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Huawei is back: 50 megapixel Nova 9 is its first phone to launch in over a year

Huawei Nova 9
(Image credit: Huawei)

The Huawei Nova 9 has been confirmed for a European launch in 2021, sporting a 50MP flagship-grade camera according to Huawei. The tech giant has been launching plenty of smartwatches, laptops, monitors and tablets over the last year, but its smartphone launches have slowed right down, which isn’t too surprising given the fact its devices don’t feature Google services. This makes the Nova 9 launch a bit surprising, especially given the fact we are still waiting for a global launch of the flagship Huawei P50 – successor to the Huawei P40 Pro series yet. 

Best Huawei phone in 2021

The Nova series has always represented a more midrange positioning than the Huawei Mate series or P series (with the most recent to launch in the UK being the Nova 5T), however, the Nova 9 comes loaded with some impressive specs.

Huawei wants the Huawei Nova 9 to be positioned as a flagship smartphone for the younger generation when it launches for a European audience, so the phone is sleek, slender and lightweight – skinny jean ready. It’s available in Black and Starry Blue and measures just 7.77mm thin, weighing 175g. 

With a large 6.57 inch display, the Nova 9’s OLED display supports 10-bit color, like the OPPO Find X3 Pro, as well as a flagship-grade 120Hz refresh rate and a lightning-fast 300Hz touch sampling rate. With DCI-P3 color support, it should deliver decent color reproduction too, and Huawei’s interface also has a host of screen calibration options within the settings. 

As for the camera specs, there are four modules around the back, a 50MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 4cm macro camera, as well as a depth sensor. The Nova 9’s main camera features an RYYB pixel formation, which promises 40 percent more light intake than traditional mobile sensors. 

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei’s XD Fusion Engine also makes its way onto the midrange phone. Traditionally found on its flagship smartphones like the Mate 40 Pro, if results are comparable, it should help the Nova 9 capture impressive photos across lighting conditions. 

Huawei even boasts that the phone can confidently capture low light portraits, a scenario renowned for being challenging for smartphones. Equipped with a 32MP front camera, its high-resolution selfies are complemented by 4K selfie videos too. Another smart feature, the Nova 9 supports is On-Shot Flow, which means you can switch from front to rear camera without having to stop your video. 

The Nova 9 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 788G chipset and is matched with fast 66W fast charging, which powers up its 4300mAh battery in just 38 minutes. While pricing and specific availability are to be confirmed, we can be sure the phone won’t launch in the US, and that it won’t run with Google Play Services. Instead, it will feature Huawei’s AppGallery and Petal Search, a combination of apps that help bridge the gap between a Huawei phone and a non-Google phone in the West.

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Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is a freelance technology journalist with a number of specialisms. He started his career at Canon Europe, before joining Phone Arena and Recombu as a tech writer and editor. From there he headed up Btekt as a director and then Future as a Senior Producer, sharpening his considerable video production skills. 


His technical expertise has been called on numerous times by mainstream media, with appearances and interviews on outlets like Sky News, and he provides Digital Camera World with insight and reviews on camera phones, video editing software and laptops, on-camera monitors, camera sliders, microphones and much more.