Despite facing challenges such as conflicts with the US government and the inability to use the Android operating system, Huawei continues to manufacture smartphones. In an effort to reduce dependence on Google, the company developed its own operating system and software alternatives. The latest addition to the range is the budget Nova Y70. This model has its advantages and disadvantages.
Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed Huawei nova Y70 Plus specs or watch the video below the article.
- Release date: 2022, April 20
- Colors: Crystal Blue, Midnight Black, Pearl White
- Dimensions: 168.3 x 77.7 x 9 mm.
- Weight: 199 g.
- Screen: 6.75" inc, 720 x 1600, IPS LCD
- Camera : Triple, 48MP
- Memory: 128GB 4GB RAM
- Battery: 6000, Li-Po, non-removable
- Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- Operating system: EMUI 12, no Google Play Services
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
It is worth noting that the Nova Y70 and Nova Y70 Plus models are available, with the first version being sold in the European market. These two models are identical. There's also a higher-end model, the Huawei Nova Y90, which offers more but comes at a higher price. The Nova Y70 is priced around $180-$200, which is relatively cheap. However, it is important to consider whether the device is worth buying.
The device is big and it's important to keep that in mind. It has a 6.75-inch screen and a weight of almost 200 grams, which may not be suitable for everyone. The phone isn't too thin either, 9mm with a large 6000mAh battery. Some people may prefer a larger screen for reading and watching videos, but others may not be comfortable with it.
The borders of the screen are relatively thin, except for the bottom part. The waterdrop notch for the camera is an older design but can be overlooked as the device is a budget model.
The back panel looks like glass, but it's not, which is typical of budget models. It's made of glossy plastic that easily gets fingerprints. However, it does not slide in the hand.
The device comes in blue, white, and black, but all versions are fingerprint-sensitive. The camera module of the device is large and stands out from the body, consisting of three cameras of the same size.
The side bezels of the device are matte and match the color of the device. The top of the has only a microphone, while the bottom has a 3.5mm headphone jack, another microphone, a charging port and speaker holes.
On the left side there is only a slot for two SIM cards and a memory card. On the right side, there are dual volume control buttons located at a convenient height, as well as a power lock button with a built-in fingerprint sensor. The button has a clear stroke and fingerprints are read instantly and without errors, even if the fingers are slightly wet.
The Nova Y70's display can be considered a weak point as it has a minimum resolution of 1600x720 (HD) and a default refresh rate of 60Hz, while its competitors offer higher refresh rates of 90-120Hz and Full HD resolution by default . However, it's not worth dismissing the device based on its display alone.
Until recently, even high-end devices did not have an increased refresh rate, and for the average user, this may not make a significant difference to their experience. Likewise, the HD screen may not be as clear as a Full HD screen, but for the target audience of this device, who are looking for a good and affordable smartphone, this may not be a big concern.
The Nova Y70 has an IPS screen matrix that offers good color reproduction, contrast and viewing angles, especially considering its price. The device also has good readability in bright sunlight.
The Nova Y70 is powered by the Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 710A processor, which is an 8-core chipset using an outdated 14nm technology with Cortex-A73/A53 cores and a maximum frequency of up to 2 GHz. Its memory is 4GB RAM.
The device quickly copes with basic tasks such as the menu, built-in applications, browser and messengers. It's not meant for gaming, but it can handle casual apps and more demanding games like PUBG or Asphalt 9, albeit with lower graphics settings.
The Huawei nova Y70 is equipped with a set of three camera lenses: a main 48 MP lens with f/1.8 aperture, an ultra-wide 5 MP lens with f/2.2 aperture and a 2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture.
Despite being a budget smartphone, the camera performance is impressive. Photos taken in well-lit conditions are bright and accurate, and the depth sensor effectively creates a blurred background in close-up photos.
In low light conditions, colors may appear dull and clarity may decrease. It is recommended to use night mode for darker environments as the resulting photos are much clearer. The Huawei Y70's night mode feature is impressive and allows the user to take good pictures in low-light situations.
The front camera is suitable for video calls, but not for high-quality photos. Video quality is average, lacks decent stabilization and produces shaky footage when in motion. The camera app is simple and offers various modes and filters.
Huawei Y70 runs Android 11 with EMUI 12 skin. Although Huawei has its own HarmonyOS, it is only available in China and the European version is a stripped down version of Android. However, the experience of testing HarmonyOS devices shows that there is no significant difference, at least visually.
EMUI is a modified version of Android with different animations, fonts and iOS-like logic. The initial impression of the software is positive, with smooth and polished performance similar to that of Apple products.
Huawei has taken measures to minimize the impact of the lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS) on their devices. They have provided alternatives for various applications such as video, music, reading, cloud backup and maps.
The AppGallery catalog is also full of programs that are supported for all countries/regions. Programs not available in the AppGallery can be installed via an .apk file. Additionally, some apps can be launched as web apps from AppGallery.
Despite these efforts, some users may still want to use Google services. Huawei devices provide a solution to this, allowing users to run most Google apps such as Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Drive, Photos, Google Sheets and Docs without needing root access.
However, it is important to note that this is a workaround and that some apps may have ads that require payment for ongoing use.
The Nova Y70 has a single speaker that produces clear and loud sound, but lacks the depth and richness of stereo sound. However, when using headphones, the sound quality is satisfactory. It also has a headphone jack.
The nova Y70 smartphone boasts a powerful 6000 mAh battery, which is a significant upgrade from the typical 5000 mAh batteries found in budget phones. This allows for extended use with up to 11 hours of screen time at high brightness.
Even with moderate use, the device can work for several days without needing to be charged. It also supports fast charging, although it may not be as fast as other devices with 22.5W charging speed. The 6000mAh battery takes about two hours to fully charge, and 50% can be charged in an hour. Overall, the long battery life is a major plus for the device.
In summary, the nova Y70 is a budget smartphone from Huawei that has its own Google-like operating system and offers a smooth and comfortable user experience. Although Google services are missing, they can be easily installed and used with legitimate solutions. The device also has great battery life, good cameras and a fingerprint sensor. The main disadvantages are the lower screen resolution and mono speaker. Overall, it's a good choice for the price it's offered at.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Huawei nova Y70 Plus and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Huawei.