Huawei Nova 9 – the best camera for 40,000 rubles? How to buy a photo flagship while saving money

Huawei has released the Nova 9.

We tested the Nova 8 back in the summer and were satisfied. This is a pre-flagship in a nice body with a high-quality screen and a good camera. Two months later, the company presents another smartphone in the line with the same positioning, the same price and in the same body.

Moreover, they are the same only at first glance. If you go deeper, you can see how the company has point-to-point improved the previous generation and released an almost uncompromising smartphone from the price range of 35-45 thousand rubles. We tell you what she did for this.


Huawei Nova 9 is equipped with a 50 + 8 + 2 + 2 MP quad camera. This is the main module, ultra-wide angle, macro and depth sensor for portrait photos, respectively. The manufacturer calls the camera Ultra Vision and focuses on shooting in low light. Let’s figure out what is unique about it.

The camera is highly sensitive to light. The color gamut of the matrix pixels is RYYB, not RGB. Here, instead of a green pixel, yellow, thanks to which the camera lets in 40% more light. Due to this, pictures in the dark are better illuminated.

Night photography is the first thing I appreciated using my smartphone. I compared the quality of the pictures with a lack of light in the normal mode and in the night mode. So, the difference between them is small – even at a short shutter speed, detail is preserved in dark areas, the dynamic range is high.

Nevertheless, it is better to shoot in night mode. Long exposure camera works better with light sources, pay attention to lanterns, car headlights and signs. Besides, here it is extremely convenient. In my case, the smartphone had to be held statically for no more than two seconds, unlike most smartphones, which need five to seven seconds. Again thanks to the RYYB pixel color gamut. By the way, the same technology was used by Huawei P30, where I also highlighted night shooting, this was one of my first reviews.

The main camera resolution is 50 MP. Not the highest value, but it was enough for me to get pictures that do not lose quality when cropping. If that’s the highlight for you, take a look at the 108MP models. Here, the resolution is far from the highest, but the camera focuses on night photography and focuses on balance in all parameters. But I was pleased with the ultra-wide-angle module. When shooting from it, the sharpness naturally decreases, and the colors become dull, but this happens within the permissible limits, it is still not a shame to post pictures on Instagram. In addition, an anti-distortion algorithm is used here. Thanks to it, objects do not bend in the corners of the frame, there is no “barrel effect”. I liked the front camera. Its resolution is 32 MP. The angle of view is one, it is universal for a single selfie and group, or to capture a landscape or subject in front of you.

The frontal resolution allows you to shoot photos and videos in 4K, the manufacturer says that bloggers will like it. However, I see no reason to shoot video from the front camera higher than in Full HD. On Instagram, the maximum resolution is only 720p, and on YouTube videos in 4K take a long time to load.

But I found another application for this resolution – all the same cropping. Feel free to experiment with photos and crop out all unnecessary in the picture, its quality will not drop.

There is a night mode. Only in it, the camera does not programmatically brighten the darkened areas of the image, but hardware highlights the object in the foreground. For a selfie, it is enough, here it is important to clearly display only the owner of the smartphone.

Of the chips – simultaneous shooting with video from the main and front cameras. For example, while traveling, you are photographing landmarks or a landscape. In one window, you can see the subject of the shooting, in the second, your emotions. In addition, you can shoot on one module and switch directly while shooting.

The camera app just got better. In particular, the zoom slider has moved from the side to the area above the shutter button. Finally, my main problem is solved. I was blissful with Huawei cameras, but having to connect my other hand to adjust zoom and switch modules pissed me off. Now it is convenient to operate the camera with one hand.

The Nova 9 camera was a pleasant surprise. Back in late August, I tested the Huawei Nova 8, and the camera was not really impressive. The quality is normal, but it is common, and we are used to Huawei keeping the camera quality bar in the smartphone industry. The Nova 9 impressed with its night shooting and video modes.


The refresh rate is 120 Hz, the second highest after 144 Hz. The picture turns out to be pleasant – it becomes smoother against the background of 60 or 90 Hz, after which you don’t want to roll back.

The display covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, which means that it displays 1.07 billion colors, supported by HRD 10. This means that the colors will be natural and the picture is three-dimensional. Ideal for content consumption.

The default colors are warm, but you can customize them by adjusting the temperature and saturation. I was satisfied with its standard settings, so the colors remained warm and saturated.

The diagonal is 6.57 inches. This is the optimal value for 2021 – you can comfortably consume any kind of content – video or text, there is enough space.

The screen is curved, and this is the most controversial decision in terms of ergonomics. One by one, brands are ditching this design element – from Xiaomi to OnePlus. It seems the curved screen trend was back in 2017 with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

In 2021, brands are realizing that this is embellishment that does not give the smartphone any advantages and negatively affects ergonomics. However, Huawei is still using it. However, there are no color distortions around the edges of the screen, which speaks of the quality of the display.


The hardware has not changed relative to the Nova 8. The smartphone is equipped with a Snapdragon 778G processor, this is a pre-flagship chip, and nevertheless, it runs games and applications without restrictions – any and at maximum settings.

I liked the endurance of the iron. I launched PUBG Mobile and played for about an hour and a half (three rounds of battle royale). During this time, the case did not even heat up. Although I play mobile games consistently, the case tends to get warm even when it comes to throttling.

The company also did not regret the memory. The smartphone is sold in a single configuration 8 + 128 GB. 8 GB of RAM is a good amount of headroom for an Android smartphone to use comfortably. This allows you to run two resource-intensive applications at the same time, such as a game and a browser. 128 GB of storage is an acceptable minimum.

Another feature of the new Huawei smartphone is 66W SuperCharge fast charging. The smartphone’s battery is fully charged in 38 minutes, and it takes only 18 minutes to charge the smartphone to 60%. I like that with this smartphone I don’t have to worry about whether I put the smartphone to charge overnight or not. 10 minutes at the wire, and the battery replenished energy by about 50%.

The battery capacity is 4300 mAh. Modest for a 6.57-inch screen, and nevertheless, the charge is enough for a day and a half of moderate use (social networks, instant messengers, browser, music). Energy saving algorithms ensure long runtime.


The smartphone runs on Android with EMUI shell. In appearance and functionality, EMUI and proprietary HarmonyOS are as similar as possible. Huawei has switched from Android-based EMUI to HarmonyOS, but the icons and interface design code are the same.

In general, they both are similar to iOS. First of all, a redesigned curtain. The action center and control panel are now separate: a swipe on the left side of the screen pulls out the first, on the right – the second.

By default, downloading data from third-party sources in HarmonyOS is allowed, on Android to download the APK file, you need to enable this action in the settings. Apparently, Huawei understands that there is no way without the APK on its smartphones.


Huawei Nova 9 is the most interesting smartphone in the price range of 35-45 thousand rubles. The company has slightly updated components in the same package as the Nova, leaving the processor the same. And despite a minor update in terms of design and even hardware, the device is surprising.

I definitely liked the cameras. Original, functional, convenient, versatile. Night shots are spectacular, I like the video modes, the front camera is interesting. If you are looking for a photo flagship up to 40,000 rubles, this is it.

Performance, screen, autonomy – in these parameters, the smartphone also keeps the level and turns out to be at least not worse than its competitors. The lack of Google services overshadows, otherwise Huawei recalled why over the past four years, in terms of the quality of flagships and pre-flagships, it has stood on a par with Apple and Samsung.

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