In its cloning plant, Huawei took a strand of DNA from the Honor 20 and gave birth to the Nova 5T. It is an almost exact copy of its predecessor, which is mainly distinguished by its name and its software overlay. A maneuver that allows it to ensure higher sales volumes at a production cost that we imagine lower since the devices are obviously designed on the same production chain. So, is the Huawei Nova 5T worth a look?
On the other side of the layer
A detail will not have escaped those who follow mobile news closely: the Huawei Nova 5T is very similar to the Honor 20, whether it is by reading their respective technical sheets or by taking each mobile in hand.
We have seen a number of smartphones adorn themselves, this year, with this blue dress with innumerable reflections that dresses the Nova 5T, very futuristic according to some, or already become a bit kitsch according to others. We leave you sole judge of this Nova 5T in terms of aesthetics, but we can not help thinking that slices of a different color would bring a more worked effect to the whole. Good news, however: the glass effect plastic that covers the phone has received anti-fingerprint treatment and therefore only takes moderate fingerprints.
In terms of physical features, we note the presence of a vertical photo module composed of 4 sensors, but also of a fingerprint reader embedded on the side of the device as initiated by Sony Xperia mobiles there are a few years. There is also the USB-C charging port and the absence of a 3.5 mm jack plug which forces potential users to opt for an adapter to plug into USB, or to switch to wireless headphones.
We would have liked to see the Nova 5T fitted with stereo speakers, but here we have to settle for a mono speaker. In his defense, it is however of good quality and allows to appreciate, for example, a music clip at high volume without saturation of the treble – a very widespread evil on smartphones.
An LCD screen that does the job
Cloning is also successful on the front where the Nova 5T sports the same 6.26 inch LCD panel as the Honor 20. We measured a maximum brightness of 504 cd / m2, sufficient for consultation even outdoors, especially as viewing angles are good. The contrast ratio, for its part, peaks at 1,277: 1, which is relatively correct but can be improved nowadays, smartphones having made enormous progress from this point of view. As for the default color fidelity, it turns out to be rather mediocre with whites that turn blue, confirmed by a Delta E measured of 6.81. Fortunately, the Nova 5T offers a deep adjustment of the colorimetry which allows to obtain a Delta E much more exciting of 3.20 by opting for the normal display.
The screen is otherwise very pleasant to use with its borderless format, its teardrop notch, and its high resolution of 412 ppi (2340 x 1080 pixels).
Solid performance and autonomy
For performance, Huawei here relies on its HiSilicon Kirin 980 chip (ARM Mali G76 MP10 GPU) which is used in particular on the Huawei P30 Pro, coupled with 6 GB of RAM and a storage space of 128 GB (104.11 GB available). This configuration gives the mobile very good performance on our benchmark panel, the same as that of the Honor 20 which benefits from the same components. The processor is fast enough to easily enjoy the most energy-hungry applications (photo editing, games, video playback…) and a mobile game like PUBG automatically configures the Nova 5T to the highest graphics quality. Add to that an EMUI 9.1 – based on Android 9.0 – very fluid, and the user experience is a frank success, especially for this price level (399 euros at launch, remember).
Unsurprisingly, the autonomy is almost as excellent as on the Honor 20. Almost, because the versatile autonomy measured here is 13:29 against 14:07 on the other terminal. The video autonomy is similar with 10:47, while the communication autonomy reaches more than 30 hours. You should easily pass the course of the day far from any outlet. 1h35 charge will also be enough to feed the beast.
A photo module with 4 sensors
For its smartphone, Huawei trusts a module with 4 sensors: a main of 48 MP (lens opening to f / 1.8), an ultra wide-angle of 16 MP (f / 2.2), a depth sensor and a camera macro with a sensor of only 2 MP (f / 2.4). Which in the end leaves only few photographic uses available as the use of “super macro” is anecdotal, the depth sensor being dedicated to improving portraits.
However, we are satisfied with the quality of the pictures taken during the day, whether with the main sensor or with the ultra wide-angle lens. As explained on the Honor 20 review, the color management is slightly different between the two lenses, and it may be necessary to adjust the brightness before shooting. The AI (artificial intelligence) tool can also recognize scenes or objects, and automatically adjust certain parameters. Note that you will need to configure the camera to 12 MP to be able to easily switch from the main sensor to the ultra wide angle to zoom. This is not possible if the main sensor is in 48 MP. That’s really annoying.
At night, the defects appear (smoothing of the image, loss of details at the edge of the image, etc.) and the mobile cannot compete with the top names in the field, like the lareview Google Pixels. The fact remains that the quality of the night shots is quite good, with a shutter time that remains fast and a fine restitution of the details in the center of the image.