Huawei Nova 7 5G Review
Huawei is one of the well-known companies when it comes to taking the lead in pushing 5G, and the top telcos in the country are gradually deploying 5G in certain areas. Just a month ago, we reviewed the Huawei Nova 7SE 5G and concluded it’s a well-rounded smartphone for the price.
Today, let’s take a more in-depth look into its bigger sibling, the Huawei Nova 7 5G.
Design and Construction
From the get-go, the Nova 7 5G looks very premium. It’s got the same 3D glass back as the Nova 7 SE 5G that changes colors when adjusting the device in different lighting. Since it got a glossy back, it’s prone to fingerprint and smudges although there’s a jelly case that’s included in the box to address that.
The unit we have is in Midsummer Purple color with the nova branding all over it, and there are also black and space silver options available.
Upfront, we get a 6.53-inch FHD+ OLED Fullview display with a punch-hole front camera on the upper left. You’ll also find here its in-display fingerprint scanner.
The left side is bare, while located on the right are its power button and volume rocker. Up top are its secondary mic, two antenna bands, and an IR blaster.
Moving over to the bottom, we get a loudspeaker, primary microphone, Type-C port, and dual-nano SIM tray. No card slot in here, unfortunately.
Flipping to its back, we get a vertically-placed quad-cam setup composed of a 64MP High-Resolution Lens, an 8MP Ultra-wide, an 8MP Telephoto, and a 2MP Macro shooter. The nova 7 5G feels comfortable to hold, thanks to its sleek design. The double-curved back gives it a good grip, and it doesn’t weigh that much at 180g, which is good if you’re going to use the device for an extended period.
Display and Multimedia
The nova 7 5G sports a huge 6.53-inch FHD+ OLED Fullview display with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution. As we would expect from an OLED panel, the screen looks vibrant and sharp. It has excellent viewing angles and color reproduction. It’s bright enough even when viewed under direct sunlight.
Since it’s OLED, we get an always-on display, and you can choose whichever design you want. Just in case you want to hide the punch hole, there’s an option in the settings to hide it. You can also set different color modes and temperature to your liking. You also can tone down the resolution to 720p if you want to consume less battery.
As for audio, it’s got excellent sound clarity and reasonably punchy bass. Its loudness would suffice for casual listening. If you want better audio quality, we suggest that you use an external Bluetooth speaker, or hook up the earphones that come in the box.
For shooters, the nova 7 5G comes in a quad-rear camera setup consisting of a 64MP F/1.8 main, 8MP F/2.4 ultra-wide, 8MP F/2.4 telephoto, and a 2MP F/2.4 macro. Meanwhile, for selfies, you get a 32MP F/2.0 that sits in a punch-hole camera module on the top left corner of the display.
You get quirky features like AR Lens, Light Painting, Panorama, Pro (Manual mode), Moving Picture, Slow-mo, Timelaps, and Stickers.
Shots taken from the rear cameras look impressive. They look sharp and detailed with the 64MP lens, without sacrificing color quality. Standard mode gives a subtle depth effect with a good dynamic range, even when not using the portrait mode. Macro shots are good with clean subject-background separation.
As for low light shots, its AI already brightens up scenarios yet still keeps shadows, but using its night mode will boost the brightness further. Selfies look great and we like that the beauty mode isn’t too harsh and doesn’t make the skin look too artificial.
As for videos, both the front, and rear cameras can record up to 4K in 30fps, which is great. It can also shoot slow-motion videos in 720p at 960fps. So far, we get decent quality footage with good stabilization.
OS, UI, and Apps
The nova 7 5G runs on EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 out of the box. For features, the device has Dark Mode, Phone Clone, Huawei Assistant, One-handed mode, and Ride mode, to name a few. It comes with some bloatware and Huawei’s proprietary apps like Optimizer, Huawei Share, and PrivateSpace. You can navigate using gestures, and there’s an app drawer option in case you want one. You can take advantage of its IR blaster. Just download an app for it.
Like all the newer Huawei devices, the Nova 7 5G doesn’t have GMS (Google Mobile Services) and uses HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) instead. Although Huawei’s App Gallery now offers some of the most popular apps in the market, you still have to sideload some apps like Facebook and Netflix. But don’t worry, sideloading apps are easy, but without Google Playstore, it’s hard to download native Google apps. So if you don’t want the hassle, the browser should be alright for YouTube or Gmail.
You may also download Huawei’s Petal Search app from the App Gallery. Petal Search allows you to search for apps straight from your home screen. Out of the box, we get a sizable 256GB storage with no memory card support.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the nova 7 5G is a HiSilicon Kirin 985 5G chipset with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. With its beefed-up internal specs, performance is superb. We didn’t encounter any lags or frame drops when playing graphically heavy games. Multitasking is also a breeze.
For biometrics, the in-display fingerprint scanner works accurately and quickly most of the time. The placement is just a little odd since it’s leaning more towards the bottom and not the middle of the display, so you have to adjust your finger lower. Face unlock is rapid and reliable too.
Overall benchmarks results are just a little higher than the nova 7SE, with only 22,000 difference. Check out the benchmarks scores below:
• AntuTu V8.4.3 – 377,993
• Geekbench 5 – 660 (Single-core), 2,436 (Multi-core)
• PCMark – 8,107 (Work 2.0)
• 3DMark – 4,277 (OpenGL), 2,686 (Vulkan)
• AndroBench – 784.71MB/s (Seq Read), 424.07MB/s (Seq. Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
The nova 7 5G offers the same connectivity features as the Nova 7 SE but with the inclusion of NFC. Only the SIM 1/primary SIM slot is available for 5G, while the secondary SIM is limited to 4G. We haven’t tested out the 5G connectivity since it’s still not available in our area.
As for its battery, the nova 7 5G is packed with a 4,000mAh capacity with 40W SuperCharge. In our standard video loop test, where we repeat a 1080p video with 50% brightness, 0% volume, with airplane mode on, the device yielded a total of 28 hours and 7 minutes. In the PCMark battery test, the device managed to get 18 hours and 1 minute. Those are impressive performance in the battery department. Charging the device takes an hour to an hour and a half from 0 to full 100.
For Php23,990, the nova 7 5G is truly a more premium version of the nova 7SE 5G and a great mid-ranger phone. It has better display quality since it sports an OLED panel and now comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner that works well. Apart from that, the device’s performance is excellent. You also get impressive cameras and battery life.
If you want the almost-best all-around phone with 5G-ready capability, and you can get past the lack of GMS, then the nova 7 is an excellent choice. It’s more expensive by Php4,000 to the SE version, but the extra features, power, and storage seem to be well worth it. Honestly though, if you’re on a tighter budget, the nova 7SE 5G is more than good enough if you’re choosing between the two.
Huawei Nova 7 5G specs:
6.53-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display
Huawei Kirin 985 octa-core CPU
• 64MP F1.8 main
• 8MP F2.4 ultra-wide
• 8MP F2.4 telephoto
• 2MP F2.4 macro
32MP F2.0 front camera
5G, 4G LTE
GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS
3.5mm audio jack via dongle
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
EMUI 10.1 (Android 10)
4,000mAh battery w/ 40W SuperCharge
160.64 x 74.33 x 7.96 mm
Black, Space Silver, Midsummer Purple