Huawei Y7 is a perfect mid-level phone with a great price

Huawei Y7
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Phone manufacturer Huawei launched the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 smartphone in Kenya in January 2019 as a successor for the wildly successful Y7 Prime 2018.

Huawei has been focusing on the mid level smartphone lately giving out really quality phones at a budget. Recently, they launched the Y9 which did really well in this market.

We test drove the recent offering, the Huawei Y7 and these are our thoughts.

Out of the box

In the box, there is:

  • Huawei Y7
  • Charger
  • Earphones
  • Pin
  • Back cover
  • Screen protector

Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 Specifications

Network: 2G/3G/4G
Dimensions: 6.26 x 3.03 x 0.32 inches
Weight: 168 grams
SIM: Dual SIM Nano-SIM
Screen: 6.26 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Screen resolution: 720 x 1520 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~269 ppi density)
Rear camera: Dual cameras 13 Megapixels + 2 Megapixels with depth sensor, LED flash, HDR, panorama
Selfie camera: Single 16 Megapixels with HDR
OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo) + EMUI 8.2
Chipset: Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm)
CPU: Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU: Adreno 506
Internal storage: 32 GB, upgradable via microSD, up to 512 GB
RAM: 3 GB
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery
Other features: FM radio, Sensors, Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity + compass
Colours: Aurora Blue, Midnight Black, and Coral Red.

 

Design

Like the Y9, the Huawei Y7 Prime comes with an arc design with the 6.26 inch screen covering the whole front of the phone. It has a tiny notch that just fits the front camera and unlike in other phones, it is not really noticeable. Above the camera, is the earpiece.

The back cover has a polished and curved ceramic-like texture which is smooth to the touch and has a comfortable grip.

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 located at the centre on the back of the phone with the rear cameras on the left plus the camera sensor.

The screen protector unfortunately comes separately and you’ll have to attach it to the phone yourself.

Screen

It comes with a 6.26 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors. It has a screen resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels, 19:9 ratio and 269 ppi density.

The screen is quite bright, even at the lowest brightness, which makes it perfect for viewing pictures, watching videos and playing games. The screen is also quite responsive. It seems Huawei has decided to make the eye comfort feature a standard in its mid level phones. The feature comes in handy especially at night because it dulls the light on the screen so that your eyes are not fatigued when you are using the phone.

Connectivity

The phone is a Dual SIM and it also comes with dual 4G which means that both SIM cards are able to access 4G at the same time. You can also switch usage of data, voice or SMS between the different SIM cards quite fast. Data switching however takes a bit longer than the other.

I used the phone with both Safaricom and Telkom SIM cards. On data, I was able to get downloads of between 20-40 Mbps on Safaricom and uploads of 15-20Mbps. On Telkom, downloads were between 15-20Mbps 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.

Voice calls are pretty clear and the phone comes with noise cancellation that helps when you are calling from a noisy environment.

Software

The Huawei Y7 comes with Android 8.1 (Oreo) operating system out of the box. It also comes with EMUI 8.2 by Huawei. The 2 operating systems operate seamlessly but some EMUI features require you to have a Huawei ID to be able to use them.

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

Performance

The phone can really take a beating thanks to the combination of Chipset: Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm) chipset with Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 506 GPU and 3G RAM.

It performed well even when running heavy apps together. It was impressed especially when I used it for prolonged gaming and it held its own.

Camera

The camera bundle comes with rear dual cameras that are 13 Megapixels AI camera + 2 Megapixels with depth sensor, LED flash, HDR, panorama and a a selfie single camera with 16 Megapixels with HDR.

The phone’s camera app has features such as:

  • AI rear camera that is able to automatically recognize upto 20 features when it is turned on. It can recognize things such plants, food, buildings, concerts, animals, among others and then optimize the image automatically.
  • The Y7 has clear selfies and a light to help take pictures in low-light conditions.
  • It also has a beauty mode both in the rear and selfie cameras.
  • It doesn’t come with a portrait mode but when the A1 is turned on, it can recognize humans and take portrait pictures.
  • Other features include pro-mode, HDR, panorama, light painting and AR Lens, which creates Snapchat like pictures.

Here are some of the pictures I took

Battery

The non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery helps keep the phone on and working for quite some time. I am a heavy user so the phone was able to give me about 9 hours and about 12 hours with light use.

When on low battery, there’s a power saver feature that should be able to give you an additional 2 hours. Additionally, there’s the ultra-power saving mode that furthers prolongs the battery life if it is very low.

However, the phone charges a bit slow and it takes about an hour to fully charge. If you are using the phone while it charges, it will longer to charge.

Storage

The phone comes with 32GB of storage, which is expandable to 512GB via MicroSD.

The storage is sufficient but if you are the kind to take any pictures and save music on your phone, you would have to add an SD card or frequently back up the pictures.

Final thoughts

Huawei has a great thing going with the mid-level phones that is currently producing and the Huawei Y7 is no exception. I would definitely recommend this phone, first because of the price and second because of what it offers at that price.

The Huawei Y7 is available for Ksh. 17,999 on Jumia, Kilimall, Masoko here  consumer.huawei.com/y7-prime-2019 and offline in Huawei and Safaricom shops countrywide.

Additionally, the company has partnered with Lipa Later to allow customers to buy the Y7 Prime 2019 and pay in installments. No deposit is required and the installments start from as low as Ksh. 2,600.

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