Huawei Nova 5T test: already seen but still good – FrAndroid

The Huawei Nova 5T is a very special smartphone because … it has nothing special. Indeed because of the US embargo, the Chinese brand was forced to bring out an already existing smartphone by changing its name. Here is our complete test.

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The Huawei Nova 5T

Technical sheet


Huawei Nova 5T

Builder interface

Emotion UI

Screen size

6.26 inches


2340 x 1080 pixels

Pixel density

412 dpi




Kirin 980

Graphics Chip (GPU)

Mali-G76 MP10

RAM memory


Internal memory (flash)

128 GB

Camera (backpack)

Sensor 1: 48 Mpx
Sensor 2: 16 Mpx
Sensor 3: 2 MP
4: 2 MP sensor

Camera (front)

32 MP

Video recording



Wi-Fi 5 (ac)



Supported bands

2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)



Fingerprint sensor


Ports (Inputs / Outputs)

USB Type-C


3750 mAh


74 x 154.3 x 7.8mm


174 grams


Black, Blue


399 €

Product sheet

This test was made from a model loaned by the brand.


I scratch my head, I frown and I breathe a long sigh … Seeing me in such a state of perplexity, the caring people that you are will say to me, " what's going on my dearest Omar? I will then look into your eyes, touched by your solicitude, and answer you: " I have to describe the design of the Huawei Nova 5T ".

And to all those who will tell me that there is much to say about it, I will then rephrase my thought: " I must describe the design of the Huawei Nova 5T without copying stupidly what we already said on the Honor 20 ". It is then that you will understand the intensity of my dismay. No matter, you and I will not let you down before you accept the challenge. Already, I can afford a little reminder to start.

The Huawei Nova 5T is not really a new smartphone. Indeed, it is already released in France under another name, that of Honor 20. The two smartphones share the same design – a few details riquiqui – and especially the same data sheet as we will see throughout this test. For the brand, this was the only way to release a device natively benefiting from Google services despite US restrictions, as we explain in the video below.

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We appreciated the design of the Honor 20 and it is logical that we also love that of the Huawei Nova 5T. The hole in the screen is not too imposing in its upper left corner, the borders are relatively thin without being invisible and the fingerprint reader well placed on the right side edge always falls under the right-handed thumb as I am. For a left-handed person, I think that the index will find quite easily the sensor that also serves as an unlock button.

The rounded edges and the moderate weight of the Nova 5T make it pleasant to hand and I will regret three things especially: the rear camera a little too protruding to be able to lay the phone flat, the rather slippery and messy aspect of the back and the lack of certification for sealing.

I quickly went on the back, but to detail a little more, I could say that the photo module consists of four objectives, three of which are housed under the same glass plate in the upper left. It is besides this famous part which exceeds in relief. The macro lens, it is a bit lonely next.

Below this, there is a logo illustrating four objectives and, with the Huawei logo placed differently, these are the only elements to distinguish the Nova 5T Honor 20. Finally, the jack is not present.


A diagonal of 6.26 inches, a Full HD + definition and an IPS LCD technology. The formula used by the screen of Huawei Nova 5T is exactly the same as that of Honor 20. In everyday life, I was a little bit embarrassed by the really cold colors proposed by the default configuration. Apart from that, we are dealing with a good display quality that would win, in very bright environments, to gain a little brightness. But I'm picky.

Passed under the siege of our Calman software edited by Portrait Display and our probe, the screen of the Nova 5T displays a color temperature of 8380K which draws a lot on the blue. In addition, the Delta E of 6.36 is not really optimal.

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The screen pulls a little too much on the default blue

Note however that a trick in the settings of the smartphone can rectify the shot satisfactorily with warmer tones and true to reality. The contrast remains correct with a ratio of 1193: 1, while the maximum brightness is 483 cd / m², which will be appropriate in most cases.

The sRGB color space is perfectly covered at 152%, against a satisfactory 102% on the DCI-P3 (with the default settings).


On the Honor 20, the interface is called Magic UI. On the Huawei Nova 5T, it's called EMUI. In fact, it's exactly the same thing. We still appreciate the wealth of customizations, the ability to activate or not the application drawer and the provision of navigation gestures.

Alas, as often on EMUI, which has not yet tasted Android 10 when we publish the test, the design of the icons is still a bit too old.

We will take this opportunity to remind you that Google services are present, unlike the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro who have not had this chance for their officialization. However, on another subject, we are less happy to see that the Huawei Nova 5T does not benefit from a fairly high level of security of the Widevine DRM (L3). As a result, you will not be able to play videos in HD quality on SVoD platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.


Did I ever tell you that the Huawei Nova 5T was the same smartphone as the Honor 20? No difference can be noted at once in the photo where the same quadruple rear sensor is at work on the "new" smartphone. So we have a main sensor of 48 megapixels (f / 1.8), an ultra-wide angle of 16 megapixels (f / 2.2), a depth sensor of 2 megapixels and a last of 2 megapixels also with macro lens for photos of very close objects. The application offers a zoom x2 in its interface, but it is done numerically.

What is the main sensor worth? If it has a definition of 48 megapixels, the photos produced, they are in 12 megapixels. Pixel fusion makes it possible to obtain brighter renderings and erase digital noise. In classic conditions, such as the Honor 20, the photos obtained are really convincing because of their great dynamic range and their level of detail. The contrast, it is a little too much supported.

The Huawei Nova 5T's ultra wide-angle lens is subject to the same optical distortion as the Honor 20 while the colors and exposure remain very correct.

The macro lens focuses on objects at 4 cm, no further, no closer. The renders may be pleasing to the eye, provided you have taken the photos in good light conditions. The definition of 2 megapixels also limits the interest of the clichés that will still find their place on an Instagram feed. Do not stop too much on the level of detail here that is not particularly incredible.

In low light, we will appreciate the exposure which remains quite good, without too much force. The bright halos can unfortunately be awkwardly treated and the sharpness seems to vary a little too random.

And when night falls for good, do not hesitate to use the very effective night mode overall that better exposes the areas of the scene plunged into darkness. Illustration below, where the first picture (on the left) is taken with the night mode, unlike the second one (on the right).

The portrait mode, he is pretty good with a well-managed facial contour despite some small errors here and there that do not spoil the overall good impression. The strong dynamics nevertheless pose some problems when this option is used.

On the selfies, same observation as for the Honor 20: the rendering is very effective despite limits that are felt quickly enough in the most capricious light conditions.

Feel free to find our Honor 20 photo test to discover in more detail the capabilities of this smartphone, and therefore the Huawei Nova 5T.


With a Kirin 980, the Huawei Nova 5T is a pretty beast of power for its price range. Remember that the SoC first equipped high-end models of the brand such as the P30 Pro. This is therefore a strong point obviously put forward. In daily use, it is felt by a nice fluidity and almost no slowdown … at least in a little over a week of use.

For the most greedy games, do not hesitate to activate the performance mode from the smartphone settings. While this will consume the battery much faster, more resources will be allocated to the current game. In concrete terms, this will allow you to enjoy better display quality and optimized stability.

On the benchmarks below, we can see slightly better results on the Nova 5T compared to the Honor 20. We imagine that Huawei has had the time to make some small software improvements in the meantime.

Huawei Nova 5T (Perf off) Huawei Nova (Perf on) Honor 20 (Perf off) Honor 20 (Perf on) Xiaomi Mi 9
SoC Kirin 980 Kirin 980 Kirin 980 Kirin 980 Snapdragon 855
AnTuTu 8.x 365,873 385,478 n / c n / c n / c
PCMark 2.0 7,831 9,022 7,657 9,204 8,838
3DMark Slingshot Extreme 2,184 4,334 2,078 4,217 5,499
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics 2,165 4,358 2,057 4,302 6,355
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics 2,252 4,254 2,154 3,945 3,737
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan high (onscreen / offscreen) 14/12 FPS 15/13 FPS 14 / 6.1 FPS 15/12 FPS 23/16 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 23/17 FPS 30/33 FPS 15/17 FPS 20/27 FPS 36/42 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen) 38/41 FPS 59/86 FPS 37/38 FPS 37/57 FPS 60/101 FPS
Sequential read / write 905/186 MB / s 910/188 MB / s 877/204 MB / s 893/206 MB / s 796/189 MB / s
Random read / write 36.8k / 57.3k IOPS 37.3k / 62.1 IOPS 39.8k / 45.8 IOPS 39.8k / 41.5 IOPS 37.1k / 37.1k IOPS

Note that a platform like 3DMark does not distinguish the Huawei Nova 5T Honor 20 as evidenced by the screenshot below where the first is confused with the second.

screenshot 20191028 170043 com futuremark dmandroid application - Huawei Nova 5T test: already seen but still good - FrAndroid

3DMark sees the Huawei Nova 5T as a Honor 20

On a game like Fortnite, you will not have a problem with the Performance mode enabled to play in 30 FPS in epic quality. When the framerate fall, it's only a tiny handful of frames per second, not enough to be really disturbing to the human eye.


With a capacity of 3750 mAh, the battery of Huawei Nova 5T can hold up to two days if you do not push the device in its entrenchments. The EMUI interface is indeed very good for optimizing the endurance of the smartphone. Unfortunately, this is done at the cost of a very aggressive management of RAM that tends to cut net applications in the background.

If this detail does not pose a problem for you, then you can enjoy a Nova 5T autonomy reassuring, whatever the uses, but that will not dazzle you either. Note also that the battery loss is very low in standby. In addition, on our ViSer custom test protocol, the device held for 12 hours and 47 minutes. It's about 1h20 more than the Honor 20. This is probably due to software optimizations made between the outputs of the two smartphones.

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The USB C to charge the smartphone

Regarding charging, the Nova 5T comes with a 22.5W SuperCharge charger that allows you to spend 8 to 59% of battery in 30 minutes. A full charge requires about 1 hour and 15 minutes. However, do not rely on wireless charging.

Network and communication

At the call level, the Huawei Nova 5T is doing extremely well. Even with the siren of an ambulance close to me, my interlocutors always heard me well and did not perceive or that very little noise around.

GPS side, no problem in terms of geolocation on the Google Maps application. It is rather the compass that has caused me a few minor problems from time to time. Note also that all 4G frequency bands used in France, including the B28 (700 MHz), are supported by the phone. Free subscribers will not be disabled. Personally, in the Paris region, I have benefited quite normally from the Orange network, without any particular problem.

Price and availability

The Huawei Nova 5T is available in France at a suggested price of 399 euros.

Where to buy the Huawei Nova 5T at the best price?

Photo gallery

Huawei Nova 5T test The verdict

The design of the Huawei Nova 5T is not exceptional, but it is really well controlled while being comfortable in hand.

By default, the LCD panel offers colors a little too cold and far from reality. Overall, it remains well made and pleasing to the eye.

EMUI as we saw and reviewed. It's effective, but it gets a bit dated in terms of design.

The camera is as convincing as on the Honor 20. The Nova 5T offers a great combination of different shooting modes to discover and is penalized by a few limits when the management of light conditions becomes more complex.

For a smartphone to 399 euros, we are entitled to a good dose of performance thanks to a Kirin 980 worthy of high-end smartphone early this year.

The autonomy, without being exceptional, is very significant on this Nova 5T … as much as it was on the Honor 20.

We already knew this Huawei Nova 5T which, because of the US embargo imposed on the Chinese brand, could not afford to change its technical sheet compared to Honor 20. Here we are with a clone with the same qualities. So we still appreciate the high performance, especially on games, the very correct autonomy of the smartphone and its photo quality which, overall, is of good quality.

Small software improvements seem to have been made in the meantime, which is never bad news. We also welcome the aggressive price proposed here by Huawei. At 399 euros, the Nova 5T is a very interesting product in terms of value for money. It is not surprising.

Good points
  • Excellent performance for this price
  • Satisfactory autonomy
  • Very attractive introductory price
Negative points
  • Nothing new compared to Honor 20
  • (No wireless charging, no jack, no waterproofing certification)
huawei nova 5t frandroid 2019 - Huawei Nova 5T test: already seen but still good - FrAndroid
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