Regardless of the trade ban that Huawei has been in for years now, they are still one of the most well-known companies when it comes to pushing the boundaries of premium mid-range smartphones.
One of their popular lines on their roster is their Nova series in which they released yet another one that is a much cheaper version of the more beefed-up Nova 9, the Nova 9 SE. It packs a 6.78-inch IPS display with a 90Hz refresh rate, quad rear cameras, Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 SOC, and a 4,000mAh battery with 66W fast charging. We finally got our unit, and here are our initial thoughts about this device.
Let’s go straight with its design. It’s got a glossy back panel that also shimmers depending on the angle of the lighting which can easily attract fingerprint smudges, so do use the case included in the box. Also here at the back, we’ll find the protruding camera and some Nova branding. Upfront we have a 6.78-inch IPS LCD panel with a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera along with the earpiece. We dig its very trendy and elegant looking design, it also does look and feels premium to the touch. Our unit is in the Crystal Blue colorway, but it also comes in Pearl White and Midnight Black if you want a much more minimalist aesthetics.
For buttons and ports, situated on the left side are the power/lock button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, the volume rocker can also be found here, nothing can be found on the left side.
While the USB Type-C port, call microphone, and speaker grilles are located at the bottom.
And finally, residing at the top of this device is the secondary microphone as well as the dual hybrid SIM card slot.
Ergonomic-wise, all buttons are placed near the center of the frame so, for those people with small hands, you guys won’t be having any trouble.
Moving over to the display, we are looking at a 6.78-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 2388 x 1080 capable of producing 387ppi. The display does support a 90Hz refresh rate which makes the overall experience smoother. It has very thin bezels all around and a decent-sized chin which helps it look more modern and gives you a much more immersive viewing experience. The display is also bright enough when used outdoors and also produces punchy colors even though it is just an LCD panel, making it an ideal tool for watching multimedia content.
Powering the Huawei Nova 9 SE is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 SOC coupled with an Adreno 610 GPU, 128GB storage, and 8GB of RAM. So far, we didn’t encounter any hiccups when doing basic multitasking as well as when playing graphically intensive game titles, but we are yet to see how this device performs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.
As for the cameras, the Huawei Nova 9 SE packs a 108MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth. For selfies we do have a 16MP wide lens, and here are a few sample shots that we got.
Juicing up this device is a 4,000mAh battery with support for 66W fast charging which, on paper, charges this device from 0-75% in just 20 minutes which is pretty fast. For connectivity, one of the downsides of this device is that it doesn’t have 5G capabilities since the US has banned the company from accessing 5G chips; this might be a deal-breaker to some, especially, since 5G connection has been widely available in the country. But, on the other hand, 4G is available and is fast and still a reliable bandwidth.
For the software side of things, it runs on Android 11 skinned with MIUI 12. As usual, there are a lot of pre-installed apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and much more. There is also bloatware that you can easily remove.
For pricing, the Nova 9 SE comes at PHP 13,999 for the 8GB+128GB model and is available through pre-order from March 18-24, 2022. You can get freebies such as the HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i and HUAWEI Cloud worth PHP 4,745. It will be available via the Huawei Online Store, or at the Huawei Flagship Stores on Lazada, and Shopee.
Huawei Nova 9 SE specs:
6.78-inch (1080 x 2388) IPS display, 387ppi
90Hz refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G SoC
Adreno 610 GPU
128GB, 256 storage
expandable via microSD card
Quad rear cameras:
• 108MP F1.9 (wide)
• 8MP F2.2 (ultrawide)
• 2MP F2.4 (macro)
• 2MP F2.4 (depth)
16MP F2.2 front camera
GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Fingerprint scanner (side)
EMUI 12 (Android 11)
4,000mAh battery w/ 66W fast charging
164.6 x 75.6 x 7.9mm
Midnight Black, Pearl White, Crystal Blue