Design: Huawei Nova 9 SE
The Nova 9 SE, on the other hand, comes in a glitter-glossy look. Huawei calls it “3D glass back made possible by dual-coating dual-film nano-texture technology“. The holographic effect creates a great play of colors, especially in sunlight, and is a real eye-catcher. You shouldn’t just touch the cell phone, because then it’s immediately covered with fingerprints. At least the edge is matt. Nevertheless, we clearly prefer the simpler one, but more practical Nova 9.
The differences are also significant on the front. The Nova 9 had a display rounded by 75 degrees towards the edge. This is chic and elegant, but sometimes impractical, especially if you want to protect the display with a film or bulletproof glass. The Nova 9 SE behaves more cooperatively with its flat screen. The SE looks elegant because the edges are unusually narrow at around one millimeter. Although “narrow” is relative: A case width of 75.6 millimeters (mm) is anything but dainty. Without the camera, the Nova 9 SE is only 8mm thin and 164.7mm long (with the camera, haha). Huawei speaks of “an incredibly thin and absolutely feather-light housing”. We pull out the proverbial gold scales and try Google: “The 3,500 feathers of a house sparrow weigh a total of two grams” – the Nova 9 SE 191 grams. Okay. The fingerprint sensor is easily accessible on the side and is also the power button. The Nova 9 without SE has the sensor hidden in the display. Both Novas are not waterproof according to the IP certification.
Display: Huawei Nova 9 SE
In view of the stately dimensions, one would expect an equally stately display. And that’s what you get. The diagonal of 6.78 inches is even more than you might expect. The Nova 9 “only” has 6.57 inches. With 2388×1080 pixels, the SE even lets a handful of more pixels light up. Basically, the IPS LC display does a good job – preferably indoors. But it’s not an OLED, which simply appears to have more contrast in comparison. The LCD of the Nova 9 SE shows weaknesses outdoors and is noticeably harder to read than the OLEDs of the Redmi Note 11 series that happen to be available for comparison. It is confirmed once again: LCD is good. OLED is better.
Huawei is prohibited from doing business with US companies. This applies to both software and hardware. The most difficult thing to do is not to use GMS, i.e. Google Mobile Services – Google’s Android all-round carefree package. You can also find alternatives and well-known apps in Huawei’s own App Gallery, but mostly via the Petal Search in other sources. This is quite confusing for newcomers. And Netflix, Google Pay and other applications are not available via detours either. Huawei’s in-house operating system therefore lacks acceptance. There are also hardware limitations when it comes to 5G.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
Quad camera in the Huawei Nova 9 SE
The main camera (f/1.9) has a resolution of 108 megapixels (MP). In the standard mode, 9 pixels are calculated in each case, resulting in a 12 MP photo in the end.
In 108 MP mode, there are no gimmicks and zooming. A maximum of 10x magnification is possible in standard mode. But then it rustles properly.
The ultra-wide-angle lens (f/2.2) has a resolution of 8 MP and a shooting angle of 112 degrees.
The depth lens (f/2.4; left below the main lens) and the macro lens (f/2.4; right below the main lens) achieve a resolution of 2 MP. The optimal shooting distance for macro shots is 4 centimeters. Despite the modest resolution, the results were even more convincing than, for example, with the Redmi Note 11 series.
The front camera (f/2.2) shoots selfies with a maximum of 16 MP and a recording angle of 90 degrees. In VLOG mode, you can save different settings (selfie video, picture in picture, dual view (front and back simultaneously), main camera, wide-angle shots) one after the other in a video file. Videos can be saved in FHD at a maximum of 30 fps. The Nova 9 can do 4K.
Battery in the Huawei Nova 9 SE
The battery in the Huawei Nova 9 SE has a capacity of 4,000 milliampere hours (mAh) and is therefore 300 mAh smaller than in the Nova 9. It is charged via USB type C with a tight 66 watts. The necessary power pack is included in the scope of delivery. The convenience of wireless charging does not exist.
storage and equipment
The Huawei Nova 9 SE comes with 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and 128 GB of device storage. The memory is not expandable, the dual card slot only likes SIM cards. EMUI 12 is used as the operating system. A reference to the open source portion of Android or the version is concealed in the settings. In addition to 4G and LTE, there is NFC with a payment function, but without Google Pay, Bluetooth 5.0 and WLAN a/b/g/n/ac.
Huawei Nova 9 SE: price, colors
The Huawei Nova 9 SE comes in Crystal Blue, Midnight Black, and dentist-wife-friendly Pearl White. It costs 349 euros (RRP) with 8+128 GB. For comparison: The Nova 9 costs 499 euros (RRP).
Practical test conclusion: Huawei Nova 9 SE
The Huawei Nova 9 SE is not only special because of its operating system without Google apps. On the plus side there is a high loading speed, an appealing photo quality and a very large display. Compared to the Nova 9, however, the screen has less contrast, the back of the case is smooth, the battery is smaller and the processor performance is lower. The target group of those who want the largest possible display with a narrow border, like to reload quickly and browse for apps on the Internet should be manageable. If you want to consciously break away from Google and don’t want to or can’t reach for the iPhone, you have an alternative.