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Huawei Y9 2018 Review: Best Camera Phone on Budget?

Huawei is one of the largest smartphones manufacturers and recently it has been creating quite a buzz in the smartphone market. Especially after the release of Huawei P20 Pro, this has become a company worth paying attention to. Huawei is marketing its latest smartphone, the Huawei Y9 2018, as a phone with a featured pack cameras, due to its dual sensors on the rear and front. Like the previous release Nova 2i, it has a quad camera setup and similar hardware specification.

How good is the Huawei Y9 2018? How does it fair as a smartphone in daily use? Find out in our Huawei Y9 2018 review.

Huawei Y9 2018 Review


Design

huawei y9 2018 review

The Huawei Y9 2018 borrows resemblance from Honor’s smartphone when it comes to the design, but has similar specs to the Huawei Nova 2i. Y9’s body is mostly made of metal coated with a matte finish, at a glance it may look like a fingerprint magnet, but it’s not. The phone is light at 170 grams. It feels very sturdy and surprisingly feels premium, despite the sub 25k price tag. The Huawei Y9 2018 also has curved edges and rounded corners, which make the phone comfortable to hold.

The rear cameras are laid out in a horizontal orientation. The display has a 76.7 percent screen-to-body ratio. Unlike the infamous notch, it features a slight bezel at the top that houses the dual front-facing camera, earpiece, and standard sensors. Meanwhile, the bottom bezel doesn’t feature any buttons.

The Y9 2018 includes a normal MicroUSB port. Flanking the MicroUSB port is a single speaker, which provides adequate audio in terms of loudness and clarity but is an average speaker at best. It does have a headphone jack and an impressively quick fingerprint sensor on the back.

The Y9 2018 looks like any other Honor smartphone and maintains a premium build quality, even for a budget smartphone. Face unlock is available as a secondary method of unlocking and works equally as fast if you’re inadequate lighting.

Display

Huawei Y9 2018 features a massive 5.93 inch IPS LCD display. The screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2160 and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The screen is slightly taller than the normal displays but it’s enjoyable to use. The screen looks great, with good viewing angles, rich contrast, and vibrant color. And, it performs very well under direct sunlight as well.

The taller 18:9 display does make a noticeable difference, especially while you’re watching videos. As Huawei likes to market it as a full view display, it is very good considering the price tag. There are no issues and it’s an enjoyable experience while watching videos, and playing games.

Performance

The Y9 2018 is Huawei’s mid-range budget smartphone with similar specs as of the Nova 2i. Inside the Y9 2018 is Huawei’s Kirin 659 processor and 3GB of RAM. For storage, the Y9 2018 comes with 32GB of internal storage and supports microSD expansion up to additional 256GB. It’s not the most exciting spec sheet, but it’s powerful for most tasks. In my week of usage, the phone was quick and responsive to ordinary tasks like navigating through the UI and launching applications. The 3GB of RAM was plenty for a smooth multitasking experience. Games also ran well, PUBG and Asphalt run smoothly on medium graphics. Very rarely did the Huawei Y9 2018 ever feel laggy or slow. But there was one instance where it lagged in the camera app.

The Y9 2018’s battery is absolutely amazing, the 4000 mAH Li-ion battery was able to last two days with my usage. Though my usage did not include playing games, it can last more than a day even under heavy usage. Y9 2018 got me through a day with a heavy amount of Instagram, YouTube, and PUBG (mobile game). On normal usage, I tried to make it last two days and most of the time the battery would die mid-day, on day 2.

Camera

Huawei equipped the Y9 2018 with a 16MP front-facing camera that will give you some good looking selfies. It’s a dual camera setup with an additional 2MP sensor, so you can get the portrait selfies from the Y9 2018. Y9 is a budget mid-range phone so you cannot expect it to have really good processing, but it’s fairly impressive. The portrait selfies can turn out to be really good in a well-lit environment. In general, the quality of the front-facing camera is good. It provides plenty of sharpness, color, and natural skin tone (without beauty mode). Also, It has this soft-light for selfies instead of the flash, but I never had to use it.

The 13MP rear camera lets you simulate different aperture level (0.95 – 16) with its wide aperture mode. And you can even readjust the point of focus after capturing the image. So, you’re never stuck with initial results and images can be tweaked to create a different look. However, you cannot adjust the background blur in portrait mode.

The rear camera performs well in most well-lit situations, with good detail, and sharp color reproduction. Well, you won’t get the most accurate color as it tends to sharpen the picture. The colors look saturated and this is common in most of the Huawei phones. I prefer that warm and rich tones but others might prefer more natural color. The low light photos also have saturated color but appear grainy due to overexposure. Considering the lack of optical image stabilization, this wasn’t too surprising.

There are various modes like Pro photo, Pro video, HDR, Panorama, Light Painting, and others. Pro modes can come in handy if you want to manually adjust all the settings to get some desirable results. Also, if you’re feeling adventurous you can try the light painting feature to get some exciting pictures.

Gallery

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Software

The Huawei Y9 2018 is running Huawei’s own custom software called EMUI on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. It comes with some bloatware and other pre-installed tools. Swiping right on the home button takes you to smart care where you can monitor your phone usage, news, fitness data and others. Regarding customization, you can enable the app drawer and change themes. But still, the icons look flashy.

There are lots of features packed into the EMUI like the power saving mode, Backup and Restore, Simple Mode, Data transfer, Three finger screenshot, and others. You can also adjust the screen resolution between FHD+ and HD+. There’s even Huawei health for monitoring your fitness and training regime and many more. Also, there’s a built-in pedometer that counts your step.

Other interesting features include gestures for a fingerprint sensor. With which you can use gestures to browse the gallery, notification bar, and others.

Huawei Y9 2018 Key Specifications

  • Display: 5.93 inch HD IPS display with 2160×1080 resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 659
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.36 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: Mali-T830 MP2
  • Memory: 32GB internal storage with MicroSD expansion up to 256 GB, 3 GB RAM
  • OS: Android Oreo 8.0 with EMUI 8.0
  • Rear Camera: Dual: 13 MP + 2 MP, autofocus, LED flash
  • Front Camera: Dual: 16 MP + 2 MP, 1080p
  • Battery: 4000 mAh battery
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The Huawei Y9 2018 is currently available in Nepal for Rs. 25,900. It’s a similar phone to the Nova 2i and it’s a very good midrange smartphone. It has a top-notch battery and a very good camera. Performance could have been better but its decent for the price.

I prefer the stock android and I’m not a fan of the EMUI, though it has been improving a lot recently. However, it is packed with tons of useful features and all of them are equally impressive.

You’re getting a good camera, good battery, and a good experience. On the overall, this is a very good choice if you’re looking for a phone under 26k. So, the Y9 2018 looks impressive like its predecessor, Huawei Nova 2i.

What do you think of Huawei’s Y9 2018? Let us know down in the comments below. mid-ranger


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