Huawei Nova 9 review: you will NOT feel the LACK of GOOGLE services!

Yes, calm down guys, you don't have hallucinations: this Nova 9 from Huawei is practically identical to Honor 50 which the good Dario told you about a few days ago in his full review.

And yes, the company has also confirmed that the design of these two devices took place well before the "separation" of the two brands, so at least aesthetically there are no obvious differences.

In practice, and more specifically in the software, there are a few differences that we are going to see together.

Huawei Nova 9 review

Content of the package

Inside the sales box of the Huawei Nova 9 we find:

  • Huawei Nova 9
  • USB-A / USB-C charging cable
  • Wall power supply with USB-A input with Super Charge support up to 40W
  • User manuals
  • Transparent TPU cover

Design and Materials

The design of the Huawei Nova 9 is very similar to that of Honor 50, and we have clarified this: the colors are different and, in some ways, those of this Nova 9 are more eccentric even if I was a bit unfortunate to receive the simplest and most elegant, the classic Black without the brand NEW clearly visible (as happens in the other colors)

Leaving aside this aspect, the design is particularly accurate; the slightly rounded edges around the screen are eye-catching and tie very well with the smartphone. The bezels are made of plastic and are finished in a similar way to the back cover, creating a nice uniformity; the smartphone is also very thin, 7.8mm only and also light, only 175gr which contribute to making it, in fact, among the lightest modern smartphones in circulation.

La back cover it is made of glass with rounded edges; the black color is very elegant and stands out very well with the chromed frame of the large main camera, which represents a novelty for the entire smartphone sector (at least for form factor). The oleophobic treatment is good both on the front and on the back: of course, it retains some fingerprints but it is nothing compared to what this kind of finishes usually attract.

Un design so thin it put Huawei in a position to have to give up something, but personally I don't see it as a bad choice; the Chinese company, in fact, to maintain the reduced thickness has made the side keys smaller by inserting them in a section with a rather anomalous shape, but which personally convinced me.

The front part houses the Nova 9 the "drop" inside the display where the front camera is located, and in the center of the screen at the bottom, however, Huawei has inserted a biometric reader which, to be honest, works very well. As already mentioned also for Honor 50, unfortunately, the Huawei Nova 9 also lacks IP certifications, wireless charging and the second stereo speaker.


The display is gorgeous and no, I'm not exaggerating. Believe me. Despite being in the mid-range in all respects, if there is one thing on which Huawei has spared no expense is precisely the display, which I liked a lot.

Technically it is a type panel OLED diagonal with 6.57 ″ resolution 2340 x 1080 pixels, 392ppi of pixel density and a aspect ratio of 19.5: 9, a little out of the box. The color quality is exceptional, really - there is 100% coverage of the color gamut DCI-P3 and support for more than a billion colors.

As if that were not enough, Huawei has included a panel with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz as well as capable of supporting a sampling rate of touch up to 300Hz: you can't ask for better in the mid-range, I assure you, and with the support ofHDR 10 Huawei it has pretty much come full circle of specs in the best of ways.

Even at the software level, the display is well managed: it is obviously possible to activate the eye protection modes and, in addition, to change the resolution of the display in order to improve battery performance. Furthermore, the management of the refresh rate is dynamic even if it remains possible to personally choose whether to limit it to 60Hz or not.

Hardware and Performance

Like Honor, Huawei also uses Qualcomm processors for the first time and not the usual proprietary Kirin; here is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G which, in fact, is a mid-range processor already quite tested and widespread, and widely analyzed with the various Real GT Master Edition, Xiaomi 11Lite and many others.

Here, however, the connectivity aspect is limited: Nova 9, in fact, it does not support 5G networks but stops at 4G only and this, for me, is a great shame. There RAM, on the other hand, it is 8GB and the internal storage can be 128 or 256GB, in both cases not expandable.

The behavior in the benchmarks highlighted some differences against it, especially if we compare the results obtained by the Honor 50 with practically the same hardware: the performance in multi-core is better than Honor 50, but in single core instead no. Plus in tests Antutu il Huawei Nova 9 it comes out a bit with broken bones: 457914 points against the 502616 of the Honor 50. It must be said, however, that in the relative tests the reading and writing speeds the Nova 9 makes Honor 50 eat the dust.

Leaving aside this extremely technical and theoretical paragraph, the truth is that Huawei Nova 9 in everyday use is a bomb, and not even for a moment will you think of using a mid-range; either for the display with a high refresh rate, or for the increasingly optimized software, but in everyday use Nova 9 does not miss a beat.

Gaming doesn't suffer from slowdowns or drops in framerate either; the temperature of the smartphone is always good and even in the most difficult scenarios the degrees struggle to increase.


There are four cameras that the Huawei Nova 9 is equipped with: the main one is from 50MP f / 1.9, ultrawide 8MP f / 2.2 , the room of depth da 2MP f / 2.4 and finally one 2MP f / 2.4 lens for macro photography.

La equipment is very respectable, no doubt about it, and even in practice Huawei has done a great job: the main 50MP sensor achieves excellent shots (always considering that it is a mid-range) and in addition the software is optimized great, as per Huawei tradition.

A little less satisfactory are the shots with the ultra wide-angle camera which, inevitably, seemed a bit castrated to me: the lens suffers particularly in low light environments and perhaps with a sensor f / 1.8 Huawei it could have been saved in a corner kick even with the wide angle.

The camera app, as is now Huawei's habit, is full of modes and functions that optimize shots in practically any condition; the great photographic work of this smartphone, I repeat, is done by the software with its processing of the shots.

La front room, moreover, it is from 32MP and thanks to the wide angle of view it manages to make you take excellent group selfies, providing in fact shots clearly above the market average. The other two cameras, the Macro and Depth ones, are present but, in my opinion, not classifiable: we tend to insert these cameras more and more often, but the reality is that few actually use them and the results offered are not of Prime quality.

In addition, always to stay on the subject of similarities with Honor 50, on the camera software of Nova 9 there are a large number of features for creators and vloggers; there is the Story mode thanks to which you can record short videos to the beat of music of a few seconds, or the Multi-Video mode that allows you to take advantage of both cameras with preset templates. I am really amazed by Huawei's work in the software field.


The ecosystem HarmonyOS it is still composing and actually Huawei has not yet made a complete transitional step, and this Nova 9 is proof of that. The operating system of this smartphone continues to be based on Android 11 with security patches updated to August 2021, but the graphics are practically renewed and in full style HarmonyOS which in China, on the other hand, remains the main choice.

Graphically the interface of the EMUI 12 di Huawei it is something exceptional, in my opinion the most beautiful of all (after the Pixel Experience, of course); very nice and well laid out quick toggles, notification menus, folders and widgets, everything is well thought out and organized within the OS.

In addition, the big step forward made by the company with i Huawei Mobile Services, or the real substitutes that make up for the lack of Google services which, with rare exceptions, will not be lacking at all. Petal, the ecosystem that Huawei is making increasingly solid, is the alternative to Google; you can move with Petal Maps (which has a database of POIs practically like Google Maps), carry out searches with Petal Search and thanks to the App Gallery download any application you may find useful.

The gem is that with PetalSearch you can find apps online from third-party stores, the likes of Aptoide, apkpure and many others: the function is very convenient in case an app is not officially supported on the Huawei store.

Battery life

The battery supplied with the Nova 9 is a 4300 mAh, in line with market standards; autonomy is good, and allows you to cover the entire day of use, even if it is rather stressful.

Charging times are good, even if I didn't understand Huawei's choice: the smartphone supports the SuperCharge up to 66W, but the company has included a only 40W that allow you to quickly recharge your smartphone, but not as fast as with a 66W power supply. Furthermore, as anticipated, wireless charging is absent.

Price and Conclusions

Huawei Nova 9 arrives on the market at €499 for the version 8 / 128GB, a slightly lower price than the Honor 50 which, in the price list, is € 529 for the 6 / 128GB version and € 599 for the 8 / 256GB.

The market segment in which this Nova 9 fits is crowded, we have to be honest: devices like the Realme GT Master are now about half the size of this Nova 9 and in terms of performance we are there. The great work of Huawei at the software level, however, is there and it is evident. In principle, the Nova 9 is a device that I would recommend, with my eyes closed: I would wait for Christmas to see it certainly discounted by about € 100, but otherwise practically a super recommended purchase.

In addition at the moment on the store of Huawei the new ones are as a gift Freebuds Pro and an original Huawei Cover for a total commercial value of around € 140, not bad as an offer, but it is available until 23/11 and no later.


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