Monday, November 6, 2017

Huawei Nova 2i Review : Bokeh champion with 4 Cameras

We were lucky enough to be able to try the smartphone since a few days ago. It allows us to test first for the features and capabilities that Huawei offers in this new product. Curious? We will review it in this review article!


At first glance, Nova 2i looks quite similar to one of premium smartphone made by Huawei, that is Mate 10 Pro. What makes them both resemblance is the modern design, with a 2: 1 screen and thin bezel, a design that has recently been increasingly used in new products from different brands. The design similarity between Nova 2i and Mate 10 Pro itself is also quite reasonable, considering that in some countries, Nova 2i is referred to as Mate 10 Lite.

Nova 2i has dimensions of 156 mm x 75 mm x 7.5 mm. The width of this smartphone is more or less similar to the width of a smartphone with a 5.5 "screen with a ratio of 16: 9. However, the height of course more than a smartphone with 5.5 "16: 9 screen, because the ratio of 2: 1 diusungnya. As for the thickness, this smartphone can still be categorized thin with a thickness of only 7.5 mm.

The 2: 1 screen, or commonly referred to as the 18: 9 ratio by the manufacturer, in Nova 2i comes with a size of 5.9 ". This screen has a thin left-right bezel, as well as a top-down bezel that can be categorized quite thin. When compared to the front side of the screen, the screen of this smartphone has a screen-to-body ratio of about 77%, including good for smartphones in this price class.

The size of the bottom bezel of the screen is thin enough to make Huawei does not place the physical navigation button and / or fingerprint scanner in that section. This makes this smartphone only equipped with virtual navigation buttons on the screen. As an ornament for the front side of the device, Huawei puts their logo on the bottom side bezel of this screen.

As for the top bezel of the screen, as it should, Huawei puts the earpiece from Nova 2i in that section. In addition, on the right earpiece, there are two selfie cameras from this smartphone. There is also a proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and LED flash that is placed in the bezel on the screen of this smartphone, precisely on the left side of the earpiece.

The power button and up / down volume are placed on the right side of the smartphone by Huawei. While the SIM / Micro SD tray can be accessed from the left side of the device. The SIM / Micro SD tray of this smartphone uses a hybrid design, so users have to choose whether to use dual Nano SIM or one Nano SIM and one Micro SD.

The Nova 2i smartphone still uses a Micro USB connector to connect to a PC or to connect an OTG USB device to a smartphone. The connector is placed on the underside of the device. In addition to the Micro USB port, on the lower side of this device there are also speakers and 3.5 mm audio connector.

Turning to the rear side, Huawei put the main camera, also with dual-camera configuration, on this side. So, overall, Nova 2i is equipped with four cameras, two for selfie and two more for the main camera. The main camera in this smartphone stands out about 1 mm from the back side surface, so users should be careful enough in putting this smartphone to not damage this main camera. There is an LED flash, which is placed on the top of the camera module, as well as the fingerprint scanner, under the camera module, on the back side of this smartphone.

Overall, the body of the smartphone is fairly sturdy. Can show its class as a middle-class smartphone. However, the design of this smartphone with a metal body with a thin size enough to make it feels slippery when held.

Sales Package

We are fortunate to get the Nova 2i unit for this test complete with its sales package. Packaging smartphone sales package itself is quite unique, with a sleek high design. Some equipment support support included Huawei for this smartphone, such as:

  • Power adapter
  • USB to Micro USB cable
  • Headset
  • Package of supporting documents
  • Ejector pin (for SIM / Micro SD tray)
  • Protective case

Huawei seems to realize that the body design of this smartphone makes it feels slippery when held, as well as a camera module protruding from the back of the smartphone brings potential users inadvertently damage it. Therefore, Huawei provides a protective case in the package sales of this Nova 2i smartphone. The protective case provided is made of thick material and is quite rigid, but the design does not interfere with the user in accessing the buttons on this smartphone. In addition, Huawei also provides a bonus screen protector that has been attached to the smartphone from the factory.


Huawei uses their latest flagship SoC in the middle class, Kirin 659, for this Nova 2i smartphone. Kirin 659 itself is an improvement from Kirin 650. Still carrying the fabrication of 16 nm and Cortex A53 octa core processor, Huawei offers higher clock in the "big" cluster in processors in this SoC, where now 4x Cortex A53 in the cluster operates at 2.36 GHz, an increase of 2.0 GHz in Kirin 650.

While for other specifications of Kirin 659, in general is still the same as that offered Kirin 650. Cluster "LITTLE" in the SoC processor is still reinforced with 4x Cortex A53 1.7 GHz. Similarly for GPU, SoC is still using Mali-T830 MP2 900 MHz. The Kirin 659 also offers support for 933 MHz dual-channel LPDDR3, WiFi 802.11 b / g / n, and Cat LTE. 6.

Nova 2i is equipped Huawei with 4 GB of RAM, the capacity that can be said as if a standard in the middle class for now. Internal storage on this smartphone has a capacity of 64 GB. This capacity can be said to be quite large, but may still be less large for some users. The option of adding Micro SD to expand the data storage capacity is indeed available. Unfortunately, it must be done at the expense of one Nano SIM slot because of the hybrid tray being carried.

As explained on the previous page, Nova 2i comes with a "modern" screen with a 2: 1 ratio of 5.9 ". The screen offers a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, with IPS LTPS panel. Huawei looks able to handle the display panel is quite well, as evidenced by the display on the screen is fairly satisfactory.

3340 mAh battery pinned Huawei on this one smartphone. The capacity can be said to be slightly larger than the 3000 mAh number that is seen as a standard in the middle class today. Of course, this is expected Huawei can make this smartphone offers better durability than the average middle-class smartphone. Unfortunately, no fast charging feature is included for this smartphone.

Switching to the sensor, Huawei equip this smartphone with accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and e-compass. Unfortunately, this smartphone is not equipped with a gyroscope, which makes it certain to lose some features that can only be offered with the presence of gyroscope, including OIS and EIS in the camera. There is also a fingerprint scanner to support the security aspects of the device, which is placed on the back side.

The 4G LTE mobile connectivity is offered by Huawei on this smartphone, with support for all LTE Bands used by mobile operators in Indonesia. Bluetooth 4.2 has also been supported by this one smartphone. Unfortunately, due to limitations in the SoC, this smartphone still does not support dual-band WiFi, only limited to WiFi 2.4 GHz with 802.11 b / g / n standard only. NFC feature is also not present in this Nova 2i smartphone.

Android 7.1 operating system with EMUI 5.1 carried by this Nova 2i smartphone. There has been no information from Huawei related whether there will be an update to a newer version of Android for their new smartphone. However, it could be at least one update to the next version of Android will be available in the future.

Four Cameras on Nova 2i

One of the things that is highlighted by Huawei from Nova 2i is the camera, where this smartphone comes with dual-camera configuration for selfie camera and main camera. The selfie camera in Nova 2i comes with a 13 MP + 2 MP sensor, where the 13 MP sensor is accompanied by f / 2.2 lens, while the 2 MP sensor is f / 2.4 lens. As for the main camera, there is a 16 MP sensor with f / 2.0 lens and 2 MP with f / 2.4 lens.

Unlike the dual-camera Leica Huawei presented in their premium smartphone, dual-camera in Nova 2i is carrying a second camera that is only used for the effects of bokeh. Huawei said that the presence of dual-camera features in the camera selfie and main camera allows users to get a better effect bokeh. In fact, because of the extra information captured by the camera, the effect power setting can be done after the image is captured by the camera.

For video recording, this smartphone unfortunately only supports video resolution up to Full HD only, at 30 fps. Video does not seem to be the focus of Huawei on this one smartphone. As for the image stabilization feature, as discussed earlier, the absence of gyroscope makes this smartphone can not offer OIS and EIS.

Nova 2i was introduced Huawei as a smartphone with four cameras, where the camera also became one of the things that they have. The main camera of this smartphone is equipped with 16 MP + 2 MP sensor. While the selfie camera uses 13 MP + 2 MP sensor.

Main Camera

The first time we tried the main camera Nova 2i, there was a sensation that appeared. This Nova 2i camera is very similar to Huawei P9. Yes, Huawei P9 does use the help of Leica to achieve quality and tone on the photo. Meanwhile, Nova 2i does not use the name Leica. However, his character remained similar.

Same with P9 and P10, Nova 2i also has bokeh setting feature. This setting is done as if you are setting the diaphragm on the camera. In fact, similar to other smartphone cameras, Nova 2i does not have a mechanical diaphragm that can be arranged.

The "Pro photo" and "Pro video" modes allow for setting the shooting parameters and setting the light on the video manually. Photography mode is certainly more complete and we feel enough to compete with top-class smartphones.

One thing we like about almost all Huawei smartphones is that the camera has a fast response speed. The photoshoot feels very comfortable. It is suitable for those who want to take photos quickly.

Dual Camera Capabilities on Nova 2i presents unique advantages. Huawei allows the use of unique filters to edit the background part of the object. There are at least 5 filter effects that can be used. The intensity will depend on the bokeh setting.

Overall, we can not claim that this is the best camera in terms of image detail for its class. However, the main camera Huawei Nova 2i is the most fun camera to wear and presenting the images with impressive color tones in the price class.

Camera Selfie

Moving on to selfie camera testing, we found that the selfie camera on Huawei Nova 2i is not the best in the middle class. However, for casual usage, we've seen some other cameras whose quality is not this good. In short, Nova 2i will be our benchmark for the quality of middle-class selfish photos that we think is good and proper in 2017. Looking ahead, if there is a smartphone that produces image quality under Nova 2i, we will think it is not good.

This selfie camera is equipped with soft flash which is quite effective. Bokeh mode can be obtained here. However, you must make sure that the lighting conditions are bright enough. Otherwise, Nova 2i will not record data to create bokeh in the background.

It's interesting to see that this selfie camera shooting mode is pretty much and functional. Meanwhile, setting the image parameters can be done, even in selfie mode.

Conclusion for the camera

overall, the camera on Huawei Nova 2i is arguably not excessive. Huawei did not promise so much that he could not keep his promise. However, what is available, everything works very well. The exception may be bokeh for selfie, as it requires bright lighting. But, overall, we really liked what Huawei presented on Nova 2i. The excellent combination of features and quality of the photos it has, makes us very comfortable using the camera on this mid-end smartphone.


Huawei offers 3340 mAh battery in this smartphone, slightly above 3000 mAh which is seen as standard in a smartphone era today. This capacity is not yet big, but if handled properly, should still be able to make a smartphone has good endurance. The question is, what about in Nova 2i this?

As always, we do battery testing by using a browsing test on a local server that we specifically created. This test makes the smartphone open 4 sites in turn, with a refresh time every 15 seconds. Testing starts from full smartphone battery until the battery runs out.

Based on the results of this test, Nova 2i can only last about 9 hours 50 minutes. This figure can be said not too high for a smartphone in the middle class, which on average already offers durability in this test up to over 10 hours. Could be, the optimization is still less the reason why the durability is not as good as expected.

Note: We will still further examine the battery life of this smartphone and will provide further updates. Therefore, this test is done before the product is launched. It is possible that this product will get updates via OTA at launch.


In its entirety, Huawei Nova 2i is a unique middle-class smartphone. The weakness of this smartphone is similar to the weakness of other middle-class smartphones. Many communication features are trimmed. The absence of NFC and 5GHz WiFi makes it feel the same as the average in its price class. But, on the other hand, Huawei surprised us with the WiFi bridge feature that allows this smartphone to be a WiFi repeater.

There is no fast charging and unavailability of OIS / EIS features on the camera, it is also an indication that this smartphone is in the middle class only. Quite unfortunate, Huawei does not serve fast charging, especially considering the durability of the battery is also only classified as the average course price.

Performance is high enough to challenge other smartphones in its class, making Nova 2i present interesting. Meanwhile, its present screen (18: 9) makes it look modern, like a smartphone at the end of 2017.

The camera, though without OIS and EIS, still presents a very unique photo result. Nova 2i reminds us of Huawei P9. Breathtaking photos with brilliant colors and bokeh features that are almost perfect make shooting with Huawei Nova 2i is great fun. Features related to the ability of bokeh and other camera features were classified as super-complete.

In the end, Huawei Nova 2i may not be the king of selfie (indeed not claimed to be a selfie hero). However, it is no exaggeration if we crown him as the king of bokeh in the middle class. If full camera effects and camera features become a priority, Nova 2i is a very good choice. Of course, high performance in its class also helps the convenience of daily use.


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