Huawei Y9 impresses with premium features at a budget

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The Huawei Y9 2019 was launched in Kenya recently. The phone was launched as a budget device for people who want premium features at a budget.

I took the phone for a test drive and here are my thoughts on it.

Out of the box

  • Huawei Y9 itself
  • Charger plug
  • USB cable
  • Earphones
  • Screen protector
  • Back cover
  • Manual

Huawei Y9 Specifications

Screen: 6.5 inch 19.5 : 9 FHD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels)
Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 710
OS: Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.2
Front camera: 16 M + 2 M, F/2.0 + F/2.4 aperture
Rear camera: 13 M + 2 M, F/1.8 + F/2.4 aperture
RAM: 4GB
Internal storage: 64 GB (upgradable to 500GB via MicroSD)
Network: 2G/3G/4G
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Micro USB, WI-FI Direct, WI-FI Hot Spot
Sensors: Fingerprint sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Digital compass, Gravity sensor, Gyroscope.
Battery: 4,000 mAh
Colours: Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue

Design

The Huawei Y9 comes in a comfortable arc design with a 6.5 inch touchscreen covering the entire front side of the phone. It also comes with a notch that can be ‘turned off’ by turning off the notch feature (which basically means the light around the notch is darkened). The measurements of the phone are 77.1 mm x 162.4 mm x 8.05 mm (Width, Height & Depth). It weighs approximately 173 grams.

The front cameras are on the top middle of the screen just below the earpiece. The home button is on the middle with the rest of the controls are on the left and on the right.

There’s a dual SIM card port on the left side which also houses the MicroSD port. The power button is on the right along with the volume buttons. A 3.5mm headphone jack is at the bottom of the phone (left) plus a charging port (middle), loudspeaker, and a mouthpiece .

The fingerprint sensor is at the back in the middle with the rear cameras on the left plus the camera sensor.

The body of the phone is great and it is an easy phone to grip and use even with one hand. The screen protector already comes attached to the phone which is a nice touch.

Screen

It comes with a 6.5 inch Full HD screen with 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution. In short the screen is amazing and large enough to make activities such as gaming, watching videos, scrolling through pictures super fun.

The screen is pretty bright and produces colours with great intensity. In settings, you can set the screen brightness to automatic so that the screen brightness is adjusted depending on your lighting situation. It also comes with an eye comfort feature that is perfect for use at night especially when you are about to sleep. The feature ensures that the screen gives out soft blue light that does not fatigue or affect your eyes. The feature can be turned on automatically at night at a set time and then turned off at a set time as well.

Connectivity

It is a Dual SIM phone that comes with dual 4G. Dual 4G comes in handy becomes it ensures that both SIM cards are able to access 4G at the same time. Switching data use from one SIM card is also relatively fast.

I used the phone with both Safaricom and Telkom. On Safaricom, I was able get downloads of between 20-40Mbps and uploads of 15-20Mbps. On Telkom, downloads were between 15-30Mbps and uploads of between 10-20Mbps.

The phone can also access the usual 2G and 3G and it also has Bluetooth, Micro USB, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hot Spot and FM radio.

Software

The phone comes with Android 8.1 (Oreo) operating system coupled with EMUI 8.2 by Huawei. The 2 operate generally well together although to access some apps you have to have a Huawei ID that you will use to log in.

From the box, it comes with the usual Google apps, Huawei apps such as Phone Manager, App Gallery, HiCare and Games.

Performance

The phone comes with a HiSilicon Kirin 710 Octa-core (4×2.36 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
processor with Mali-T830 MP2. It also comes with 4GB RAM.

The processor and the RAM combine pretty well to ensure that the phone runs well. Even when running heavy apps such as Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter together the phone barely uses 2GB of RAM. When playing a game however, it is advisable to close heavy apps first because it can lag.

Camera

The Huawei Y9 comes with 4AI cameras. The selfie cameras are 16 Megapixels + 2 Megapixels and the rear cameras 13 Megapixels and 2 Megapixels.

The phone’s camera app has features such as:

  • The AI enables the rear camera to intelligently recognize things you are about to take pictures of. It can recognize things like plants, food, buildings, concerts, animals, among others and then optimize the image automatically.
  • The Y9 creates beautiful selfies even in low-light conditions.
  • It comes with a portrait mode that adds beautification and bokeh effects to selfies to make them awesome.
  • It also has a gesture selfie taking mode for taking more composed selfies.
  • Other features include pro-mode, HDR, panorama, light painting and AR Lens, which creates Snapchat like pictures.

The pictures are just amazing. Also, the AI really helps brighten pictures and make them clearer.

Here are some of the pictures that I took.

Battery

The phone comes with a 4,000 mAh non-removable battery. The battery life is quite good. It lasts about 12 hours with heavy use and about 18 hours with light use. When gaming, it can you about 9 hours.

However, the phone charges slow and it takes about an hour to fully charge.

Storage

The 64GB internal storage the phone comes with is pretty adequate. Since I started using it I have used about 20GB which includes pictures, videos, and WhatsApp media.

In my opinion, smartphones of the future should come with a minimum of 64GB.

Final thoughts

Huawei has somehow been able to pack premium features in this phone which is impressive. This makes this phone such a great buy.

It is available for Ksh. 24,990 and you can buy here. Offline, the phone is available at Huawei and Telkom Kenya shops countrywide.

 

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