Software and operating impression – quick with restrictions!
The nova 9 is easy to operate! The processor, together with the 8GB RAM, offers more than enough power for all tasks, including games. The 120 Hz of the display ensures buttery smooth animations and fluid scrolling. As mentioned, 5G is not possible with the nova 9 because Huawei is not allowed to use certain technologies. This includes 5G, with a processor that is actually 5G-capable. It’s a shame, but doesn’t really work. The fingerprint sensor works very reliably and quickly. The battery life doesn’t win any major awards, but it is more than sufficient and got me through the day as a power user without any problems. If you have to charge temporarily, you can do this with 66W ultra-fast. The camera setup ensures very good photos, although not quite on the level of other Huawei flagships or Android competitors, but the photos are impressive. Only the lack of optical zoom could be a problem for fans of Huawei.
The biggest problem with the very successful nova 9 is and remains the software. Huawei delivers the device outside of China with EMUI 12 (Android basis) and not with the in-house HarmonyOS. On the one hand, all Android apps run on the device, but the Play Services are again missing. Means: No access to the Google Play Store and apps that absolutely require Play Services do not work at all or only to a limited extent (Maps, Drive, Chrome, mobile phone parking, etc.). Although Huawei offers an alternative with its own app gallery that is getting better and better, it is unfortunately still not as problem-free as with Play Services. Some Android apps refused to work completely, others only worked very rudimentary. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok, banking apps and Co. are available and can be used. The list of apps that can be obtained from the app gallery keeps growing. The Huawei App Gallery is already number 3 behind Google Play Store and Apple App Store and is growing rapidly. Anyone who can live with the restrictions now is investing in a future in which Huawei could well be an alternative to Google and Apple. Especially when HarmonyOS takes off.