The Huawei Nova 8 is a “mid-range” smartphone officially launched in August 2021 in the Philippines.
Huawei Philippines gave me a review unit, and I was able to use the device for a month. This review covers the phone’s design and reviews its performance, software, camera quality, multimedia experience, and battery life.
Let’s start with the features:
- 57-inch FHD+ OLED Display (1080 x 2340 Pixels), 392 ppi
- EMUI 12 Operating System
- Huawei Kirin 820E Chipset
- 8GB of RAM
- 64 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
- 32 Megapixel Front Camera
- Dual SIM
- 128GB Internal Storage
- 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (Dual Band)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB Type-C
- Fingerprint Sensor
- 3800mAh Battery
- 66W Fast Charging (Huawei SuperCharge, 100% in 35 minutes)
- ₱19,999.00 Official Price in the Philippines
What’s inside the box?
The Huawei Nova 8 comes in a white box with a bright pink gold print. Inside the box are a phone, a USB Type-C card, a 66W charger, a SIM ejector pin, and lots of documents.
It also includes a transparent gel case inside the box that fits easily into the device and reveals the design. Earphones are not included in the box, though.
The Nova 8 has a nice-looking OLED panel that supports HDR10 content and a 90Hz refresh rate. The 120Hz refresh rate is expected to be a bit higher at this price, but the average user will struggle to tell the difference between this and the 90Hz found here. Charging at 120Hz gives the company no room for a slightly higher price tag on the Nova 9, but they don’t have to worry about that.
Design and functionality
The Huawei Nova 8 has a 6.57-inch FHD + OLED display that covers the entire front of the device. Thanks to these dissolving edges, it looks bright, sharp, and vibrant with an extra special touch.
It also has a 90Hz screen refresh rate that makes the user interface feel fresh and a 240Hz touch response rate that makes touch and scrolls more responsive.
The punch doesn’t get much attention from the selfie camera, but the fingerprint scanner on display below took a second to recognize my fingerprints.
The Huawei Nova 8 looks thinner than its 7.64mm side profile, as the edges of both the front and rear panels are loosened. It has a strong metal frame with clickable buttons and a flat top and bottom.
A large range of popular Nova logos and quad cameras is on the back. The background material is also glass, but its shape is a bit cold and gradually produces a glow when the light reaches different angles. All in all, the Huawei Nova 8 has a flagship design that will impress consumers and the general public.
Performance and software
Powered by the Kirin 820E chipset, the Huawei nova 8 showed superior gaming performance for a mid-range smartphone in my gaming review. It also has 8 GB of RAM and 12 EMUI software.
It can play mobile legends with “ultra” graphics quality at a frame rate of 60 fps. Duty Call also works at the same frame rate but is limited to average graphic quality.
The thing that really surprised me while playing the Guinness Book of World Records was his performance. It can get a good frame rate of 45fps with default graphics quality.
At the same time, the general performance of the Huawei Nova 8 is almost temporary when using apps like Facebook, Browser, and Netflix. Quick opening of apps and scrolling through different feeds make it feel easy and smart.
If you are using a Huawei smartphone with EMUI 12 or HarmonyOS for the first time, downloading popular apps is still a try. However, advances in Huawei AppGallery and Petal Search have made this easier.
Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs can also be installed using an app called Gspace. On the back of the screen, you get 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The Kirin 820e SoC will do the job for general use, but don’t expect crazy multi-tasking or high-intensity computing and display.
Huawei put a lot of effort into this in its camera game. The 64MP main sensor was surprisingly effective at capturing images without much centering that you usually find in mid-range devices that try to outperform poor-performance sensors. Some of the things we saw passing through the pixels were the darkening of very hard edges, like pet hair. The 8MP wide camera, 2MP depth, and 2MP macro sensor complement the quad-camera configuration. Selfies are taken with a 32MP front camera. We’ve definitely used bad cameras at this price point, but we’ve made good use of them.
We are very frustrated when it comes to batteries. While you get a Huawei 66W to supercharge, which gives you 100% in 35 minutes, the reason is that it only fills a 3800mAh battery which is much smaller than similarly priced devices. Almost as you try it, there is also a 5W reverse charge. After 6-8 hours of using the screen every day, we realize that we finally need to charge faster. Your results may depend on your usage but keep the charger close.
The Huawei Nova 8 has a 64MP AI quad-camera system with a 64MP main camera, 8MP Ultra Wide camera, 2MP micro camera, and 2MP depth sensor.
It can take great pictures in both good light and low light. The colors look natural, the details are crisp, and the brightness is well balanced.
Communication and sound quality
Huawei Nova 8 is a dual SIM 4G LTE smartphone with good internet speed. However, 5G connectivity would be great.
However, it supports NFC for 5GHz Wi-Fi and multi-screen collaboration with other Huawei devices such as laptops and tablets.
Voice bells can be clearly heard in the airspace, and the speakerphone works well. However, it’s still a good idea to pair it with wireless Bluetooth headphones for listening to music.
Battery life and charging
Huawei Nova 8 has a 3800mAh Li-polymer battery. It may not make much noise, but it can keep the device running all day.
I usually get a 6-hour screen before the device’s battery life reaches 10%, and it needs to be charged.
When it comes time to do so, the 66W Huawei Supercharge Adapter reaches 100% battery capacity in just 35 minutes! Once you experience ultra-fast charging technology, it becomes very difficult to be patient with other smartphones.
The Huawei Nova 8 is equipped with the best hardware, including a high-quality display, highly capable camera, and powerful performance.
Since more and more apps are now compatible with the tool, thanks to Gspace, I can offer this tool to content creators. The biggest factor here is the lack of 5G connectivity, which has become widespread in coverage.
However, Huawei has done an excellent job of maintaining the quality of its Nova series.