• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • System on Chip: Kirin 659
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB, expandable with microSD
  • Display: 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 IPS
  • Camera: 12+8MP (dual-rear), 20MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 + A2DP + LE + aptX, 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Dimensions: 153.9 x 74.9 x 6.9 mm
  • Weight: 169g
  • Pros:
  • Large storage
  • High-res selfies
  • Audio
  • Cons:
  • Rear camera no OIS
  • Benchmark Results
  • Antutu: 60,958 points
  • PCMark for Android: 4,607 points
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 409 points

Luxurious Midrange

The smartphone market has hit a saturation point, particularly in the midrange segment where selfie phones are plenty. But what if you want one that excels at selfies, while also having a good rear camera? We look at Huawei’s nova 2 Plus to see if it’s a good choice in this regard.

Being a 5.5-inch device, the nova 2 Plus has a thicker and wider body that’s just nice for people with larger hands; easy to hold and not uncomfortably large. It has really thin bezels on the side, giving it a pretty good screen-to-body ratio. The sides and back are brushed metal that feel smooth to the touch, yet provide enough grip to ensure that it doesn’t slip off.

The layout of the components are standard here: Buttons on the right, SIM/SD card tray on the left, and fingerprint sensor at the back. For cameras, the back features a 12 plus 8-megapixels camera, while the front camera is a 20-MP camera with a depth sensor next to it. At the bottom is a 3.5mm audio jack, speaker, and USB Type-C port in the middle. Due to lack of space remaining at the bottom, the microphone was moved to the top.

For entertainment, the nova 2 Plus is a mixed bag. It has a useful dedicated player that can be left as a ‘window’ layered over the screen, allowing you to browse the internet or use certain other apps at the same time. However, the video ends up being too small and the screen’s output quality isn’t great either. On the other hand, the device has excellent audio quality thanks to its AK4376a audio chip. Of course, that’s with the use of external speakers or headphones. With aptX, Bluetooth speakers or headphones are great options here due to the low latency.

The front camera is where the nova 2 Plus does the best; you get crisp, high-resolution images with it. Also, thanks to the depth sensor and beautifying feature, it’s possible to get selfies with Bokeh effect. However, the rear camera is just average. Although the quality isn’t bad, the lack of image stabilisation can often net you blur or shaky photos.

As for performance, the Kirin 659 chip does well enough for more general use. But it doesn’t handle demanding apps very well, especially high-end mobile games.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Its 20-megapixel front camera is great, but the device’s dual rear camera and overall performance could be better.

(previously published in issue December 2017)

Huawei nova 2 Plus