Elegant with curves (on the screen)

Introduction

Huawei has been keeping in their releases of smartphones, tablets and smart devices, earlier this week, we unboxed the Nova 8. Now we will focus further on this review in detail.

As a start, the Nova series has been quite a while not getting an upgrade or refresh from its series. The Nova 8 is a continuation from its previous Nova Series, it has been released in China earlier back and finally it reaches to our shores on sales from 27th August 2021 onwards. 

Design

The Huawei Nova 8 is built from a smooth frosted plastic at the back. Looking at the back from different angles reveal slightly different color tones, especially if you shine it under the light or sun. There is only one color for the local market which is the Blush Gold. Overall feel to it is easy to hold and navigate throughout review. Continuing on top you will spot an island of camera placement, consisting of 4 camera sensors/lens, followed by a camera flash. When placed on a flat surface, it will not sit flat unless the user uses the soft case that comes together when you purchase the phone.

Continuing on the sides, on the right hand side, there is a volume up and down button and a power button, while the top houses a Dual Sim card slot with a mic. The bottom of the phone you will spot the speaker, and one USB C port with the microphone. The phone does come supplied with a 66w fast charging AC adaptor with a USB A to AC cable.

Display

Over the display side, the Huawei Nova 8 is powered by a 6.57 Inch FHD+ 90Hz OLED curved screen that supports HDR10. Display is  spot on, yet accurate thanks to the 1B color specs on the screen.It has adaptive refresh rate display that adjusts between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on application and games support. Most games can mostly run over 90FPS and this phone can surely support it with fairly ease.Other features include a curved screen on both sides that ensures better viewing and wider while playing or streaming your favorite shows/movies.

Camera

When it comes to the camera side, the Nova 8 rear camera consists of one 64MP wide camera, one 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro lens. Pictures taken are clear and just nice, with details captured at a minimum noise level. On video recording you get support up to 4K and 1080P at 30FPS, stutters are fairly minimal while recording but it’s very minor with good details during recording. FHD video is taken fairly well. Night shots outcome is just normal and OK , depending on the situation and environment, certain shots still bring in noises and contrast results are just fair. The selfie images are excellent, bright and good during day time as well which is powered by a 32MP wide angle lens with HDR feature. A few shots were taken over different modes as above and the result truly works as expected from a mid range phone. A sample of zoom, normal, 64MP and automatic shots taken were balanced, with little noise. 

Performance

Over to the performance side , the Huawei Nova 8 is powered by the Kirin 820e 7nm SOC with GPU Turbo, 128GB of internal storage and 8GB RAM. Call quality is good with a choice of calling via 3G, VOLTE or WOWIFI depending on your Telco Carrier.  What this phone is lacking is 5G connectivity since the Kirin 820e modem only supports up to 4G. Others such as WiFi AC, Bluetooth 5 and NFC are present . Testing over WiFi connection gets up to an average of 400MBPS transfer speeds, with good streaming and content downloads are stable.

Over to the gaming side, the phone can play games as long as you have set the game settings fairly over to Low with a mix of Medium settings for Genshin Impact at 30FPS. While Esports titles such as Mobile Legends, Call Of Duty and PUBG can be set at High settings. Over the course of 2 hours of gameplay, the phone does get warm, but not hot, so it is normal and nothing serious with very minimal throttling detected.

Benchmarks

3DMark Slingshot4106
3DMark Slingshot Extreme (VULKAN)3772
3DMark Slingshot Extreme (OGL)4065
Wild Life Extreme652
Wild Life1978
PCMark Work8165
Geekbench (Single/MultiCore)568/1929
Geekbench Compute (VULKAN/OPENCL)2098/2833

Benchmark score as above, and it is pretty much expected for a medium range device, real world usage wise, it’s perfect for Vlogging, Streaming, work usage and some gaming sessions.

Battery performance wise, you will get around 11 hours of it, a mix of calls, surfing, email, streaming, and a few Genshin Impact sessions. The Nova 8 comes with a 66W fast charger, which will charge up the phone to 100% from 10% in around 1hour and 20minutes average. 

A better HMS solution for everyone’s need

Applications and game downloads are no issue (at least for me), since there is the Huawei App Gallery, which hosts a large number of apps and games in it. You can download from productivity, entertainment , social, games without any issues. If you missed any applications from the App Gallery, it will display a safe site to download it, or there is always an alternative such as AuroraOSS which is an alternative app store that pulls applications and games directly from Google Play, this ensures no malicious apps are downloaded to your device. For Youtube, you can use Vanced with MicroG and your existing Google Account for your streaming needs.

Specifications

ProcessorKirin 820E (7nm) Octa Core Processor
GraphicMali-G57 (6 Core)
Display6.57 inch LCD, OLED, 1B colors, HDR10, 90Hz
CameraRear :64 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), PDAF
8 MP, f/2.4, 120˚, 17mm (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)Front : 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)
RAM8GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB
Battery3800mAh with PD fast charging
OS + UIAndroid 10 + EMUI with HMS (NO GMS support)
Connectivity WIFI AC (2.4/5Ghz), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
PriceRM1899


Conclusion 

The Huawei Nova 8 is a device that looks fashionable , yet comes with a modest functionality for everyday use. It does comes with all the modern features and with the 3G sunsetting soon in Malaysia, this phone might be just for you to venture into the 4G calling, streaming, gaming era.

Pros

  • 90Hz Refresh Rate Display
  • OLED curved display
  • Good display contrast

Cons

  • No MicroSD Card Slot
  • Supports up to WiFi AC only
  • Slightly on a higher price

Pricing and availability

Starting from August 27th, The Huawei Nova 8 will be available at RM 1,899 for the 8GB+128GB variant and can be purchased at Huawei Website with optional instalment plan.

One thought on “Huawei Nova 8 Review”
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