Looks expensive and feels the same

Huawei nova 8 looks very flagship: the back panel is made of iridescent frosted glass, a top-quality AMOLED display with slightly curved edges, a prominent quadruple camera block. And in the hand you also feel it, heavy, grasping, cool, not a hint of plastic.

If you do not go into the specifications and just use a smartphone for everyday activities, you begin to doubt that paying 50, 70 or 100 thousand rubles for a smartphone makes sense at all. Everything works fast, the bright 90Hz screen displays the interface and applications smoothly and clearly. Yes, the screen frequency is not 120 Hz, but the FullHD + resolution, and not Quad HD, as in the top models of 2021, but this does not interfere with the enjoyment of working with the device.

The nova 8 has a metal body, NFC, fast charging (66W adapter in the box) and a fairly responsive optical fingerprint scanner in the screen – for a full “arsenal” only wireless charging and moisture protection are not enough.

Like other Huawei smartphones, the nova 8 comes with a transparent silicone case for the first time and a film on the screen.

Decent performance – but not breaking records

The mid-range model was equipped with the Hisilicon Kirin 820E chip – this is the younger version of the top-end Kirin 990, which is used in the Mate40 and P40. It has six cores with a Mali G57 graphics core, and the chip itself is manufactured using Huawei’s own 7 nm HiAI process technology using additional neuroprocessor cores for “smart” functions.

For games, nova 8 is quite suitable, but the margin for the future is still not as large as, say, in the more advanced P40. In the 3DMark WildLife benchmark, the smartphone gave 2186 points, while the P40 “knocks out” more than 3 thousand. At the same time, the budget P40 Lite on the Kirin 810 does not even get up to 1500 points in this test.

In short, the performance of nova 8 is optimal for those who are not too keen on “big” mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Genshin Impact and are looking primarily for a device for communication, watching videos and taking photos.

The battery here is the same as in the Huawei P40 – at 3800 mAh. On the one hand, this is not very much, but an economical processor, moderate screen resolution and the absence of 5G affect the autonomy for the better. As a result, nova 8 lives a full day of active use, or even a day and a half.

Quad camera and AI, but not the same as the top models

The nova 8 uses four camera modules: a 64MP main wide-angle sensor with an f / 1.9 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide angle, a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. The nova 8 lacks optical zoom and optical stabilization.

Huawei algorithms automatically determine the type of scene from several dozen options like “animal”, “sky”, “road”, “portrait”, etc. and select the “optimal” settings for brightness, contrast, white balance from the point of view of the company’s engineers and color saturation. The resulting images sometimes turn out to be excessively saturated, but this can be easily compensated for by manual processing – but the selection of ISO and shutter speed is almost not mistaken, which is much more important.

The primary lens can shoot either in 16MP mode with Quad Bayer, or in “full” 64MP resolution. However, the increased detail is better reserved for sunny days or studio conditions – the camera copes with a lack of light much better when it has the ability to combine data from four physical pixels into one.

The macro lens allows you to focus on objects at a distance of only 4 cm – this can be useful for those who are engaged in numismatics or collect stamps. In the “field” conditions, the tiny sensor turned out to be not so useful – most often small objects are better disassembled when shooting with the main camera with digital zoom.

Cameras: zoom / macro / main

Screen – exemplary

Huawei has been generous with the display, almost the main element of the smartphone with which we come into contact most often.

The 6.57-inch AMOLED panel reaches 530 nits, supports HDR10, and is beautifully calibrated for full coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. In fact, more advanced screens are found only in smartphones two to three times more expensive among the super flags, and nova 8 easily bypasses all “classmates”, if, of course, we talk about the image quality, and not about the refresh rate.

At the same time, the screen of the nova 8 has an aspect ratio of 19.5: 9 – by today’s standards, it is quite wide. On the one hand, using the device with one hand is not as easy as we would like, but 16: 9 and 18: 9 video content is displayed with minimal black borders on the sides.

The sound is reproduced through one speaker from the bottom, but for most of the content it is enough with the head – the sound is loud, rich and even with a little bass. This is enough for YouTube videos and flipping through TikTok, but for watching TV shows and movies, it’s better to plug in headphones anyway.

The bottom line is a phone for those who do not need everything at once

Huawei clearly knew for whom nova 8 was being developed. It is a smartphone with an “expensive” design, made of premium materials, and an excellent screen.

This is not a flagship that strives to be the best at everything at once. For games, it is far from the most powerful processor, and the camera can cope with a trip on vacation and home archives, but hardly suitable for photo exhibitions and printing on billboards.

nova 8 is designed for comfortable viewing of videos, social networks, communication – and in these tasks it is good.

Design and materials

Bright AMOLED display

Loud speaker

Fast charging included

Mid-range processor

Only two out of four cameras are useful

3800 mAh battery

Want to know even more? Watch the video review of the nova 8. Everything you need to know about the new smartphone from Huawei in 11 minutes. Bonus – how to install Google services.

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