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Huawei just launched another phone you’ll be sad you can’t buy

Published Jun 21st, 2019 10:26AM EDT
Huawei Nova 5 Pro
Image: Huawei

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Huawei’s mobile business took a serious hit from the Trump administration this year, but that doesn’t mean the Chinese smartphone maker is done launching new devices. After kicking off Honor 20 sales in several markets, the company on Friday launched a brand new handset that targets the mid-range market. However, the Nova 5 phones include a Pro version that packs the same chip that powers other Huawei flagships. Just like other Huawei phones though, the Nova 5 won’t be available in the US, at least officially.

The Nova 5 series is made up of three phones, per GizmoChina, including the eNova 5 Pro that features the same processor as the high-end Huawei P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro. The other two phones in the lineup include the cheaper Nova 5 and the Nova 5i which seems to be a rebranded version of the P20 Lite (2019).

Image source: Huawei

The Nova 5 and Nova 5 Pro both feature a 6.39-inch OLED Full HD+ display with a single-lens camera notch at the top and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The Nova 5 Pro packs 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, while the Nova 5 only has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Nova 5 also features a cheaper processor, the Huawei-made Kirin 810, but this chip is also built on 7nm tech just like the Kirin 980 flagship. On the back, the phones have four cameras, including a 48-megapixel Sony sensor, 16-megapixel ultra wide angle lens, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and 2-megapixel macro lens. On the front, there’s a 32-megapixel shooter with an f2.0 aperture. Both handsets run EMUI 9 based on Android 9.0 and feature 3,500 mAh batteries that support 40W fast charging.

Image source: Huawei

The Nova 5i, meanwhile, is a new version of the P20 Lite (2019) that packs a better camera. We’re looking at a 6.4-inch LCD screen with a 24-megapixel hole-punch camera at the top. On the rear, there’s a 24-megapixel primary sensor paired with a 16-megapixel ultra wide lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The phone’s fingerprint sensor is found on the back. Other specs include the Kirin 710 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and microSD support. The 4,000 mAh battery only supports 10W charging.

The Nova 5 Pro starts at 2,999 yuan ($436) for the version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is far less expensive than comparable phones available in the US. The Nova 5 with the same RAM and storage combo is 200 yuan cheaper (around $407), while the entry-level Nova 5i costs 1,999 yuan ($291). Preorders start on July 13th for the Nova 5 phones, and June 28th for the Nova 5i in China, with other markets to follow.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.