Huawei nova plus review: Renovation

Renovation

GSMArena team, 14 September 2016.

Performance

The Huawei nova plus is powered by the mid-range Snapdragon 625 chip, which is the sole reason not to put the nova plus among the top-end smartphones. The SoC offers a total of eight Cortex-A53 cores, running at 2.0 GHz, and a rather new Adreno 506 GPU. There are 3GB of RAM available on the nova plus, and unlike the G9 Plus there is no 4GB RAM (64GB) option.

The highlight of the chip is that it is manufactured using a 14nm process. It is the same fabrication process Qualcomm uses for its top-tier chips like the Snapdragon 820 and is still quite uncommon in mid-range chips. This should allow for less power consumption and lower running temperature than any other mid-range solution to date.

Huawei Nova Plus review

As usual, we kick off our routine with some CPU torture. In the single core test, it is not hard to see how any Cortex-A72 or Kryo unit performs a lot better than an isolated Cortex-A53.

GeekBench 3 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    2383
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    2151
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    1892
  • Huawei Honor 8
    1831
  • Sony Xperia X
    1367
  • Huawei nova plus
    943
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    933
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    898

But, when you put enough of them together on a multi-threaded load, the higher clock rate starts to add up and lowers the gap between the latest Kirin (P9 Plus) and Snapdragon (OnePlus 3). Sure, the difference is still big, but we are talking mid-range here, so the score is perfectly fine.

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei P9 Plus
    6660
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    6600
  • Huawei Honor 8
    6380
  • OnePlus 3
    5520
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    5103
  • Huawei nova plus
    4918
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    3933
  • Sony Xperia X
    3796

Looking at the all-round benchmarks, we clearly see the Huawei nova plus holds its ground among mid-rangers such as Galaxy C7 and Xperia X, both similarly priced and positioned. Of course, it is not exactly a fair performance fight when we pit it against flagships like the OnePlus 3, the Honor 8 or the Galaxy S7 edge. However, the nova plus costs the same as those, so they need to be here.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    141764
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    129229
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    97392
  • Huawei Honor 8
    94892
  • Sony Xperia X
    77537
  • Huawei nova plus
    64680
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    62818
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    51220
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    50109

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    2365
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    2099
  • Huawei Honor 8
    2099
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    2050
  • Sony Xperia X
    1714
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    1222
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    1221
  • Huawei nova plus
    1215
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    987

Moving on to graphics, the Adreno 506 bundled with the Snapdragon 625 provides an adequate match to CPU performance. That said, we definitely can't expect it to stand up to something like the Adreno 530 in the Snapdragon 820, but it is still more than adequate for almost every current Android game title in the Play Store.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    30
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    15
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    11
  • Huawei Honor 8
    11
  • Sony Xperia X
    10
  • Huawei nova plus
    6.6
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    6.1
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    5.1
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    4.8

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    7.8
  • Huawei Honor 8
    6.9
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    6.8
  • Sony Xperia X
    5.9
  • Huawei nova plus
    3.7
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.4
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    3
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.7

Basemark X provides an even better overview of where the Huawei nova plus fits graphics-wise among its competitors.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3
    32715
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    28480
  • Huawei Honor 8
    16592
  • Sony Xperia X
    15087
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    15058
  • Huawei nova plus
    10524
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    10445
  • Huawei Honor 5c
    7735
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    6754

The Huawei nova plus may not have the top-tier specs to impress, but it won't let down even power users. The eight 2.0 GHz cores are snappy, and the 3GB of RAM are still perfectly adequate for as much multitasking as you desire. Modern games run smooth, there is no lag in Android OS, and the phone stays cool even when its hardware is 100% busy for a long time. And that's more than enough for a great mid-ranger by our books.

Reader comments

  • Pikudo

P10 lite better all the way

  • Dr Iqra

Hey tell me which one is best huawei Nova Plus or P10 lite .. i want to buy new phone .. nd I'm very confuse between these two ...

Lol that's real. You simply can't accept that Huawei can never take something as beautiful as the XZ can