Specifically marketed towards South/Southeast Asia, the 5.9-inch HD display phone is actually a solid device. Taking overall design hints from Samsung, Apple and other leading phones in the market, this mid-range device is deceivingly a welcoming sight.
At first glance, the phone keeps up with modern day standards in design. Very similar to its cousin P10, it has an 89 percent screen to body ratio, pushing the bezel boundaries as far as it can. Huawei has no issues mimicking the success of other leading phones at a much more affordable price. The touch and feel, however, does feel a little premium. The all-metal unibody design, with a matte finish and sharp display makes it seem like it should be worth more than it looks.
The main attraction, according to our use, is the crisp experience in watching YouTube videos or viewing an image’s exploited colours on the 401ppi display. This actually allows not only better image quality but presents a better-detailed representation of darker blacks and vibrant contrasts, all in a single image. There are plenty of advantages in launching and playing games on the Nova 2i as well. Navigating through the Android 7 Nougat operating system with the brand’s Emotion UI 5.2 makes for a smooth experience. It’s actually nice to look at.
The phone’s weight (164g) feels as it should, thanks to the phone’s dimensions. More screen and thinner borders make it easier to handle. It also allows easier access to the fingerprint senor situated underneath the dual cameras. It’s got the usual micro-USB port (unfortunately no USB-C), bottom loudspeaker and fortunately, a 3.5 headphone jack. Yes, you should take comfort in knowing not everyone has jumped on the no headphone jack train.
This is where the mid-range quality kicks in. The company’s introduction to a dual-rear and dual-front camera design has been something left to desire. The rear possesses a 16-megapixel main lens, supported by a 2-megapixel lens at the bottom that produces better depth of field and simulates better apertures. With this said, the outcome of the images aren’t that great under non-natural lighting. While the natural lighting shots are better, it still wouldn’t fit in the category of ‘great’.
The front actually has as slightly better performing 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel camera at its side for support. This is mainly because you’ll really need to use it for selfies, but it still projects artificial lighting, sometimes overexposing the image like the rear-camera because of its low performance under low-light surroundings.
Under the hood
It is pushing and performing under the Hi Silicon Kirin 659, 64bit Octa-core processor, clocking at 2.36GHz and lower 1.7 GHz. This is another nod to the wonderful experience in gaming. Depending on the time spent, you will rarely feel the phone heating up during your playing time. It’ll be warm to the touch but never to an alarming temperature. In addition, the 3,340mAh battery will last you a single day at moderate use. That means apps like Snapchat will drain the battery as it would on any other phone. You’ll be fine running this phone on a single charge throughout the day on average settings.
The phone also has Bluetooth 4.1, a Micro-SD slot (up to 128GB on the handset we tested), alongside the nano sim card slot. The only real set back is the older micro-USB slot, which makes charging the phone a slower process, unable to keep up with the market standard of the USB Type-C. While the pricing is not final, the new Nova 2i is quite impressive for a mid-range phone and will be available in the Bangladesh market soon.