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Huawei Nova 9 and Nova 8i, first impressions: this is what the new Huawei phones offer after a year of silence

It has rained a lot since the launch of the Huawei P40 and Huawei Mate 40 in our country, but finally Huawei wanted to return to action. It has done so through a face-to-face event in Madrid in which we have had the opportunity to test its two new mid-range phones, the Huawei Nova 9 and the Huawei Nova 8i, which are already arriving in Spain.

They are two telephones that, curiously, they do not come with HarmonyOS as an operating system As we might expect, they have remained traditional by incorporating Android 11 with EMUI 12 as a customization layer. We sincerely hoped that these new terminals had already integrated Huawei’s own software, but it seems that we will have to wait a little longer to see it in action. In any case, since we need to test them in greater depth, these have been our first impressions.

Technical sheet of the Huawei Nova 9 and Huawei Nova 8i

huawei nova 9

huawei nova 8i

dimensions and weight

160 x 73,7 x 7,77 mm

175 grams

161,85 x 74,7 x 8,58 mm
190 grams


OLED curva de 6.57 pulgadas

FullHD + resolution (2,340 x 1,080 pixels)

120 Hz

300 Hz touch refresh


6.67-inch IPS / LCD

FullHD + resolution (2,376 x 1,080 pixels)


Snapdragon 778G 4G

GPU Adreno 642L

Snapdragon 662

GPU Adreno 610


8 GB

6 GB


128 GB

128 GB

Rear camera

50 MP f / 1.9

Wide angle 8 MP f / 2.2

Depth 2 MP f / 2.4

Macro 2 MP f/2.4

64 MP f / 1.9
Wide angle 8 MP f / 2.4 120º
Depth 2 MP depth f / 2.4

Macro 2 MP f/2.4

front camera

32 MP f / 2.0

16 MP f / 2.0


4.300 mAh

66W fast charge

4.300 mAh

66W fast charge


Android 11 con EMUI 12

Android 11 con EMUI 12




WiFi 6

Bluetooth 5.2

USB type C



WiFi ac

Bluetooth 5.0

USB type C

GPS, AGPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo


Fingerprint reader under the screen

Super device

Synchronization with other Huawei devices

Side fingerprint reader


449 euros

349 euros

Huawei Nova 9
Huawei Nova 8iHuawei Nova 8i

The Huawei Nova 9 points ways, but continues with a software without Google

Huawei Nova 9 9Huawei Nova 9 9

Of the Huawei Nova 9 we would like to highlight its pleasant touch and that it does not slip excessively thanks, in part, to its non-slip engraving. We are also grateful that it has an anti-fingerprint coating, which is not perfect, but it does manage to keep most of our fingerprints at bay.

On ergonomics and comfort, say that the Huawei Nova 9 is a phone that feels comfortable in hand, is light and easy to handle. We are talking about a device that weighs 175 grams with a thickness of 7.77 millimeters, two favorable data within its design section.

Huawei Nova 9 20Huawei Nova 9 20

In the back of the Nova 9, that camera module, which adopts the same format as the Huawei Nova 8 and that we have also seen replicated in the expected Huawei P50, with two circular modules located vertically in the upper left corner. The presence of the Huawei logo is also repeated, accompanied by the prominent ‘Nova’ typography, tattooed in the lower sector.

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If we turn the phone over, we will see a 6.57-inch OLED display with slightly curved edges. Its resolution is FullHD + and up to here, since all these characteristics remain the same as those of the previous generation. The outstanding data in this generation is the 120Hz refresh rate, which provides that extra fluidity that we are getting used to in the mid-range of most manufacturers.

Huawei Nova 9 12Huawei Nova 9 12

At the level of specifications, the Huawei Nova 9 arrives with a power of its own thanks to the Snapdragon 778 4G processor, with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. And no, does not have 5G connectivity, as the name of your SoC makes clear. It is no drama, despite the fact that 5G is already among us, but it is true that to be about to enter 2022 and seeing that 5G is already in most of the phones that reach our hands, its absence is, how much less, surprising.

Be that as it may, Huawei’s Nova 9 specs point ways And, in our experience, we emphasize that it behaves as expected, without any unpleasant surprises, or anything bad that we should comment on. In addition, the custom of using EMUI in a Huawei terminal, makes its use familiar to us, just as we are used to not finding a single Google service inside it. We will have to wait for its analysis to put it to the test.

Huawei Nova 9 15Huawei Nova 9 15

The camera system of the Huawei Nova 9 stands out for having four sensors captained by a 50 megapixel main sensor. This comes accompanied by a sensor with an eight megapixel wide-angle lens, a sensor dedicated to reading the depth of two megapixels and another sensor dedicated to macro, also two megapixels. We go back to miss a more usable sensor such as the telephoto lens, although it is true that it is not frequent in the mid-range.

The Nova 8i looks much more modest

Huawei Nova 8i 12Huawei Nova 8i 12

Let’s talk now about the other great protagonist of the Huawei presentation: The Nova 8i. The first thing that should be clear is that we are also facing another mid-range phone, but more modest in general lines if we compare it with the Huawei Nova 9. Its dimensions are very similar to each other, but in relation to its design we highlight that it has a simpler back, although with a camera module that is very reminiscent of the Huawei Mate 40.

It has that circular format, generous in size and with four lenses that we will talk about later, although we can say that do not protrude much from the body of the device, something we appreciate. In this case, the Huawei Nova 8i will be available in two colors: silver pink and black. On its rear finish, it should be noted that it is a great magnet for both light reflections and our fingerprints.

Huawei Nova 8i 9Huawei Nova 8i 9

As we said before, the Huawei Nova 8i is a more modest phone in most sections, and we also notice that on the screen. In this case, the terminal mounts a 6.67-inch IPS / LCD panel with FullHD + resolution. Unlike the other model, this one does not have a high refresh rate, but rather stays at 60 Hz.

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After testing it, and although it is true that we have not been able to do it in depth (that will come), the feeling is that the panel has a maximum brightness too low. When we have been using it we have tried to raise the brightness to its maximum intensity and we must say that it was not especially bright. However, we will test this section further under other conditions to see how it affects the end-use experience.

Huawei Nova 8i 12Huawei Nova 8i 12

On the section of cameras integrated in that rear circle, it is worth mentioning that we have the usual pack that we have found on the road many times. So we have a 64 megapixel main sensor, an eight megapixel wide angle, and two sensors, one for depth and the other for macro, of two megapixels each.

Finally, we must talk about the battery. Both terminals have a capacity of 4,300 mAh. It is not the maximum value that we have found in the mid-range of mobile telephony, but we must bear in mind that we are talking about two phones measured in thickness and weight. What we do highlight in a positive way, at least on paper, is the fast charging of both terminals: 66W. Huawei promises that it is capable of charging up to 50% of the Nova 9’s battery in half an hour, but we will see.

Huawei Nova 8i 14Huawei Nova 8i 14

As we are facing first impressions, we cannot expand much the camera, performance or battery sections of these two new Huawei phones. However, we will do so in the future, when we have the opportunity to analyze them in greater depth.

The return of Huawei has lights and shadows

Huawei Nova 9 19Huawei Nova 9 19

Huawei has launched two phones whose features and specifications They have the body to stand up to other competitors of the current mid-range. As long as we do not take into account the lack of 5G connectivity, an absence that in the middle of 2021 is quite remarkable, and the lack of Google services, obviously.

The price of 449 euros in the case of the Nova 9 and 349 euros in the case of the Nova 8i make them terminals, on paper, attractive for anyone who does not want to shell out a lot of money on a mobile phone. However, the real price to pay in these two new terminals is the absence of Google services. We will have to wait to see what experience they offer in the day and day and how Huawei has managed to solve this lack.

Huawei Nova 9Huawei Nova 9
Huawei Nova 8iHuawei Nova 8i