HomeGadgets & TechHuawei nova SE 9 Review - Modern Chic Midrange Smartphone

    Huawei nova SE 9 Review – Modern Chic Midrange Smartphone

    The Huawei nova 9 SE was launched today on the 11th of March 2022. There is a total of 3 colour options available – Midnight Black, Crystal Blue, and Pearl White. The nova 9 SE is also the direct successor to the Huawei nova 8 SE which was launched back in 2022. We were fortunate enough to obtain a review unit in our hands and here’s the review we have prepared for our readers.


    Specifications & Price

    In The Box

    Dimension (in mm): 164.64(H) x 75.55(W) x 7.94mm(D)
    Weight (in gram): 191 approx (including battery)
    SIM: Dual SIM (Dual Standby)

    Memory Card Slot: Not Available
    Internal Memory: 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM

    OS: EMUI 12
    Chipset: Snapdragon 665
    GPU: Adreno 610

    Battery: 4000 mAh with Huawei SuperCharge 66W support
    Display Size: 6.9 inches (6.78 inches true size due to rounded corners)
    Display Technology: LCD, up to 90Hz refresh rate, 270 Hz touch sampling rate
    Display Resolution: FHD+, 2388 x 1080 Pixels
    Colour Depth: 16.7 million colours

    Rear Cam Resolution (Multiple): 108MP High-Resolution (f/1.8) + 8MP Wide Angle(f/2.2) + 2MP Depth Camera (f/2.4) + 2MP Macro Camera (f/2.4)
    Front Cam Resolution: 16MP (f/2.2)
    Auto Focus: Yes
    Zoom: Digital Zoom
    Image Resolution: up to 7296 x 5472
    Video Recording Resolution: 1080p@30fps

    Price: RM1099


    First Glance

    The unit that we received was the Crystal Blue version. There were two features that caught my attention at the first glance. The lens enclosure that is placed on the top left corner of the back cover and the 108MP lens really stands out due to the size of it. The other feature is the star-like glare effect bursting out from the perimeter of the lenses. This “Star Orbit Ring” design is a true eye-catcher but nonetheless, the excitement was quickly put off when a casing was placed on top of it.

    Back Cover

    Unlike most mid-range devices on the market, the nova SE 9 doesn’t have that airy plastic feel when held. The glossy glass finishing on the back accents the 3D glare feature as mentioned previously but it also comes with the usual drawback of being a fingerprint magnet.


    Battery & Performance

    Powered by a 4000 mAh battery, the device lasts up to 3 days on standby, and it can last an entire day of usage with about 35% left by 9 pm (with about two hours of gaming with performance mode switched on). The Huawei 66W SuperCharge adapter that came was impressive as well. It managed to pull a 50% charge within 12 minutes or so, and a full charge took about 40 minutes.

    Touch Sampling Rate Checker

    Although the display of the Huawei nova SE 9 is an LCD, it is capable of producing vivid colours without any brightness issues under the glaring. The touch sampling rate is also very impressive as it managed to clock an average of 272hz on the Touch Sampling Rate Checker app. The only downside is the mediocre hands-on experience of the 90hz refresh rate, which is a common issue among LCD displays.

    The Huawei nova SE 9 runs on the Snapdragon 665(SD665) SoC which was launched back in 2019. The SD665 is a decent SoC and it’s capable of running all the common apps for daily use including games like PUBG, which makes it a great choice for midrange devices.



    Wide Angle

    The biggest highlight for the Huawei nova 9 SE is the f/1.8 108 MP camera. To fully utilize this camera, photos are best taken in the “High-Res” mode rather than the default point and shoot mode. This mode captures images in 12000 x 9000 resolution and each photo may take up as much as 20MB worth of space. The photos that I’ve taken in this mode turned out great in most settings except during low light situations such as night shots. Night shots are best taken in the Night Mode which is one of the options available in the camera.

    Bokeh & Depth

    On the default camera mode, the photos came out crisp, detailed, and the colour accuracy is quite on point – even when it’s taken with the wide-angle lens. The only downside for me is that it doesn’t come with optical zoom, which is a feature that most midrange phones are lacking.

    Close Up

    Selfies and videos taken on the 16MP front camera is decent; as long as they’re taken in a well-lit environment. The front camera is also capable of taking wide-angle shots, which comes in handy when a group photo Is required.



    As a mid-range device, the gaming performance review for the Huawei nova SE 9 was mostly done on commonly played casual games. Tests were also performed on graphically heavy games such as Genshin Impact and Asphalt 8 to determine the maximum limits of the phone.

    Casual Games

    The Huawei nova SE 9 as expected, performed splendidly when it came to casual games whether it was a classic favourite such as Angry Birds or newer games like Worms IO. Not only did the games look better, but I also didn’t encounter any issues even when the graphical demand spiked in certain parts of the game. The 270Hz touch sampling rate even gave some of the games a breath of new life with increased responsiveness.

    Genshin Impact

    The phone’s performance in Genshin Impact wasn’t too impressive. Although I had subpar expectations from this phone due to the Genshin Impact being a resource-heavy game, the phone performed slightly below expectations – even with game assist and performance mode switched on. Genshin Impact’s loading time was a tad bit longer than usual and the background animation in the title screen was very choppy as well. The highest graphic setting that I could enable was Low. Anything higher than that will automatically trigger a performance load warning.

    The gameplay experience wasn’t enjoyable as well. Although the colours were still vivid, the visual quality of the game have dropped tremendously. The screen kept lagging whenever I panned the camera, and there were occasional lags during casting skills. While the phone struggled to perform well in this game, it didn’t heat up at all. The temperature stayed surprisingly cool all the way.

    Asphalt 8: Airborne

    The phone was able to run Asphalt 8 without a single hitch on Medium graphic setting. While the High graphic option was available, the game didn’t allow me to switch to that and prompted me with a maximum performance warning. The entire gaming experience was smooth, and the gyroscope sensors performed very well in Asphalt 8’s “Tilt to Steer” handling option.

    The graphics we’re slightly downgraded from my usual experience in the highest setting, but it’s still enjoyable with most details still noticeable. The background music and SFX in Asphalt didn’t stand out as much in this phone and I had a better audio experience when I paired it with my Huawei Freebuds Pro.

    Dynasty Warriors: Overlords

    I was able to run Dynasty Warriors on the Highest graphic setting with 60 FPS and Anti-Aliasing switched on. The game prompted that Anti-Aliasing may cause an increase in temperature in this device, but it still allowed me to switch it on.

    Dynasty Warriors didn’t feel much different in the Huawei nova SE 9 in comparison to the flagship devices that I’ve played this game on. There were a few situations where the screen froze for a second, but this was solved the moment I reduced the graphic settings to medium. There was a slight increase in the phone’s temperature after a while but not to the point where it may cause a concern. Like Asphalt 8, the audio quality on the speaker was crackly at the highest setting with very little depth and detail.


    What I Liked

    • The device is very thin even with a protective casing put on
    • Great temperature control in most situations
    • Large battery capacity with commendable performance, which is rare in many devices nowadays
    • 66W SuperCharge compatibility is a convenience that nobody will complain about

    What I Wished Was Better

    • The 90HZ refresh rate on the LCD display wasn’t noticeable
    • Optical zoom camera
    • The SoC on this device is not the latest midrange SoC in the market



    The Huawei nova SE 9 is an up to the mark midrange phone which will meet your expectations for all your daily usage. It has a large battery capacity that fully charges within 40 minutes, and it runs on the reliable but slightly dated Snapdragon 665 SoC. For those who enjoy gaming on your phone, this device is not capable of handling extremely graphic intensive games like Genshin Impact, but it can run games like Asphalt 8 and Mobile Legends on medium to high settings with very little to no problems at all. Priced at RM 1099, the device falls under the very affordable range.

    The modern chic design on the back cover is eye-catching, but that’s before you slap a protective casing on top of it to prevent the cover from being smeared with your fingerprints. The 108 MP lens is definitely a very powerful camera, but it can only be accessed via the High-Res Mode. The default point and shoot function produce your usual 12MP 4000 X 3000 photos, but I would’ve preferred it to fully utilize the 108MP camera features here.

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    Content Producer at BunnyGaming. Sith. Retribution Paladin. Exo Hunter. Annoying Husband. Father of two dogs, brother of six dogs. Metal head. Chef-at-home. Too busy to gym. Four eyes.


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