The Huawei nova 8 is a “mid-range” smartphone officially launched in the Philippines in August 2021.

Huawei Philippines provided a unit for me to review and I was able to use the device for almost a month. This review includes a close look at the phone’s design and testing its performance, software, camera quality, multimedia experience, and battery life.

Let’s start with the specs:

  • 6.57-inch FHD+ OLED Display (1080 x 2340 Pixels), 392 ppi
  • EMUI 12 Operating System
  • Huawei Kirin 820E Chipset
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 64 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
  • 32 Megapixel Front Camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 128GB Internal Storage
  • 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (Dual Band)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB Type-C
  • USB Type-C
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • 3800mAh Battery
  • 66W Fast Charging (Huawei SuperCharge, 100% in 35 minutes)
  • ₱19,999.00 Official Price in the Philippines

 

What’s inside the box?

The Huawei nova 8 and its box.

The Huawei nova 8 and its box.

The Huawei nova 8 comes in a white box with shiny prints in rose gold. Inside the box are the phone, USB type-C cord, 66W charger, SIM ejector pin, and several documentations.

It also includes a FREE transparent jelly case inside the box that fits the device well and keeps its design visible. Earphones are not included in the box though.

 

Design and Display

Homescreen of the Huawei nova 8.

Homescreen of the Huawei nova 8.

The Huawei nova 8 has a 6.57-inch FHD+ OLED display that almost fully occupies the front of the device. It looks bright, sharp, and vivid with an additional premium touch thanks to its curved edges.

It also has a 90Hz screen refresh rate which makes the user interface feel snappier and a 240Hz touch response rate that makes touches and swipes feel more responsive.

The punch-hole for the selfie camera isn’t very distracting but the under-display fingerprint scanner takes a split-second to recognize my fingerprint.

 

Bottom ports of the Huawei nova 8.

Bottom ports of the Huawei nova 8.

The Huawei nova 8 feels slimmer than its 7.64mm profile since both the front and back panels have curved edges. It has a sturdy metal frame on the sides with clicky buttons and flattened top and bottom.

At the back are the iconic nova logo and a large quad-camera array. The back material is also glass but it has a slightly frosted look and produces gradient color sheens when light hits it at different angles.

Overall, the Huawei nova 8 has a flagship-like design that will impress users and onlookers.

 

Performance and Software

Call of Duty graphics settings on the Huawei nova 8.

Call of Duty graphics settings on the Huawei nova 8.

Powered by a Kirin 820E chipset, the Huawei nova 8 showed impressive gaming performance for a mid-range smartphone in my gaming review. It also has 8GB of RAM and EMUI 12 software.

It can run Mobile Legends at “ultra” graphics quality with a perfect 60fps frame rate. Call of Duty also runs at the same frame rate but is limited to medium graphics quality only.

What really surprised me though is its performance while playing Genshin Impact. It can achieve a decent 45fps frame rate at the default graphics quality.

 

Huawei AppGallery on the Huawei nova 8.

Huawei AppGallery on the Huawei nova 8.

Meanwhile, the Huawei nova 8’s general performance while using apps like Facebook, browser, and Netflix is virtually lag-free. Apps open quickly and scrolling across different feeds looks and feels smooth.

Downloading popular apps is still an effort if it’s your first time using a Huawei smartphone with EMUI 12 or HarmonyOS. Nevertheless, it’s easier now thanks to improvements in the Huawei AppGallery and Petal Search.

Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs can also be installed using an app called Gspace.

 

Camera Quality

The camera app of the Huawei nova 8.

The camera app of the Huawei nova 8.

The Huawei nova 8 has a 64MP AI Quad camera system composed of a 64 Megapixel main camera, 8 Megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2 Megapixel macro camera, and 2 Megapixel depth sensor.

It can capture impressive pictures in both well-lit and poorly-lit scenes. The colors look natural while details are crisp and the brightness is well balanced.

Here are some sample pictures:

Dunkin Donuts mascot inside a mall | Huawei nova 8

Dunkin Donuts mascot inside a mall | Huawei nova 8

 

Up close with a flower | Huawei nova 8

Up close with a flower | Huawei nova 8

 

Swimming pool in a resort hotel | Huawei nova 8

Swimming pool in a resort hotel | Huawei nova 8

 

The same swimming pool captured using the ultra-wide camera | Huawei nova 8

The same swimming pool captured using the ultra-wide camera | Huawei nova 8

 

Christmas Tree with night mode | Huawei nova 8

Christmas Tree with night mode | Huawei nova 8

 

Some more sample pictures and videos are available on a separate page: Huawei nova 8 Sample Pictures

The Huawei nova 8 is also equipped with a 32 Megapixel punch-hole selfie camera. It can produce highly detailed selfies but has a tendency to be overly bright.

Here are some sample selfies:

Sample selfie (slightly overexposed) | Huawei nova 8

Sample selfie (slightly overexposed) | Huawei nova 8

 

Sample selfie in Portrait mode (slightly over-beautified) | Huawei nova 8

Sample selfie in Portrait mode (slightly over-beautified) | Huawei nova 8

 

Overall, the Huawei nova 8 has highly capable cameras that aspiring content creators will love.

 

Connectivity and Sound Quality

The Huawei nova 8 is a dual-SIM 4G LTE smartphone with decent mobile internet speeds. However, 5G connectivity would have been great.

Nevertheless, it supports 5GHz Wi-Fi networks as well as NFC for multi-screen collaboration with other Huawei devices like laptops and tablets.

Voice calls sound clear on its earpiece and the loudspeaker works well. It’s still best paired with wireless Bluetooth earphones for music listening though.

 

Battery Life and Charging

The 66W charger of the Huawei nova 8.

The 66W charger of the Huawei nova 8.

A built-in 3,800mAh Lithium Polymer battery powers the Huawei nova 8. It may not sound much but it can keep the device running for an entire day.

I usually get around 6 hours of screen-on time before the device reaches 10% battery life and need a re-charge.

When it’s time to do it, the 66W Huawei SuperCharge adaptor breezes through to 100% battery capacity in 35 minutes only! Once you’ve experienced ultra-fast charging technology like this, it becomes so hard to be patient with other smartphones.

 

Conclusion

Should you buy the Huawei nova 8?

Should you buy the Huawei nova 8?

The Huawei nova 8 is equipped with great hardware including a high-quality display, very capable cameras, and powerful performance.

Since more and more apps are now compatible with the device thanks to Gspace, I can recommend the device for aspiring content creators. The biggest factor here is the lack of 5G connectivity because that’s becoming more widespread in coverage.

Still, Huawei has done a great job in maintaining the quality of its nova series.


Huawei nova 8 specs:

  • 6.57-inch FHD+ OLED Display (1080 x 2340 Pixels), 392 ppi
  • HarmonyOS 2 Operating System
  • Huawei Kirin 820E Chipset
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 64 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
  • 32 Megapixel Front Camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 128GB Internal Storage
  • 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (Dual Band)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB Type-C
  • USB Type-C
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • 3800mAh Battery
  • 66W Fast Charging (Huawei SuperCharge, 100% in 35 minutes)
  • 19,999.00 Official Price in the Philippines


Huawei nova 8 Review Summary

Meet the Huawei nova 8!
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4.6 out of 5 stars

The Huawei nova 8 is a “mid-range” smartphone officially launched in the Philippines in August 2021.