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Huawei nova Y90 Review: Familiar Design, Unique Identity

Huawei nova Y90 Review

The Huawei nova Y90 is the company’s latest expansion to its budget mid-range offering, looking like it’s taken cues from the flagship Mate series. Equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 680 chip, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with its current standing in the market, will the nova Y90 be capable of offering the same user experience as with its competitors in the market? Let’s find out, but first, here’s a more detailed spec sheet.

Huawei nova Y90 Review


ModelHuawei nova Y90
Dimensions163.3mm (H) x 74.7mm (W) x 8.4mm (D)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 680
Display6.7-inch FHD+ (2388 x 1080)
90Hz refresh rate
Camera (Front)8MP
Camera (Rear)50MP + 2MP + 2MP
Operating SystemEMUI 12
Battery and Charging5,000mAh
Max 40W Huawei SuperCharge
Connectivitydual-band WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C (Power + Earjack)
Dual SIM
BiometricsSide mounted fingerprint sensor

What’s In The Box?

  • Huawei nova Y90
  • 40W Huawei Charger
  • USB-C Cable
  • Protective Casing


Huawei nova Y90 Review

The Huawei nova Y90 unit we received was in the Midnight Black colourway, and to be honest, isn’t as striking or interesting as the other colours Huawei’s offering with the device. There’s also Pearl White, Emerald Green, and Crystal Blue. Nonetheless, the Midnight Black still has a nice galaxy-ish starry sheen to it, which looks nice. The back of the device has a polycarbonate panel with a matte finish to it, which gives a pretty good grip.

The camera bump on the back does have a bit of bump, allowing you to not be able to lay the device fully flat on surfaces. That’s where the protective casing comes in handy where it evens out the bump, and protects the camera modules at the same time. Overall, it feels good in the hands with the subtle curvature on the sides.

On the right, you’ll find the power button and fingerprint sensor, together with the volume controls. On the bottom, there’s the speaker grille, the USB-C port for charging, and the microphone slot. No microSD card expansion here, so you’ll have to manage your storage well with the 128GB capacity on the device. There’s also another microphone hole at the top of the device, with a 3.5mm audio jack.


Huawei nova Y90 Review

The Huawei nova Y90 features a 6.7-inch FHD+ IPS display, complete with very thin bezels on the top and sides. The display itself can go pretty bright, with decent contrast in colors, and the entire navigation experience is made even smoother with 90Hz. It’s still a step below the standard 120Hz in the market now, but it’s still a step above the slow and jerky 60Hz of the past. The keyhole notch on the top centre of the screen also kind of disappears after using the device for a while, you won’t even really notice it’s there.

User Experience

Huawei nova Y90 Review

Using a Huawei device in 2022, is definitely a different experience from the Huawei P30 and Huawei Mate 20 era. Evidently without Google, the entire ecosystem has shifted from Google suite to Huawei’s very own Huawei Mobile Services, or better known as HMS.

This isn’t the first post-Google Huawei device I’ve used, and similarly with that device, the Huawei nova Y90 still is capable of handling all your daily digital and social tasks. The Huawei AppGallery now has more apps onboard, so the selection of apps is more vast for your choosing.

Huawei nova Y90 Review

The overall experience has been a little smoother thanks to the great display and 90Hz refresh rate, but I still wished that Huawei could’ve bumped its nova series up to 120Hz refresh rate.


Huawei nova Y90 Review

Having a Snapdragon chip on board, I’ve had a good experience with the Huawei nova Y90. The SD680 with 8GB of RAM has provided more than enough processing power for the device to handle all the apps and games from the AppGallery. App switching and multitasking works just fine, but occasionally you still do get some screen jerks here and there. Not often, but it happens.


Huawei nova Y90 Review

While the camera module on the back may look like the Huawei Mate 40, don’t expect the same level of performance. The camera setup on the back is pretty basic, with the pioneer being the 50MP sensor, accompanied by two 2MP sensors. The 2MP sensors don’t really do much, so you’re better off just taking shots with the main sensor instead.

Image quality wise, the Huawei nova Y90 takes decent shots during daytime when there’s sufficient light coming through the sensors. In low-light conditions, you can see a dip in image quality, but we’re certain Huawei can improve low-light shots through firmware updates.

In terms of video recording, it’s pretty basic as well, where you’ll be able to record steady videos in Full HD at 30fps. Not the highest of spec, but it gets the job done for social media etc.

Photo Samples


Huawei nova Y90 Review

The Huawei nova Y90 features a single speaker setup, which is located at the bottom of the device. It can get quite loud to fill a room up, but depending on the way you hold your device, your fingers might cover the speaker grille causing the audio to sound muffled. Apart from that, the device delivers decent audio performance with okay highs, decent mids, but subtle bass.


Huawei nova Y90 Review

Built into the Huawei nova Y90 is a 5,000mAh battery, and paired with the efficiency of the Snapdragon 680 chip, it can last for more than a day, two days if you’re really conversative with your smartphone usage. Testing the device with PCMark’s battery test, the device got a battery life of 21 hours.

The 40W Huawei SuperCharge does a great job of bringing it back from zero to 100 in just a little over an hour. No wireless charging, but you’re better off with wired charging cause it’d be much faster anyways.

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Huawei nova Y90 Review: Familiar Design, Unique Identity 24


Huawei nova Y90 Review

The Huawei nova Y90 blasts past its non-Google stigma, and showcases that the Huawei AppGallery has almost all the apps you need on a daily basis. If you’re a Google poweruser, then this device may not be for you. But if you’re a casual user who makes calls, checks email and social media, then the nova Y90 will be right up your alley.

For the company’s asking price of RM999 for the Huawei nova Y90, it’s pretty affordable and would be a decent choice for those who have just gotten their first job, or even students.

Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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