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


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


  • 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?

  • Price

    $ 499.00 (AUD)


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.

Credit: Huawei

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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