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24 hours with the Huawei nova 11 Pro

Huawei’s latest generation nova devices are here, with it comes the Huawei nova 11 Pro, the successor to what the company dubs its “best selfie video phone.” The messaging is slightly different this time, with this new Pro phone getting called the “all-powerful portrait phone.” It’s still a camera-centric phone, though, allowing budding creators and other style-conscious users to stretch their creative muscles with this smartphone.

With that in mind, how does the Huawei nova 11 Pro fit into my life as a creator? That’s what I wanted to test out. We always want to give you a more grounded, “in real life” experience with the phones we get hands-on time with. So, I’m pulling out the 24-hour test this time for you to get a peek into how it integrates into my day.

June 17

5:36 AM – 56%

I have an early start this morning and have to be out of the house by 6:30 AM. But I didn’t have to worry about charging the phone overnight. Huawei brings its incredibly fast SuperCharge Turbo tech to the nova 11 Pro. Like its predecessor, this handset supports 100W wired charging. But you’ll need the included charging brick and cable for this to work. And it got me from 56% to 100% in under 18 minutes.

Funny enough, I realized days later I wasn’t even charging at its fastest speed. But that’s still a respectable charging time. I tried “Turbo Charging” days later and it got me from 7% to 100% in 23 minutes. And I was doing that while streaming music on Spotify with the screen off.

Huawei nova 11 Pro's Turbon Charging feature

According to Huawei’s tests, you can charge to 60% from fully drained in 10 minutes and get fully charged in 20 minutes with the screen off. But the company also had a metric that claims you can get charged to 50% in 15 minutes even when you’re browsing short vertical videos online. While charging speeds will vary depending on your environment, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about dealing with a low battery much on this phone.

6:48 AM – 100%

The dimensions are almost the same when compared to the nova 10 Pro. But the Huawei nova 11 Pro is a tad lighter at 188g (compared to the nova 10 Pro’s 191g weight). And somehow I feel it when the phone is in my hand.

The shape and design of the phone don’t stray too far from its predecessor, but it gets a new color scheme and finish. Huawei brings its vegan leather finish to the nova series through this phone. The nova logo is engraved on the phone’s back, giving a designer handbag feel to it. This moss green-esque color makes it look luxurious. (There’s also a black monogrammed version.)

Huawei nova 11 Pro in Green

Not only is it striking to look at, but it’s great to touch, too. There’s an included jelly case with the phone, but somehow you don’t need it because the back isn’t slippery nor is it a smudge magnet. Plus, Huawei brings its tough Kunlun Glass to the nova line for the first time to the nova series. This makes the display on the Huawei nova 11 Pro tougher than most in its class. Huawei claims its drop resistance is 10 times better than the nova 10 Pro.

7:13 AM – 97%

I haven’t tested a Huawei device in a few months, and I can already tell there’s a significant difference in the user experience in the app. With GBox, the Huawei nova 11 Pro gets easier access to many Google apps and services than before. I can also easily use more popular apps like Disney+, Netflix, and the usual social media apps without the clunky progressive web app experience some of these apps revert to on Huawei devices.

Of course, important apps I need to get through my day are easily accessed on this EMUI 13 device. I could download and use Grab. I got my GCash and Maya apps set up, too. There’s no direct access to the BPI app yet. It still brings me to GBox to get into the mobile app.

But I was paying closer attention to the navigation and e-wallets this morning. I could easily book a ride on my way to Makati. I could easily use it to navigate to a café we went to a little later. And I was able to pay for some afternoon snacks later in the day with GCash, too.

Huawei nova 11 Pro showing Odd Cafe on Petal Maps

But first, I was on the way to the Salcedo Weekend Market for some grub. For apps, I needed on my personal phone, the Huawei nova 11 Pro worked fine as a hotspot for it, too. It didn’t heat up unnecessarily during this experience.

My past few days with this phone have been pretty drama-free in terms of performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 4G chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage could handle my more casual smartphone use. It did occasionally close Instagram for some reason, but I wonder if GBox has more to do with that. Also, I am still not a fan of the number of ads Huawei includes with its first-party apps. And don’t get me started on the amount of bloatware either.

8:34 AM – 80%

I wanted to see how the camera would perform when taken out IRL. So, I took a bunch of snaps while I went about the morning. The Huawei nova 11 Pro has a camera setup that isn’t vastly different from its predecessor. For the rear cameras, there’s a 50-megapixel main paired with an 8-megapixel ultrawide. Huawei doesn’t mention a 2-megapixel depth camera, but that isn’t much of a loss anyway. What probably matters more about this phone is its front camera setup. Huawei retains the 60-megapixel ultrawide sensor paired with an 8-megapixel portrait lens. We’re big fans of better-quality selfie cameras here, so we’re happy to see Huawei continuing down that lane.

That dual-camera setup for the front came in handy when I was trying to take pictures with the friend I was having breakfast and coffee with. It’s not often we get an ultrawide selfie camera, so I try to take advantage of that. You can see how detailed the shots look, including blemishes I might not want you to see.

Huawei does include its beauty filter for portraits, but it’s not one of my favorite implementations. So, you’ll have to take how I look at face value. Good thing, it has capable cameras. Bring it out in good lighting conditions (like during a bright, sunny morning like this one), and you’re good to go. No need for Gen-Z selfies here, you can just use the front-facing camera. But we did notice it takes a second or so for pictures to be taken. So, I’d advise you to hold the pose for a bit to make sure you get the photo you want.

Portrait modes on both the front and rear cameras are fun to play around with on this phone because there are different background effects. With the rear camera, it can be somewhat good at separating the subject from the background. It’s not perfect, sometimes I notice it’ll crop out earrings or glasses and strangely deal with baby hair. But most importantly, you or your subject stay in focus.

The primary rear camera handles bright sunlight pretty well. Images don’t look overexposed, making it easy to just point and shoot. That sharpness and colors aren’t quite the same in ultrawide, but distortion isn’t as pronounced as with other phones.

Now, these photos above weren’t taken on the same day. But if you’re curious about the zoom quality, you can check that out here.


In Bonifacio High Street Central this weekend? Join UNIQLO’s fun activities and check out it’s pop-up for its new AIRism and Dri-Ex clothing! The event is happening until June 21! #UniqloPH #LiTTmedia

♬ Beautiful Memories – Lux-Inspira

We also have a quick video sample test from the UNIQLO event we went to recently. The Huawei nova 11 Pro can record up to 4K at 30 frames per second. If you choose the templated Story Creator or Vlog modes, those record in 1080p. You can also record in Slow-Mo mode up to 1080p at 120fps or 720p at 960fps. The Pro mode on this phone works for both photos and videos.

1:44 PM – 53%

Halfway through my day and we’re already close to 53%. Granted I was taking a bunch of photos this morning and used it to get around Makati. But I would’ve wanted to see a bit more juice in the tank, so to speak. Grab was still working swimmingly and got me to Glorietta without an issue.

It was also my podcast player for the commute home. There is no audio jack on this phone, so you need wireless earbuds for private listening. I was using my Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 with the nova 11 Pro, and Huawei’s seamless connectivity between its devices got to work. So, I didn’t have to worry about the connection dropping while I was in range. And I could also access all the extra features of the earbuds.

I do have a minor complaint about its curved screen, though. I couldn’t avoid accidental touches on the edge while I was using Spotify that afternoon. It’ll sometimes end up changing the tracks when all I planned was to pick up the phone to check other things. It just reminded me why I’m not too fond of curved displays.

Nevertheless, it is a great, bright screen. The 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED panel didn’t cause any readability issues for me outdoors.

3:02 PM – 43%

I’m back home and doing some light weekend writing and cleaning. I shouldn’t multitask, but that’s a conversation for a different piece. Speaking of multitasking, I do have some Disney+ on in the background. I’m happy to have access to that on a Huawei device. And with stereo speakers, I don’t even need to wear earbuds to hear what’s happening.

I eventually switched it back to Spotify to avoid the distraction. But I also found another minor quibble that might not be a big thing for you. I was trying to share this track I was listening to on Instagram. But I found this feature isn’t available on Huawei. Possibly because I’m using Instagram through GBox. As someone who uses this feature regularly, it was a disappointing discovery.

4:33 PM – 23%

While the camera features I mentioned earlier make for a pretty good, the Huawei nova 11 Pro carries that unique video mode that content creators would find handy. The Showcase Focus mode gives focus priority to the foreground objects in the center of the frame. It has to be around 14 centimeters away from the camera, though. But if you’re a creator who needs to show products in front of you and you want to do it easily (with or without your camera), this mode helps you out.

You don’t even have to hold up your hand to mask your face in the background. I’ve enjoyed playing around with this on the Huawei nova 10 Pro, and I’m happy to see it here. If you’re a beauty creator, you’ll appreciate this mode paired with this phone’s front camera zoom capabilities. You can get as close as 5x for both photo and video, so if you’re recording a tutorial, this phone can easily give you that close-up. There’s a Vlog mode that can record with both front-facing cameras at the same time, and that’ll be useful for this use case. The image in the close-up shot won’t be as sharp. But if you just want to get closer, this does the trick.

Post-stretching, I wanted to check up on my schedule for the week and ran into another software hump. This time, I realized that apps like Google Calendar and Google Keep are still run as progressive web apps on this phone. So, I get a squashed web experience on the Huawei nova 11 Pro’s screen. It looks better than the barebones mobile web version Huawei used to show on older devices I’ve tested (even with the nova 10 Pro). But it’s these little things that remind me how difficult it would be for me to leave the comfort of my Android smartphone.

7:14 PM – 4%

It’s been a media-heavy kind of day, which is the best for trying out phones like this. And we got to see how it does when taken out on the streets. As you can see, I was down to single digits by 7:00 PM. It lasted just a little bit over 12 hours on a single charge. I fully drained the phone by 7:20 PM. I took it as an excuse to go phone-less for the rest of the night. And I still didn’t feel the need to charge the phone overnight because I could quickly top it up in the morning.


6:49 AM – 100% 

True enough, I got the 4,500mAh battery to 100% in 35 minutes. And I wasn’t even using the Turbo Charging mode. That slightly smaller battery capacity is offset by the fast charging on offer. Wireless charging isn’t something I use really. But if that’s part of your routine, unfortunately, that isn’t available on this device.

Huawei nova 11 Pro: Price and availability

The Huawei nova 11 Pro retails for PHP 33,999 (around ~USD 612). When you preorder from June 21 (online) or June 23 (offline) until June 29, you get a free Huawei Watch Fit New worth PHP 4,999 (~USD 90).

Huawei nova 11 Pro: Final thoughts

When I look at the Huawei nova 11 Pro through the lens of its predecessor, the experience isn’t that much different. But it’s never been advisable to upgrade from a previous generation device. However, the nova 11 Pro can certainly be an appealing upgrade for users looking for a better, more attractive content-creating device within the Huawei ecosystem.

I loved bringing this phone out throughout because it’s quite nice to look at. And as a creator, it gives me a whole bunch of camera features to play around with, which helps with work. I’m happy that it’s easier to get access to the apps I need, but the minor quibbles definitely won’t have me dropping my daily driver for this anytime soon. But if you are comfortable within Huawei’s ecosystem and need a phone you can get creative with, this is an excellent option to check out.

What else do you want to find out about the Huawei nova 11 Pro? Let us know!