Huawei Nova 5T Review

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Huawei’s Nova series built a reputation for value for money products. The Huawei Nova 5T is no exemption. 

It is midrange powerhouse that comes with a flagship Kirin 980 processor, four cameras, a 6.26-inch display, and a price tag that’s hard to ignore. 

Can the Nova 5T deliver a flagship experience for PHP 18,990? Find out on our review.

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Huawei Nova 5T specs:

  • 6.26-inch Full HD+ IPS Display (2340 x 1080, 412ppi), 19.5:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 2.6GHz Octa-Core HiSilicon Kirin 980 Processor, 7nm
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU, Dual NPUs, GPU Turbo 3.0
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage
  • 48MP f/1.8 + 16MP f/2.2 (Ultra-wide) + 2MP f/2.4 (Macro) + 2MP f/2.4 (Depth) Quad Rear Cameras
  • 32MP f/2.0 Front Camera, AI Super HDR
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Dual Band
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Fingerprint Scanner (Side-mounted)
  • Face Unlock
  • USB Type-C
  • EMUI 9.1, Android 9 Pie
  • Midsummer Purple, Black, Crush Blue
  • 3,750mAh Battery, 22.5W SuperCharge Fast Charge

Retail Package

Don’t you love Huawei retail packages? The Huawei Nova 5T comes with a TPU case, pre-installed screen protectors, a fast charger, a USB Type-C cable, a Type-C audio jack adapter, the SIM eject tool, and some documentations.

Design and Build Quality

The Huawei Nova 5T has a compact design with dimensions measuring in at 6.07 by 2.91 inches. It has a clean layout with curved edges and a thickness of 0.31 inches.

The device has a tall profile with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It has good size that I like and fits my hands and pockets nicely.

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The Nova 5T has an outstanding build quality. It is pretty solid and feels premium. Plus, I like that it is not heavy or too light.

Also Read: Huawei Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro now available for pre-order in the Philippines

Up front is the handset’s 6.26-inch display with thin bezels. It has no notch, but instead has a punch hole for the 32MP selfie camera. The earpiece and the sensors sits just above the display, tucked on the top bezel.

On the left you have the SIM tray for two nano SIMs. On the right are the volume rockers and the power button with the in-built fingerprint scanner.

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Because of the phone’s size, the buttons are easily within reach. I find that unlocking side mounted fingerprint scanner is definitely easier and feels more natural than at the back or front. 

At the top is the secondary microphone and a light sensor. And at the bottom you have the main microphone, a USB Type-C port and the speaker grill. 

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm audio port or protection from water and dust.

And at the back, you’ll find the cameras — three on a raised vertical module with the LED flash and the other one beside it. The back panel is made of glass with a holographic design with a cool 3D effect.

Display and UI

The Nova 5T has a large flat 6.26-inch full HD+ IPS display with 2340 x 1080 resolution. Its settings allow you to adjust the screen resolution, color modes (normal or vivid), and the color temperature, among other things. 

For the screen resolution, the logic behind it is that you can save on power and improve performance by setting it to HD+ so the phone won’t be pushing resources to project on a bigger screen resolution. 

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Since it’s an IPS panel, the Nova 5T’s display has adequate brightness with natural colors and a pleasant saturation. Viewing angles are good as well. 

The phone has an Eye Comfort feature to filter out blue light to reduce eye fatigue. This makes the temperature of the display warmer.

Also Read: Huawei Nova 5T camera review

If you find the punch hole camera distracting, you can hide it under the display settings. You can also customize to hide only on certain applications.

The handset runs on EMUI 9.1 on top of Android Pie. Good news is that it will get the EMUI 10 update. You can customize how the UI looks (including the icons, background image, and color scheme) through the themes app. 

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Performance and Benchmarks

The Nova 5T is powered by the same chipset found on the Huawei P30 Pro. It has a 7nm flagship-grade 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor, a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU, 8GB RAM, and dual NPUs. Needless to say, the handset is fast and smooth. And performance is excellent.

The phone also comes with GPU Turbo 3.0, which now supports more games. If you need more power, you can set it to Performance Mode in settings.

As for the benchmark scores, the Nova 5T scores fairly well.

  • AnTuTu – 274,859
  • Geekbench – 677 (Single Core), 2,223 (Multi-core)
  • 3DMark – 4,038 (Sling Shot Extreme)


The Huawei Nova 5T features four rear cameras with a 48MP main, a 16MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensors.

Huawei Nova 5T Review

Overall, the Nova 5T delivers when it comes to photo quality. In good light, images are crisp and clean. They show vibrant colors with good details and contrast. Overall, photos are pleasant. 

Even in low light, the Nova 5T can produce good photos. There’s occasional noise at times, but the images are usable. The phone also has Night Mode, which works well.

For more details about the Nova 5T’s photography performance, check out our camera review.

Battery Life

The Nova 5T has a 3,750mAh battery. The handset gave me around 10 hours of usage. It typically lasts a day, but I find myself reaching for the charger before I go home from work or when I get home. The phone supports Huawei’s 22.5W SuperCharge technology. Charging the phone normally takes almost 1.5 hours.

Huawei Nova 5T Review


Huawei has definitely delivered with the Nova 5T. I dare say that this is one of the best valued phones right now. It is a worthy successor to the Nova line.

Also Read: Huawei Watch GT 2, Band 4, Band 4E now available in the Philippines

Priced at PHP 18,990, the Nova 5T has an attractive design, a good set of cameras, and above average battery life. When it comes to performance, the phone leads like a flagship too. The Kirin 980 with 8GB RAM is more than enough for the most demanding apps.

The Nova 5T comes highly recommended. This is an excellent alternative to those who want a flagship phone but don’t want to spend for one.

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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