Notebookcheck

Huawei Nova 2 Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Martina Osztovits), 10/07/2017

Selfie superstar? Huawei has created an upper-mid-range phone with the 5-inch Nova 2 and given it a special feature with a 20 MP front camera. Our review will reveal whether selfie fans should go for it.

For the original German review, see here.

Those who are not  hunting for the ultimate smartphone bargain or willing to spend 600 Euros ($704) or more for a premium model will find many interesting contenders in the mid-range category. One of them is the Huawei Nova 2. While it is already priced at the upper limit of this category at 399 Euros (~$468), it certainly delivers in terms of features.

The Nova 2 features a stylish aluminum case, which obviously looks similar to the Apple iPhone, while it does not imitate every detail. For example, the 5-inch Huawei has the fingerprint sensor on the rear. Hence it can be easily reached with the index finger. The 2.5D display on the front features a Full HD resolution and 443 PPI. The Nova 2 is powered by a fast HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa core SoC and 4 GB of RAM. Thanks to a storage capacity of 64 GB you will not run out of storage space quickly. According to the manufacturer, the camera is the actual highlight. The front camera features a high resolution of 20 MP, which is significantly higher than the rear camera's 12 MP. It is supposed to make selfie fans happy.

The Huawei Nova 2 has strong competitors, which are at least on par with it in terms of features and performance: The rivals which we compare the Nova 2 to in our review are the BQ Aquaris X Pro, the Honor 9, the HTC U Ultra, the Huawei P9 Plus, and the LG G6.

Huawei Nova 2 (Nova Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 443 PPI, capacitive, Full-HD, LTPS, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 48.4 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: headphones and microphone combo jack (3.5 mm), Card Reader: microSD cards up to 128 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, digital compass, gravity sensor, gyroscope, USB-OTG, BT aptX
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM-Quadband (850, 900, 1.800, 1.900 MHz), UMTS-Quadband (800, 850, 900, 2.100 MHz), LTE Cat.6 (800, 850, 900, 1.800, 2.100, 2.600 MHz), Downloads up to 300 MBit/s, Uploads up to 50 MBit/s, Nano-SIM, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.9 x 142.2 x 68.9 ( = 0.27 x 5.6 x 2.71 in)
Battery
2950 mAh Lithium-Polymer, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 18 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 18 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 400 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 400 h
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix F/1.8, LED flash, pixel size 1.25 µm
Secondary Camera: 20 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, modular power supply, USB cable, headset, protective sleeve, SIM tool, quick start guide, EMUI 5.1, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
143 g ( = 5.04 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
399 Euro

 

Case

Huawei has equipped the 143 g (~5 oz) light Nova 2 with an aluminum case, which is visually and haptically embellished with a piano finish on the sides. Moreover, the rounded corners and edges as well as the matte rear cover, which ensures secure grip with a slightly roughened surface, feel good to the touch. The fingerprint sensor on the rear is slightly recessed. Hence, it is easily discernible by touch. Huawei has incorporated the 2.5D glass into the case without any visible inaccuracy. The stability is also good. We even failed to twist the smartphone by applying high force. Only the display showed minimal waves, which disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Huawei offers the Nova 2 in three colors: Graphite Black, Prestige Gold, and Aurora Blue.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

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The Huawei Nova 2 is equipped with a HiSilicon Kirin 659. The ARM based octa core SoC features Cortex A53 cores in two clusters with a maximum clock rate of 1.7 GHz and 2.36 GHz, respectively. Graphics rendering is done by an ARM Mali-T830 MP2. Moreover, the phone is generously equipped in terms of storage with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage.

Unfortunately, Android 7.0 and EMUI 5.1 require relatively large amounts of storage space. The combination of these with the user interface developed by Huawei results in the Nova 2's ROM taking up almost 16 GB. Hence, only 48 GB is free. While this is not little, 64 GB competitors show that it could be better. For example the BQ Aquaris X Pro and the HTC U Ultra have 54 GB free storage each, and the Honor 9 provides 50 GB at least. The storage capacity of the Huawei Nova 2 can be expanded by up to 128 GB with microSD cards, which can be used to store media files. The hybrid slot can only be used for a nano SIM card in this case. The USB Type-C port supports only USB-2.0 speed, but is capable of USB OTG. Hence, you can connect USB drives and other peripherals to it.

left: hybrid slot for dual SIM/microSD
left: hybrid slot for dual SIM/microSD
right: power button, volume control
right: power button, volume control
top: microphone
top: microphone
bottom: headset jack, microphone, USB-2.0 Type-C port, speaker
bottom: headset jack, microphone, USB-2.0 Type-C port, speaker

Software

The Huawei Nova 2 runs Android 7.0 Nougat and the proprietary EMUI 5.1 user interface. At the time of testing, Android security patches as of 06-05-2017 were installed, which are already no longer up-to-date.

Although the firmware takes up quite a lot of space on the smartphone with almost 16 GB, which might primarily be due to the EMUI interface, there are hardly any software extras included. Apart from the mandatory Google apps, Huawei has pre-installed only a few tools, for example a data backup app, a SIM toolkit, and the HiCare service app. Among others, the latter provides access to the service center of the manufacturer and Huawei's forum. Moreover, guides and tips regarding use of the phone are available through the app. Some of the  pre-installed apps can be uninstalled, but not all. For example, the Google apps and HiCare can only be deactivated. When the smartphone is connected to a PC, the HiSuite software is available through a virtual drive. Among others, it can be used for running updates and backups.

Communication and GPS

The Huawei Nova 2 communicates via GSM quad band (850, 900, 1.800, 1.900 MHz), UMTS quad band (800, 850, 900, 2.100 MHz), and LTE Cat.6 (800, 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz) in the mobile telephone network. Downloads are possible with 300 MBit/s, the maximum upload rate is 50 MBit/s. During our time with the phone, reception worked flawlessly in the Vodafone network in the countryside.

However, the Wi-Fi performance of the Nova 2 is poor: With 802.11 b/g/n, not only does the smartphone lack the fast 802.11-ac standard, but also support of the 5 GHz band. As a result, the Huawei can only use the slow 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. In view of its potential, it performs very well here. The Nova 2 reaches up to 75 MBit/s when exchanging data with our Linksys EA8500 reference router. The ac competition is at least twice as fast and is led by the LG G6, which achieves a maximum of 325 MBit/s.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG G6
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
325 MBit/s ∼100% +457%
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
283 MBit/s ∼87% +385%
HTC U Ultra
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB eMMC Flash
247 MBit/s ∼76% +324%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
Adreno 506, 626, 64 GB eMMC Flash
242 MBit/s ∼74% +315%
Huawei Nova 2
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
58.3 MBit/s ∼18%
Huawei Nova
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20 MBit/s ∼6% -66%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC U Ultra
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB eMMC Flash
259 MBit/s ∼100% +245%
LG G6
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
220 MBit/s ∼85% +193%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
Adreno 506, 626, 64 GB eMMC Flash
148 MBit/s ∼57% +97%
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
140 MBit/s ∼54% +87%
Huawei Nova 2
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
75 MBit/s ∼29%
Huawei Nova
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
50.9 MBit/s ∼20% -32%
GPS outside
GPS outside
GPS in a building
GPS in a building

The GPS module of the Nova 2 works fast and geolocates with an accuracy of up to 4 meters (~13 ft) outdoors. The accuracy is almost just as high indoors (5 meters/~16 ft). Moreover, the smartphone achieved the same accuracy on our 12 km (~7.5 mi) long bike test route. The Nova 2 performs only marginally worse than the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. While the smartphone deviates a few meters here and there from the ideal in the route, the deviations from the reference device are only very small overall. The total deviation on the whole route is only 10 meters (~33 ft). Thus, the Huawei Nova 2 performs more than adequately in geolocation for everyday tasks.

Huawei Nova 2: Whole route
Huawei Nova 2: Whole route
Huawei Nova 2: Turning point
Huawei Nova 2: Turning point
Huawei Nova 2: Bridge
Huawei Nova 2: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Whole route
Garmin Edge 500: Whole route
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

Apart from good frequency coverage, the Nova 2 also convinces in voice quality. During test calls to fixed and mobile phone networks, the voices of our partners sounded natural via speaker and the included headset without distortions. Moreover, the volume can be turned up very high without distortions. When hands-free communication is enabled, both sides have to listen slightly more carefully. Voices sounded slightly tinny here, but effortless communication was still possible.

Cameras

HDR shot taken with the main camera
HDR shot taken with the main camera
Taken with the webcam
Taken with the webcam

The selfie camera shoots portraits with a resolution of 20 MP (up to 5120x3840 pixels). While shots have a good quality, they are not as outstanding as you might expect in view of the high mega pixel count. You do not even have to look very closely in order to notice significant blurring and image artifacts in 1:1 images. Selfie fans will not mind this, since beauty and bokeh mode are available for fiddling about. Moreover, you can record Full HD videos with 30 FPS in decent quality. However, a 20 MP resolution is really unnecessary - a lower number of mega pixels would have also been okay.

A 12 MP camera with dual lens, LED flash and f/1.8 aperture sits on the rear of the Nova 2. Its maximum resolution is 3968x2976 pixels (4:3 format). In 16:9 format, the resolution falls to 9 MP or 3968x2440 pixels.

Huawei has packed many features into the camera app. The rear camera has more features available, primarily recording modes such as HDR and night. Depth of field and beauty mode of the selfie camera can also be selected here. Furthermore, a manual mode is also available: If you select "professional photo", you can adjust parameters such as exposure time and sensitivity. If you are not sure what each mode is good for, you can click on an info icon on the top right of the display and will get a short explanation in transparent letters. It is also handy that the menu covers recording aids such as smile recognition, a timer, and an audio release, which is triggered by either the word "cheese" or a minimum volume.

The 12-MP camera shoots good images, which appear very vibrant, thanks to the high contrast. Due to high sharpening, images appear slightly unnatural however. Moreover, the camera software does a bit too much on homogeneous image parts. Hence, fine details are lost. Poor ambient light is not a problem for the light sensitive lens. However, the peculiarities of the camera get more obvious in this scenario. Moreover, low-light images show quite a visible noise.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Finally, we want to check how the camera of the Nova 2 performs under controlled light conditions. As the ColorChecker figure shows, most, but not all colors are over-saturated. The phone creates sharp images without problems. However, it suffers from aggressive sharpening, which shows in the form of hard transitions between image structures and the fonts.

Photograph of ColorChecker colors. The target color is in the lower half of each patch.
Photograph of ColorChecker colors. The target color is in the lower half of each patch.
Detail of the test picture
Detail of the test picture
Test picture (click for original)
Test picture (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

Huawei includes a modular power adapter, a USB Type-C cable, a headset, a protective sleeve, a SIM tool and a quick start guide. The manufacturer does not offer accessories for its smartphone on its web page.

Huawei offers a 24-month warranty on the Nova 2. The warranty is for only 6 months on the battery and the power adapter, and 3 months for the headset.

Input Devices and Handling

The touchscreen of the Huawei Nova 2 feels very good to the touch and accurately responds to commands up to the corners. Furthermore, it features handy extras such as one-handed operation and pocket mode. The latter prevents the smartphone getting activated accidentally when carrying it in pockets or bags. You can enable a glove mode, which allows using the Nova 2 in winter or cold weather without frozen fingers. The fingerprint reader on the back can be used in a versatile way: As a security feature, it can unlock the display, allow access to locked apps, and serve as a safe for secure payments. In addition, pressing the fingerprint reader can accept calls, stop the alarm, display the notification field or even record images or videos.

The Nova 2 uses the well-known SwiftKey keyboard by default. It can be replaced easily. You can find many alternatives in Google's App Store, for example Google's GBoard.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Subpixel
Subpixel

The 5-inch IPS display features Full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, which gives an impressive pixel density of 443 PPI. The display is quite bright with an average of 487.4 cd/m² when displaying a purely white background. The brightness sensor, which is enabled by default, automatically adjusts the brightness to the ambient light, which protects the user's eyes. The same is true when the blue filter is enabled. With an even distribution of bright and dark images parts (APL 50), the brightness falls only marginally (470 cd/m²).

The display's extremely even brightness distribution of 97% is noticeable. Thanks to it, even large homogeneous color parts do not look uneven. The black value of 0.48 is decent for an IPS display. The same is true for the contrast ratio of 1002:1. The LG G6 proves that an IPS display can perform significantly better with a huge contrast ratio of 2809:1 and brightness higher than 600 cd/m². Moreover, the Nova 2 cannot keep up with the very good display results of the HTC U Ultra.

484
cd/m²
481
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
489
cd/m²
481
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
486
cd/m²
484
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 496 cd/m² Average: 487.4 cd/m² Minimum: 2.45 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 97 %
Center on Battery: 481 cd/m²
Contrast: 1002:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.2 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 6.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.31
Huawei Nova 2
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
BQ Aquaris X Pro
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Honor 9
IPS/LTPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
HTC U Ultra
SLCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.7
Huawei P9 Plus
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
LG G6
IPS LCD, 2880x1440, 5.7
Huawei Nova
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Screen
-24%
24%
12%
-9%
39%
13%
Brightness middle
481
458
-5%
550
14%
470
-2%
361
-25%
646
34%
493
2%
Brightness
487
473
-3%
535
10%
445
-9%
366
-25%
611
25%
485
0%
Brightness Distribution
97
88
-9%
92
-5%
88
-9%
87
-10%
89
-8%
94
-3%
Black Level *
0.48
0.51
-6%
0.42
12%
0.22
54%
0.23
52%
0.44
8%
Contrast
1002
898
-10%
1310
31%
2136
113%
2809
180%
1120
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.2
7.1
-37%
3.3
37%
5.5
-6%
5.1
2%
4.5
13%
4.2
19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.7
14.5
-67%
4.5
48%
11.9
-37%
10
-15%
8.3
5%
6.6
24%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.8
10.5
-54%
3.6
47%
7.6
-12%
5.5
19%
6
12%
3.8
44%
Gamma
2.31 95%
2.28 96%
2.38 92%
2.2 100%
2.24 98%
2.27 97%
2.39 92%
CCT
8149 80%
8951 73%
7226 90%
7454 87%
7388 88%
7996 81%
7438 87%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
67.74
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.05

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8801 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
19.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.2 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 18 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 24 ms rise
↘ 28.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 88 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

The display settings allow adjusting the color temperature either with one of the three profiles, "Standard", "Warm", and "Cold", or by clicking a point on the color circle. The Nova 2 does not deliver balanced colors with default settings. The color temperature is far too cool with 8149 K and the display looks noticeably bluish. Colors and grayscales are also not ideal with Delta-E deviations significantly above 3. It is recommended to select the color profile "Warm" for a more natural look of the contents. In our test, the color temperature (6592 K) got almost perfect with this profile. The Delta-E values also improved slightly (grayscales: 5.6 vs. 6.8, colors: 4.7 vs. 5.2). Not everything is perfect with color profile "Warm" either. The display is slightly greenish now.

Color fidelity (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)
Color fidelity (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)
Color space (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color space (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color space (profile: warm, target space: P3)
Color space (profile: warm, target space: P3)
Grayscale (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: standard, target space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)
Color saturation (profile: warm, target space: sRGB)

Due to its high brightness, the Nova 2 has good qualities for outdoor use. However, you should avoid direct sunlight, if you do not want to turn the smartphone into a makeup mirror. The content can be easily recognized in the shade. The Nova 2 benefits from its wide viewing angles here. Screen contents can be recognized even from flat angles and the luminance drops only slightly.

Outdoor use at maximum brightness
Outdoor use at maximum brightness
Outdoor use at maximum brightness
Outdoor use at maximum brightness
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Huawei Nova 2 is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa core SoC, which clocks four of its Cortex-A53 cores at 1.7 GHz and the other four cores at 2.36 GHz. With 4 GB of RAM and the ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphic chip, performance bottlenecks are not to be expected in Android use. However, this is expected from a smartphone in this price range. The Nova 2 always ran smoothly in our tests. It can handle many simultaneous open apps, fast menu switching, and demanding games.

When compared to similarly expensive competitors, the Nova 2 falls behind. Overall, its performance is high and about on par with the Spanish competitor BQ Aquaris X Pro, which uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa core processor. However, the Honor 9, the HTC U Ultra, the Huawei P9 Plus, and the LG G6 are faster.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
63304 Points ∼27%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
66226 Points ∼28% +5%
Honor 9
150276 Points ∼65% +137%
HTC U Ultra
139017 Points ∼60% +120%
Huawei P9 Plus
98413 Points ∼42% +55%
LG G6
151751 Points ∼65% +140%
Huawei Nova
63206 Points ∼27% 0%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
4822 Points ∼47%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
4915 Points ∼48% +2%
Honor 9
6113 Points ∼59% +27%
HTC U Ultra
5217 Points ∼51% +8%
LG G6
5152 Points ∼50% +7%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
6252 Points ∼59%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
5886 Points ∼56% -6%
Honor 9
7034 Points ∼67% +13%
HTC U Ultra
5217 Points ∼49% -17%
Huawei P9 Plus
7159 Points ∼68% +15%
LG G6
5703 Points ∼54% -9%
Huawei Nova
4596 Points ∼43% -26%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
847 Points ∼49%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
806 Points ∼47% -5%
Honor 9
1069 Points ∼62% +26%
HTC U Ultra
907 Points ∼52% +7%
Huawei P9 Plus
1049 Points ∼61% +24%
LG G6
1073 Points ∼62% +27%
Huawei Nova
727 Points ∼42% -14%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
843 Points ∼5%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1012 Points ∼6% +20%
Honor 9
4126 Points ∼26% +389%
HTC U Ultra
4591 Points ∼29% +445%
Huawei P9 Plus
1512 Points ∼10% +79%
LG G6
5138 Points ∼32% +509%
Huawei Nova
1006 Points ∼6% +19%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
2011 Points ∼42%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1046 Points ∼22% -48%
Honor 9
3258 Points ∼68% +62%
HTC U Ultra
1581 Points ∼33% -21%
Huawei P9 Plus
2667 Points ∼56% +33%
LG G6
1930 Points ∼40% -4%
Huawei Nova
1531 Points ∼32% -24%
System (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
2959 Points ∼24%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3492 Points ∼29% +18%
Honor 9
4154 Points ∼34% +40%
HTC U Ultra
2834 Points ∼23% -4%
Huawei P9 Plus
3932 Points ∼32% +33%
LG G6
3646 Points ∼30% +23%
Huawei Nova
2280 Points ∼19% -23%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
1436 Points ∼24%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1314 Points ∼22% -8%
Honor 9
2779 Points ∼46% +94%
HTC U Ultra
2078 Points ∼34% +45%
Huawei P9 Plus
2019 Points ∼33% +41%
LG G6
2496 Points ∼41% +74%
Huawei Nova
1264 Points ∼21% -12%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
2997 Points ∼21%
Honor 9
Points ∼0% -100%
LG G6
7080 Points ∼49% +136%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
3556 Points ∼10%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
4369 Points ∼12% +23%
Honor 9
6527 Points ∼18% +84%
LG G6
4369 Points ∼12% +23%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
918 Points ∼15%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
928 Points ∼16% +1%
Honor 9
1869 Points ∼31% +104%
LG G6
1831 Points ∼31% +99%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
1662 Points ∼45%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
2132 Points ∼58% +28%
Honor 9
2287 Points ∼62% +38%
HTC U Ultra
1763 Points ∼48% +6%
Huawei P9 Plus
2547 Points ∼69% +53%
LG G6
1955 Points ∼53% +18%
Huawei Nova
1802 Points ∼49% +8%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
330 Points ∼6%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
379 Points ∼7% +15%
Honor 9
2798 Points ∼52% +748%
HTC U Ultra
2405 Points ∼45% +629%
Huawei P9 Plus
807 Points ∼15% +145%
LG G6
2980 Points ∼55% +803%
Huawei Nova
391 Points ∼7% +18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
402 Points ∼8%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
464 Points ∼10% +15%
Honor 9
2666 Points ∼56% +563%
HTC U Ultra
2225 Points ∼47% +453%
Huawei P9 Plus
952 Points ∼20% +137%
LG G6
2669 Points ∼56% +564%
Huawei Nova
473 Points ∼10% +18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
1657 Points ∼45%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
2127 Points ∼58% +28%
Honor 9
1809 Points ∼50% +9%
HTC U Ultra
1646 Points ∼45% -1%
Huawei P9 Plus
2336 Points ∼64% +41%
LG G6
1961 Points ∼54% +18%
Huawei Nova
1821 Points ∼50% +10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
526 Points ∼6%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
725 Points ∼9% +38%
Honor 9
2990 Points ∼36% +468%
HTC U Ultra
3807 Points ∼46% +624%
Huawei P9 Plus
1042 Points ∼13% +98%
LG G6
4121 Points ∼50% +683%
Huawei Nova
737 Points ∼9% +40%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
620 Points ∼10%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
849 Points ∼13% +37%
Honor 9
2611 Points ∼41% +321%
HTC U Ultra
2947 Points ∼46% +375%
Huawei P9 Plus
1188 Points ∼19% +92%
LG G6
3282 Points ∼51% +429%
Huawei Nova
849 Points ∼13% +37%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
14488 Points ∼18%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
17044 Points ∼22% +18%
Honor 9
15150 Points ∼19% +5%
HTC U Ultra
21263 Points ∼27% +47%
Huawei P9 Plus
15331 Points ∼19% +6%
LG G6
22335 Points ∼28% +54%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
11688 Points ∼2%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
13277 Points ∼3% +14%
Honor 9
38979 Points ∼8% +233%
HTC U Ultra
33446 Points ∼7% +186%
Huawei P9 Plus
21807 Points ∼5% +87%
LG G6
32128 Points ∼7% +175%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
12212 Points ∼6%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
13963 Points ∼7% +14%
Honor 9
28883 Points ∼14% +137%
HTC U Ultra
29668 Points ∼14% +143%
Huawei P9 Plus
19936 Points ∼10% +63%
LG G6
29276 Points ∼14% +140%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
19 fps ∼1%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
23 fps ∼1% +21%
Honor 9
60 fps ∼3% +216%
HTC U Ultra
74 fps ∼4% +289%
Huawei P9 Plus
41 fps ∼2% +116%
LG G6
75 fps ∼4% +295%
Huawei Nova
23 fps ∼1% +21%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
20 fps ∼4%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
22 fps ∼5% +10%
Honor 9
55 fps ∼12% +175%
HTC U Ultra
46 fps ∼10% +130%
Huawei P9 Plus
43 fps ∼9% +115%
LG G6
46 fps ∼10% +130%
Huawei Nova
22 fps ∼5% +10%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
7.9 fps ∼1%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
9.8 fps ∼2% +24%
Honor 9
30 fps ∼5% +280%
HTC U Ultra
26 fps ∼5% +229%
Huawei P9 Plus
18 fps ∼3% +128%
LG G6
38 fps ∼7% +381%
Huawei Nova
9.8 fps ∼2% +24%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
8.9 fps ∼2%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
9.6 fps ∼3% +8%
Honor 9
28 fps ∼8% +215%
HTC U Ultra
23 fps ∼6% +158%
Huawei P9 Plus
19 fps ∼5% +113%
LG G6
27 fps ∼7% +203%
Huawei Nova
10 fps ∼3% +12%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
4.8 fps ∼1%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
6.4 fps ∼1% +33%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼4% +358%
HTC U Ultra
12 fps ∼2% +150%
Huawei P9 Plus
10 fps ∼2% +108%
LG G6
29 fps ∼5% +504%
Huawei Nova
6.2 fps ∼1% +29%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
5.2 fps ∼3%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
6.3 fps ∼4% +21%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼13% +323%
HTC U Ultra
12 fps ∼7% +131%
Huawei P9 Plus
11 fps ∼6% +112%
LG G6
16 fps ∼9% +208%
Huawei Nova
6.6 fps ∼4% +27%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
2.9 fps ∼1%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3.5 fps ∼1% +21%
Honor 9
15 fps ∼4% +417%
HTC U Ultra
15 fps ∼4% +417%
Huawei P9 Plus
6.2 fps ∼2% +114%
LG G6
20 fps ∼5% +590%
Huawei Nova
3.4 fps ∼1% +17%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
3.1 fps ∼3%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3.5 fps ∼3% +13%
Honor 9
16 fps ∼14% +416%
HTC U Ultra
8.4 fps ∼7% +171%
Huawei P9 Plus
6.8 fps ∼6% +119%
LG G6
11 fps ∼9% +255%
Huawei Nova
3.6 fps ∼3% +16%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
4.96 fps ∼13%
LG G6
24.34 fps ∼63% +391%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
8749 Points ∼20%
LG G6
35449 Points ∼80% +305%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
17001 Points ∼38%
LG G6
37621 Points ∼84% +121%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
147 Points ∼6%
LG G6
647 Points ∼25% +340%
Epic Citadel - Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Nova 2
47.3 fps ∼77%
LG G6
59 fps ∼96% +25%

Legend

 
Huawei Nova 2 HiSilicon Kirin 659, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
BQ Aquaris X Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 9 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC U Ultra Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 Plus HiSilicon Kirin 955, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Huawei Nova Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The ranking is almost the same in the browser benchmarks: However, the Huawei P9 Plus is leading ahead of the LG G6 by a small margin here. As before, the Huawei Nova 2 gets one of the bottom places and is accompanied by the BQ Aquaris X Pro there. Nevertheless, web surfing is not a problem, since the performance is still high enough. Even demanding HTML5 web pages such as the pinball game letsplay.ouigo.com open quickly and run smoothly.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Huawei P9 Plus (Chrome 51)
70 Points ∼100% +153%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
58.6 Points ∼84% +112%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
56.628 Points ∼81% +104%
HTC U Ultra (Chrome 56)
45.084 Points ∼64% +63%
Huawei Nova (Chrome 55.0.2883.91)
30.487 Points ∼44% +10%
Huawei Nova 2 (Chrome 60.0.3112.116)
27.692 Points ∼40%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
26.837 Points ∼38% -3%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei P9 Plus (Chrome 51)
12058 Points ∼100% +148%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
10208 Points ∼85% +110%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
9113 Points ∼76% +87%
HTC U Ultra (Chrome 56)
5511 Points ∼46% +13%
Huawei Nova 2 (Chrome 60.0.3112.116)
4864 Points ∼40%
Huawei Nova (Chrome 55.0.2883.91)
4717 Points ∼39% -3%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
4424 Points ∼37% -9%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Huawei Nova 2 (Chrome 60.0.3112.116)
8863 ms * ∼100%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
8741.5 ms * ∼99% +1%
Huawei Nova (Chrome 55.0.2883.91)
8234.9 ms * ∼93% +7%
HTC U Ultra (Chrome 56)
4141 ms * ∼47% +53%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
3149 ms * ∼36% +64%
Huawei P9 Plus (Chrome 51)
2792.3 ms * ∼32% +68%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
2464.2 ms * ∼28% +72%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Huawei P9 Plus (Chrome 51)
130 Points ∼100% +37%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
122 Points ∼94% +28%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
107 Points ∼82% +13%
Huawei Nova 2 (Chrome 60.0.3112.116)
95 Points ∼73%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
86 Points ∼66% -9%
Huawei Nova (Chrome 55.0.2883.91)
60 Points ∼46% -37%

* ... smaller is better

The eMMC flash memory of the Nova 2 writes and reads data fairly fast. It performs solidly, albeit not spectacularly. This is noticeable in practice: Apps open without noticeable delay and longer latency times are a big exception.

With our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSD reference card (max. read rate: 270 MB/s, max. write rate: 150 MB/s), we test the read and write performance of the microSD card reader. With a maximum of 68.9 MB/s, the smartphone is far from using the full potential of the reference card. However, the competitors do not perform that much better. The HTC U Ultra achieves a slightly higher data throughput with 82.8 MB/s.

Huawei Nova 2BQ Aquaris X ProHonor 9HTC U UltraHuawei P9 PlusLG G6Huawei Nova
AndroBench 3-5
-14%
2%
18%
-2%
12%
0%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
36.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
49.77 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
37%
34.64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-4%
67.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
87%
24.95 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-31%
53.33 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
47%
47.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
32%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
68.88 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
78.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
14%
67.99 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-1%
82.8 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
20%
62.48 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-9%
77.61 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
13%
79.5 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
15%
Random Write 4KB
25.41
12.07
-52%
32.7
29%
13.7
-46%
51.23
102%
16.58
-35%
44.63
76%
Random Read 4KB
69.03
37.97
-45%
55.7
-19%
84.2
22%
39.33
-43%
95.19
38%
38.19
-45%
Sequential Write 256KB
192.8
139.63
-28%
204
6%
164.7
-15%
140.38
-27%
122.85
-36%
75.01
-61%
Sequential Read 256KB
300.35
270.46
-10%
293
-2%
423.9
41%
284.27
-5%
428.67
43%
248.26
-17%

Games

Huawei advertises the Nova 2 primarily as a lifestyle selfie smartphone. However, the Android phone performs almost equally well in gaming. Not only can it run simple games such as “Angry Birds 2” smoothly, but also graphically demanding titles. For example, the Nova 2 still achieves 28 of a maximum of 30 FPS in the race game “Asphalt 8: Airborne”. In the zombie shooter “Dead Trigger 2”, it even achieves 56 FPS at maximum details. Control works flawlessly via position sensor and touchscreen.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high56 fps
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high28 fps
 very low30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench: Battery
GFXBench: Battery

With maximum temperatures of 39.3 °C (~103 °F), the Huawei Nova 2 gets more than lukewarm on a few spots (around the Android keys). However, the temperature does not increase that much when you use the smartphone to capacity. Under full load, we measured a maximum of 39.3 °C (~103 °F) after an hour of stress test. The average temperature is just slightly above 35 °C (~95 °F) on the front and the back.

Finally, we checked whether the SoC throttles under maximum load with the T-Rex benchmark from GFXBench. Result: It does not. The frame rates did not fall and also no other anomalies which might hint at overloading of the SoC occurred, even after 30 runs of the test scene.

Max. Load
 37.2 °C
99 F
33.8 °C
93 F
36.4 °C
98 F
 
 37.6 °C
100 F
34.1 °C
93 F
39.6 °C
103 F
 
 36 °C
97 F
35.6 °C
96 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 39.6 °C = 103 F
Average: 36.5 °C = 98 F
33 °C
91 F
33.1 °C
92 F
35.8 °C
96 F
33.2 °C
92 F
34.4 °C
94 F
35.8 °C
96 F
33.1 °C
92 F
34.1 °C
93 F
35.6 °C
96 F
Maximum: 35.8 °C = 96 F
Average: 34.2 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.6 °C = 87 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram

Although only one mono speaker is incorporated in the smartphone, the Huawei generates surprisingly good sound, which even sounds slightly space-filling. The small speaker can even get decently loud without distortions. Like many other smartphones, the Nova 2 produces very linear highs and balanced mid-tones. If you connect a headset, the Huawei automatically activates the Histen sound effects and can generate 3D sound with 32-Bit-DAC AK4376a. The result actually sounds quite good and you can enjoy listening to music, watching videos, and gaming.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.631.22525.438.43125.330.14032.930.25033.631.96331.635.58028.424.51002726.912520.823.7160223920021.350.525020.849.531521.249.340019.458.250019.559.963017.763.680017.962.5100017.867125017.372.4160017.473.6200016.772.2250017.273.3315018.274.6400017.973.8500017.676.4630017.776.9800017.876.41000017.977.61250018.175.51600018.262.9SPL3085.7N1.361.9median 17.9Huawei Nova 2median 67Delta1.311.837.536.427.134.832.437.534.827.726.630.831.334.832.233.629.529.731.732.238.33634.933.72638.350.547.147.347.739.450.531.633.329.131.936.231.628.231.532.626.728.628.230.625.227.624.525.430.632.626.428.523.621.332.642.523.539.922.123.342.549.423.446.621.222.549.45524.65022.722.45559.531.553.326.121.359.563.528.755.421.818.463.567.126.358.620.117.567.169.230.256.820.317.569.270.337.65722.217.270.370.141.756.928.516.870.174.852.660.840.617.374.878.459.862.945.817.478.478.761.364.942.316.678.78265.166.247.517.38279.563.963.348.817.679.577.668.26248.917.677.67273.356.654.217.77261.673.24653.917.461.653.371.136.752.917.753.347.473.926.954.817.947.439.973.122.654.218.139.926.859.618.741.118.126.888.480.373.361.629.888.464.534.827.811.81.364.5median 63.5Huawei P9 Plusmedian 52.6median 55.4median 40.6median 17.7median 63.512.620.211.813.31.612.631.642.925.433.825.327.832.933.233.641.731.631.928.431.8272620.824.72228.621.336.520.85021.25519.45719.556.517.757.317.963.817.870.517.372.317.474.816.77817.276.918.279.417.981.417.678.217.774.217.873.917.968.618.170.818.2683088.31.366.5median 17.9Huawei Novamedian 68.61.312.1hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Huawei Nova 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 44% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 68% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P9 Plus audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.38 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.1% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 12.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 11% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 88% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Nova audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.25 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.6% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 60% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 32% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 77% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Nova 2 performs well in power saving: With up to 1.5 watts in idle mode and 5.8 watts under load, it is one of the most power efficient smartphones and is only outperformed by the in-house competitor Huawei P9 Plus. The Honor 9 and the HTC U Ultra require significantly more energy, but they and the rest of the competitors feature larger batteries. The Nova 2 takes the last place in this respect with a capacity of 2950 mAh.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.04 / 0.17 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.65 / 1.59 / 1.71 Watt
Load midlight 4.61 / 5.84 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Huawei Nova 2
2950 mAh
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3100 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
HTC U Ultra
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Plus
3400 mAh
LG G6
3300 mAh
Huawei Nova
3020 mAh
Power Consumption
-4%
-39%
-50%
4%
-14%
3%
Idle Minimum *
0.65
0.67
-3%
1.13
-74%
1
-54%
0.87
-34%
0.62
5%
0.61
6%
Idle Average *
1.59
1.7
-7%
2.25
-42%
2.41
-52%
1.2
25%
1.43
10%
1.83
-15%
Idle Maximum *
1.71
1.78
-4%
2.3
-35%
2.46
-44%
1.27
26%
1.48
13%
1.86
-9%
Load Average *
4.61
4.42
4%
4.89
-6%
6.8
-48%
4.69
-2%
5.52
-20%
3.71
20%
Load Maximum *
5.84
6.3
-8%
7.99
-37%
8.9
-52%
5.63
4%
10.47
-79%
5.19
11%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Congenial to its low power consumption, the Nova 2 achieves good battery runtimes. In Wi-Fi surfing (with a brightness of 150 cd/m²), it lasts almost exactly 10 hours. The battery life is 2 hours longer when playing an H.264 video. In comparison, the Huawei P9 Plus achieves about the same battery runtimes on average, while the LG G6 and the BQ Aquaris X Pro last slightly longer. However, their advantage is not decisive. On the other end, the Honor 9 and the HTC U Ultra also do not have a problem to last one or even two days on a single charge with only 8% lower battery runtime. It takes about 1.5 hours to fully recharge the Nova 2 if you do not use it while charging.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
22h 58min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 02min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 51min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 32min
Huawei Nova 2
2950 mAh
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3100 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
HTC U Ultra
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Plus
3400 mAh
LG G6
3300 mAh
Huawei Nova
3020 mAh
Battery Runtime
10%
-8%
-8%
-0%
12%
26%
Reader / Idle
1378
1840
34%
1399
2%
1568
14%
1446
5%
1789
30%
1870
36%
H.264
711
644
-9%
564
-21%
605
-15%
776
9%
779
10%
717
1%
WiFi v1.3
602
730
21%
516
-14%
546
-9%
530
-12%
692
15%
873
45%
Load
272
254
-7%
278
2%
214
-21%
263
-3%
252
-7%
328
21%

Pros

+ stylish case in iPhone look
+ bright display
+ dual SIM
+ USB Type-C
+ Bluetooth 4.2 / aptX
+ high storage capacity
+ high performance
+ long battery life
+ quick charging

Cons

- only hybrid dual SIM
- only USB 2.0
- moderate Wi-Fi performance
- only average camera

Verdict

In review: Huawei Nova 2. Test model provided by Huawei Germany.
In review: Huawei Nova 2. Test model provided by Huawei Germany.

With the Nova 2, Huawei has produced a good smartphone, which rightly belongs to the upper mid-range. The 5-inch Android phone convinces with great build quality, sits comfortably in the hand, and appears high-end regardless of the viewpoint. Together with 4 GB of RAM and the ARM Mali-T830 MP2, its HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa core SoC delivers high system performance and makes the Nova 2 an all-round device, which can smoothly run demanding web sites as well as graphically demanding Android games on its bright Full HD display. Further advantages are long battery runtimes, short charging times, and relatively large free storage, even if Huawei's EMUI user interface takes up quite a bit of its storage capacity.

Despite its 20 MP front camera, the Nova 2 is not a "Selfie Superstar" as Huawei calls it. It offers solid, but not outstanding camera performance.

You can only use the dual SIM feature of the Nova 2 if you dispense with using a microSD card, since it comes with a hybrid slot. This is not a serious problem, since the internal storage space might not fill quickly. You might also get over the fact that the USB Type-C port supports only 2.0 speed. Unfortunately, the modestly fast Wi-Fi is not a really good alternative for faster data transfers to the smartphone. The camera was also slightly disappointing. No, it is not poor. It simply cannot fulfil the high expectations.

Huawei Nova 2 - 10/02/2017 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
39 / 60 → 66%
Weight
93%
Battery
93%
Display
85%
Games Performance
22 / 63 → 35%
Application Performance
53 / 70 → 75%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
74 / 91 → 81%
Camera
76%
Average
74%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Huawei Nova 2 Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2017-10- 7 (Update: 2017-10- 8)