensors and modes perform poorly
  • No IP rating


  • Europe
    RRP: €499

Primal Features

  • OLED display
    The Nova nine features a 6.57-inch curved display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch on sampling rate

  • Quad camera

    The phone takes advantage of 50-megapixel, viii-megapixel, 2-megapixel and 2-megapixel sensors

  • Qualcomm chipset
    The telephone is powered by the Snapdragon 77G 4G chip

  • Fast charging
    The 4300mAh battery supports Huawei’southward 66W SuperCharge tech


The Nova nine is the latest addition to Huawei’s mid-range Nova line of smartphones.

Huawei markets the Nova as a more affordable alternative to its popular P and Mate devices and, for a sub-€500 phone, the brand has managed to cram in plenty of premium features. From the 120Hz display to the l-megapixel photographic camera and 66W fast charging, the Nova ix has the makings of a flagship phone without the flagship cost.

Nevertheless, while the Nova continues to run EMUI 12 on the Android operating system, the phone also continues to lack some of the virtually popular apps on the market place – including a long list of Google apps.

The lack of 5G might likewise put some off, especially when information technology’southward nowadays on phones like the OnePlus Nord two.

Design and screen

  • The Starry Blue model has a stunning irised finish
  • The telephone has a 6.57-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate
  • There’south no headphone jack

At risk of coming off equally superficial, the Huawei Nova 9 is one of the prettiest phones I’ve always seen, fifty-fifty when compared to some of the other adept looking Android phones like the Galaxy S21. This is by and large thanks to the stop which Huawei (and I) fail to do justice in photos.

The phone comes in three shades: Starry Bluish, Beat Greenish and Black. I received the Starry Blue variant, which has an irised blue-silver end that reflects a glittering array of colours when hit past the dominicus. The blueprint is broken upward in the upper left corner by a large camera module, housing the phones 50-megapixel array.

The rear doesn’t selection up fingerprints or smudges, which is definitely a bonus. Though if scratches and scuffs are a concern, there is a clear case in the box for added protection.

Huawei Nova 9 side

The phone is tall and slim, with dimensions of 160 x 73.7 10 7.77mm. It’s also lightweight at just 175g.

Every bit far every bit ports go, there’s a USB Type-C port on the base of the telephone just no 3.5mm jack, so yous’ll need to invest in a pair of wireless headphones or use an adapter if you want to heed to music on your own.

The Nova 9 packs a vi.57-inch curved OLED display with a 2340 x 1080 resolution and a punch-hole photographic camera.

The display is wonderfully sharp and detailed and cracking for streaming Hard disk drive videos on the telephone. Colours are vibrant and punchy and blacks are deep thanks to the OLED technology.

Huawei Nova 9 screen

Ane of the standout features hither is the 120Hz refresh charge per unit – a feature that appears on many flagship phones right at present and makes scrolling and gameplay noticeably smoother. The Nova’s refresh charge per unit can also exist lowered to the standard 60Hz to save battery when 120Hz isn’t needed either manually or automatically if you’ve got the display prepare to the ‘Dynamic’ setting.

The Nova nine also boasts a 300Hz touch sampling rate, making the display more responsive and better suited for tasks like gaming than some rival phones.


  • The Nova nine includes a quad camera array
  • The main and ultra-wide sensors are sharp and vibrant
  • The zoom, macro and nighttime modes are less impressive

The Nova nine features four cameras: a fifty-megapixel “Ultra Vision” principal sensor (f/1.9), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor (f/ii.ii), a 2-megapixel depth sensor (f/2.4) for portraits and a 2-megapixel macro sensor (f/2.4) with a 4cm shooting altitude.

Huawei Nova 9 camera

In that location’south no telephoto lens for optical zoom, simply the camera does offer digital zoom upwards to 10x. Images expect good at 2x, only by 5x and 10x I saw a noticeable drop in quality and loss of item.

Huawei Nova 9 zoom 2x
Zoom 2X
Huawei Nova 9 zoom 5x
Zoom 5X
Huawei Nova 9 zoom 10x
Zoom 10X

The fifty-megapixel master sensor and the ultra-wide angle lens are definitely the standouts here.

The chief sensor, in particular, produced some great results, with vibrant colours, plenty of detail and a decent corporeality of depth too, allowing the discipline to really pop even against backgrounds of the same colour. I could easily encounter myself using the fifty-megapixel lens on this phone as my principal photographic camera.

Huawei Nova 9 50-megapixel camera 2
50-megapixel lens
Huawei Nova 9 50-megapixel camera 4
50-megapixel lens
Huawei Nova 9 50-megapixel camera 3
l-megapixel lens

The macro lens does a decent job when it comes to capturing close upwardly shots of objects, but information technology isn’t perfect.

Huawei Nova 9 without macro
Without macro
Huawei Nova 9 with macro
With macro
Huawei Nova 9 50-megapixel camera 5
The l-megapixel lens further back

This foliage was a blurry mess with the chief lens, only became sharp and regained its details when I snapped a photo in the macro mode. Yet, the colours were libation and less saturated and I experience similar I could go more lifelike results by taking the image from farther dorsum with the main lens and cropping in.

There’s a dark mode on this phone, but I can’t say I noticed a large difference between photos taken in low light with and without it switched on.

Huawei Nova 9 without night mode 2
Without night fashion
Huawei Nova 9 with night mode 2
With dark mode

At that place’south also a 32-megapixel punch-pigsty camera in the display with an discontinuity of f/2.0, which I constitute to be clear and well-contrasted. The camera brought out the vibrant orange tones in my hair and the quality didn’t suffer massively in dim lighting.

The selfie camera is capable of capturing 720p video at 240fps, while the rear camera can tape 720p video at upwardly to 960fps. Both cameras are capable of shooting in 4K, while the latter also supports boring motion and fourth dimension lapse features.

Performance and software

  • The telephone features Huawei’due south EMUI 12 interface
  • The AppGallery is missing many key apps, including Google services
  • The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 778G 4G chipset, so no 5G

The Huawei Nova 9 runs on Huawei’southward EMUI 12 skin. While the software is based on Android, the square shape of the icons and the layout of the folders on the home screen are as well reminiscent of those found in Apple’due south iOS.

Huawei Nova 9 EMUI 12

So there’s the elephant in the room that comes with all Huawei releases these days – in that location are no Google apps. This ways you won’t be able to install Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps or YouTube on your phone – or at least not through Huawei’s AppGallery.

The telephone is also missing a number of other popular apps, including Netflix and Spotify to proper noun a few.

Huawei does a decent job of filling the void left past the Usa trade ban with its own Petal apps, including Petal Search and Petal Maps, along with Huawei-branded apps like Huawei Docs, Huawei Health and Huawei Wallet (though Huawei Pay isn’t supported in the UK merely yet).

There’s besides Device+ which lives in the command panel and makes it easier to streamline your work across multiple Huawei devices.

While the apps embrace well-nigh of the functions you’d wait from Google apps, they’re yet non ideal if y’all already accept all of your documents stored in Google Drive or want to watch videos on YouTube. Of course, you can continue to access these services in the browser but it isn’t the same as having them stored on your phone.

Huawei Nova 9 screen 2

EMUI aside, the Huawei Nova 9 is powered by the Snapdragon 778G, an octa-core 4G chipset from Qualcomm. While 5G isn’t a must, information technology is odd seeing a device in this cost-range ship without it especially when similarly-priced phones, similar the OnePlus Nord two, offer it.

The telephone features 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage which should be enough for most people.

I constitute that the phone offered good functioning, with apps loading up rapidly and faced no issues with gaming, with the latter also helped along past the speedy refresh and touch sampling rates.

Battery life

  • The Nova ix includes a 4300mAh battery
  • It takes a decent amount of time to drain the bombardment when streaming Hd video
  • The phone also supports 66W fast charging

The Nova nine packs a 4300mAh bombardment. I streamed 1080p video at 50% brightness through YouTube (in the browser, of class) to get an idea of how long the battery would last playing video and was pleasantly surprised.

Huawei Nova 9 back 1

The phone took thirty minutes to drop from 100% to 99%. From there, the battery began draining a piffling faster, losing around 5% every 30 minutes. Information technology took three hours of continuous video playback to get the bombardment downwards to 75% and I had no bug getting a days utilize from the phone under closer to real-life conditions (browsing, scrolling through social media, etc).

The Nova also takes advantage of 66W fast charging with Huawei SuperCharge. The charging tech offers a full accuse in just nether 40 minutes and in that location’southward a 66W charging brick in the box, so you don’t need to worry about paying out for the privilege.

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

You want a stunning telephone with a decent photographic camera:
The Nova 9 has a beautiful iridescent finish, a nifty fifty-megapixel photographic camera and is incredibly affordable.

You lot can’t alive without Google:
If y’all’re a big fan of Google’s services, the lack of app support puts a noticeable dent in this phone’s appeal.

Final Thoughts

The Nova 9 is an affordable phone with a lot of great features, including a sharp and vibrant fifty-megapixel photographic camera, a 120Hz OLED display and an eye-catching design.

There are some minor issues with the photographic camera and lack of 5G, but the most prominent let-down hither remains the AppGallery’s lack of support for some of the about popular apps and services, including pretty much everything from Google.

How we examination

We exam every mobile telephone we review thoroughly. We use manufacture standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone equally our primary device over the review menses. Nosotros’ll always tell yous what we detect and we never, ever, accept coin to review a product.

Used the phone for one week

Tested a multifariousness of camera modes

Streamed HD video to make up one’s mind how long the battery tin last

Yous might like…


Does the Huawei Nova ix take 5G?

The Nova 9 does non support 5G.

How many cameras does the Huawei Nova 9 have?

The Nova 9 has a quad camera layout made up of a 50-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-broad angle sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor.

What colours does the Nova 9 come up in?

The Nova 9 is available in Starry Blueish, Crush Green and Black.

Examination data

3D Marker – Wild Life Stress Test

3D Mark – Sling Shot Extreme

3D Marking – Sling Shot

3D Marker – Wild Life

Huawei Nova nine





Full specs



Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Rear Camera

Front end Camera

Video Recording

IP rating


Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)


Operating System

Release Date


Refresh Rate





Huawei Nova 9



6.57 inches

128GB, 256GB

50MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP




4300 mAh


160 73.7 7.77 MM x x

175 G



2340 ten 1080

120 Hz

USB Type-C

Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 4G


Starry Blue, Trounce Green, Black

Jargon buster

IP rating

An abbreviation for ‘Ingress Protection Code’, which lets you lot know to what extent a device might be waterproof or dustproof.


Organic Light Emitting Diode is console technology that allows each individual pixel to produce lite rather than relying on a backlight. This enables the screen to accurately display blacks past turning off the pixel, resulting in improved contrast compared to conventional LCD panels.


An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a way to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In almost cases the college the mAh, the longer the battery volition last but this isn’t ever the example.


The modern USB connector you’ll discover on well-nigh Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’s reversible and used for charging along with information-transfer.


Posted by: