Hands on: Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Review

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The orchestrated drama around Huawei is over and the tech giant has sprung back in action with the launch of Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 in India. The company has had an eventful year so far, oscillating between the highs of Huawei Mate X and the lows of Trump ban. Still, the brand managed to hold its ground and in fact did very well in China, as per recent CounterPoint numbers.

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, which was first launched in China last month, is all about the latest design trends like pop-up selfie camera and an edge-to-edge screen. It will retail in India for Rs 15,990 on Amazon and across offline stores. Is the phone worth it? Well, to answer that one we will require a lot more time with the phone. However, based on our limited hands-on experience of the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, here are our first impression of the phone.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Design and Build Quality

The gradient design is what’s in these days and the concept gives brands a lot of freedom to customize the looks of there glass-body or, as in this case, glass-finish phones. For the Y9 Prime, Huawei has a dual-tone finish which is kind of appealing.

The phone is divided into two halves. The top half has a mirror-like finish while the bottom half has a sandblasted matte finish that also shimmers when light hits it at an angle. The glass finish does attract a lot of smudges, so you’ll be better off with a protective case.

Flip it and you will be greeted by a large screen that almost extends edge-to-edge. While there is hardly any bezels on the sides, the chin is quite noticeable. Huawei has placed Ambient light and other sensors in the chin.

The Huawei Y9 Prime is a big and bulky phone, but thanks to the 3D arc design, the phone fit in our big palms nicely. However, people with small hands might not find it as convenient. The polycarbonate body of the phone sure feels like something that could handle regular abuse and rough usage.

The charging port is USB Type-C and Huawei isn’t skimping on audio jack either. Currently, Huawei offers Y9 Prime 2019 in two color options – Emerald Green and Sapphire Blue.

Huawei Y9 Prime Display

The Y9 Prime houses a 6.59-inch IPS screen that has full-HD+ resolution and a pixel density of 391ppi. It has 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Huawei claims 91-percent screen-to-body ratio. During my short usage, the display of Y9 Prime looked sharp and bright enough to meet the expectations of regular consumers.

For those who like to tweak display colors as per their preferences, Huawei has enabled color mode and temperature wheel under display settings. The touches felt smooth and accurate during my brief usage.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Hardware and Software

Huawei once again backs its affordable phone with HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC, a 12nm based octa-core chipset with CPU cores clocked up to 2.2Ghz. This isn’t the latest from Kirin family as a couple of months ago Huawei announced Snapdragon 730- comparable Kirin 810 chipset that it expectedly reserves for a higher tier.

The phone comes in 4GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage (115GB available) out of the box. Unlike competitors like Realme X and Oppo K3, it has support for microSD storage (up to 512GB) but the slot is hybrid. As for gaming, the slightly aging ARM Mali-G51 MP4 GPU is tasked with handling graphical performance. Huawei has also added its Game Turbo technology to make the best use of GPU and has made other software optimization to further bolster gaming experience. We will perhaps check if these actually work during the course of our full review.

The Y9 Prime 2019 comes out of the box running on the Android 9 Pie-based EMUI software which is one of the most feature-rich custom OS as of today. Will it get Android Q? Well, that’s a question Huawei hasn’t answered yet. The phone is powered by a large 4,000mAh battery but lacks support for fast charging.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Camera hardware

For the shutterbugs, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is equipped with triple rear cameras. There is a 16-megapixel f/1.8 sensor tasked with regular or primary photography. The main sensor is paired with an 8-megapixel f/2.4 120-degree wide-angle lens and 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor.

The motorized selfie camera module houses a 16-megapixel shooter. In our initial analysis,  pop-mechanism felt a tad slower than the competition. Huawei has pioneered AI photography has added its AI-based scene recognition algorithms in the Huawei Y9 as well. The camera app is loaded with various features like Pro mode, Slow Motion, HDR, and Time Lapse, etc.and modes to keep things exciting.

Unfortunately, based on our hands-on experience, we aren’t in a position to formulate or pass on any conclusions regarding Huawei Y9 Prime camera performance.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 First Impressions

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 packs feature like pop-up camera, trendy full-screen front, and triple rear camera setup that young Indian buyers ask for and it does so at a very reasonable price. During my hands-on time with the Y9 Prime, it felt well-built and a solid offering.

Having said that, the phone will face some stiff competition from phones like Realme X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, and Vivo Z1 Pro. Where Huawei will have an edge is the availability of this phone in offline brick and mortar stores.

The Y9 Prime will retail for Rs 15,990, both online and offline. Huawei has some additional offers for offline buyers who can get Rs 4,598 worth of goodies – Huawei Sport Bluetooth headset and 15,000mAh power bank – if they pre-order the Y9 Prime via offline stores.  Should you buy it? Well, it is way too early to pass any judgment, as that warrants thorough testing,H so watch out for our Huawei Y9 Prime full review.

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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1 Comment
Subhankar sarkar
4 years ago

Nice fone