The Huawei Nova 5T and the OPPO Reno 2F are the latest mid-range smartphones to hit the Kenyan market. OPPO Reno 2F was launched late last year while the Huawei Nova 5T launched in Kenya in late January.
Both come with incredible features with very competitive prices but which one should you pick – we took both phones through their paces and in this review we tell you which to pick and what to consider.
The Huawei Nova 5T and the OPPO Reno 2F are both fantastic phones and it will all come to down to which phone brings the most value for money.
The Huawei Nova 5T features a 6.26” punch-hole display with a resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels(412) ppi and fills pretty much of the phone’s front. The phone feels compact to hold too and comes in handy for people with small hands. The Huawei Nova 5T comes with thin bezels that curve on the edge of the phone.
There’s an earpiece in the top bezel that also houses a notification light. In the corner is the hole punch that houses the 32MP selfie camera. The punch hole camera is way smaller than other punch-hole cameras. The phone lacks a headphone jack on top but you get a secondary microphone and a light sensor.
The left side hosts a slot for nano-sized sim cards while on the right is the volume rocker, a power button that also functions as a fingerprint scanner just like we have seen on the Huawei Y9s
At the bottom, you get the main microphone, USB-C port for charging, and the speaker grill.
At the beautiful and glossy glass back is a protruding camera module that hosts three cameras and an led flash. Next to it is the fourth camera. When struck with light from a certain angle, you get a 3d light effect giving the Huawei Nova 5T an attention-grabbing aesthetic.
For biometrics, the Huawei Nova 5T features a fingerprint sensor on the side embedded within the power button useful for both left and righthanded people and is accessible for unlocking the phone when it’s laid on the desktop. In my opinion, the side-mounted fingerprint scanner makes more sense as it’s ergonomically placed where your fingers naturally rest when holding the phone.
There’s face unlock that’s relatively faster since the camera is right there where you need it.
There is a fingerprint sensor on the right side of the phone, embedded within the power button. This is usable for both left- and right-handed users and is accessible for unlocking the handset when it’s laid on a desk. Face unlock is also available, and the punch-hole camera has an advantage over pop-up front cameras because it’s there when you need it.
Generally, the phone feels premium and easy to use with onehanded as the sides and corners are rounded for easier grip. The frame is metallic, cool to touch with a glossy finish that matches the glass panels.
The OPPO Reno 2F is another beautiful phone that comes in a Lake Green and Sky White. In this comparison review we have the latter and depending on how light hits it, the hue changes. You’ll see a ridge pattern at the back. It is worth noting that the back of this phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Like its predecessors, cameras on the oppo reno are arranged vertically on the centre with a ceramic 0-dot located above them.
Going to the front is the fullscreen notch-less display although with a slightly thicker chin. Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display.
For selfies, you get a pop-up module that lights when it rises and closes which you can change into various colours according to your preference or go with random if you’re indecisive over what colour to go with.
The button placement on the oppo reno is a little bit strange with the power button on the right highlighted with a green strip but the power rockers and the dual sim tray are on the right and might be hard to reach for people with smaller hands.
At the bottom is the 3.55mm headphone jack and a microphone plus a USB-C port and a single downward-firing speaker.
For biometrics, you get an in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock. While both are quick, face unlock is slightly delayed as you wait for the camera to pop-up.
So far both phones look premium and the curved glass back makes it comfortable to hold both phones – it will all come down to which better-sized phone will work easily with your hands – for those with smaller hands, it’s better to prefer the compact size of the Huawei Nova 5T.
Display and Multimedia
You’ll definitely spend more time on your phone using the screen and both phones pack gorgeous displays.
The Huawei Nova 5T has a 6.26” full HD+ resolution screen which you can adjust to lower hd+ to save on battery – the Huawei Nova 5T also has a smart resolution to adjust that for you. The display is an IPS panel and gives natural colours with great viewing angles. For those who like tweaking with the display, you can choose between two colour modes: Normal and Vivid, depending on your preference.
The punch hole camera on the top left corner can be distracting especially when watching multimedia content such as videos.
For audio, the single bottom blaring speaker is loud and crisp enough for streaming Netflix or YouTube
For the Reno 2F, a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED display rocks the front coming with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. You get immersive multimedia consumption with the full view experience. Using the phone outdoors is manageable too.
When it comes to audio, the reno 2f delivers too with no distortion when the volume is raised with sufficient highs and mids. Dolby Atmos comes in handy too to make the sound more immersive in content like videos.
Here the reno 2F wins thanks to the full view experience and the AMOLED display
The Huawei Nova 5T is equipped with four AI-powered rear cameras. From the top is the 16MP ultrawide, 48MP Sony IMX586 main, 2MP depth assist and a 2MP macro camera. 10X digital zoom is available too.
The Huawei Nova 5T is a versatile shooter with great camera quality especially in scenarios with bright light. Images come out sharp with vibrant colours and good contrast. However, the AI can be aggressive especially with HDR but if you have an editing app like Adobe Lightroom, you can edit the photos to your liking.
Low light performance is impressive too with HDR applied even without needing night mode enabled although you’ll tend to get noise on the photos. Night mode comes in handy as the AI image stabilization handles shakes to minimize blur.
For video recording, the Huawei Nova 5T does 4K video at 30fps and you can easily shift from normal to ultrawide to zoom in on shots. Video stabilization is excellent too.
The Reno 2f also packs 4 rear cameras made up of a 48MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP monochrome, and 2MP depth lenses. A 16Mp pop-up camera takes care of selfies.
The Reno 2F boasts a quad-rear camera setup comprised of. Meanwhile, located inside the pop-up mechanism is a 16MP shooter.
The highlights in selfies look overexposed in any lighting condition. Background separation is a hit or miss for portraits but that will depend on the lighting.
The rear cameras have decent dynamic range but colours will come out looking a little more saturated. For ultrawide shots, the colours are slightly colder when compared to those taken by the primary camera.
There’s lots of noise in low light shots and night mode reduces that. Portrait son the rear camera also face the same problem as selfies with the background separation being a hit and miss depending on the lighting.
The reno 2F shoots 1080p videos at 30fps. The quality isn’t the best but there’s stabilization.
For daylight shots, both phones did great although the ones from Huawei Nova 5T look more impressive and natural. The oppo reno 2f shots come out with overzealous smoothening for selfies, oversaturated which some people might find more shareable on social media.
For some pictures taken on the Huawei Nova 5T tend to look more natural, something you’re going to love unlike the unnatural colours on some shots taken by the reno 2f.
For lowly lit scenarios, both phones delivered nice shots but Oppo’s night shots are relatively more vibrant.
In terms of photography, the Huawei Nova 5T wins it here with the versatile cameras and more natural-looking photos.
The Huawei Nova 5T runs on Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.1. The user interface is relatively clean and uses multiple home screens. With EMUI 9.1, you get up to 59% faster app launch and up to 57% smoother UI operation
I installed a custom launcher to further enhance my experience. It comes with very few bloatware apps apart from Google apps and services. There are apps like Hicare and themes app for customizing your phone too. Other pre-installed apps can be easily deleted.
There’s no dark mode but the Huawei Nova 5T is in line to get Android 10 via EMUI 10 update so that should be exciting.
You get 128GB of onboard storage and there’s no slot for MicroSD card. However, you get 110.8GB of usage.
The reno 2f has ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9 pie. The default layout is either drawer mode or standard mode for apps. There’s a smart sidebar feature on the right side of the home screen.
Oppo reno 2f comes with standard Google apps pus its own apps like ORoaming, App Market, Clone Phone, Game Center, and Game Space and Lazada.
You get 128GB of onboard storage and 100Gb of usable storage. Unlike the Huawei Huawei Nova 5T, you can expand the storage via a MicroSD card.
The Huawei Nova 5T is powered by an octa-core Hisilicpon kirin 980 processor, the world’s first 7nm mobile ai chipset that offers 75% CPU performance, 46% camera processing, 46% GPU performance and 120% AI performance
It also rocks 8gb of ram and a Mali G76 MP10 – this is the same hardware that powers Huawei’s flagships, the Huawei P30 Pro and Mate 20 pro.
As expected performance on this phone is excellent no matter what task you throw at it from gaming thanks to the GPU Turbo 3.0 to light tasks such as browsing the web or scrolling through social media or replying to emails when you’re out and about.
GPU Turbo 3.0 lets games run in smoothly in 60fps, reduces processor power consumption by 10% and covers up to 25 most popular games.
You can play PUBG or Asphalt 9 on this phone with their highest settings enabled without any lag. It can get warm especially in performance mode near the cameras but not to the point of causing any discomfort.
If you’re into doing heavy tasks, this is the phone to get.
For hardware, MediaTek Helio P70 runs as the Reno 2F’s chipset, together with Mali-G72 GPU and 8GB of RAM.
For basic tasks, the reno executed them very well from taking photos, emails, browsing the web to scrolling through your social media feeds. When you start gaming on the phone, you’ll notice frame drops from time to time but not enough to ruin your gaming experience.
Connectivity and battery life
The Huawei Nova 5T has dual sim support, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC
The Huawei Nova 5T features a decent 3,750mAh battery although it would have been nicer to bring a 4000mAh battery.
The screen on time is over 8 hours and with mixed usage, you can even get 9 to 10 hours.
Another good thing is that the Huawei Nova 5T supports Huawei’s 22.5W SuperCharge and you can get from 0 to 50% in under 30 minutes, to 80% in an hour and in an hour and half-full charge. So the days of leaving your phone overnight to charge are over with the Huawei Nova 5T.
The OPPO Reno 2F has similar connectivity options plus a gyroscope sensor that allows you to play AR-based games.
You get a 4000mAh battery with 20W VOOC 3.0 Flash Charging support. You get 8 hours of screen on time between heavy and light usage.
In terms of battery life, both phones perform very well.
The Huawei Nova 5T has an attractive premium design, nice display, good cameras, decent battery life and excellent performance making it a competent midrange phone to purchase while the reno 2f has an eye-catching design, notch-less display, decent audio and battery life but its imperfections in performance and camera drag down the overall experience.
The Huawei Nova 5T offers more value for money than the OPPO Reno 2F. The Huawei Nova 5T retails for Ksh 41,999 while the OPPO RENO 2F goes for Ksh 39,999.