12 tips and tricks for setting up your new Huawei Nova 5T

Huawei Nova 5T setup tips tricks 2

The Huawei Nova 5T may not be the flagship we were expecting, but it’s the flagship we got. Thanks to the Mate 30’s absence in South Africa, this is the Chinese company’s year-end range topper.

On paper, it’s an admirable package, giving users a slew of camera options, loads of storage space, and a beefy processor, but there are a number of ways you can improve your experience by tweaking just a few settings perform some quick checks.

Here’s our brief guide for setting up your new Huawei Nova 5T.

Register your fingerprint

The Huawei Nova 5T ditches the under-screen fingerprint sensor used on the P30 Pro for one that’s mounted on the side, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S10e.

You’ll be asked to set it up on first start up, and it’s a relatively simple process. Don’t feel pressured to register every single edge of your thumb (you’ll probably want to use your thumb if you’re right-handed), it’ll work just fine even if you’re not meticulous.

I wouldn’t explicitly recommend using Face Unlock on this device, largely because you’ll touch the fingerprint sensor anyway while picking up the phone. But, if you like redundancy, you can find the unlock options over in Settings > Security & Privacy.

Set up, and assign your default calling and data SIM cards

Gold star to Huawei for bringing a dual SIM version of the Nova 5T to South Africa.

To take advantage of this, you’ll obviously need two SIM cards. For those who travel a lot, or employ separate call/data SIMs or professional/personal SIMs, it’s just perfect.

To set your default call or data SIM cards, head to Settings > Wireless & networks > Dual SIM settings.

Check for Android updates

There’s always a chance that updates are available for your phone even if it’s days old.

Although the Nova 5T should check this automatically, you can do it yourself by heading to Settings > System > Software update and tap “Check for updates”.

If there is an update, the Software Update applet will download it for you and prompt you to restart your phone. We’d recommend you connect the phone to the charger while performing this step.

Check for Google Play updates

It’s not just your OS that’ll need an update. After you switch on your Nova 5T, Google will likely search for updates to its Play Store and other essential services and apps.

(Yes. The Huawei Nova 5T does arrive with Android 9.0 Pie with full Google Mobile Services support).

It all should happen automatically, even if you don’t sign in to your Google account immediately. If it doesn’t, simply open Google Play Store.

Adjust the Huawei Nova 5T’s text and display element sizes

The Huawei Nova 5T’s 6.2-inch display feels small considering the size of other phones in 2019, but there’s plenty of screen real estate to enjoy.

Unlock it all by adjusting the font size and display size of the device.

You can find these options in Settings > Display > Text and display size.

We didn’t tweak the display size, but did set the text size to the smallest option.

Change the system navigation method

You can also select a number of system navigation styles, rearrange buttons, or completely do away with a navigation bar and use gestures instead.

To access these options, head to Settings > System > System navigation and choose between “Gestures”, “Three-key navigation”, or the “Navigation dock”.

Personally, I have never been a fan of Huawei’s gestures, so I select “Three-key navigation” but move the back button to the right-hand side.

Change the sleep timeout

The default sleep timeout of 30 seconds may be a bit too brief for you.

To tweak it, go to Settings > Display > Sleep. Options between 15 seconds and 10 minutes are available. I usually go with two minutes.

Huawei Nova 5T setup tips tricks

Switch off Huawei Beam and NFC

Huawei Beam uses NFC to connect to other devices and transfer files between them, but I’ve probably used it once in my entire life. If you’re the same, rather switch it off to conserve battery.

To do this, go to Settings > Device connectivity and toggle NFC and Huawei Beam off.

Switch off Smart Cover and HiTouch

HiTouch is Huawei’s AI shopping assistant that I don’t use, and therefore feel it better switched off.

To disable it, a simple toggle can be tweaked in Settings > Smart Assistance.

The same can be done for Smart Cover if you don’t own one.

Uninstall the bloatware

There’s a slew of preinstalled software on the Huawei Nova 5T.

I’d recommend uninstalling apps you don’t want, need or never plan on using. To do this, head on over to Settings > Apps > Apps and scroll down the list.

Some apps you won’t be able to uninstall, but you can always tap on them to check if the option’s there.

If an “Uninstall” option is available, you’re free to do just that.

If “Disable” is there instead, you can choose to halt the app, removing it from your available apps. It won’t be uninstalled, but it won’t run in the background either.

Install your own apps

Now that’s done, and Google Play Store is updated, you can begin installing your own apps.

You’ll need to be logged in at this point (obviously), but some apps I always recommend installing can be found here, here, here and for dark theme lovers, here.

Stop Huawei from killing apps in the background

This is an important one.

Huawei’s Android skin EMUI is particularly aggressive when it comes to killing apps in the background. This is great for saving battery, but awful if you have apps that need to run to push notifications.

To ensure Huawei doesn’t kill essential apps when your screen is off, visit Settings > Battery > App launch. Tap on your app of choice to toggle the switch.

It should now be set to “manage manually”.

This will tell the Huawei Nova 5T to keep the app running in the background.

Images: the Huawei Nova 5T by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker
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