Huawei Nova 2i review: Huawei's best flagship features have been successfully smuggled into the mid-tier

Huawei Nova 2i
  • Huawei Nova 2i
  • Huawei Nova 2i
  • Huawei Nova 2i
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Fantastic design and build quality
  • A lot of phone for $500

Cons

  • Full-Vision display let down by low-quality
  • Camera sometimes inconsistent in low-light situations

Bottom Line

With the $499 price-tag in mind, there’s not a lot out there that can match the Huawei Nova 2i.

Would you buy this?

Design

In the palm of your hand, the Huawei Nova 2i feels genuinely gorgeous, even if it is a little on the larger side of things. It’s a definitely bigger than the P10, but the feel-factor is still a pretty close match. Like most devices that use an 18:9 aspect ratio display, it feels more tall than it does wide.

Still, the Nova 2i doesn’t feel too much like a mid-range phone. It’s got a bezelless, mostly metal design, with plenty of familiar, appealing curved edges. The volume and power buttons are bunched along on the upper right edge while the speaker-grill, headphone-jack and MicroUSB port have been shoved towards the bottom.

If anything, the only real sign that the Nova 2i isn’t some sort of staggered or stealth flagship - aside from the price - is the MicroUSB port. Well, that and the display. The Nova 2i’s 1080x2160 pixel FullVision display does offer a bit more bang for your buck than the competition, it’s still a relatively tame inclusion. It can’t really hold a candle to the QHD displays found in the higher-end offerings from Samsung, HTC, et all.

That said, this isn’t a flagship phone. It’s a $500 phone and the 5.9-inches of screen estate do have add a lot more usability without infringing on form-factor too greatly. Web browsing, watching video content, editing photos all look good - and even if I’ve used phones where it has looked better - finding one that’s priced lower than $499 is a hard ask.

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