The Huawei Nova-Series has been popular amongst the Nepalese youth since the launch of the Nova 2i. Last year, Huawei sold a huge number of Nova 2i making it one of the highest selling smartphone in the history of Nepal. The successor of the Nova 2i launched earlier this year was undoubtedly a hit. The Nova 3 and Nova 3i offered the great experience in performance, the camera as well as the design departments. Now, here we have the Nova 2 Lite which is the toned down variant of them all. But, with the pricing of all these phones so similar, is the Nova 2 Lite worth Rs 21,900? Well, let us find out the answers to these questions in this full review.
A quick disclaimer! Before we get into the review I would like to mention that I have been using the Huawei Nova 2 Lite for more than a month now. Unlike other reviews, this one is going to be purely based on my experience and how the device held-up in the above mentioned time span. So, without wasting your time any further, let’s get started!
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite looks amazingly appealing especially in the Blue Shade color variant, that we received. The back has an attractive shimmer, that changes color, depending on how the light strikes it. The build material of the phone is plastic but it doesn’t look cheap at all! However, the phone doesn’t feel quite premium like the other Nova devices. The plastic back, nonetheless, is as shiny as the glass-backed ones.
With a 6.5-inch chassis, the phone does feel longer in hand. But all thanks to the thin form factor, the phone really provides a comfortable grip. The phone is not completely bezel-less though! There’s a little bit of chin and forehead up front.
The bottom bezel has Huawei’s branding but the device uses on-screen navigation keys. On the left of the device, we have the triple card tray with dedicated slots for two SIM cards and a microSD card. While over to the right are the power button and volume rockers. At the bottom, the device houses a micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio port, primary microphone, and a loudspeaker. Flipping the device over, there are a dual camera setup and an LED flash. The cameras are arranged horizontally at the top left corner! Also found here are the secondary microphone, fingerprint scanner, and a Huawei logo.
We especially like the design of the phone’s rear. The fingerprint sensor, power button, and volume rockers are well-placed. However, the buttons could have been a bit more tactile. As for sound quality, we get a pretty average speaker. The Mids and Highs are good and it can get pretty loud without losing much clarity.
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite is equipped with a 5.99-inch IPS display with HD+ resolution. The 18:9 panel has a resolution of 1440 x 720p which equates to a pixel density of 269ppi. With this size of the screen, it would’ve been better if the phone had Full HD+ resolution. It’s not bad though, but if you compare it to Redmi Note 5 or even Mi A2 Lite, the Nova 2 Lite feels like a downgrade.
On the bright side, the display itself has good color reproduction and viewing angles. Brightness, on the other hand, is quite lacking and direct sunlight will slightly affect the viewing experience. Sharpness, however, isn’t really the Huawei Nova 2 Lite’s strongest suit. But the decent colors and contrast brought by the IPS panel were able to make up for it. The taller aspect ratio also provides a more immersive feeling when playing games. Plus, the extra space provides room for on-screen controls without blocking the actual field-of-view of the game.
Moving on to the optics side, the Nova 2 Lite has got a dual rear camera setup. However, the phone is equipped with a single selfie camera unlike its cousin, the Nova 2i. The rear is composed of a standard 13MP primary and a 2MP wide-angle lens with 7-level bokeh adjustment. The front camera is an 8MP shooter accompanied by a soft light flash.
The inbuilt camera app features include HDR, Panorama, Document scan, Good food mode, Audio Control, Smile to capture, Ultra snapshot, filters, watermark, Beauty mode, and Wide-Aperture mode. Sadly, there’s no Manual mode.
As for quality, the rear dual cameras can produce good images in brightly lit conditions. You can expect for some social-media ready photos from this phone. The camera, however, could have been better given the spec sheet. The pictures have average to above average detail, color reproduction, and accuracy. Macro shots are beautiful in good lighting condition but suffer in the low light. The bokeh shot is also a welcome addition and is a very fun tool to have. However, most of the shots come out as too artificial. Despite the shortcomings, the rear duo can get better with future updates.
The 8MP selfie camera, on the other hand, can give some good social-media ready shots. It can take decent selfies, but the images that we took looked a little soft. Images in the sunlight maintain good details but are overblown and overexposed. You’ll need the right amount of light for selfies to become stable and nice. The colors look a little washed out as well! Overall quality is decent and color reproduction, accuracy, and sharpness are just about right. The photos won’t impress you but for daily use and social media uploads, it is fine.
Huawei has also added a “selfie toning” flash in the Nova 2 Lite. It does provide ample light for decent exposure even in low-light environments, unlike the harsh lighting of the conventional flash.
Moving on to video, the phone can capture videos up to 1080p at 30fps in the MP4 format. Autofocus is good and quality is also not bad at all. Color reproduction is good and audio is acceptable. Overall, you can expect this phone to capture some pretty decent videos.
The Nova 2 Lite comes with Android 8.0 with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 out of the box. The EMUI 8.0 is highly customizable to any user’s preference. This allows for users migrating from other smartphones to easily get used to the Nova 2 Lite. However, the software is a bit laggy if you compare it with the Nova 3i or even the Nova 2i.
Like every other Chinese smartphone, the Nova 3i doesn’t come with an app drawer by default. You can, however, find the option to enable it under settings. Since I am not a Stock Android fan guy, I had no issues using this device. This UI also has support for themes, and you can customize your phone to your preference.
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite is not powered by any of Huawei’s Kirin chipsets. The phone is equipped with Snapdragon 430 SoC paired with Adreno’s 505 GPU and 3GB of RAM. The chipset, in other tests, has proven itself to be a performer for its class.
Day-to-day tasks and multitasking are not an issue for the Nova 2 Lite. It’s powerful enough to run games like Tekken, Clash Royale, and Mobile Legends but with some noticeable lags. Frames drops are noticed with some warming at the back but it will not hamper your gameplay. The phone can also run PUBG Mobile but we suggest you not to play this game on the Nova 2 Lite. During our review period, the game crashed a lot, ruining the gameplay.
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
Connectivity-wise, the Nova 2 Lite comes with the Dual-SIM, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. Voice calls are also loud and clear!
Providing power to the Nova 2 Lite is a 3,000mAh battery which is pretty standard capacity for a phone of this caliber. We could get up to 5 to 6 hours of heavy social media browsing on WiFi with light gaming. Charging from 10% to 100% takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite comes with both facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner. Both can be activated together to provide a more secure way of unlocking the device. The security options are fast but you can get even faster sensors in this price range.
The fingerprint scanner sits conveniently at the back within reach of your index finger. You can store up to 5 different fingerprints. The fingerprint sensor is accurate and could correctly recognize my fingerprints 95% of the time.
The Face unlocks feature of the Huawei Nova 2 Lite works really well. It could accurately detect my face even more so than the Nova 3. The feature also works surprisingly well in a pitch black room. The screen beams enough backlight onto your face that the front-camera can recognize it even in complete darkness.
Verdict: Huawei Nova 2 Lite Review in Nepal
The Huawei Nova 2 Lite offers premium looking design, FullView Display, and dual rear camera setup for Rs. 21,900. The performance of the phone is decent and the camera is just fine. If you see the competition in the market, you can get the Redmi Note 5 AI or even the new Mi A2 at an even cheaper rate. These phones don’t have the impressive design but the hardware and camera experience are better. That said, if you are a selfie lover and love attending parties, you can go for this phone. Everyone else can get other phones at the same price tag!
Thank you for reading! For more interesting and informative reviews like this, like our Facebook page and subscribe to our Youtube channel. If you have any questions or confusions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section down below. We will answer them as soon as possible.