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Huawei Nova 11 smartphone – Snap Review

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The Huawei Nova 10 proved to be quite a hit with Huawei adopters, and the Nova 11 has now launched, offering a more affordable yet premium-ish device with some punchy specs and features.

If you’re not aiming for the top-end flagship smartphone market (or perhaps your budget doesn’t allow for that), Huawei’s Nova range of devices should be on your radar.

Borderline premium?

While the Nova 11 is classified as a ‘mid-range’ option, it’s specs teeter on being a lot more. It features a 6.7-inch OLED display (120Hz), Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 4G chipset, 8GBs of RAM, 256GBs of storage, and a 4 500mAh battery. So, in terms of pure power, you’re getting impressive numbers in line with higher-end models from other brands. Note that it is a 4G model only, so you won’t be surfing the 5G wave with this device.

The phone’s FD+ display (which is incredibly vivid with a great touch sampling rate) creeps all the way until the edge of the device, where only a small bezel wraps the phone to its casing on the back. The body is made from plastic, which, while it may lack a premium look and feel, score high marks for durability and affordability.

In terms of actual usage, the Nova 11 runs on Huawei’s EMUI 13 operating system, which has a lot of similarities to what you’ll find on an Android device. It’s simple, straightforward, and intuitive without too much clutter to distract your eyes. The gesture controls might take a little bit of getting used to for longtime Android users, but it’s a pretty similar experience to what you’d find on a mid- to high-end Samsung or Oppo.

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Using Google apps

Of course, the concern for many who even show the slightest interest in Huawei devices is the company’s lack of Google Services — you know, Gmail, Google apps etc. However, the Nova 11 has GBox integration, which is a third-party platform to download, launch, and run all Google Service apps, such as Google Maps, YouTube, Uber, or anything else you’d struggle to find on Huawei’s App Gallery.

Camera performance

The camera is always a key feature to any Huawei device. Despite not having the best sensor in the overarching Huawei range (those are saved for the Huawei P60 Pro), there is a 50 MP ultra vision camera (f/1.9 aperture) and an 8 MP ultra-wide macro camera (f/2.2 aperture), along with a depth sensor.

In standard Photo mode, it captures some sharp and colourful images, with the sensor performing very well in low light, but excellently in well-lit environments. The camera autofocuses quickly and effectively, and images have a stark sharpness to them, which you can adjust if need be.

As for some extras, the Nova 11 features a very responsive in-display fingerprint sensor which hasn’t faltered once, along with 66W SuperCharge capabilities, allowing the phone to charge from dead to full in 30 minutes.

In conclusion

If you’re seeking a phone that does the day-to-day job really well and has a more powerful camera than the typical mid-range device, the Huawei Nova 11 is a great option. Cutting back on some superfluous features that push smartphone price through the roof, it still offers enough to be a compelling option.

The Huawei Nova 11 is priced at R13 000. It scores 4 out of 5.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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