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Huawei Nova 7i vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Is the extra PHP 4K worth it?




When we reach the proper mid-range category priced around PHP 15K, we get a lot more features. Phones in this price category come with better displays, respectable chipsets, capable cameras, and other features such as faster charging.

For today, we’ll be comparing the budget Nova-series device from Huawei with Samsung’s Galaxy A51.

Design and Build

While both phones employ a glossy glasstic back cover, the designs differ greatly. The Samsung Galaxy A51 has an eye-catching design with geometric patterns and prism light refractions, while the Huawei Nova 7i keeps it simple with its reflective cover and deep colors. For my taste, the Huawei Nova 7i fits my taste more as its design is more elegant, resembling a large, uncut emerald. You may also get the Huawei Nova 7i in Sakura Pink and Midnight Black, while the Samsung Galaxy A51 is also available in Prism Crush Black, White, and Pink.

When it comes to the build quality, the Huawei Nova 7i is a lot heftier and sturdier because of its thicker frame. That being said, like our previous comparisons, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is more comfortable thanks to its thin body. The camera bump on the Galaxy A51 also protrudes less, making it more stable when placed on tables.

As for biometrics, the Huawei Nova 7i employs a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, while the Samsung Galaxy A51 uses an in-display scanner. While both are reliable, the side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the Nova 7i is noticeably faster.

We’re giving the Huawei Nova 7i a slight win here, thanks to its sturdier nature and faster biometrics. The Samsung Galaxy A51, however, can provide ample support, and a lot of comfort while in use.

Display and Multimedia

When it comes to the display, the Samsung Galaxy A51 takes the cake thanks to its Super AMOLED screen. Colors are more vibrant, with a wider dynamic range, capable of outputting more brightness. That’s not to say the Huawei Nova 7i’s display performs poorly. It’s still as sharp thanks to its Full HD+ resolution, with excellent viewing angles and good color reproduction. You also get the benefit of having the punch-hole module on the upper left corner (as opposed to the middle), giving you an uninterrupted viewing experience.

When it comes to audio quality, though, the Huawei Nova 7i can produce sounds with much more detail. Loudness, however, is similar between the two devices.

We’re giving the Samsung Galaxy A51 a small win here thanks to its Super AMOLED display. However, consuming content on the Huawei Nova 7i was also a pleasure thanks to its audio capabilities.

Camera

When it comes to camera performance, both devices are neck and neck as both are capable of taking great photos, especially considering the price. Check out the sample photos below:

Huawei Nova 7i Sample Shots:

Samsung Galaxy A51 Sample Shots:

The images taken by the Huawei Nova 7i are slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy A51, with better details, colors, and focus.

However, selfies taken by the Samsung Galaxy A51 come out a lot more natural, while capturing equal amounts of detail.

Aside from the photos with the primary camera, take a look at the ultra-wide and zoom capabilities in the photos below:

(Nova 7i on the left, Galaxy A51 on the right)When it comes to the camera’s zoom capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is capable of enlarging the photo more (8x vs. 6x), while retaining more details.


(Nova 7i on top, Galaxy A51 on the bottom)

As for the ultra-wide camera, the Huawei Nova 7i captures slightly less POV but was able to keep a lot of details. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy A51’s photos come out with more vibrant colors, great dynamic range, and a wider POV, but the edges are distorted.

As for night shots, the Huwai Nova 7i is clearly better, able to capture detail, colors, while reducing noise.

We’re giving both devices the camera department

Processor

Under the hood, the Huawei Nova 7i is equipped with a Kirin 810 chipset while the Samsung Galaxy A51’s Exynos 9611 Check out the AnTuTu V8 results below:

AnTuTu V8.3.9Huawei Nova 7iSamsung Galaxy A51
CPU80,12955,138
GPU65,49245,484
Memory66,49045,552
UX53,91338,087
Total266,024184,261

The Huawei Nova 7i trumps the Samsung Galaxy A51 in every aspect of the AnTuTu test. It also has the GPU Turbo 3.0 feature, which boosts gaming performance further with minimal impacts on the battery life.

RAM & Storage

Another important factor that dictates performance, especially when multitasking, is RAM. The Huawei Nova 7i  comes with 8GB of RAM, while the Samsung Galaxy A51 comes with either 6GB or 8GB.

As for the storage, both devices come with 128GB, which is more than enough to fit your apps, but may fall short when you take a lot of photos, videos, or downloading a lot of files.

We’re giving the Huawei Nova 7i a win here, as the AnTuTu results show the RAM and storage are faster than the Samsung Galaxy A51.

Battery Life

Before going over our standard video loop test, let’s first take note of each device’s battery and charging capacity. The Huawei Nova 7i is powered by a 4,200mAh battery with support for Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge. The Samsung Galaxy A51, on the other hand, is powered by a 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging support.

Moving over to our standard video loop test where we loop a 1080p video with 50% volume, 50% brightness, on airplane mode, with headphones plugged in, we got the following results:

  • Huawei Nova 7i – 16 hours and 42 minutes
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 – 14 hours and 13 minutes

The Huawei Nova 7i takes a good lead here, especially considering its fast 40W charging capabilities.

OS

Both devices run on Android 10 out of the box, with their own skins on top: EMUI for the Huawei Nova 7i, and One UI 2 for the Samsung Galaxy A51. An important thing to note is that the Huawei Nova 7i does not come with Google Mobile Services but instead use Huawei’s own – HUAWEI AppGallery, the third largest App Store in the world, and it also has the Huawei Petal Search Widget to help users reach millions of apps. It supports over 90% of the apps in the market, and can definitely meet your daily use. It includes several of my essential apps, such as the BPI Mobile app, GCash, Lazada, and Viber. While it still lacks native support for several apps, the App Gallery makes it easy for users to sideload them onto the device.

The aforementioned Huawei Petal Search Widget is a great addition, as it allows users to conveniently look for the apps they need. Users may add the Petal Search widget directly on their home screen, or on the browser’s speed-dial shortcut.

Because this is all based on user preference, we’ll be leaving this up to you to decide whether or not you can live GMS.

Price

Here are the prices of each smartphone:

  • Huawei Nova 7i – PHP 13,990
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 (8GB + 128GB) – PHP 17,990

The Huawei Nova 7i is PHP 4,000 cheaper than the Galaxy A51.

Now for the recap:

  • Design and Build – Huawei Nova 7i
  • Display and Multimedia – Samsung Galaxy A51
  • Camera – Tie
  • Processor – Huawei Nova 7i
  • RAM & Storage – Huawei Nova 7i
  • Battery Life – Huawei Nova 7i
  • OS – Tie
  • Price – Huawei Nova 7i

Looking at the final scores, the Huawei Nova 7i took 5 out of 8 categories from the competition. It had slightly better design and build quality, a much faster chipset, RAM and storage, longer battery life, faster charging, all for a lower price.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is a well-rounded device, only losing heavily when it came to the chipset, battery life, and charging capabilities. It had a better display and was able to trade blows when it comes to camera quality. It is, however, 28% more expensive.



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3 Responses

  1. Bernie says:

    i love this site but this is very biased. You didn’t mention that although there is Petal Search, it still can’t run GMS apps like Youtube properly. At least acknowledge that so your post will become more objective. I plan to buy one pa naman sana…

  2. Kristy says:

    It is too biased. You focused on the app gallery. First, you can’t watch netflix in an amazing quality in Nova 7i. Also the YouTube is not an app. It’s just a browser. Which is nahh. Don’t compare SAMOLED to IPS. Also you didn’t even mentioned that Samsung Galaxy A51 has NFC. As far as I know, Nova 7i has no Radio FM. This review is a waste.

  3. Kristen says:

    It is too biased. You focused on the app gallery. First, you can’t watch netflix in an amazing quality in Nova 7i. Also the YouTube is not an app. It’s just a browser. Which is nahh. Google Play Store is still the better/best. You can see in the pictures taken, Samsung Galaxy A51 is better. It provides great contrast, color and so on. Don’t compare SAMOLED to IPS. Also you didn’t even mentioned that Samsung Galaxy A51 has NFC. As far as I know, Nova 7i has no FM Radio. There’s so many more that you can know about these devices. They just focused on keeping the Nova 7i look good. Because of this review, sadly I won’t watch your reviews in YouTube again.

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