Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review
Is one of the best selfie cameras around enough to overcome Huawei's hardships?

  • Fantastic main selfie camera
  • Strong rear cameras
  • Slim and light
  • No 5G
  • No official Google support
  • No IP rating
  • Weird secondary selfie zoom lens
Our Verdict
  • Huawei’s hardware holds its own against the competition for the most part, especially thanks to the excellent main selfie camera and slender design, but the Nova 10 Pro is held back by the lack of 5G and official Google software support.

Huawei’s phone business may not be what it once was, but the company hasn’t stopped releasing phones despite market challenges that have seen it forced to offer its own OS and stick to 4G. 

For the most part it’s the company’s flagships that have grabbed attention over the last few years, such as the new Mate 50 Pro or foldables including the Mate Xs 2. But it’s releasing a few more affordable phones too, including this: the Nova 10 Pro. 

Launched at the IFA tradeshow in September 2022, the Nova 10 Pro is a blingy phone that pairs a… distinct aesthetic with a focus on powerful front-facing cameras – a clear play for the social media savvy selfie crowd. But are those cameras powerful enough to overcome shortcomings elsewhere? 

Design & Build

  • Glitzy black and silver designs with gold accents
  • Slim and fairly lightweight
  • No IP rating or Gorilla Glass
You couldn’t accuse Huawei of phoning in the Nova 10 Pro’s design, and its designers clearly picked an aesthetic early on and ran with it.
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

Available in either black or silver, the phone is adorned with a sparkly finish and gold accents around the logo and camera. I can’t say I’m a fan of the style, but there’s no accounting for taste – this may well be right up your street. 

The upside either way is that the Nova 10 Pro is slim, at just 7.9mm thick, and feels pretty lightweight too. The curved screen and frame complete the effect, making this a slender, premium device that both looks and feels expensive, which is clearly what Huawei is going for. 

It may look a bit like a flagship, but be warned that some of those similarities are surface-level. Unlike more expensive phones this has no IP rating – a guarantee of protection against dust and water – and doesn’t use Gorilla Glass or any equivalent toughened coating.

That means this is a phone you’ll definitely want to put in a case, and probably a tougher one than the bog standard transparent plastic one included as a freebie. 

Screen & Speakers

  • Large 6.78in display
  • Curved OLED with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Typical quality stereo speakers
It’s a good thing that the Nova 10 Pro is slim, because the 6.78in display is bigger than average even by modern Android standards. That will of course be a good thing for many, but bear it in mind if you prefer phones you can comfortably use with one hand. 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

It’s a great screen at least: a bright, OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Colours are punchy, and the peak brightness is sufficient to keep the phone usable in direct sunlight. There’s basically not much to complain about here. 

The curved edges aren’t so aggressive as to be annoying, and palm detection prevents most accidental touches. 

As for audio, you’ll find stereo speakers, but they’re not much to write home about. Sound quality is fine, but still a little tinny. Standard fare for a smartphone really – it’ll do in a pinch, or deliver the goods while you’re gaming, but it won’t ever blow you away. 

Specs & Performance

  • Mid-range Snapdragon chipset
  • Under-powered for the price
  • No 5G support
The Nova 10 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G. That’s a mid-range chip, and a slightly old one at that. It’s absolutely fast enough for most day-to-day tasks, and the phone certainly isn’t slow to use, but you will find more power for less in other phones – especially when it comes to graphical performance and gaming.

That means power users and gamers should probably look elsewhere. But if your phone use is mostly made up of social media, messaging, and taking photos, then don’t be put off: this will do all of that perfectly well. 

The chipset is paired with 8GB of RAM, and a choice of either 128GB or 256GB storage – though there’s no card slot to add to that, so make sure it’s enough when you buy the phone. 

The other big caveat here, as with any Huawei phone, is that it’s limited to 4G connections. This is one of the quirks of Huawei’s current US trade restrictions, and how much of a bother it is will depend on your use case.  

Most people still won’t see a huge jump in performance from moving to 5G, but if you expect to be streaming a lot of high-res video, taking video calls on the go, or playing online games when you’re not on Wi-Fi, then being limited to 4G may become a frustration. Of course, that all depends on the availability of 5G connections and plans where you live, so it may be a moot point anyway. 

Camera & video

  • Dual selfie camera with unusual zoom lens
  • Capable 50Mp rear camera
  • Disappointing rear ultrawide
Cameras have always been one of Huawei’s strong suits. The same as true here, albeit with a twist: the Nova 10 Pro’s focus is on its front-facing cameras, not its rear ones. 

And yes, that is cameras. There are two lenses on the phone’s front: a 60Mp main lens paired with an 8Mp telephoto. That’s an unusual pairing to say the least, especially since that main camera is technically an ultrawide, giving you a zoom range from 0.7x through to 2x optical, and up to a further 5x with digital zoom. 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

There’s good and bad here. It gives you a huge range of selfie shooting options, from group selfies and expansive landscapes through to tight zooms on specific elements.  It defaults to a wide angle, with a second option to crop in slightly, before you crop in further to the 2x telephoto lens.

The wide-angle makes sense – and isn’t so unusual – but how often do you really need to zoom in on a selfie? The default 2x setting here means that I need to hold the camera at full arm’s length just to fit my whole face in frame, and anything further is only good for taking close-ups of my nose – or, I suppose, using the selfie mode to in face surreptitiously take a zoomed-in shot of something behind you. 

Strange as the setup may be, I can’t deny the results. This is one of the best selfie cameras on the market, with the main 60Mp camera delivering remarkably crisp, detailed photos with bright, rich colours and excellent dynamic range.
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

The 8Mp telephoto impresses a little less, but mostly just because the autofocus here sometimes struggles find its subject, meaning a few of my selfies came out strangely soft. The excellent main selfie camera is still impressive enough to make up for this slightly pointless add-on. 

As for the rear lenses, you get three: a 50Mp main camera, 8Mp ultrawide, and bonus 2Mp depth sensor. 

The main camera is mostly great, as you’d expect from Huawei, though the HDR clearly needs some tinkering – I had a couple shots where it misfired, resulting in aggressive sharpening in some cases and even ugly green and pink artifacting in the sky in one particularly bad case. This seemed particularly bad in dimmer or fading daylight – so much for golden hour producing the best photos.
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

Huawei Nova 10 Pro Camera

The ultrawide is a real disappointment. Shots are washed out and often blurry, especially in lower lighting. Even in optimal lighting, the algorithm’s over-aggressive sharpening renders some shots downright awful as soon as you zoom in even a little. Photos will just about pass the glance test on social media, but not any closer inspection. 

One perk of the phone is that you can record 4K video with both the front and back cameras, which isn’t always the case even in more expensive phones. The camera app’s vlogging section also gives you an array of possible layouts to record video with multiple lenses at once, whether that’s one on each side or using different lenses in the same direction. 

Battery & Charging

  • More than a day’s battery life
  • Fast 100W charging
The Nova 10 Pro is equipped with a 4500mAh battery, which is pretty typical of phones this size. Actual battery life impresses though – I’ve found the phone to comfortably last a full day of use, with battery left into the next. 

I don’t think it’s quite likely to deliver two full days of use except for very light users, but there should be no need for battery anxiety if you can fit in a daily charge. 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

That charging is fast, with a 100W USB-C charger included with the phone. In my testing that was enough to restore 60% of the battery in just 15 minutes – probably about enough for a day’s use – with a full charge taking less than half an hour. 

The only real downside is that there’s no wireless charging support. That’s not too unusual for a mid-range phone, but this is just about expensive enough that I would probably expect to see wireless charging included. 

Software & updates

  • No support for Google apps or services
  • Able to use most – but not all – normal apps
  • No firm commitment to ongoing software support
Huawei’s Google problems are well-documented, but to reiterate in brief: thanks to US trade sanctions, the company is unable to officially license Google Mobile Services for Android.  

That means that while the Nova 10 Pro still runs EMUI, Huawei’s operating system originally based on Android, it doesn’t support the Google Play Store – the de facto Android app store. 

Instead, apps are accessible through two means. AppGallery is Huawei’s Play Store rival, an official portal that includes a small but growing proportion of the overall Android app library. You’ll find officially supported apps including TikTok, Snapchat, and Telegram here, but not every app has been officially ported over. 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

For those, you’ll have to use Huawei’s Petal Search tool to manually install .apk files for other apps – essentially a way to access them unofficially. With this you really can get almost everything you’d have on any other Android phone, but there remain limitations. 

For one, the official Google apps still won’t work this way. There are now some fiddly workarounds to access Google services through shell apps, but I’ve never managed to make them work without terrible lag and stuttering. The best approach is saving web shortcuts to the browser versions of Gmail or Google Calendar, but these are still deeply compromised experiences. 

You’ll also find a handful of third-party apps that simply don’t work, because they rely on Google services to provide sign-in or simply run the app. It’s rare, but you have to accept that every now and then an app just won’t work. 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

Finally, even for those apps that do work, updates are a bit fiddly. They’re not fully automated, and while Petal Search does its best to flag when updates are available, what actually happens when you update is it uninstalls the app and re-installs a more recent .apk. That gets you the newer version, but it takes longer and often forces you to sign into apps all over again after each update. 

As for the OS itself, the phone runs EMUI 12. This still looks and feels an awful lot like other Android phones, albeit with Huawei’s distinct aesthetic and pre-installed apps (of which there are a lot). 
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

There are some clever technical integrations with other Huawei tech such as laptops and tablets, which might be enough to tempt you into a Huawei phone if you’re already embedded in the ecosystem, but otherwise there’s little that EMUI does better than Android proper. 

One thing Huawei hasn’t done is publicly commit to a certain number of years of software support for the Nova 10 Pro, so we don’t know how long it will be kept up to date with new features or security patches. 

Price & Availability

The Nova 10 Pro was officially launched in early September, but at the time all Huawei said was that the phone would go on sale “in the coming months.” 

So far that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s still not clear exactly when or where you’ll be able to buy a Nova 10 Pro. A UK launch is likely though, as Huawei did announce pricing in both UK and European currency: £629/€699. 

That’s just above what we consider a mid-range phone, at the low end of the flagship space, where it’s up against the likes of the Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Xiaomi 12
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review

Perhaps more appealing than the Pro is the £429/€549 regular Nova 10. It’s fractionally smaller, and has slower (but still impressive) charging at 66W. The biggest difference though is that it drops the 2x zoom selfie lens, but that’s a bit rubbish anyway – you wouldn’t miss it. Check out our ranking of the
best Huawei phones for more options from the company.


On a pure hardware level the Nova 10 Pro holds its own against the competition for the most part, especially thanks to the excellent main selfie camera and slender design, though the lack of wireless charging or an IP rating does sting a little, and the rear camera definitely lags behind the competition.

The software constraints and missing 5G hurt more though, and ultimately make this hard to recommend – there’s simply not enough this phone does that others can’t to justify the drawbacks. 

If it cost a little less, the Nova 10 Pro could have been an affordable flagship alternative, but at this price you’re better off sticking with a mainstream Android brand. 


  • EMUI 12
  • 6.78in, 120Hz, FHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 778G 4G
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 100W wired charging
  • Camera:
    • 50Mp, f/1.8 main camera
    • 8Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide camera
    • 2Mp, f/2.4 depth sensor
    • 60Mp, f/2.4 selfie camera
    • 8Mp, f/2.2 2x zoom selfie camera
  • 4G
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 164x74x7.9mm
  • 191g
  • Starry Silver, Starry Black
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review Huawei Nova 10 Pro Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 07, 2022 Rating: 5


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