Reviews Tech

HUAWEI nova 11 Pro Review: Luxury fashionable with performance mid ranger but with some cons

When HUAWEI Malaysia gave an early preview of the HUAWEI nova 11 Pro, I thought that the device is going to turn head with its design and specs. So, when I spend time for the HUAWEI nova 11 Pro review, I still find the device offers a luxury fashionable with performance mid ranger. But like every smartphone in the market, there is no perfect device so let’s learn more about the device at below.

Design – Luxury stylish looking compact mid ranger

The first thing you noticed on the nova 11 Pro is the leather back cover, which HUAWEI is calling it as nova Monogram Vegan Leather Design. The leather back cover has lychee grain pattern with nova logo embossed all over it, delivering a fashionable identity. On the black colour model, the pairing of gold on the HUAWEI and nova logo along with the main camera bump, it offers a touch of luxury. The combination of details exudes a touch of luxury fashion for the device, which is going to be attractive youths and working adult.

Next, the nova 11 Pro has the power button and volume rocker flush on the right. On top, you get the speaker grille and mic and as for the bottom, it houses the sim card slot, USB Type-C port and speaker grille. The left side of the phone has nothing much going on.

Ergonomics for the phone is excellent, largely thanks to the curved screen and slightly curved leather back cover which offers easy grip for a long period of usage. The display is using Kunlun Glass, which offers amazing protection against drops and scratches but for the review, I will refrain to test it as I need to take care and return loan review unit in good condition.

Performance – Solid mid ranger performance but no 5G

The nova 11 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset but due to certain reason, the device is limited to 4G connections only. Nonetheless, the chipset performance is still strong for day-to-day usage, productivity, content creation and mobile gaming. Together with the 8GB RAM, you can switch apps without any feeling of lagging and it has been feeling smooth from day one. The 256GB internal storage is plentiful and fast so you don’t have to worried of the storage space.

In terms for software, nova 11 Pro runs EMUI 13.0 right out of the box. EMUI 13.0 still feels same if you’ve been using HUAWEI devices and it’s easy to use. You can also run Google apps, Facebook, Instagram and others via AppGallery but do take note the apps is created by a third party. The good news I can deliver is during my time of usage, I didn’t actually encountered any problem with the apps and it has been running well.

Display and audio – Good for entertainment on the go

nova 11 Pro display is definitely bright and nice to use with the 120 Hz refresh rate

nova 11 Pro uses a 6.78-inch1 120 Hz OLED Flawless Curved Display, that’s capable of outputting 2652 x 1200 resolution. The display also has P3 wide colour gamut, 1440 High-Frequency PWM Dimming and HDR photo high dynamic display which offer users to enjoy a remarkable viewing experience and eye protection. I find the display to be quite adequately bright during at bright and dark area condition

As for the speakers, it has a stereo speakers setup that delivers quite a neutral sound setup. Volume is just adequately loud with a balanced bass and clarity. I would only nitpicked that the stereo speakers should be more louder.

Camera – Takes pleasant photos and ready to record in 4K, front and rear cameras

The cameras on the nova 11 Pro has a solid setup. On the rear, which is houses Super Star Orbit Ring camera bump, is a triple camera setup consisting of a 50MP main camera and 8MP Ultrawide macro camera meanwhile the front has double camera setup consisting of a 60MP Ultra Wide Autofocus Camera and 8MP Portrait Close-up Camera.

For photography, the main camera captures excellent photos in bright daylight and lowlight situation. Photos from the main camera produces excellent dynamic range, natural colours and adequate exposure. As for the 8MP ultrawide camera, photos are just looking slightly above average and will suffer noises in low light situation. The 8MP ultrawide camera also offer Macro shot feature for your close-up shots on subject.

As for the selfie cameras, the 60MP Ultra Wide Autofocus Camera and 8MP Portrait Close-up Camera does produces one of the excellent selfie photos for a mid ranger in 2023 with nice dynamic range, sharpness and clarity The selfie camera is capable of up to 5x digital zoom but not too sure why anyone wants a selfie camera that can zoom so far. All the cameras here are capable of using the night mode to enhance low light photo quality.

In the videography department, nova 11 Pro is capable of recording 4K videos on the front and rear cameras, which amazes me as not many brands are able to offer it on their mid range smartphone segment. 4K videos captured from the 50MP main camera has good contrast and clarity, while the 4K video from the 8MP ultrawide camera is just so-so as details are a bit soft and easy to get noises during tough lighting conditions. The 4K video from the selfie camera looks slightly above average and contrasty. Also, the 4K selfie video can zoom up to 5x digital zoom, but then again, not sure why they are offering such feature. One thing for the video recording that I had to nitpick is the mics, audio from the video is not really desirable for my liking.

Battery – Ready to power a whole day of usage

A 5,000 mAh battery has packed into nova 11 Pro and it is capable last a whole day of usage. However, do take note if you’re a heavy user, expect to charge the phone earlier.

The phone can be juiced back up immediately with the 100W HUAWEI Supercharge brick, which is included in the box.

Final Verdict – Got that looks and performance but there is is room for improvement

Truth to be told, the HUAWEI nova 11 Pro is offering a serious mid range smartphone with looks and performance. But, nothing is perfect, the phone does have some downside.

So, let’s dished out the downside first. The lack of 5G maybe a turned off to certain individual as Malaysian telco is currently offering the service. While it can use Google apps, it is actually running from a third party maker so you might have to think about it. The stereo speakers really need to be more louder as at max volume it feels not strong compared to the competition. For the camera, I wished they could put a higher MP or better ultrawide camera and better mics because I can feel the potential of the nova 11 Pro as a great mobile photography and videography for the mid range segment.

Despite all that, looking on the bright side of HUAWEI nova 11 Pro, it actually managed to deliver smooth performance for productivity, gaming and content creation thanks to a solid internal specifications. The strong 50MP main camera and 60MP selfie camera offers excellent photos and videos. The 5,000 mAh battery and 100W Huawei SuperCharge is an excellent combo for battery life and reduced downtime when charging. The vegan leather back helps elevate the luxury premium feel for the user, allowing them to express their stylishness.

I would recommend this device to young college and university and young working adults that need a mid range smartphone that doesn’t just perform, but provide a unique styling. My final score for the HUAWEI nova 11 Pro is a 7.5 out of 10.

Special thanks to HUAWEI Malaysia for providing the sample loan review unit for review purposes. However, this is not a paid content, therefore there is no final approval nor creative input by the brand. The review is based on 2 weeks of review and future software updates may offer different experience.

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