Huawei Nova – Battery
Battery life is one area where the use of a 620 CPU is a godsend. Huawei claims the 620 is 30% more power efficient than Qualcomm’s older, and more common, 615. Having used the Nova as my main phone for more than a fortnight, I believe it.
The Nova offers above-average battery life and with regular use managed to last two days from a single charge. This is an impressive achievement when you consider that phones more than twice its price, such as the iPhone 7, still struggle to make it through a full working day.
Regular use entailed listening to music on my walk to and from work, regularly checking my email and social media feeds, watching episodes of Bleach on Crunchyroll, plus making and taking a few calls.
Thanks to Android Marshmallow’s battery-saving Doze feature, the Nova has exceptionally good standby battery life. Doze is a nifty function that intelligently shuts off unneeded processes when the phone hasn’t been used for a while. It means the Nova loses only 1-2% of its charge each night.
The Nova also deals with demanding tasks such as 3D gaming and video streaming pretty well. Playing a few rounds of Riptide GP2 and Banner Saga, the phone lost between 12-18% of battery per hour. Competing phones lose as much as a quarter of their charge when faced with the same test.
Streaming video on Netflix with the screen brightness set to 75%, the Nova discharged between 8-12% of its battery – which, again, is super-impressive. Most of the phones I test lose between 12-15% of their battery when streaming video.
Related: Best Smartphones 2016
Should I buy the Huawei Nova?
In many ways, the Nova is a great phone. The handset looks great, has a decent display, and offers stellar battery life. A year ago, it would probably have been one of my recommended mid-range handsets, despite the fact it has a below average camera.
However, the arrival of handsets such as the OnePlus 3 complicates matters. The OnePlus 3 hits the same price point and, outside of its unbalanced display, offers superior hardware. This wouldn’t be a problem if Huawei had bitten the bullet and given the world what it actually wanted – a smaller Nexus 6P with untouched Android software.
Instead, the company again tarnished what would otherwise be a great phone using EMUI. As a result, the Nova is a good – not great – handset.
A smaller Nexus 6P with slightly poorer hardware and software.
Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 6
Screen Quality 7
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.