The Huawei Nova 2i Is A Lot Of Phone For $499

Huawei has just announced a new mid-range phone called the Nova 2i, but there's not much that's mid-range about it beyond its $499 price tag. For that cash you get a massive screen, a rear fingerprint reader, and dual cameras -- on the back and front.

The Nova 2i gets Huawei's first 18:9 ratio 'FullView' display, a 5.9-inch LCD that stretches nearly edge-to-edge on the front panel. It's a 2160x1080pixel panel, so not incredibly high-res like a more expensive Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6, but hey, $499, remember? You get a fingerprint reader for that price, too, and it's in the (arguably) best position possible, in the centre at the phone's rear where it's easy to tap with a left or right forefinger.

The phone also gets a particularly strange quad-camera setup: a 16- and 2-megapixel pair on the rear of the phone and a 13- and 2-megapixel pair at the front. Those secondary lenses are mainly to add some depth-sensing for hardware-level bokeh blurring, we feel -- but we'll give them a proper try-out when we get the Nova 2i in our hands later this month.

Everything runs on Huawei's mid-level Kirin 659 chipset, an octa-core CPU that looks to have some pretty decent performance figures. Tie that up with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3340mAh battery running the whole show (charging over MicroUSB), and you've got what looks like a pretty impressive piece of hardware.

The Nova 2i will be out in Australia in a dual-SIM variant for outright sale through Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi from October 25, and through Vodafone from December as a single SIM. Both will be $499, though you'll obviously be able to pay off the Vodafone one on a plan -- at its RRP, too, with no inflated labyrinthine leasing deal like that telco's competitors run.




    Will be interesting to see how this stacks up to the OnePlus 5. My wife just replaced her old Nexus 5 with the OnePlus 5 (thanks to your recommendation) and it really is a beast of a phone for the price. I will need to replace my Nexus 5 in the near future, so I'll be keeping my eye on this one too. Not sure about the 5.9" screen, I don't really want anything too big.

      The width of a 5.9" 18:9 screen would be around the same as a 5.4" 16:9 screen, so yes, it will be larger than your nexus 5 but mostly in height rather than width. It would still be a pretty big change. The OnePlus5 would be a little wider but easier to use one handed if you enabled the the on screen buttons. Using the hardware buttons it would be around the same to use as the Nove 2i IMO.

      Of course the OP5 would perform a lot better, but also cost at least $100 more.

        I'm loving the OP5 from what I've used of the wife's (I do all the setting up techy stuff for her) It's bigger than the N5, but I find it reasonably comfortable and it fits in my pocket. She finds it a little big, so maybe I might suggest the onscreen buttons, thanks for the tip.

    Hi guys, are you sure it is USB c? because the overseas model has micro USB. kindly verify

      Hey mate, sorry - it's microUSB! I was thinking of a... different Huawei phone.

      The pic of the cable being plugged in sure looks like micro USB to me, both the cable and the port.

      Anyway it's a nice phone if not a little tall for me. I also wish the chipset was a little better... only A53 based cores is something I try to avoid unless the phone is $350 or less. The GPU is purely anaemic being an MP2.

    Possibly the worst positioning for a fingerprint reader that I've ever seen; just a few millimetres away from the camera lens, so you can pretty much guarantee it will be perpetually smudged.

      have you seen where Samsung put theirs?

      This one is in the same position as on most android phones - it is natural and feels great.

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