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Huawei is definitely stepping up in the midrange game. The company launched the Nova 2i last year, and people loved it, especially the millennials. Some users even created a Nova community to share their experiences using the mentioned smartphone. To spice everything up, Huawei launched a more affordable yet powerful smartphone, the Nova 2 Lite.

SPECSHuawei Nova 2 Lite
Display5.99-inch HD+ IPS 18:9 Display, 1440 x 720 pixel resolution
Size158.3×76.7×7.8mm
ChipsetSnapdragon 430 processor
CPU1.4GHz Octa Core Cortex-A53
ChipsetHiSilicon Kirin 970
GPUAdreno 505
Memory3 GB RAM, 32 GB
(expandable up to 256GB)
ConnectivityLTE, 802.11n, BT 4.2, GPS, microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go, 3.5mm audio jack
Front Camera8MP f/2.0 aperture, Soft LED flash, Beautification mode
Rear Camera13+2 megapixel, PDAF and LED flash
BatteryNon-removable Li-Ion 3,000mAh battery
Official PricePhP 9,990
Availability dateMarch 2018
Where to buyHuawei Experience Stores and Authorized Retailers

Design

At a first glance, you’d think that it’s the Nova 2i that was released last year. But when you flip it, the camera placement is different on the back. It is now placed at the top left part of the rear, and are aligned horizontally. It also has the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Another difference on the design is that it lacks the antenna band that was on the predecessor. We actually expected that there’ll be no fingerprint scanner on the 2 Lite, because of its price. But yep, there it is.

Also, the Nova 2 Lite has a slim design so it’s not hard to hold, even users with small hands won’t have a problem with it. With its unibody design and slim profile, it actually doesn’t look like a budget smartphone.

On the sides, we have power and volume rockers. And on the left side, is the triple card tray for the sim cards and microSD card. At the bottom bunk of the phone are the microUSB 2.0 port, loudspeaker and microphone, and the 3.5mm audio jack.

Display

The Nova 2 Lite features a 5.99-inch FullView display with 2.5D curved glass panels. It only has a 1440 x 720 pixel resolution. It could’ve been better, but let\s go back to its price again. Maybe it’s one one of the ways to keep the price under Php 10,000.

But even though it has a low display resolution, the display has bright and vibrant color representation. Watching music videos and movies looks great too despite the low resolution. Although when you take the Nova 2 Lite outside under broad daylight, there’s actually a problem. I took out my Nova 2 Lite and took some pictures of the Chocolate Hills and I had a hard time viewing my shots.

Camera

In the camera department, it comes with 13MP+2MP rear cameras that can capture photos with bokeh effect. For the selfie snapper, it features an 8MP sensor with F2.0 aperture. It also has amazing selfie features such as Selfie Toning Flash, and beautification mode. which was recently added to the Nova 2i via update.

Our first sample shots were taken on broad daylight. The Nova 2 Lite captures clear and vibrant photos, it also has great color representation – not over-saturated nor faded.

It can also capture photos with bokeh effect. The result is pretty decent. The blur on the background doesn’t look artificial on our side. What do you think?

Even the night-lit assisted shots look great. It was able to take photos in low lighting very well in our opinion – not overcompensating and even captured the details of the lights inside the jar well. What do you think of these night shots?

I think I’ve already said this in our hands-on of the Nova 2 Lite, honestly love the selfies I captured using this Nova phone. I actually set the Beautification mode to 9 and it doesn’t look weird at all. The beautification mode on the Lite makes the selfies look natural without losing much facial details. I also expected that it would slim the face in a weird way since the Beautification was set to level 9, but no, it doesn’t look weird at all in my opinion.

The Nova 2 Lite also captured great looking night-lit assisted selfies. Bright and vibrant results, though a little bit contrasted. It really depends on the user preference whether they like the more edgy look or faded one.

User Experience

We were actually surprised that this new Huawei smartphone is running on a Snapdragon chipset paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, and not Huawei’s own Kirin SoC. We’ve had this Nova 2 Lite for about 3 weeks now, and we didn’t encounter any problems with it.

The Nova 2 Lite comes with the usual social networking apps such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Booking. As for the home screen, you can just swipe left and right to navigate and access your apps. Navigating on the Nova 2 Lite is pretty swiftly and easy, we didn’t also didn’t encounter any problems with it as of this writing.

We won’t say that the Nova 2 Lite will give you the best graphics in gaming because it won’t but it can definitely run powerful enough games that you would ask for. We played several games on the device, some of them were Injustice 2 and Rules of Survival. We didn’t encounter any lags of some sort while in gaming. Though the handset tends to heat up fast when playing games. The fingerprint scanner and the face unlock works fast accurately and fast as well.

Using the following benchmarking tools, we received these results in the process:

BenchmarkHuawei Nova 2 Lite
AnTuTu48253
PCMark 2.03969

Battery

It is fueled by a 3,000mah battery pack and can be filled up at a decent speed considering the price. While playing games, taking pictures, social media browsing, and chatting, it can last for up to 8-10 hours. It surprisingly has a better usage life than my own iPhone 7 which dropped for about 7-9 hours.

BatteryHuawei Nova 2 Lite
Battery3000mAh
ManilaShaker Battery Rating32h 05m
Charging Time (0-100%)2h 30m

Audio

As for the audio, it delivers clear output and decent volume. Take a listen here:

Verdict

As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’ve had this Nova 2 Lite for about 3 weeks already and we can say that this is definitely a good contender for its price range. It can run high-performing games – even the likes of Rules of Survival and Injustice 2, decent audio quality, takes amazing photos and selfies and gives great performance for its price. Huawei is definitely showing the consumers and the smartphone industry that you can get a premium smartphone with a very affordable price tag.

This one retails for Php 9,990 and will officially go on sale nationwide this coming March 24. Will you get yourself a new Nova smartphone? Tell us in the comments section below.

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