Huawei nova Y90 review – is it worth buying? Pros, Cons, Opinion

Often, when someone asks me to recommend a good phone, he quickly adds that the budget is about PLN 1000. While this amount narrows the search, it does it quite lightly. In such a price range there are many, both very good and very average phones. How is Huawei’s new proposal, the nova Y90? Could I recommend this phone to such a person? You will discover that in this review.

  • unusual appearance
  • good workmanship
  • battery life
  • a bright screen surrounded by a narrow bezel
  • good performance
  • no Google services
  • weak cameras and no wide angle lens
  • bad sound quality
  • slow charging

Huawei nova Y90 review in three summary sentences

The Huawei nova Y90 is a medium-sized shell that does not stand out from the competition with its parameters. The most decisive advantage lies in the appearance, which does not quite match the slightly disappointing middle. The lack of Google Play services, a weak camera, no 5G connectivity and slow charging mean that even a good and efficient system and a long battery life would not motivate me to buy this smartphone at such a price.

  • set
  • Technical specifications
  • Build
  • Display
  • Battery
  • Cameras
  • Software
  • Performance

6.6/ 10

Huawei nova Y90 review – table of contents

Video review

Huawei nova Y90 kit, technical specifications and price

Huawei Nova Y90

The set will not surprise you with anything and is quite typical of the semicolon. It consists of a 40W charger, a USB-A – USB-C cable, a needle for the SIM tray and a case in a black glossy color. Can’t comment on the box as the phone came to me in a cardboard replacement packaging. However, it’s not the most important thing, but the phone inside, so let’s take a look at the specs.

Technical specifications of the Huawei nova Y90

  • Display: LCD, 6.7 inch diagonal, FHD+ resolution (1080 x 2388 pixels), refresh to 90 Hz, touch sampling 270 Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 with Adreno 610 graphics
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Flash memory: 128 GB
  • Front camera: 8 Mpix (f / 2.0)
  • Rear cameras: 50 Mpix (f/1.8); 2 Mpix (macro, f/2.4), 2 Mpix (depth, f/2.4)
  • Battery: 5000mAh with 40W fast charge (50 percent in about 30 minutes)
  • System: EMUI 12
  • Additionally: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz/5GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm mini headphone jack, edge fingerprint reader
  • Dimensions: 163.3 x 74.7 x 8.4mm
  • Weight: 195 grams
Huawei Nova Y90

You can tell at first glance that the phone is not going to be above average in any area. However, there are things in the spec that will please the potential buyer, such as a mini-jack, NFC or a whopping 6GB of RAM. We get all this for the starting amount of PLN 1099 – it’s not much or little.

Construction and finish of the Huawei nova Y90

Huawei Nova Y90

Something that sets the Huawei nova Y90 apart from the competition is its unique appearance. An interesting green color, matte finish and a large round island of cameras are aspects that speak in favor of this smartphone. The camera island stands out clearly against the back, not only in size, but also in brilliance. The whole back of the device is made of plastic, but thanks to the particles embedded in it, it glitters in the sun and gives the impression of a more expensive material.

In addition, it does not collect fingerprints and it is a shame to put it in the inconspicuous case supplied. I decided not to use it during the testing period and it did not cause any abrasions or scratches on the phone. The whole feels great in the hand, the phone is slim and relatively light. The bezels on the front of the phone are very small except for a slightly higher chate.

The edges are slightly rounded, slightly separated from the front and back of the device. On them we will find:

  • top edge – speaker for calls, additional microphone and mini jack input
  • bottom – speaker, USB-C port and SIM tray
  • right edge – power button with a highly responsive fingerprint reader and a volume key

Overall, the phone looks great and much better than it could look in this price range.

Sound and vibration

Unfortunately, Huawei Nova Y90 has little to offer in this area. The single speaker on this phone sounds very weak. This is not something I normally pay attention to during tests, because the speakers usually sound at least good already. In the case of this phone, the sound is lacking in bass and treble and everything in between doesn’t sound quite clear. If you like to use the phone without headphones, I strongly advise against opting for this model. Even in the ringtone of an incoming call a faint sound can be heard and switching to vibrate mode doesn’t save it as these in turn are hard to hear and I missed the call.

Display and image quality

Huawei Nova Y90

The display should not disappoint us either. While it looks very average on the paper in the spec, it wins even in use. The LCD panel with FullHD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate is sharp, clear and displays colors well. The latter can be personalized via the color mode and color temperature. In the same way we can adjust the refresh rate of the screen. The continuity of the screen is only broken by a small hole for the front camera lens. To protect the entire display, the manufacturer already equips the smartphone with foil, but it is not extremely durable, scratches easily and, unlike the back, quickly becomes ugly fingers.

Battery – working and charging time

Huawei Nova Y90

Another advantage of this Huawei nova Y90 is the battery life. This one has a 5000mAh capacity and allowed me to run for 1.5 days on a single charge. The screen stayed on until 8am. This is a really good result and it’s a shame the same can’t be said for charging. With the included 40 Watt charger on your smartphone, we see 100% after almost 90 minutes. This is a very average result, especially if you take the power of the charger into account.

Cameras – the quality of photos and videos

Huawei Nova Y90

Photography and filming have recently become one of the most important functions of the phone for many of us and we can usually count on Huawei to live up to even quite high expectations. Unfortunately not this time. A large island of cameras should be treated above all as a design element that does not translate into the quality of photos at all. We have 3 lenses here, but only one – the 50 megapixel main lens is worth at least a little bit of our attention. Photos in very good lighting conditions have a lot of detail, but even then their colors seem washed out. Any deterioration in conditions, for example a small shadow, will cause unsightly noise and the captured frames will lose detail. Photos at night are just ugly in the world, out of focus, without details and colors. Fortunately, the night mode comes to our rescue. In order for this to improve our photo, it forces us to keep the phone still for the whole 4 seconds, which is not easy. However, once we master this art, we will be able to take not only correct, but even good photos at night.

Daily Photos

night photos




Video with Huawei nova Y90 is recorded in:

Videos shot with this phone do not have image stabilization. However, their quality is comparable to the photos. During the day they are tolerable, while at night the quality drops dramatically.

If you are interested in what the camera application in the Huawei nova Y90 looks like, you can check it out in the screenshots below

Software and performance

Huawei Nova Y90

After this bucket of cold water, let’s get back to the advantages of the Huawei nova Y90. The power of this smartphone is certainly sufficient for everyday use. Thanks to the processor used in it, Snapdragon 680, supported by 6 gigabytes of RAM and 128 built-in memory, I was able to use my smartphone freely. The applications opened quickly and the system kept them in memory for a long time. Below you will find the benchmark results.

Fans of the EMUI overlay will not be disappointed. Not much has changed in this regard in recent years and in addition, the aesthetic finish of EMUI 12 based on Android 11 and additional functions, such as a side menu or a well-functioning Huawei assistant, are still a plus. The only feature I used that I missed was the automatic dark mode depending on the time.

AppGallery = / = Play Store

Huawei Nova Y90

After this one advantage it is time for a terrible disadvantage and in my opinion the biggest problem of this unit. The lack of Google and Play Store services due to the sanctions makes it very difficult to use everything we are already used to. Admittedly, AppGallery is still under development and more and more applications are appearing in it. If we look for applications that we are used to and they are not there, then AppGallery takes us to the Petal search engine, where we can install the application from a more or less official source. I am not in favor of downloading anything from sources that are not fully known, especially since no one guarantees us that the application will not be replaced on this website. In addition, in most applications we have to log in, which allows us to share our passwords in places that are not necessarily controlled.

I also tried the Gspace application, whose task is to create a virtual environment for the Play Store, in which our phone is presented as a certified Honor 8. The decision whether to transfer our data, photos, emails and need to share contacts with a developer called JR Technology Limited, I’ll leave it up to you.

Huawei has already made great strides in developing an alternative to Google, but has yet to create a sufficiently secure and robust environment. However, if Huawei’s replacements are enough for you, then HMS shouldn’t be an obstacle for you.

Huawei nova Y90 review – summary

Huawei Nova Y90

In the crowded shelf of mid-sized phones, the Huawei nova Y90 looks just as average. Unfortunately, it is easier to list the shortcomings than the advantages. Obvious shortcomings such as the lack of an AMOLED screen, imperfections in photos including the lack of a wide-angle lens or the lack of 5G connectivity set it apart from the competition. In my view, this is not compensated by an original design or an efficient system. Perhaps the final balance is completely different in your eyes?

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