Huawei Nova 9 SE review: a disappointing smartphone

Huawei Nova 9 SE review: a disappointing smartphone

On the photo side, the Nova 9 SE is equipped with fairly standard equipment. It has a main 108-megapixel module (the Samsung HM2), accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle module. For the rest, two 2-megapixel sensors are present and are used for depth of field and macro.

Main module: 108 MP, f/1.9, eq. 26mm



Honor 50 (26 mm eq., f/1.9, ISO 503, 1/100 sec)


Huawei Nova 9 SE (26 mm eq., f/1.9, ISO 245, 1/100 s)

By day, facing the Honor 50, Huawei’s smartphone pales in comparison. The picture is completely smoothed and sorely lacking in sharpness. Too bad, because in terms of colorimetry, the Nova 9 SE is really very good. But the software processing unfortunately fails to serve it as we would have liked.



Honor 50 (26 mm eq., f/1.9, ISO 6400, 1/10 s)


Huawei Nova 9 SE (26 mm eq., f/1.9, ISO 6059, 1/10 s)

A more or less identical observation at night, since once again the software processing completely smooths the scene. A consequence of the high rise in sensitivity to try to cover the digital noise which comes comfortably to settle. It is particularly visible on the black background.



108 megapixels (100% crop)


108 megapixels (100% crop)

108 megapixel mode does not offer a more satisfactory result than 12 megapixel – the default mode since Huawei uses pixel binding by 9. The day shot is very smooth, while the night shot appears pixelated.

Ultra-wide-angle module: 8 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 17mm



Honor 50 (eq. 17 mm, f/2.2, ISO 163, 1/50 s)


Huawei Nova 9 SE (eq. 17 mm, f/2.2, ISO 345, 1/100 s)

The Huawei model has the chance to catch up slightly on the daytime ultra wide-angle, since the shot is of much better quality than that of the Honor. Exposure and colorimetry are better managed there, despite the digital noise covering the entire surface.



Honor 50 (eq. 17 mm, f/2.2, ISO 4340, 1/15 s)


Huawei Nova 9 SE (eq. 17 mm, f/2.2, ISO 6400, 1/10 s)

But the trend is reversed in low light since the image of the Nova 9 SE seems entirely erased following the processing carried out by the software.

Front module, portrait and video mode

At the front, it is a 16 megapixel sensor that Huawei has placed. As expected after evaluating the rear modules, this sensor is modest for taking selfies. The management of the brightness is quite poor, the shots are very little detailed and lack contrast. Portrait mode is no better. The clipping is quite brutal, it does not manage to properly extract the subject without bumping into the usual details such as the hair, the ears and even sometimes the hands.

For video, it is possible to shoot up to 1080p at 30 fps. No optical stabilization, but electronic, which will limit tremors during videos.

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