Huawei unleashes a sense of deja vu with its new Nova 5 variant

The Nova 5z may look familiar to some viewers. (Source: IndiaShopps)
The Nova 5z may look familiar to some viewers. (Source: IndiaShopps)
Huawei has launched the Nova 5z today (October 21, 2019) in China. This new phone will have few surprises for this series' fans: it has the exact same form-factor and cameras as the Nova 5i Pro. However, it does have different RAM and storage SKUs that make it a budget option compared to the pre-existing phone.
Deirdre O Donnell,

Huawei has introduced what is essentially a new variant of the Nova 5i Pro, called the Nova 5z. The 2 devices share the same chassis, down to the 6.26 inch FHD+ display with a 19.5:9 aspect ration. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the newer version also retains the powerful Kirin 810 mid-range SoC.

The OEM has also left the Nova 5z with the same rear quad-camera, which is even still arranged in a Mate 20-esque square housing like that of the 5i Pro's. Huawei differentiates the 2 phones through a new 6GB/64GB SKU for the most recent variant. This brings its starting price down to 1599 yuan (about US$226), whereas the Nova 5i Pro started at ~$320 for a 6GB/128GB unit.

Confusingly, the Huawei Nova 5z has a second SKU with those exact specs, which is reportedly worth 1799 yuan (~$254); therefore, original 5i Pro enthusiasts may be less than happy with this development. Accordingly, the choice between the 2 comes down to a minor, yet potentially significant, cosmetic difference. 

The 'new' Nova 5z's camera-square retains its corresponding back panel's color, whereas that of the 5i Pro is completely blacked out for more of a flagship look. Therefore, it may be much clearer to an observer which is the 'budget' model and which is not.

Prospective Nova customers will simply have to decide whether this bothers them or not. They can pre-order a 5z from retailers such as Tmall now, or wait until the phone's first open sale on November 10, 2019 to make their minds up.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-10-21 (Update: 2019-10-21)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.