Written by Cheryl Tan


With all the pricey high-end phones coming out around the end of the year, Huawei has come up with the Nova 5T, possibly their last phone running Android. It encapsulates the premium, flagship experience while keeping things affordable at just S$598.

With the Kirin 980 processor chip that’s also found in the P30 Pro, the Nova 5T has all the makings of a great phone. 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, a FHD+ 6.26″ display, a 48MP rear camera alongside an ultra-wide, macro and depth assist, a 32MP front camera, 3,750mAh battery and more, you’re getting a lot for the price.

The display is an absolute joy to watch content on, Netflix shows are sharp and colours have a nice degree of saturation without looking too unnatural. With a screen-to-body ratio of 91.7%, text is also crisp and legible. The downside, a standard 60Hz display, so if you’re used to faster refresh rates, it might show.

But the cameras are the main selling point, and oh man, do they deliver. Night mode on this camera isn’t as great as the Google Pixel 3 XL’s, but it can definitely stand its ground against other competitors. There’s more detail visible in the foliage of the trees and colours are overall a bit brighter.

The 32MP front camera is a stunner with plenty of details captured. The Portrait mode works well with the beauty mode being able to smooth out complexion and remove blemishes. However, it only removes blemishes after capturing the image and not while you’re composing the photo. I always felt that Samsung’s selfie camera blurs the face too much, resulting in an extremely unnatural looking selfie, so being able to choose the beautification intensity is a plus in my book.

There are also other interesting settings like Light Painting, Time-Lapse and Moving Picture. Light Painting piques my interest the most, with possible applications like capturing a long exposure of traffic trails from a high angle, light graffiti or flowing water.

The GPU Turbo tech also is a good addition for mobile gamers; I played a few games of PUBG Mobile and noticed that there was essentially no lag or any sort of dropped frames during those matches with a stable internet connection .

Battery life is no slouch either, you’ll get a respectable 12 hours of continuous video playback on Wi-Fi from a full charge. I’m not ashamed to say I binge watched all 10 hours of Hyperdrive on Netflix last night, and the phone endured my binging ending up at around 12% when I was done.

There’s no wireless charging but you’ll get a 22.5W fast charger in the box, which is good enough for me at this price point.

Credit: Huawei

The whole phone is also quite lightweight at just 174 grams, while not compromising on the feel and build quality. The back of the phone looks sleeker and definitely nicer than its price tag would suggest.

Overall, I think this is an excellent phone at a great value. The only thing that remains to be seen is consumer confidence in Huawei’s ability to weather the storm of the US trade ban, which might inadvertently affect users of their phones.

More information about the Nova 5T can be found here.