Huawei's on an upward trend and its recent phones are consistently showing it. The attention to detail on the exterior has been matched on the inside and the polished software is one of Huawei's definite strengths. This is really where the EMIUI is shining lately: innovative and helpful gestures, clean yet customizable interface and top-notch camera processing algorithms.
The Huawei nova plus was developed and built to a high standard. The airplane-grade aluminum has made it reasonably lightweight but sturdy, and it feels quite convincingly premium in terms of both hand feel and performance.
The switch from Kirin to the latest midrange Snapdragon chip didn't take performance up to flagship levels, but helped improve the battery life and pretty much ruled out heating issues. The fingerprint sensor is among the best in class - blazing fast, always-on, super accurate, and it can be used with some really useful gestures.
Finally, the new 16MP OIS camera is quite good. The company has been adding new features and the nova plus benefits from all of them: the light painting mode with car trails, silky water or graffiti, the high-res panoramas, manual mode, super night shot with long exposure of up to 30s, among others. Oh, and the nova plus is among the first Huawei devices to offer 4K videos, which was long overdue.
Yes, the nova plus is nicely designed and well-built, with a plethora of features to keep even the most demanding users interested. Here goes the cheatsheet.
If there's one issue with the Huawei nova plus, it's the asking price. The company will be charging €430 at launch, which is as much as some top-tier smartphones right now. For example, you can get the OnePlus 3 with a Snapdragon 820 chip, 6GB RAM, and a 5.5" AMOLED screen for a little less.
Or you can grab the ZTE Axon 7, which not only comes with a 5.5" AMOLED screen, but also ups the resolution to Quad HD. There is the flagship Snapdragon 820 chip with 4GB of RAM inside, a 20MP OIS main camera, Dolby Atmos sound on stereo speakers, among other goodies.
The Huawei G9 Plus might be a better pick if you live in the right Asian country, as it is probably cheaper, and it's the local variant of the nova plus. Both smartphones are virtually the same. Or you can opt for the smaller 5" Huawei nova, which comes across as the better-looking device but its 12MP main camera comes without optical stabilization. The rest of the specs are identical.
The recently launched Honor 8 is another great in-house alternative with a faster chipset, better dual-camera setup on the back, and a premium all-glass design.
The Samsung Galaxy C7 offers similar build quality, screen, chipset and camera, and costs around the same. If you are after the AMOLED sweetness and TouchWiz, you should give this one a try.
The Motorola Moto Z Play which is about to launch on the same price, offers quite a similar experience on a 5.5" AMOLED screen and Snapdragon 625 chip. The imaging skills are close enough too, but you will be getting the vanilla Android OS. The Z Play offers water-repellant coating, which the Huawei nova plus doesn't have.
Finally, we should mention the LeEco Le Max 2 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro, which prove that it is possible to match and even better the performance of a premium midranger for even less cash. Their availability however is quite limited.
The Huawei nova plus is the company's latest phablet, which steps on a solid foundation provided by the Mate series and benefits from the latest R&D. It fetches quite a premium over the regular gang and its price pits it against some very potent smartphones. Not a very favorable position at this point but Huawei's consistency may as well pay back in the long run.
Right now it seems like Huawei is keen on adding depth to its lineup (like Samsung) and hanging hefty price tags (like Sony). But that's not the only things the Chinese have in common with the established brands. Huawei is getting better in making good phones, which match the Western taste and the nova plus is a prime example of that.