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Battle Of The Mid-rangers: Huawei Nova 7i VS Samsung Galaxy A51

Which top-tier midrange should you get?

It’s been a few months since Samsung and Huawei announced their new mid-range champions for 2020, and since the announcements, we’ve been able to thoroughly use both the Huawei Nova 7i and Samsung Galaxy A51 as our daily drivers for some time now. Both offer compelling value for money, but if you only have the cash to buy one, we recommend the Huawei Nova 7i VS Samsung Galaxy A51. Why? Check out our in-depth comparison below:

Design

Two things ring true for both the Huawei Nova 7i and the Samsung A51: both phones look gorgeous in their own colorway – Huawei’s Sakura Pink and Crush Green variant is an attention-getter for sure, and Samsung’s own Prism Crush Black has its own, twist to the usually reserved elegant, black color – and both extensively use plastic on the rear.

To be fair, Samsung calls the polycarbonate rear on their A51 “glasstic” but make no mistake, it’s still plastic. Huawei tries to make up for the plastic rear by using an aluminum frame on the Nova 7i, giving the phone a little more rigidity than the plastic frame on the A51.

Display

The A51 has a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 20:9 aspect ratio, interrupted by a punch-hole notch placed on the top center of the panel.

The Huawei Nova 7i on the other hand, uses an IPS LCD panel on its 6.4-inch display, with the punch-hole notch placed on the upper left side of the panel.

The A51 uses an in-screen fingerprint scanner for secure biometric unlocks, but truth be told we prefer Huawei’s side-mounted solution as it’s a bit more intuitive to use, and a lot faster too.

Cameras

Both phones have four cameras in the rear, arranged in slightly different ways in their respective camera modules.

Huawei uses a square camera module to house the 48-megapixel main camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, 8-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor, and 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera.

Samsung, on the other hand, uses a rectangular camera module arranged that places the four cameras in an L shape, composed of a 48-megapixel f/2.0 main camera, 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera, 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera.

As far as camera performance is concerned, we’re going to give the win to Huawei here. The Nova 7i produced brighter, more accurate, and more consistent photos compared to the Samsung A51, despite both having the same sensor. Huawei’s mid-range star produces brighter photos too, thanks to its bigger f/1.8 aperture opening compared to the f/2.0 aperture on Samsung’s phone.

 

Performance

If Samsung wins the display segment of the comparo, Huawei has clearly pulled ahead when it comes to one of the most important metrics in a mobile phone: performance.

Samsung’s Exynos 9611 octa-core processor is built on a 10nm process, and performance-wise it’s not that great. We encountered a few lags and stutters here and there while navigating through the UI, which is tolerable (to a degree) but isn’t ideal.

Huawei’s Nova 7i, on the other hand, performs incredibly well, thanks to the Kirin ┬áHiSilicon Kirin 810 octa-core processor built on top of a newer 7nm process. The phone has nary a hint of lag or any kind of slowdown during use.

As with any Huawei phone nowadays, the Nova 7i has Android 10 thanks to EMUI 10.1. There’s no Google Play here like most of Huawei’s phones, but the Nova 7i still has access to a lot of popular apps thanks to AppGallery and the new Petal Search which will give you gateways to millions of apps easily, the company’s own app repository. Here are some apps you can download off in AppGallery. More than 95% of the current apps in the market can be used on Huawei phones, and most of them can be reached thru AppGallery as well as the company’s new app search portal dubbed Petal Search.

Battery

As far as battery goes, the Nova 7i gets a bigger 4200mAh battery VS the A51’s 4000mAh. Aside from having a bigger battery, the Nova 7i gets ultra-fast charging via Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge tech VS the A51’s 15W charging.

Verdict: Huawei’s Nova 7i offers better value for money

The biggest factor for both phones is the price, and here Huawei is the clear winner. Samsung’s Galaxy A51 is priced at Php 17,990 for the 8GB/128GB variant, which is quite higher than the Php 13,990 sticker price for Huawei’s Nova 7i.

If you’re looking to grab a great mid-range phone that has a great camera, stylish exterior as well as a powerful processor with a really great price, then Huawei’s Nova 7i might just be what you’re looking for.

Huawei Nova 7i

  • CPUHiSilicon Kirin 810 octa-core processor
  • RAM8GB
  • Storage128GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB via NM card)
  • Display6.4-inch Full HD+ LCD display; 1080 x 2310 resolution
  • CameraQuad rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.8 main camera; 8-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor; 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera; with PDAF, LED Flash
  • OSAndroid 10 with EMUI 10
  • Battery4200mAh Battery with 40W SuperCharge
  • FeatureSide-mounted Fingerprint scanner, Facial Recognition, USB-C, GPU Turbo 2.0
  • Front Camera16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Communication4G, LTE (Dual SIM, Hybrid Tray) WiFi, Bluetooth

Samsung Galaxy A51

  • CPUExynos 9611 Octa-Core Processor
  • RAM6GB
  • Storage128GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB)
  • Display6.5-inch Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED display; 20:9 aspect ratio
  • CameraQuadruple rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/2.0 main camera; 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera; 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera; 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; LED Flash, PDAF, Super Steady Video, Live Video
  • OSAndroid 10 with OneUI 2.0
  • Battery4000mAh battery with 15w fast charging
  • FeatureIn-display fingerprint scanner
  • Front Camera32-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Communication3G, LTE (Dual SIM, Hybrid Tray) WiFi, Bluetooth

 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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One Comment

  1. Samsung has been eating dust from Huawei for quite some time now, even without gms, they are still able to mangle samsung. The only reason to choose samsung’s overpriced phones is gms.

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