HUAWEI nova Y70
- Good battery life
- Okay for multitasking
- Fingerprint magnet
- Only 4GB of RAM
- No GMS
I don’t always get to test a phone that only requires one full charge within one week but since I got my hands on the new HUAWEI nova Y70, I was quite impressed by that. Do take note that I only get to “play” around with the HUAWEI nova Y70 a few times for normal use and web browsing so the charge does stay up throughout that one week.
With regards to the new HUAWEI nova Y70, they (HUAWEI) have been a little quiet with the pre-release announcement. I didn’t know about the nova Y70 up until the moment when HUAWEI contacted me about reviewing it. So now I have it with me for about 2 weeks now and here is my review of the new HUAWEI nova Y70.
HUAWEI nova Y70 Key Features
When I received the HUAWEI nova Y70, I knew it was going to be a basic device made for lower budget users or those who simply need a second phone.So I don’t expect to review a flagship or high spec device this time. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to this review.
The HUAWEI nova Y70 is made for basic and first time users. It is based on an older HUAWEI Kirin 710 octa-core SoC with only 4GB of RAM to accompany it. 5 years ago, 4GB of RAM was huge but now in 2022, that is considered basic. It also comes with a 128GB of internal storage but an expandable microSD storage up to 512GB is ready when you need that extra space.
But the star of the show is the large never-say-die 6000mAh battery that powers up the HUAWEI nova Y70. During my test, I managed to push up to 3 days of use on a single charge. At the time I’m writing this, the HUAWEI nova Y70 in review is on its third day of no-charge and I still have about 21% battery left. And believe it or not, that can still last me until nightfall (it’s 3pm now). So with that being said, the battery endurance is one of the key features on this new HUAWEI nova Y70.
Most of the apps are available on the HUAWEI AppGallery. I said most, not all. But of course you can install the unavailable apps from a third party app downloader/installer. Or simply download an APK file from the website. Of course this may open up your device to a possible malware attack from a malicious APK installer file.
I find that HUAWEI’s AppGallery has an abundance of apps ready for download. Most of the popular apps are available for download and I can speak the same for games too. Some HUAWEI only apps are also available for download so you can take advantage of that if you’re really into EMUI or even HarmonyOS for that matter and want to ditch Google Mobile Services. There’s always something for everyone.
Now let’s get back at the design and aesthetics. The review unit that I received is the Midnight Black colourway. It has a shiny surface and ultimately a fingerprint magnet which can be annoying. If you’re the OCD type, keep a tissue or a cleaning cloth close as you may leave smudges all over the back panel, all the time. This is the only gripe I have with this phone so far.
On the other hand, the display is big and gorgeous. Although it only has a 1600×720 screen resolution of the large 6.75” display, it looks great. It is not an OLED display, just a normal TFT LCD. But the screen made it look premium. This may be an old design but the 8MP front selfie camera sits in the water-drop style notch in the middle. The water-drop notch is mostly available on an older, lower tier smartphone nowadays. Cost is cheaper as opposed to a punch hole design.
Turning the HUAWEI nova Y70 around the back, you can see the solid looking oblong shaped camera bump with a triple camera system as follows:
- 48MP high resolution camera with AI
- 5MP ultra wide angle camera
- 2MP depth camera
More on the camera system and its performance later on.
On the right side of the phone, you can see the volume rockers on the upper side and the power button that doubles up as a fingerprint sensor sits right below it. On the left side, there’s the hybrid SIM tray with the MicroSD card slot for further storage extension. There’s nothing much around the top except for the single microphone hole. The 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C port and a speaker grille is located at the bottom along with the second tiny microphone.
Now that is all about the introduction to the new HUAWEI nova Y70. So what about the performance as a daily driver? We dig deeper.
The HUAWEI nova Y70 is powered by Android 10 with EMUI 12 system built by HUAWEI for their standard smartphone devices. It is still based on Android, but without Google’s services. As a daily driver, I find that I do miss having GMS but I am able to adapt and use HUAWEI Mobile Services (HMS) for some of my tasks. No complaints there.
To me, having a 4GB of RAM device in 2022 feels a little bit low. Minimum should start at 6GB at least to cope with the growing apps especially those power hungry apps for gaming. Other than coping with the growing apps, a 6GB RAM device will secure itself to be future proof and will stay relevant for at least another 2 years. I hope some of the companies out there can take note of this. Additional 2GB of RAM can go a long way especially for budget conscious users.
As for gaming performance, the Kirin 710 does well for normal games like Angry Birds and Subway Surfer. Don’t expect to run Genshin Impact or PUBG Mobile on this device.
Having said that, I don’t find anything wrong with the HUAWEI nova Y70 even though it has only 4GB of RAM. It’s smooth, but not as snappy as the flagship devices. I use a lot of web browsing on the HUAWEI nova Y70 since I can’t have GMS on it. So I access Google via web browsers instead. Still, no lags.
However, the HUAWEI nova Y70 only supports 2.4GHz band WiFi connectivity and not the 5GHz band. So with this, you will experience slower internet connection via WiFi. Nevertheless, the 2.4GHz WiFi network is more stable and the speed will be consistent.
Camera system on the HUAWEI nova Y70 is pretty much a basic shooter but some of my photos turned up looking vibrant and full of detail especially in broad daylight. There is also the portrait mode similar to some of the competitors. The result is having the background blurred out or what we photographers call, bokeh. It works but you must have enough lighting to support it.
Like I said, photography worked really well on the HUAWEI nova Y70. It is a surprise to me to see such good results to a point that I would call the HUAWEI nova Y70 to have the best camera system on an entry level smartphone. There, I said it. All I’m saying is that I like the end result with the post image processing.
The ultra wide angle camera works just fine. But the photos taken with the ultra wide angle camera have an obvious yellowish hue. Colours are accurate with the main shooter but somehow the colour balance on the ultra wide is a little off to me, hence the yellowish hue. Apart from the colour, there are some slight image warping around the edges as well. This is pretty normal for an ultra wide camera. Most of the warping “repair” is done in post-processing.
The new HUAWEI nova Y70 is made for entry level users or those seeking to have a second phone in their pocket. The basic specifications are not made for heavy lifting but I was also surprised to experience zero lag on the device even during multitasking.
Simple games run smoothly on the large gorgeous display. Screen is also responsive to multi touches. The only qualm I have with the HUAWEI nova Y70 is it being a fingerprint magnet. Shiny back means that you will leave tons of smudges. I don’t like that and I will always have a cloth or tissue with me to clear up the surface. So, having a case would help a lot.
In terms of the OS functions, it works well with HUAWEI’s own mobile services. Services like Petal Search, AppGallery, Health, My HUAWEI, Cloud (for cloud storage) and even HUAWEI Wallet will work similarly to Google if you decide to completely migrate to HMS. I know some friends who are happy to make the transition and never look back.
If you want to make the shift, you can start slow with the new HUAWEI nova Y70 here. It is priced only for RM699.00 and you can make the purchase at HUAWEI’s official store.