IFA 2016: Huawei Nova and Nova Plus to take on affordable premium rivals

Flagship styling with middleweight specs

Huawei has brought its design chops to Google’s Nexus 6P, its Mate series of phablets, and, more recently, the P9 and P9 Plus. Now the company is at it again with yet another pair of premium mobiles, only this time, their price tags are low enough to dip under the flagship radar.

Meet the Nova and Nova Plus, two new form factors that borrow much of their industrial designs from Huawei’s previous and most celebrated works.

The smaller Nova resembles a mini version of the Nexus 6P, but with curved sides that give the illusion of a leaner frame and ensure a more secure grip; the Nova Plus, on the other hand, is a Frankenstein’s creation made from Huawei’s latest offerings.

The latter stands taller with its 5.5-inch diagonal, while the Nova offers 5 inches of screen space in full resolution.

The phones come with a fingerprint ID system on the back, as well as the latest reversible Type-C connector (regrettably, Huawei hasn’t said anything about quick-charging support). Huawei is claiming you’ll be able to get two days of “common usage” out of the devices.

Both run a custom, Android Marshmallow-based interface on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage as standard. These specs are comparable to those of the ASUS ZenFone 3 and Huawei’s own G9 Plus.

Huawei Nova Plus

Huawei Nova Plus

A software update to Nougat is coming soon, but the phone maker isn’t committing to a release date at this point.

The ability to produce quality images is a key distinction for Huawei’s past devices, and the same rings true today. The Nova and Nova Plus share the same 8-megapixel front-facer with an f/2.0 aperture lens, whereas their rear cameras offer a bit of variety in terms of megapixel count and technology.

Huawei's new P9 and P9 Plus phones take a swing at low-light photography

The former packs a 12-megapixel shooter with large pixels; the Plus version boasts a sharper, 16-megapixel camera with image stabilization.

The Huawei Nova and Nova Plus will cost €399 and €429 in Europe, respectively. Pricing in other markets has yet to be decided. You can look forward to their arrival in October.

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