Huawei Nova 7i and Samsung Galaxy A51 were announced sometime in early 2020. Both are capable devices that target the youth based on their feature set, and how they have been put together on the whole. Their makers, namely Huawei Technologies and Samsung are popular brands in Kenya and have for a long time been associated with premium handhelds.
However, the challenge here is that the devices cost nearly the same (about KES 30,000), feature a lot of matching specs, and are quite appealing, at least on paper – so, which one is the best choice? We will answer this question, or provide guidance so that you make an informed decision before committing your cash to any of the duos.
Right off the bat, let’s start with hardware specifications. The nova 7i is equipped with an in-house Kirin 810 chip. It is an octa-core with two Cortex-A76 cores spinning at 2.27 Ghz and six Cortex-A55 cores running at 1.88 GHz. Graphics are handled by Mali-G52 MP6 GPU. The chipset is built on a 7 nm process (more of that in a second).
The A51, on the other hand, is running an in-house Exynos 9611 chip too but is built on a 10 nm process. it is an octa-core as the Kirin 810 with four Cortex-A73 cores running at 2.3 Ghz and the other four at 1.7 GHz. A Mali-G72 MP3 is on tow.
These numbers are nearly the same, but the Kirin 810 has an edge here, and that can be evidenced in day to day performance. The Antuntu score favours the Kirin 810, which also has a smaller size (7nm). A smaller transistor implies that’s the system consumes less power, hence better battery management and performance.
We have more information on the video linked above.
Winner: Huawei nova 7i. The Kirin 810 is just better and consumes less power.
The A51 features two storage options: 64 and 128 GB. The Huawei, on the other hand, has a single 128 GB option. The A51 spreads RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB. The lowly-placed A51 starts at 4 GB of RAM, which is quite low by today’s standards.
With the nova 7i, you get 8 GB out of the box, and that goes a long way keeping your apps and processes in memory for an extended period as you multitask.
Winner: Huawei nova 7i. You just can’t beat 8 GB of RAM, which should be normal for other manufacturers too.
Before we proceed, Samsung is the SI unit of quality screens in the smartphone space.
The A51 has a 6.5” Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. the display is also taller at 20:9 and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The nova 7i has a 6.4” LCD panel, with a slightly lower resolution at 1080 x 2310 pixels. Huawei does not mention any kind of screen protection.
Looking at the two displays, the Samsung A51’s looks better because it is an AMOLED and produces those deep blacks that you can’t find on an LCD. That does not the 7i’s screen is bad. It is very good and gets plenty bright. We just think that a lot of people will prefer the A51’s. And to note, these are issues you cannot tell unless you have the two phones side by side.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy A51. AMOLED displays are simply better.
This is the most interesting showdown and is actually very important to a lot of people. People want to know if their phones are dependable; they want to take better selfies and want to capture some key moments in their lives, even in the dark.
With that in mind, let’s detail the camera specs of the two:
Huawei nova 7i: it has a 16 MP selfie snapper. The main camera is a quad system with a 48 MP primary shoot, an 8 MP ultra-wide lens, a 2 MP macro sensor, and another 2 MP lens for collecting depth information for those portrait shots.
Samsung Galaxy A51: it has a 32 MP selfie shooter. It is a quad setup too with a 48 MP main sensor, a 12 MP ultrawide, and two 5 MP for macro and portrait shots.
Looking at the two, they look very similar in many ways. For instance, all the cameras are tucked in a rectangular-ish bump. Both have a 48 MP sensor, and their selfies are punched in the display.
Both have a scene-recognition feature, which recognizes the subject or the world around you and adjusts settings automatically for a better image. Huawei has also been very good at this, having launched the AI-based feature earlier than the competition.
Furthermore, both have a macro sensor, which means you can get really close to a subject and take an accurate representation of what you see.
Lastly, both have a depth sensor for those blurred backgrounds and take wide-angle shots.
However, on paper, Samsung’s implementation is just superior, and does that mean its images are equally better?
Well, let’s start with portraits. Edge detection is better on the Huawei, and the final images have less noise.
We also like daylight images, which are brighter with a better focus on the 7i. We didn’t, however, see a difference in terms of details. After all, the A51 has a superior set of snappers, but Samsung has always had issues with processing where images are made brighter to look better in your eye but are not accurate representations of the subject in real-life.
Again, check out the video for image samples.
Selfies from the 32 MP by the A51’s are obviously superior with more details. The 16 MP samples from the 7i are impressive as well but do not match the better selfie cam on the Samsung.
Here are some samples we captured in low light [Video].
Winner: Huawei 7i. Its processing is superior and churns out colour-accurate pictures.
Battery and charging
Lastly, you want to know if your A51 or nova 7i can last you all day long.
Mostly, they will, but that is not the whole story.
The nova 7i is equipped with a 4200 mAh cell, which is 200 mAh more than the battery in the A51. Both are big juicers, but if you want to refill them?
Huawei takes the crown here with 40W support that charges to 70% by the 30th-minute mark. The A51, on the other, supports on 15W, meaning the device will take a little over an hour and a half to fully charge.
Winner: This is an easy win for the nova 7i.
This is the shortest part of this comparison. The 7i does not ship with Google apps and services (through no fault of their own). That means that Google Store is unheard of. App Gallery, which is Huawei’s app store replacement.
It does not have your entire set of apps, but that is not a problem because you can always find them from other stores like the trustworthy APK Mirror.
The problem here is that you have to take those extra steps – but you can get the majority of your apps.
I also tend to think that the Huawei ban from using American products will compel the Chinese corporation to make competitive products, and that is always beneficial to the customer.
The A51 does not have any of these issues.
Winner: What do you think?
The nova 7i and A51 are capable phones from Huawei and Samsung, respectively. They retail at nearly the same price and bring decent specs to the table. Both have admirable cameras, although the 7i processes images better. They have big batteries, but Huawei’s is slightly bigger and fills up stupid fast. The A51 has a better screen, but the LCD panel on the 7i gets works done. You will not go wrong with any of the two, but we feel you will have a better experience if the camera, performance, and battery life are your main concerns.