Huawei Nova 4: Smartphone with Hole-Punch Display for $482

In addition to the slider mechanism of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 or the two displays of the Vivo NEX Dual Display, the Hole-Punch Display, i.e. the front camera in the display, is a popular method of accommodating the front camera. Since the Samsung Galaxy S10 is also a trend-setter, we want to take a closer look at a competitor from China, the Huawei Nova 4.

Huawei Nova 4 Red

Technical data of the Huawei Nova 4

Display 6,4″ LC-Display (2310 x 1080p), 398 ppi
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 970
Graphics chip ARM Mali G72
Main memory 8 GB LPDDR4X RAM
Internal memory 128 GB UFS 2.1
Main camera 48 MP with ƒ/1.8 aperture + 2 MP + 16 MP wide angle sensor
Front camera 25 MP with ƒ/2.0 aperture
Battery 3,750 mAh Battery, 18W Charging
Connectivity LTE Band 1,3,5,7,8, WLAN AC, GPS, A-GPS
Features Fingerprint Sensor | USB Type-C | Headphone Jack
Operating system EMUI 9 , Android 9
Dimensions / Weight 157 x 75.1 x 7.77 mm | 172 g

The first smartphone with Hole-Punch Display

Huawei Nova 4 or Honor View 20? That’s what you ask yourself when you see the Nova 4 for the first time. After all, the basic conditions and many specs are identical. The 6.39 inch screen diagonal makes them look similar. The IPS display offers a resolution of 2310 x 1080 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 398 ppi, i.e. pixels per inch. But the eye-catcher is the so-called Punch-Hole Display. This actually only means that the front camera is located in the display, namely in the upper left corner. This is also the case with the Samsung Galaxy S10, but the camera is located in the upper right corner.

Huawei Nova 4 Smartphone

On the back you get the usual Huawei look. The 3D glass on the back is strongly rounded towards the sides and should provide a pleasant hold in the hand. Optically, the well-known Twilight effect creates a juvenile design, which finally allows a tightrope walk between green, blue and purple. Unless you opt for the somewhat less excited black.

With dimensions of 157 x 75.1 x 7.77 mm and a weight of 172 g, the Nova 4 lies quite well in the hand, the dimensions and weight are comparable to those of the Xiaomi Mi 9.

With the Kirin 970: But why?

Huawei makes a somewhat surprising decision when it comes to processor selection. This is where the HiSilicon Kirin 970 comes in, the top CPU from last year, which also sits in the Honor Play or Honor 10. That’s not a bad processor, no question, but the Kirin 980 has been on the market for quite some time and is also in the Honor View 20, the Hole-Punch smartphone of the subsidiary, for example. But there is also 8 GB RAM and 128 GB memory.

As far as the camera is concerned, however, the parallels with the View 20 just mentioned become clear again. Finally, the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world also uses the 48 megapixel sensor Sony IMX586, which is also installed in the Xiaomi Mi 9. It is equipped with a ƒ/1.8 aperture, but there are two more cameras in addition. A 2 MP secondary sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture and an ultra-wide angle sensor with a 16 megapixel resolution and ƒ/2.2 aperture. We already know this from the Honor Magic 2 and liked it very much.

Huawei Nova 4 Triple Camera

The battery capacity is 3,750 mAh, which is relatively average considering the large display and provides more than acceptable battery life. The Huawei Nova 4 is equipped with ac-Dual Band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, LTE Band 1/3/5/6/7/8/19. The EMUI 9 based on Android 9 is also completely available in different languages. Unfortunately there is no NFC module installed, so contactless payment via NFC is not possible.

Huawei Nova 4 Backside

Huawei relies on the fingerprint sensor on the back and Face Unlock to unlock the smartphone. The 3.5 mm jack connector on the top is also almost unusual, headphones are even included. On the bottom side there is a USB Type C slot with USB 2.0 support.

Evaluation

The Huawei Nova 4 is actually up to date, but somehow it is not. For me this Huawei Nova 4 is full of questions. Why do you use the old processor, although it came on the market early enough for the new CPU? Why don’t you use NFC with a top smartphone of over $400? Why do you publish the almost identical Honor View 20, which seems to be a bit stronger than the almost identical mobile phone of the parent company? Some questions we hope to be able to answer soon. The Huawei Nova 4 will soon be tested by us.

What do you think of the Nova 4? With which mobile phone should we compare it? Mi 9 or rather the View 20?

To the gadget
Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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