The Nova 5T is the result of America's brewing for Huawei. That doesn't mean it's a bad smartphone, on the contrary. Here is our test of the Nova 5T.
Huawei Nova 5T test.
Most are now familiar with Huawei's challenges with the US Department of Commerce, which means they can no longer trade with US companies. Even without the US suppliers, Huawei is strong, but the biggest challenge is the lack of licenses for Google's Android and their accompanying services. That's because Huawei can't launch new phones with Google's apps and services, and a mobile without MobilePay, Youtube, Facebook, and many other popular ones, and for many required services, there aren't many people to buy.
Therefore, Huawei has found a temporary solution and hopes that the problems meanwhile solve themselves: relaunch of an "old" model, just under a new name – old wine on new bottles. Huawei therefore chose the Honor 20, launched in May, to be launched at home under the name Nova 5T.
Ignoring this little trick, the Huawei Nova 5T is actually a really good mobile for reasonable money, which most importantly comes with full Google support. Here is our test of the Huawei Nova 5T.
Huawei Nova 5T: Pros and Cons
- Good build quality and beautiful design
- Plenty of horsepower
- Large screen in compact housing
- Keeps current long
- Good camera
- Very mobile for the money
- Neither wireless charging, 3.5mm jack plugs nor memory card space
- No protection against water and dust
Designed on Huawei Nova 5T
The most striking thing about the Nova 5T is its beautiful back cover, in each of the "midsummer purple" versions we have for testing. The black and blue versions are a bit more traditional to look at. On the front of the Nova 5T you will find a nearly 6.3 inch flat screen, to be more precise it is 6.26 inches, with narrow black edges around. At the far left is a bald punch-hole cutout for the front camera, which is Huawei's first of its kind. Whether the glass on the back and front is protected by Gorilla Glass or any other mark is unknown, but it has fine-grained scratches and other during the test period.
At the back, you can't help but notice the four camera lenses that with ultra-wide angle, macro photography, depth sensor and lots of features and provide a nice flexible camera.
Huawei Nova 5T looks solid, is nice to look at and so it is incredibly nice to hold in your hand. There are no sharp edges here, because the frame arches around the phone and makes it, with its compact size, comfortable to use. To the right of the frame is a combined fingerprint reader and power button that I personally am not a fan of, which is probably most because I am left-handed. I find it hard to hit the reader really, but in return it reads up quickly when I finally hit it right. Fortunately, the phone also has a quick facial resolution so I could avoid the fingerprint reader. However, I can assure you that most reviewers are perfectly happy with the Nova 5T fingerprint reader.
Unfortunately, there is no room for a memory card, 3.5mm jack or wireless charging in the Nova 5T.
The rounded frame of the Huawei Nova 5Tgr makes it comfortable to hold.
Specifications on Huawei Nova 5T
|Ml and vgt||154.3 x 74 x 7.8 mm
1080 x2340 pixels
19.5: 9 broadcasts
|Camera||48MP f / 1.8 with PDDA
16MP Ultra wide angle f / 2.2
2MP f / 2.4 macro
2 MP f / 2.4 depth sensor
|software||Android 9 Pie (fr Android 10)
|Other things||Bluetooth 5.0
Lots of power in the Huawei Nova 5T
The 6.26-inch display in the Nova 5T offers nice colors and lots of light – nice when the sun is setting in the sky. The screen is of the IPS type that is cheaper than OLED and does not provide the same deep black color and great contrast, but it is plenty good. The resolution is in full HD, giving a nice 412 ppi and the format 19.5: 9. To pull the many pixels and the Android software we find an old acquaintance.
The performance comes from a well-known chipset: Kirin 980, introduced with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, went on to the Huawei P30 Pro and now to the Nova 5T – from flagship to mid-range. Although the chipset is over ten years old, the performance fails absolutely nothing. The Kirin 980, in collaboration with the Mali-G76 MP10 graphics chip, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, flies through Huawei's EMUI 9.1, based on Android 9 Pie.
Unfortunately, there are no stereo speakers in the Nova 5T, which is something Huawei has not really thrown over yet. The sound quality from the individual bottom speaker is okay, but no more than that. There is a lack of clarity and treble, and more volume could be desired, however the bass is satisfactory (for a mobile speaker). Conversations sound great and network connections manage the Nova 5T without any problems.
Yes, despite the fact that the Nova 5T is a "new" model, so it comes with Android 9 Pie and not Google's latest Android 10. However, Nova 5T is included in Huawei's beta test on the new Android edition, so it is expected to be rolled out before long. Huawei's interface, Emotion UI, on the Nova 5T is a well-known experience that has improved significantly over the past few years. It's relatively simple and easy to get started with, even if you're from an iPhone. Personally, I think there are far better versions of Android, such as Samsung's One UI or OnePlus' OxygenOS, but it's a matter of taste. But I would just throw a recommendation after Nova Launcher if you want a better user experience in Huawei's mobiles.
The screen on the Nova 5T is 6.26 inches and is bright enough for a sunny day.
Another Huawei mobile with good battery life
Huawei can just something with batteries. The last many models I've tested from Huawei have offered about two days of battery and this is no different with the Nova 5T. The battery, at 3750 mAh, is no bigger than so many other mid-range mobiles, but it manages to take full advantage of all milliamps. On a full charge and under normal use, I get two days of use with 5-6 hours of screen time. If I am very mobile, it is also possible to kill it in one day.
When charged, it offers 22.5W of fast charging, which gives just over 50 percent in 30 minutes, and a full charge takes about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging in the Huawei Nova 5T.
In total, there are five cameras in the Huawei Nova 5T.
A good camera
Well, the Nova 5T doesn't have a fancy OLED display, wireless charging, 3.5mm jack, memory card space or IP certification, but in return it has a good camera. In total, the compact housing contains five cameras, which we give an overview of here:
- 48 MP, f / 1.8, PDAF
- 16 MP, f / 2.2, ultra-wide angle of 117 degrees
- 2 MP, f / 2.4, macro camera
- 2 MP, f / 2.4, depth sensor
- 32 MP, f / 2.4, front camera
With lots of megapixels and artificial intelligence, the Huawei Nova 5T delivers some really nice images that with a lot of color, contrast and sharpness are very “Instagram friendly” – at least if you turn on AI. If you turn off AI, images appear more natural. Photos are not on par with Huawei's own P30 Pro, but can be compared to OnePlus' latest quality,
The ultravid angle lens also delivers some pretty nice images as long as enough light is present, but this is true for most mobiles with this type of sensor. The dedicated macro camera is only 2 megapixels, but the quality is surprisingly good. There is no autofocus, so you need to be as close as 4 centimeters to get the sharpest result.
Pictures in low light and when it gets dark are good, but not at the height of Huawei's more expensive mobile phones, and are probably due to the lack of optical stabilization in the cameras.
Here are some pictures taken with the Huawei Nova 5T.
Click to open the photo gallery:
Conclusion: Lots of value for money in Huawei Nova 5T
I probably did not have the high expectations for Huawei's Nova 5T, mostly because it is in fact an old model that has just been relaunched. But in reality it is actually an excellent mobile, with good performance, long battery life, good camera, neat and compact design, at a very reasonable price. It is hard to say anything really bad about the Nova 5T, which while still fully Google-equipped and can soon be updated to Android 10.
It would be nice to have access to jack plugs, especially in this price range, and wireless charging. Most of all, I miss that Nova 5T is better protected against dust and water, because it comes completely without IP certification.
The recommended price of DKK 3,699 is relatively high, but it costs far less in the country's telehandlers, where we have found it for less than DKK 2,400, including one month's subscription. We think this is a really good deal.
Huawei Nova 5T lands on 5 out of 6 stars.