Huawei has been working hard, trying to create and sell smartphones that are devoid of Android services, and what they have realized along the way, is that people will still invest in their devices if they provide something that traditional Android phones lack in the target price bracket. The Huawei Nova 9 SE is another step in this direction for the company, and right off the bat, one thing that stands out is that there is a 108 MP camera unit in a seemingly entry-level chassis. We managed to get a Nova 9 SE unit in the office for testing and in this review, we are going to tell you the good and not so good aspects of this device, so that you can ultimately decide if the smartphone is a fit for you or not.
Design, Build, and Display
The Huawei Nova 9 SE comes with a surprisingly extensive array of extras that other manufacturers often leave out. Along with the phone, Huawei includes a complimentary soft TPU case, a USB-C cable, a SIM ejector pin, and, most importantly, a Huawei 66W SuperCharge charger that is compatible with the phone for rapid charging. Even better, the Huawei nova 9 SE comes with a pre-applied screen protector, which saves you money and allows you to use the phone right away.
The inclusion of a complimentary case, screen protector, and a 66W fast charger is a generous gift that rival flagships no longer include in their box.
In terms of design, the Huawei nova 9 SE features a pretty conservative chassis with a curved backplate, rounded edges, and a flat display completed with a three-dimensional, sparkling glass laminate on the backplate. The backplate of our nova 9 SE review sample in Crystal Blue features a smooth mirrored blue surface with dazzling details that seek to replicate stars as you move the phone around.
The oval-shaped camera housing in the top back corner features a design that Huawei refers to as a ‘Star Orbit Ring’ design to house the rear AI quad-camera array, which, according to the official literature, symbolically harkens to the orbit of a star. This polish is complemented with a faint nova monogram on the lower quadrant of the backplate, as well as the Huawei logo.