Huawei Nova 5t - Benchmarks and Photography


Expert Member
May 25, 2009
I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a guinea pig for the Huawei Nova 5t. It is being punted as a mid-range device, and while some aspects of it might be mid-range, most of the other features are upper-mid to flagship standards.

An in-depth review can be found here -

Pre-orders are open. By doing so you will qualify for a free Huawei Watch GT Sport, valued at R3'999.

In my review, I will be focusing on Benchmarks and Photography.

With the Kirin 980 SoC, the device is no slouch. Laughing at any game or task you throw at it, navigation is as smooth as butter. Gaming is a treat with the 32MP front facing punch-hole camera in the top-left corner. The way I tend to hold the phone, the camera is mostly out of the way in the bottom corner, and hardly noticeable. The non-curved display is also a breath of fresh air, as glass screen protectors would fit nicely, and accidental screen presses are a thing of the past.

I ran a benchmarking comparison between the Nova 5t and a one year old Mate 20 Pro. And as an avid MyBroadbander, I feel compelled to say, "the results will shock you".

Nova 5t: 362188
M20P: 357020

Geekbench 5
Nova 5t
Single Core: 673
Multi Core: 2376

Single Core: 671
Multi Core: 2357

PC Mark
Nova 5t - 7760
M20P - 7752

3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme
Nova 5t
OpenGL ES 3.1 - 4069
Vulkan - 2243

OpenGL ES 3.1 - 4041
Vulkan - 2179

And by a hair, the Nova 5t takes it on all scores.


The Nova 5t has a quad-camera system on the rear of the phone. Specs as follows:

48 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1"
2 MP, f/2.4, 27mm (wide), dedicated macro camera
2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor

That's nice on paper and what not, but what does that mean to the amateur photographer, or even the every-day joe?

The Nova 5t, with its 48 MP main shooter, has a function called "AI Ultra Clarity". This requires good lighting, and a steady hand, as it simulates a 4-5 second exposure. While this made me think it was doing some AI wizardry in the background, the pictures seemed a bit over exposed, and the colours were less saturated. File sizes were much larger than the regular 48MP images. Ps. If you are a photographer, and you know what to look for in a histogram, PM me :p

There seems to be a subtle change in contrast and sharpness between the pictures. To every tom dick and harry I would say, stick to the regular camera settings. You cannot leave the camera on the AI Ultra Clarity setting. When you close and re-open the camera, it reverts back to normal mode. Unsure of why this is.

Examples: CAUTION! Images are up to 20mb each.

Flowers Auto Mode 48 MP - Flowers AI Ultra Clarity 48 MP -
Succulant Auto Mode - Succulant AI Ultra Clarity -
Toy Car Auto Mode - Toy Car AI Ultra Clarity -

Other Samples on various settings, incl HDR and wide angles.

HDR Wide:
Full Auto -

Final thoughts

The Huawei Nova 5t is an absolute unit when it comes to price vs. performance. Or the three B's, Best Bang for your Buck. Smack bang in the middle of the pack at R12'999, and the free Watch GT Sport you get a pre-order, this is a deal and a half.

9/10, would recommend.