Huawei Nova 9 SE review: the company’s first smartphone with a 108 megapixel camera

Rays of goodness

They did not get smart with the design: the manufacturers almost completely left the body of the “nine”. Unless the phone got 0.2 mm thicker, but it remained thin. The back cover is made of rounded glass, in the upper left corner a platform with four cameras. If you turn the smartphone to light, it will show that the rays come from this platform. This effect looks beautiful. If you do not like it, you can put a full cover or see the version in black. There will be a calm classic without iridescent shades.

The Huawei nova 9SE is available in two colors: crystal blue and midnight black. Click to learn more.

The edges are metallic, a smart fingerprint scanner is hidden in the lock button. At the top you can find a slot for two SIM cards and a USB-C port. But the headphone jack can not be found. But we did not expect it to appear suddenly.

Full body

The screen has grown from 6.57 inches to 6.78. It now occupies almost 90% of the entire front panel. The frames are thin, for the front camera there is a slightly noticeable hole in the middle.

The OLED screen has been replaced by IPS. The latter is indeed cheaper to build, but it is not entirely right to talk about the superiority of OLED because of this. Our smartphone has great viewing angles and accurate color reproduction – it handles image output well. Unless the brightness is lower, but this is only noticeable when you compare the two devices live.

The resolution and refresh rate remained high at FHD + and 90 Hz. You no longer have to watch movies and scroll through social media. Otherwise, the battery will drain quickly. Therefore, such indicators are the standard for the mid-budget segment of smartphones. Separately, we will add the sampling rate of 270 Hz, which players will appreciate. The feature says that the screen responds quickly to finger touches. So any actions of the character are performed immediately.

Weak on paper, strong in reality!

The first compromise in the stripped-down model is the processor. The Snapdragon 778G space was filled by a slightly more recent Snapdragon 680. Both processors are eight-core and built with state-of-the-art 6 nm process technology. And although the Snapdragon 680 was released six months later, it is still lower in performance. Even at benchmarks, a new brand earns significantly fewer points. The reason for this is the weaker nuclei.

But let’s leave the synthetic tests for geeks. However, we are more interested in learning how the smartphone behaves in real life under standard loads. Therefore, we load the most demanding games and see the result.

Click to learn more about the specifications of the new smartphone.

On paper, we saw quite a few weak numbers, but the vibrant Huawei Nova 9 SE performs much better. The rather demanding Standoff 2 thanks to the smoothness and the complete absence of decelerations. In addition, the game starts automatically with almost maximum graphics settings at a target rate of 60 frames per second. Call of Duty Mobile does not freeze at the most inopportune moments.

In other programs and on the main screen, everything is calm – thanks to the stock of 8 GB of RAM and the stable Android 12 with the proprietary EMUI 12. The animation is smooth, also scrolling.

The 4000 mAh battery is enough for a typical working day. An hour of browser work, a few hours of instant messaging and social networking, half an hour of the “witch” – in this mode, the phone will live up to the night. Well, if you go too far with toys, fast charging will save you: 75% in 20 minutes on cable. Incidentally, a 65 W adapter is included.

Clarity at 108 million pixels

The smartphone impresses not only with the camera. Click to learn more.

We see the main sensor at 108 megapixels in the brand smartphones for the first time. Even the top Huawei P50 Pro had a 64MP sensor, while the Nova 9 had a 50MP sensor. By default, our device produces images in 12 megapixel resolution. Nothing new here: nine small pixels are combined into one large one to improve image quality and color reproduction.

If you look in the settings, you can enable “native” resolution. You will find it useful if you want to crop an image or print it in large format. See the links below for the difference between the resulting images.

The kit also includes an ultra-wide 8MP sensor. There are no surprises here – in this mode, more details come into play. Convenient when you need to fit several people in one image. Well, or when you want to embrace the vast landscape in nature. But be prepared for some blur.

A two megapixel macro camera on a smartphone is probably for display. It’s easier to capture macro shots on the main sensor – they will be even better in quality. Just look at the comparison (photo from the macro sensor on the right).

The selfie camera is amazing. The angle is large, the contrast is not bad, it almost does not blur the face. What you need for video communication.

And so the phone records video. FHD resolution, 30 frames per second. Visual stabilization is not enough here, the image contracts when you walk. But for shooting, such a camera will do.

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Results

A stripped down version of a powerful smartphone is always a compromise for the sake of reducing costs. But the Huawei Nova 9 SE does not seem to be affected at all by adding two letters to the original name. The processor has become weaker only on paper, but it does an excellent job with all tasks. The screen has generally gotten a bit bigger and the camera received 108 million pixels for the first time – this is a brand record.

A smartphone without compromises is possible. Click to learn more

Consider the presence of fast charging and increased 90 Hz refresh rate (and 270 Hz sampling). As a result, we have a decent, balanced mid-range smartphone. With such “middling” and no need for flagships!

Huawei nova 9SE in the official online store

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