HUAWEI nova 9 SE hands-on review: 108MP camera!

Php13,999
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Back - HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

So, the HUAWEI nova 9 SE was released back in March 20, 2022, and we were fortunate enough to be given a chance by our friends at Huawei to give a hands-on review of the phone.

Head over to the TechKuya channel on YouTube to watch our HUAWEI nova 9 SE hands-on video review, or continue on reading for more!

Top box – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

Design and display

The phone has a 6.78″ screen with an IPS LCD screen. A 1080 x 2388 resolution and a 89.5% screen to body ratio. Upon inspection, the bezels are minimal and great for when you want to watch your shows on a larger scale. Rounded edges with a cutout for the front camera, instead of the usual bar on top or a teardrop.

Notch – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

The color we were given is their crystal blue, which has a nice sheen to it as it is a glass back (which, of course, then means that it is a fingerprint magnet). The Huawei logo can be seen on the lower portion of the back along with the Nova logo.

Logo closeup – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

Sim card slots on the top beside a speaker bar. Another speaker at the bottom, beside their USB type-C charging port and no audio jack. On the left side of the phone, it has the volume rocker and the power button which is also the fingerprint scanner.

Entertainment and mobile gaming

Chin closeup – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

Entertainment-wise, the phone is great for casual scrolling on social medias, like TikTok (which was the only social media app I saw in their App Gallery). Gaming was a treat on this phone. Playing a few rounds of Mobile Legends for the first time and the experience was exciting. Audio was clear and loud, giving the feel of immersion on the next level.

Camera

Rear camera closeup – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

The camera is a showstopper, to say the least. Show up with this type of hardware, and you’re definitely going to turn some heads. It has a 108 MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, a 2MP macro camera and, on the front, has a 16MP selfie camera.

Check out our sample photos here:

With hardware like this, you can expect some sick video taking capabilities. But, unfortunately, upon testing, the video rendered at 30fps, which is very noticeable in post production and editing, as seen in a camera test video we did here: https://youtu.be/qLgCTXJHEnI

Battery life and charging

Bottom edge – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

This phone has a 4000MAH battery, which lasts all day at non-continuous use. Upon gaming for a couple of hours, it did drain a bit faster, but that was expected.

They did boast about a 66W supercharge using a USB type-C 2.0 that gets the phone up to 75% in just about 20 minutes.

Verdict

Front – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

All in all, I am not a fan of this phone, mainly because of technical stuff, like there not being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and just Google Play, in general. As a person who has had an android (even an iPhone, for a while), their App Gallery just didn’t feel as versatile as I was used to.

Top edge – HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

An audio jack is also another factor in my looking for any phone that I was going to use on the daily, but this phone doesn’t have one which basically forces me to use a wireless set of earbuds even just for casual listening to music or watching videos on my phone.

Back HUAWEI nova 9 SE (Philippines)

As per their marketing, the camera was a bit of a letdown, in my opinion. Giving us such a beautiful display of its giant camera that takes up almost 15% of the back but, in practice, it didn’t live up to our expectations.

On the upside, playing games on it is a great experience. Immersion is given, with its edge-to-edge display and the clear and loud audio coming from the front facing top speaker bar and the speaker holes at the bottom.

HUAWEI nova 9 SE technical specifications (Philippines)

  • Display: 6.78 inches; 1080 x 2388 pixels; 90Hz IPS LCD
  • SIM: Dual SIM (nano-SIM, hybrid slots)
  • OS Android 11, EMUI 12
  • Chipset (SoC): Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G (6nm)
  • CPU: Octa-coreĀ (4×2.4 GHz Kryo 265 Gold & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo 265 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • Memory (RAM) + storage (ROM): 8GB+128GB
  • Expansion: microSDXC (hybrid slot)
  • Main camera (rear): 108MP f/1.9 (wide) + 8MP f/2.2 (ultrawide) + 2MP f/2.4 (macro) + 2MP f/2.4 (depth)
  • Selfie camera (front): 16MP f/2.2
  • Connectivity: 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, LE; NFC
  • I/O: USB Type-C
  • Biometrics: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh; 66W SuperCharge
  • Colors: Midnight Black, Pearl White, Crystal Blue
  • Price (Philippines): Php13,999 (8GB + 128GB)

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