Notched displays were on many, many smartphones last year, and it’s one of the most controversial tech trends we’ve seen in 2018. In a bid to solve the notch problem, some phone makers are implementing a new design – the “hole-punch” display.
One such smartphone that will be sporting the new hole-punch design is the Huawei Nova 4, which will be arriving in Malaysia this Wednesday on 16 January. The hole-punch display is just one of the Nova 4’s appeals, so let’s take a closer look at Huawei’s latest mid-ranger.
Much like the recently announced Redmi Note 7, the Nova 4 also sports a 48MP rear camera; it’s a part of the phone’s triple camera system. Complementing the huge 48MP f/1.8 sensor is a 16MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera, and a 2MP f/2.4 shooter for capturing depth information. All in all, it’s a pretty elaborate camera system.
Interestingly, there’s a more affordable variant of the Nova 4 that swaps out the 48MP camera for a 20MP f/1.8 sensor. Placed inside the hole-punch display cut-out on the front of the device, on the other hand, is a 25MP f/2.0 selfie camera.
Speaking of which, let’s move on the Nova 4’s design; more specifically, the hole-punch display. Looking at images of the phone, the size of the cut-out looks to be pretty small. In fact, it’s strikingly similar to the Honor View 20’s hole-punch design, but we digress.
Looking beyond the camera cut-out, the Nova 4 also has a minimal bottom bezel, giving the phone a sleek, almost all-screen appearance. It would’ve been nice if it doesn’t have any chin at all, but doing so will very likely drive up the price of the phone.
Even though we haven’t seen the Nova 4 for ourselves, we reckon the phone should feel premium too, thanks to the glass back panel. Like most Huawei devices, the back of the phone also has a nice, gradient finish, though this will depend on which colour option you get.
Next, we have the Nova 4’s display, which is a 6.4-inch 2310 x 1080 IPS panel. While some folks may not be thrilled with the 1080p display, it will help with the phone’s battery life. This display resolution, combined with the Nova 4’s rather generous 3,750mAh cell, should result in good battery life.
Even though the Nova 4 is positioned as a mid-range smartphone, it comes with the rather capable Kirin 970 chipset. This is the same SoC powering Huawei’s range of flagship devices in the last couple of years, which include the Mate 10 and P20 series of smartphones. Of course, the Kirin 970 is not quite as powerful as the new Kirin 980 chipset, but hey, the Nova 4 is a mid-range smartphone.
Other specifications of the Nova 4 include 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, a rear fingerprint sensor – no in-screen fingerprint sensor here – a USB-C connection, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Set to be launched in Malaysia on 16 January, the Huawei Nova 4 will be the first smartphone with a hole-punch display in the country. After all, there’s no indication yet on when the Honor View 20 will be introduced in Malaysia. There’s no indication the Samsung Galaxy A8s will be made available in the country either.
But should you get the Nova 4? On paper, it’s a promising device, but it’s not the most affordable mid-range smartphone. In China, the variant with a 20MP camera retails at 3,099 Chinese yuan, which comes up to about RM1,875. The higher-end model with a 48MP camera, on the other hand, goes for 3,399 yuan – that’s around RM2,060.
However, do note that these prices are for the 128GB models with 8GB of RAM; there is always a possibility Huawei Malaysia will offer more affordable variants of the Nova 4 with less RAM and internal storage. Not only will this lower the price of entry, it’ll make the phone that much more attractive.
In any case, we will just have to wait until 16 January to find out exactly how much the Nova 4 will retail for in Malaysia. Hopefully, it won’t go past the RM2,000 mark – it would have to compete with a number of flagship smartphones at that price point.