Huawei Nova Plus

€ 429 (£TBC) • con­sumer.huawei.com/en

Android Advisor - - Contents -

In the pre­vi­ous pre­view (page 48), we looked at the Huawei Nova. It’s now time to look at its sib­ling – the Nova Plus.

Price

So be­fore we go any fur­ther, let’s first dis­cuss UK pric­ing and avail­abil­ity of Huawei’s lat­est smart­phone. The Huawei Nova, along with the Nova Plus are both mar­keted as be­ing mid-range smart­phones, mean­ing they’re not de­signed to

com­pete with the likes of the Sam­sung Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6s – and the price re­flects that. UK users will be able to pick up a Huawei Nova for €429 when it’s re­leased in Europe – we’re yet to hear about UK pric­ing. As an­nounced by Huawei dur­ing its IFA 2016 press con­fer­ence, the Nova Plus will be avail­able to buy in over 50 coun­tries from Oc­to­ber, al­though a date is yet to be set.

De­sign

While the Huawei Nova Plus is the big­ger brother to the Huawei Nova and the two share the same de­sign phi­los­o­phy, there are sub­tle dif­fer­ences to tell them apart – un­like with pre­vi­ous Huawei phones which are near-on iden­ti­cal (Huawei P9 and P9 Plus, for ex­am­ple).

While the Huawei Nova Plus sports the same 2.5D glass and metal curved uni­body as its smaller sib­ling, it fea­tures an en­tirely dif­fer­ent rear de­sign. The Nova fea­tures a P9-es­que black seg­ment hous­ing the cam­era along the top of the rear, while the Nova Plus fea­tures an all-metal rear with a pro­trud­ing cam­era in the cen­tre, rem­i­nis­cent of Sam­sung’s Galaxy S6 and Huawei’s Mate 8.

The Nova Plus fea­tures a 5.5in dis­play, al­though you wouldn’t be able to tell when hold­ing it in the hand. Why? Huawei has been smart when de­sign­ing the Nova Plus, util­is­ing small bezels to fit a larger dis­play into a smaller-than-usual chas­sis. This pro­vides a com­fort­able hold­ing ex­pe­ri­ence over ex­tended pe­ri­ods, and is sur­pris­ingly easy to use one-handed. Of course, it’s never go­ing to be as easy to hold as the iPhone SE, but it’s a step for­ward for those of us with a love for ph­ablets.

The Huawei Nova Plus is a gor­geous smart­phone with the same brushed metal fin­ish on the sides and sand­blasted fin­ish on the rear as the Huawei Nova, and re­ally doesn’t feel like a mid-range smart­phone in the hand. All the small de­tails, from the seam­less con­nec­tion from dis­play to body, to the dif­fer­ent fin­ishes on dif­fer­ent parts of the chas­sis pro­vides the look and feel of a high-end, premium smart­phone.

Fea­tures

So what can we ex­pect from the Huawei Nova Plus? It fea­tures a larger IPS dis­play than the Huawei Nova at 5.5in, al­though the res­o­lu­tion re­mains the same at 1080x1920 (full HD). We found the dis­play it­self to be in­cred­i­bly bright, crisp and vi­brant dur­ing our time with the smart­phone, and it’s worth not­ing that it too fea­tures a blue light fil­ter that should make us­ing the smart­phone in the evenings a lit­tle bit more com­fort­able on the eye.

In­side the Huawei Nova Plus, users will find a Snap­dragon 625 pro­ces­sor cou­pled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of stor­age, much like its younger

sib­ling. The 32GB of stor­age can be ex­panded too, thanks to the ‘Hy­brid SIM tray’ that lets you use ei­ther one SIM and a mi­croSD card, or two SIMs at once. Like its sib­ling, the Nova Plus was ex­tremely re­spon­sive dur­ing our time with the smart­phone, and we ex­pe­ri­enced no lag at all. Al­though with that be­ing said, we’re a bit con­fused as to why both smart­phones fea­ture iden­ti­cal pro­ces­sors and RAM – if Huawei is to charge more money for the Plus, it might want to make the smart­phone more ap­peal­ing than only of­fer­ing a slightly larger dis­play and a slightly bumped up cam­era. While the Snap­dragon 625 is a de­cent pro­ces­sor, we ex­pect a lit­tle more from a €429 smart­phone.

Speak­ing of the cam­era, the Nova Plus fea­tures a rear-fac­ing 16Mp snap­per, up from the 12Mp cam­era of­fered on the stan­dard Nova. That’s not all ei­ther, as the Nova Plus also fea­tures Op­ti­cal Im­age Sta­bil­i­sa­tion (OIS for short), which should help cap­ture sharper im­ages and smoother videos. The cam­era is gen­er­ally quite im­pres­sive and im­ages cap­tured are quite sharp and well lit, al­though we’d like to get it back to An­droid Ad­vi­sor tow­ers and put it through its paces be­fore giv­ing it the of­fi­cial thumbs up.

On the flip side, the Nova Plus fea­tures the same 8Mp front-fac­ing cam­era as the Nova. The front-fac­ing cam­era is good for tak­ing self­ies and per­forms well in low-light con­di­tions, but it won’t light up dark con­di­tions – for those, users have the op­tion of us­ing the 5.5in dis­play as a for­ward-fac­ing flash.

The Snap­dragon 625 pro­ces­sor pro­vides users with around 30 per­cent bet­ter bat­tery life than the

Snap­dragon 615, and when that’s cou­pled with a fairly large 3340mAh bat­tery, Huawei claims that the smart­phone will last 2.2 days on av­er­age. To com­pare, Ap­ple’s sim­i­larly sized iPhone 6s Plus fea­tures a 2750mAh bat­tery, 590mAh less than Huawei’s Nova Plus.

Soft­ware

The Huawei Nova Plus comes with An­droid 6.0 Marsh­mal­low com­plete with Huawei’s own Emo­tion UI (or EMUI for short) of­fer­ing Huawei’s own spin on the An­droid soft­ware. For those that don’t al­ready know, EMUI is about as far from stock An­droid as one can come, with al­most ev­ery el­e­ment of the An­droid in­ter­face be­ing re­designed or at least tweaked for Huawei de­vices.

Al­though this may be slightly con­tro­ver­sial, we love EMUI – it looks good, and of­fers func­tion­al­ity not avail­able on stan­dard An­droid de­vices, like tap­ping the screen to take a screen­shot, and be­ing able to view your no­ti­fi­ca­tions in a time­line-es­que view. Yes, it may take some time to get used to, but we feel that the learn­ing curve is worth it.

Ver­dict

While we’ve only had a lim­ited time with the Huawei Nova Plus, we’re happy with what we’ve seen. The dis­play is bright and crisp, and the build qual­ity is sim­i­lar to that of a flag­ship smart­phone. The 16Mp rear­fac­ing snap­per with OIS is also an

at­trac­tive point, al­low­ing users to take crisp, sharp and de­tailed pho­tos and smooth videos. While no UK pric­ing has been an­nounced, the €429 price tag makes it more ex­pen­sive than the OnePlus 3, which of­fers a more pow­er­ful pro­ces­sor and more RAM. Lewis Painter

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• 5.5in (1920x1080, 401ppi) IPS

• An­droid 6.0 Marsh­mal­low

• Snap­dragon 625 CPU

• 3GB RAM

• 32GB stor­age

• Mi­croSD sup­ports up to 128GB

• 8Mp front-fac­ing cam­era

• 16Mp rear-fac­ing cam­era

• Nano-SIM

• GPS

• A-GPS

• Glonass

• Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

• Blue­tooth 4.1

• USB Type-C

• Fin­ger­print sen­sor

• 3340mAh lithium poly­mer bat­tery

• 151.8x75.7x7.3mm

• 160g

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