If I could describe the HUAWEI nova 10 Pro in two words, they would be: near perfect.
The nova 10 Pro is part of the Chinese tech giant's newest midrange smartphone lineup, which also consists of the nova 10 and nova 10 SE. HUAWEI touts these phones as stylish devices made with the youth in mind, with dynamic cameras perfect for shooting photos for the 'Gram and videos for TikTok.
We got our hands on the most premium phone of the bunch and here are our thoughts on this new gadget.
Design and specs
Despite its positioning as a midrange device, the nova 10 Pro looks more like a premium phone that can rival the design of other flagship phones in the market. Our review unit came in Starry Silver and looks ultra sleek with its frosted finish rear and shimmering Star Orbit Ring encasing the back camera.
In front, the phone's edge-to-edge 6.78-inch curved display adds to the premium feel. This OLED display can have up to 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and gaming experience. The screen is seamless and only interrupted by a pill-shaped cutout on the top-left side for the dual front cameras.
Under the hood, the device is powered by a Snapdragon 778G chipset and runs on EMUI 12. And because HUAWEI landed on the US blacklist, this phone, as well as its siblings in the lineup, don't support Google Mobile Services.
Without Google apps, using a HUAWEI phone will take some getting used to. While the tech company has developed its own AppGallery for downloading your go-to apps, there's still an adjustment if you're used to opening YouTube, Google Chrome, and Gmail.
There are alternatives that you can use such as MeeTime for video calls, Petal Mail for emails, Petal Search for web browsing, and Petal Maps for navigation. I had to register a Huawei ID and create a Petal email to fully utilize the different apps.
As someone who watches a lot of YouTube, it was hard for me to live without Google apps. And this is where I found a loophole—I watched YouTube videos through the web browser.
With a powerful processor, the nova 10 Pro can handle the most popular mobile games. But alas, popular titles like Call of Duty: Mobile isn't in the AppGallery and I had to download them through a third-party site. Once I had it downloaded, the game ran smoothly without a hitch and the audio was immersive since the phone has two speakers: one on top and one on the bottom by the USB-C port.
Out of everything I did with the phone, my favorite app would be the Camera. The nova 10 Pro has great front and rear cameras, so I made sure to fully utilize it while I was on a trip to Boracay.
At the back, there's a 50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP portrait camera for snapping videos and pictures, while in front is a 60MP ultrawide and 8MP portrait setup for taking selfies.
Photos came out detailed and vibrant, capturing all the warm colors from the beach and even capturing the beauty of plated dishes—I'm drooling just looking back at some of the food shots I took from the trip.
As an iPhone user, I don't really like the color of selfies on Android phones because they look too filtered for my taste (even with beauty mode off), but selfies with this Huawei phone had the right amount of vibrance. In addition, I was amazed at how, even when you use the 2x zoom with the front camera, it still came out crisp and not pixelated.
On the video side, the nova 10 Pro knocked away any shake from moving shots, and I didn't even have to use my gimbal for recording footage in motion. However, there were times when videos in which I was walking forward that was rocky. This TikTok below was shot with the nova 10 Pro.
@philstarlife There's nothing like watching the waves in #Boracay 🏝 #BelmontHotel #Go2GO #lifestyleph #travelph #islandlife #beach #PhilStarLife ♬ original sound - philstarlife
This phone also came with vlogging modes so users can experiment and unleash their creativity with their videos. You can choose to shoot with the wide and ultrawide lens at the same time or record with the front and back camera at once.
As I used this phone for shooting videos and photos all day, its battery lasted over eight hours before needing a charge. For daily casual use, the nova 10 Pro could stay powered for a whole day.
Out of the box, this phone comes with a 100W SuperCharge cable and power brick, which can juice up your battery from below 20% to 100% in only 30 minutes.
The HUAWEI nova 10 Pro has all of the makings of a great premium phone—amazing cameras, an immersive screen and speaker, long-lasting battery life, a powerful chipset, and not to mention, a uber-stylish look. However, there's a big elephant in the room and it's called Google, but there are workarounds to this if you really work on finding third-party app sites.
The HUAWEI nova 10 series is now available for pre-order at HUAWEI stores, authorized retail outlets, Shopee, and Lazada. The nova 10 Pro starts at P32,999 with a free HUAWEI Watch GT2 Pro worth P9,999 for those who pre-order until Oct. 27, while the nova 10 is priced at P26,999 with a free HUAWEI Freebuds 4 pre-order freebie until Oct. 27, and the nova 10 SE is available at P17,999 with a HUAWEI Freebuds SE pre-order freebie until Nov. 3.