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Huawei Nova 2i Review: The New King of Midrangers

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We would like to compare the midrange smartphone market to the Star Wars Saga. Every year, brands release their midrange guns and it get better and better every year. Most new nidrangers now have full view, edge to edge displays we normally see in Samsung flagships.

But these brands offer something different which is present with a certain midranger but not on the other. phone/ Others go for facial recognition or a different software for post processing of selfies. So Huawei has its own approach to lure more buyers – four cameras for the Huawei Nova 2i. How does it fare on our daily use? Read on.

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Huawei Nova 2i specs:

  • Octa Core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor
  • Mali T830 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 5.9-inch Full HD+ display (2160 x 1080 pixels) with 2.5D curved glass
  • 16 megapixel + 2 megapixel rear facing camera with dual LED flash
  • 13 megapixel + 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 3,340 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1
  • Price: P14,990
  • Status: Available at Huawei stores and retailers

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

Before anything else, the Huawei loves to change the name of their smartphone based on the market. Here in Southeast Asia, it is called Huawei Nova 2i. It is also called Honor  9i (India), Huawei Maimang 6 (China) and HUawei Mate 10 Lite (Europe and Global).

The overall feel of the Huawei Nova 2i is premium. People will not think that it is only priced at P14,990 (as of this writing). Phones are getting taller these days because of the 18:9 aspect ratio of the display. Holding it with one hand is no problem and very comfortable too. Its quite slippery so make sure to have a jelly case for it.

Ports and buttons:

  • Top – noise cancelling microphone
  • Left – SIM card/microSD card tray
  • Right – volume rocker and power button
  • Bottom – speaker grill, microphone, USB 2.0 port
  • Back – antenna bands, dual cameras and fingerprint scanner
  • Front – 6-inch display, dual selfie cameras, sensors

DISPLAY

The 6-inch display is very pleasant to use especially for multimedia use. Watching a lot of You Tube, I Want TV and Netflix is a joy because of the 18:9 aspect ratio. Sadly, the software does not yet support the stretch as compared with Samsung’s software. But don’t you worry. Just wait a little because apps will soon support it.

Auto brightness seems to be very decent. It is bright and vivid as well.Sunlight legibility struggle a bit. We suggest turning off the auto brightness and crank up to brightness manually when using it under the sun.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

We’ve been reading other reviews from other tech blogs especially those abroad. We really don’t understand why EMUI, Huawei’s custom skin over Android is constantly getting negative blows.

For us, EMUI has improved a lot since the release of EMUI 5.1. Useful options such as the option to get an app tray is most welcome. Helpful notifications such as a prompt to close open apps is much welcome and we don’t get annoyed at all.

Performance is smooth as butter. We never encountered any slowdowns when doing multi tasking and gaming. The roomy 4GB RAM and the Kirin 659 chipset handles anything you throw at it. Playing games with heavy graphics runs well but we suggest to tone down the settings for better gaming experience.

CAMERA

Putting Huawei in a spotlight was its camera tech. With or without Leica’s branding, Huawei’s cameras now match the top brands today, sometimes even better. In good lighting, the Huawei Nova 21’s rear dual cameras work together to give the much desired bokeh effects. The bokeh shots are clean and well processed. The two selfie cameras also works together for bokeh as well. See for yourself. 🙂

We will be doing a separate camera review of the Huawei Nova 2i in the coming days. Expect to see more photos soon!

CONNECTIVITY

Based on experience, Huawei’s smartphones has least incidents of drop calls and signal reception inconsistencies. On our a week of review, we never encountered any sudden signal drops or interupted calls. Internet speeds using Globe and Smart LTE networks are the usual and sometimes very good speeds.

BATTERY

The Huawei Nova 2i was our main daily driver for more than a week and as our main phone for the daily grind, we use our phone mainly for multimedia use such as watching You Tube, Netflix, iFlix plus listening to Spotifu and using the Nova 2i has a personal hotspot. The 3,340 mAh battery gave us enough juice throughout the day. Though we wish there’s fast charging but that’s just us asking for too much.

VERDICT

We give the Huawei Nova 2i our big two thumbs up for its overall performance and great cameras. These four cameras are the reason why the Huawe Nova 2i is the new king of midrangers for us. Buying one? Please go and buy one now! 🙂