The standout feature of the Nova 2 Plus has to be the front-facing camera which is 20 megapixels.
A high megapixel count doesn’t always promise great shots but the Nova 2 Plus makes it work brilliantly.
Selfies turned out sharp with good detail especially for the hair, even under unfavourable lighting conditions.
You can also enhance the selfies with the portrait mode to blur out the background for a nicer, personal shot.
And to spice up your selfies, Huawei has included a beauty meter with 10 levels of adjustments, which offers more leeway in customisation.
On the back there are two cameras – a 12 megapixel sensor with wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel sensor with telephoto lens.
The telephoto lens has an optical zoom of 2x, allowing you to get closer to your subjects with no noticeable loss of detail.
There are also plenty of modes for you to toy around with, including Portrait Mode, Night Shot, HDR (high dynamic range) and Light Painting.
However, portrait mode shots with the rear cameras looked slightly unnatural, especialy around the edges of objects.
The fingerprint sensor is located on the back and under the dual cameras – it’s not too high up so it’s easy to unlock the phone.
It also supports gesture – for instance, swiping down reveals the notification panel while a double tap clears the notifications and closes the panel.
The 5.5in display is one of the better ones we have tested on a mid-range device. It’s bright and sharp, and great for browsing image-heavy services such as Instagram and Facebook, streaming the latest shows on Netflix and dimsum, and playing games.
The Nova 2 Plus is powered by the company’s own HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor. While it might not be as powerful as the ones in the flagship P10 and Mate 9, it still packs a punch.
It managed to run the popular mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game Mobile Legends without any issues. It also coped equally well with games such as Pokemon Go, Banner Saga, Layton’s Mystery Journey and Iron Marines without any dip in performance.
Specs-wise, the Nova 2 Plus is well equipped as it has 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, a relatively large 3,340mAh battery with fast charging support.
Having been recently introduced to Mobile Legends, we’ve been spending all our spare time indulging in the game.
Even when playing such a resource hungry and constantly connected game, the smartphone’s battery managed to last till late evening despite having to endure multiple gaming sessions in a day.
We could actually get about a full day of usage from a single charge if we used it mainly for social media, photo shoots and a few gaming sessions in between.
The large 128GB storage is handy, especially for trigger happy photographers, or heavy mobile gamers as games today take up lots of space, usually 2GB to 3GB.
As flagship smartphones grow pricier with each new release, one could opt for a mid-range smartphone to lessen the load on the budget.
The Nova 2 Plus is one such mid-range phone and it delivers in many departments, and it’s especially great for taking selfies.
Pros: Impressive selfie camera; long battery life; bright screen; incredibly loud audio; excellent surround sound with headphones.
Cons: Rear cameras could be better.
Nova 2 Plus
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 7.0 Nougat
DISPLAY: 5.5in full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
CAMERA: Dual rear cameras (12/8 megapixels); 20-megapixel front-facing camera
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct
PROCESSOR: HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor (4 x 2.36GHz Cortex-A53 + 4 x 1.7GHz Cortex-A53)
MEMORY: 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage
BATTERY: 3,340mAh with fast charging
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 74.9 x 6.9 x 153.9mm
RATING: Three and a half stars
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366