So far, 2019 has been a great year for the smartphone industry. These days every smartphone manufacturers are taking a small step to go full screen. Notch was popular in the Nepalese market but still many people were waiting for a truly bezel-less phone with no notch and no disturbing holes. So, what’s the solution? Yes, a phone with an elevating front camera may be a good option but what about cost?
We’ve seen such setup earlier in the phones from OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, Samsung and even Redmi, a Xiaomi sub-brand. They were not that affordable though. Now, Huawei is back with a bang with its first-ever smartphone in Nepal with a pop-up selfie camera, the Y9 Prime 2019, that too on a budget. But, is this phone worth the price of Rs 29,900? Is it the best phone you can buy at the said price range? Well, let’s find out just that and more in our full review.
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Review
The Huawei Y9 Prime is one of the most impressive phones under Rs 30,000. No glass back but this phone doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s truly impressive! Peeling the plastic off, the astonishing back design will kick through your eyes and will take over your heart. The rear of the phone looks somewhat like the P20 Pro or the Nova 4 with the triple camera setup. The back panel, this time around, has no gradient color fill. That said, the all-new dual-tone Emerald Green color looks heavenly aswell.
Holding the phone up, you will get a premium feel like no plastic phones ever have. Huawei has done an amazing job in the design of the phone. The Y9 Prime is really beautiful and will surely turn some heads! The shiny plastic back is prone to fingerprints and smudges like many glass back phones. So if you want your phone to look new for long, you better get a protective case.
The 19.5:9 aspect ratio display, that the phone packs, translates to a tall body with narrow sides. The usual power button and volume rockers are on the right side of the phone. While the Hybrid SIM/ SD card tray is on the top of the phone this time along with the elevating front camera setup and secondary noise cancellation mic. That’s interesting! The bottom houses a microphone, a USB Type-C port, speaker grills and yes, a 3.5mm headphone jack. Thank you, Huawei for keeping it alive! The fingerprint sensor is on the rear side which, for me, is in a perfect position.
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is a big phone with a huge 6.59-inches Full HD+ display. Despite having a huge display, the doesn’t feel unwieldy. It is quite easy to hold! The display of the Y9 Prime, despite being an IPS LCD panel, is pretty vibrant with a variable scale of brightness. The images are sharp, colors are good, and viewing angles are excellent. Watching Youtube videos and firing up a quick game was a pleasant experience on this device. Playing games like PUBG and Asphalt 9, Traffic Rider, Angry Birds 2 and some sniper games on this device was divine. By default, we can find PUBG at the Balanced graphics, however, the phone supports the HD graphics setting.
Performance-wise, the phone feels snappy despite having a lot of pre-installed bloatware. You can, however, uninstall them which is a good thing. This is largely thanks to the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space that the phone comes with. The 128GB storage of this device is more than enough for me, at least for now. The device also supports storage expansion via a microSD card which further aids to its performance.
Powering the Huawei Y9 Prime is the Kirin 710F chipset clocked at 2.2GHz. Sounds familiar? Yes, most of the specs are taken from the Huawei Nova 3i. And the Kirin 710F chipset is no different than the Kirin 710. The phone also felt similar to the Nova 3i but with an improved battery backup. So, with the inclusion, the day-to-day performance on the Y9 Prime is like butter. However, we did notice some app crash issue on Instagram. A future OTA update can certainly resolve this issue.
Playing some high-end games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 was not a hassle at all for the device. The graphics were amazing, all thanks to Mali-G51 MP4 GPU backed by the ‘GPU Turbo’ feature. We played PUBG for 2 hours straight but could not feel any heating. The phone, however, did get a bit warm after a long session of gameplay, which is quite normal. We also put the phone through different tasks and challenges like other mid-tier phones. But guess what! The phone still survived and shined like a boss. Good going, Huawei!
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 houses a triple camera setup on the rear. The triple setup is aligned in a way similar to that of the Nova 4. The setup has a primary 16MP (f/1.8) wide lens, an 8MP Ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth-sensing unit. The camera impressed us a lot on our testing period. The phone was capable of clicking some really good photos in the broad daylight. The camera, however, suffers a bit in the dark but the photo output was not that bad. We love the camera on the Y9 Prime but to be honest, we feel that the Nova 3i is still better than the Y9 Prime in terms of camera performance.
The camera on the Y9 Prime produced some oversaturated photos despite the AI Mode was turned off. It means that the photos are always ready to rock social media. People tend to like the oversaturated photos, so this is not an issue here.
The Portrait Mode shots have been improved a lot. They are better than that of the Nova 3i during its launch time. But still, we feel that there is room for improvement. The edge detection can be improved in future updates. Talking about the wide-angle shots, the output is not as impressive as that of the Nova 4. However, the inclusion of the wide-angle lens, at this price range, itself is a good move by Huawei.
On the front, the phone houses a 16MP selfie shooter inside the motorized pop-up setup. The selfie out from the front camera is impressive. The phone can take some great selfies which will definitely turn some heads. The pictures from the phone are entirely social media-ready! Another thing worth talking about is the software behind the front camera. In the daytime, the camera interface is black like most typical Huawei smartphone. But, with the Y9 Prime, the camera interface turns white during low-light to help take a brighter selfie. I know, a small tweak but a worthy one at that. A genius move from Huawei!
Talking about the pop-up camera module, it pops up when we turn to the selfie camera. It takes about 2 seconds and makes this cool popping-up sound. The speed of the pop up could have a bit faster but it is pretty good for a phone costing under Rs 30,000. One complaint though that I have is the lack of a Face unlock feature. I wish Huawei had included it as it was my go-to-method for unlocking my phone.
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 comes with Huawei’s own EMUI 9.0 right out of the box. The EMUI 9.0 is tailored on top of the latest Android 9.0 (Pie) and it is undoubtedly the cleanest version of EMUI we’ve ever seen. Like the previous EMUI 8.0, the EMUI 9.0, too, has a lot of customization options. The UI is packed with plenty of handy features such as gesture navigations, performance and battery optimization, video ringtone and many more.
The Y9 Prime doesn’t come with an app drawer by default. You can, however, find the option to enable it under settings. I like the UI experience since I am not a big fan of Stock Android. This UI also has support for themes, and you can customize your phone to your preference. There are features like Voice Control and Motion Control that help you interact with the phone using gestures.
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is overall a great device. The phone is snappy, it performed well and maybe that’s why I swapped my primary SIM Card into it and used it as my daily driver. To my surprise, it never felt like I was reviewing a phone. The Y9 Prime felt so good that I put it through everything, literally everything! And how can I forget the battery backup of this phone? The 4,000mAh battery is more than enough for daily usage. If this phone satisfied my power needs, it will definitely satisfy the majority of users out there. This is because I am a very heavy phone user and the Y9 Prime gave me somewhere around 5 to 6 hours of screen-on-time in my daily usage.
I, however, do have a small complaint! The charger that we get inside the box is a normal 5V/ 2A adapter. To charge the phone from 0-100%, it took around 2.5 hours. I wish Huawei had added at least a basic fast charger with the phone. That said, the overall battery backup of this phone deserves a thumbs up.
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Review: Verdict
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is the device that people like to own in 2019. The inclusion of the pop-up selfie camera and a full-screen display is a 2019 standard. The design of this phone is sure to turn some heads. People just can’t ignore it! Using this phone for more than two weeks, we felt absolutely no issue regarding the speed and overall performance of the phone. If you are tight on budget and want a mid-tier phone with flagship looks, Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is the phone for you. We highly recommend it!
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