Gadget Review: Nova 5T
We're at the homestretch of the year and, as always, Huawei isn't putting on the brakes on its smartphone launches.
So here they are with their latest mid-range offering, the Nova 5T, which brings stuff you may have heard of before. This latest mid-ranger is a 6.26-inch device that dons a punch-hole on the upper-left corner to maximise your digital real estate. As always, the volume rocker and power buttons are to the right, the card tray is on the left and below is a USB-C port, which not only serves as your charging point but also as the way to plug in a headset because there's no 3.5mm audio slot; don't worry, the in-the-box headset's compatible with the device.
It has a clean build and I particularly like the rear because the glass complements the shade under it very well. There are no fancy 3D designs on it, which suits me well since I'm not exactly a fan of all those aesthetics.
The Nova 5T has a quad-lens camera system, comprising 48MP main, 16MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro and 2MP bokeh lenses. It's almost similar to the one on the Huawei P30 Pro, albeit with a different configuration.
It gives out some pretty neat shots, especially in well-lit conditions. For some reason, however, the images turned out darker than what the actual scene was. The 48MP sensor 'only' has an aperture of f/1.8, so that could be a factor. I am a huge fan of images not being overexposed, but I was not expecting this.
Closing in on stuff, however, gets my nod: Macro shots give a more natural feel. The subjects are well-detailed and look pleasing. The cameras also combine to give you wide-angle shots; and as is always the case, the more you zoom in, the more mushier it gets. You also have night mode that'll fix things up when the lights go down. However, smudges and noise, in areas farther, will be there.
Another thing that irks me: If you use night mode, prepare to wait eight seconds more or less - five while it adjusts the exposure and some more to finalise it - before your snap is done. That's a considerably long time, so you'd better make sure you've got a steady hand and your subject is very patient.
The selfie camera - housed in that punch-hole up front - has a 32MP sensor. It takes snaps pretty well and isn't over-the-top when it comes to 'beautifying' you.
The fingerprint scanner is incorporated in the power button. Face recognition, meanwhile, is snappy in well-lit situations. The darker it gets, the longer it'll take to unlock; you need a good-enough light source to brighten up your face.
Battery life, meanwhile, is okay. In our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness test, the Nova 5T lost 14 per cent; that's decent, but I was expecting somewhere along the 11-12 per cent range. Making up for that, however, is that it was able to last until around brunch time the following day.
It also has super-fast charging capabilities, with Huawei claiming that your juice meter will be filled 50 per cent in just half-an-hour. Well, in my run, it did go up at 47 per cent in 30 minutes, 87 per cent in an hour before crawling to the 100 per cent finish line in one hour and 21 minutes. Not bad.
The Huawei Nova 5T is another fairly solid offering in its class, clamping together flagship specs from here and not-so-flagship specs from there. It even undercuts some in the Honor range, particularly in terms of pricing and some specs. And this smartphone runs on Android 9 Pie, so you still have access to Google's spectrum of services.