Just seven months after the launch of the Nova 3, Huawei has already released the Nova 4 - and this time, with a new look and a triple rear camera setup. The first smartphone with a punch-hole design to be launched, it gives us a glimpse into what we can expect from their other phones and competitors that share the same build.
The Nova 4 has top notch build quality with the glass back that curves towards the edge for a more comfortable hold with the aluminum frame for good structural integrity. It comes in Black and Crush Blue - if you want some flare to your smartphone, get the Crush Blue for that sexy dual-tonal blue-to-purple. But, as it is for all glass builds, this phone take on smudges with the slightest touch.
The display for the Nova 4 is ever so slightly larger than its predecessor at 6.4 inches. Following the current display trend, it comes with an in-display punch-hole design for the front camera which certainly isn’t as intrusive as a notch but some might still be bothered by it. The colours themselves, at least for the default vivid mode, look well… vivid, so it’s great to watch anything on the screen. Alright the elephant in the room - the punch-hole selfie camera is, of course, the upcoming design trend and for me, it’s a lot less intrusive than the notches around. Plus, with the standard of 16:9 videos for streaming, the image won’t stretch towards the edge where the punch-hole is.
It’s too bad we did not see an upgrade for the processor as the Nova 4 still runs on the Kirin 970, but it has a higher amount of RAM this time round with 8GB. Multitasking on the Nova 4 is still a breeze and you’ll sooner forget that you have a bunch of apps running in the background before your phone starts to slow down. Everything pretty much run smoothly on this - with PUBG Mobile able to run like butter on high settings. The heat did start becoming noticeable halfway through game 1 and it was slightly uncomfortable to play - but with a cover you should be fine.
The cameras are definitely the highlight of the Nova 4 - the 20MP + 16MP ultra-wide angle + 2MP depth sensor for the rear camera setup do some pretty amazing things. Unfortunately, the 48MP camera is not officially available for the Malaysian market which is a bummer. The 25MP front camera also takes great photos. The positioning of the selfie camera on the top left was supposedly a strategic positioning on Huawei’s part because their R&D determined that appealing selfie are taken from the left side - their Perfect Angle Selfie. They’ve also trained their the AI module for the beautification feature for more effortless selfies.
Though the beautification feature is still too much for my taste. Smartphone brands rely heavily on their image processing software for photos but I must say that the low-light for the Nova 4 is not quite there yet for the EMUI 9.0.
The Nova 4 has relative long battery life with its 3750mAh battery. You can safely go the whole day with a full charge, granted you’re not gaming and streaming videos the whole time, of course - but you knew that, you’re smart. Even if the battery is spent, the USB-C will ensure a swift recharge.
Huawei gave the Nova 4 a few design changes and additional upgrades to be a worthwhile choice if you’re planning an upgrade for the year especially if you’ve had the same one for the past two or three years. However, if you’re considering upgrading from the Nova 3, I would suggest holding off on that.