Chinese tech-company HUAWEI has released a new affordably-priced smartphone – the Y9 Prime 2019.
Launched in early September, in both Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue, the phone is aimed at what is called the mid-range market. It’s pretty much an affordable phone for a great price. But when something is cheap there are usually always things that are missed out.
Is this the case with the Y9 Prime 2019?
What we loved:
- Battery performance
- Large notch-free display
- Great price
What wasn’t so good:
- The camera is capable but not a standout
The Y9 Prime includes an impressive 6.59″ Full-HD display with no holes, notches, or sliders, having relocated the front camera, earpiece and light sensor. The phone literally offers a fullscreen experience which is particularly impressive for its price bracket.
The screen also includes an advanced comfort mode which filters harmful blue light to prevent eye strain.
The phones itself fits nicely in your hand and looks extremely similar to HUAWEI’S P30 Pro at face value but with a plastic frame – to be expected in such an affordably priced phone.
The rear of the phone includes a triple-al camera system, which we will discuss later, and a fingerprint sensor. The phone also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack which is a nice addition considering it has started being phased out in similar models.
Battery and storage
The phone itself uses an Android 9 operating system, with HUAWEI’s own EMUI 9.1 launcher on top, and includes 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
As a whole, I found using the phone to be extremely intuitive, smooth and had little issues in terms of everyday operation.
As expected, based on HUAWEI’s track record with the P30 Pro, the Y9’s battery was impressive. While reviewing the phone I found it would last the day and I would only need to charge overnight.
The device has a 4,000 mAh battery which works with the Kirin 710F chipset which HUAWEI says will last up to 108 hours of music and 22 hours of video experience.
The phone charges using a micro-USB adaptor, but doesn’t support fast charging.
More in tech:
The phone’s triple camera system is a capable mobile camera. When comparing the camera quality to the P30 Pro, it’s extremely basic, but all of the key features are there.
Being so affordable, I assumed the camera system would be impacted by cost-cutting. The Y9 uses three lenses in its rear camera system: one 16 MP main lens, one 8 MP Ultra-Wide-Angle lens, and one 2 MP dedicated bokeh lens.
The phone also includes the Mater AI feature which detects up to 22 different scenes or objects and then automatically optimizes the photographic settings. These include a sunrise/sunset, group photos, waterfall, overcast weather and fireworks.
Other camera features include night mode, portrait, photo video and slo-mo, as well as 3D portrait lighting and handheld super night mode which uses noise reduction, image enhancement, and image ghosting elimination for low-light photography.
The 16MP front-facing pop-up ‘selfie’ camera is completely invisible when not in use, only appearing when the user switches to the front camera, taking a second to emerge/retract.
HUAWEI says the lens can withstand 100,000 repetitions, and the front part can bear up to 15kg of weight – suggesting it’s reasonably robust too. The camera is also designed with a drop protection function to detect free-falls and quickly retract the lens, helping to prevent impact.
I found it as a whole extremely functional and easy to use. The choice to hide the front-facing camera also optimizes the touchscreen space, something I touched on earlier.
What we think
While it’s hard to compare the Y9 to top of the range smartphones, it’s functionality and capabilities are impressive for the price.
With a great battery, capable camera and impressive features – all for $399, it’s hard to go past.
The HUAWEI Y9 Prime 2019 retails for $399.00 at several selected retailers including JB Hi-Fi.
Huawei provided this publisher with a device for testing purposes. This did not affect our views on the device, and our review remains independent of the manufacturer.