Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Review
Huawei launched one of its newest devices, the Y9 Prime 2019. It comes with an attractive design, a sizeable sweet display, and that trendy pop-up front camera mechanism. See how it fared in our full review!
Design and Construction
Up front, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 greets us with a full-screen display. Very slim bezels adorn the sides and the top of the Y9 Prime, and while there’s still a little bit of chin, it isn’t that distracting. The chin’s also there to pretty much ensure that the user’s fingers still have a bit of space to swipe up from. The notch-less full-screen display is made possible thanks to the Y9 Prime’s pop-up front camera mechanism.
Turning the device on its rear, we have the triple-camera setup and the fingerprint scanner. The smartphone employs a two-tone colorway, with the design slightly reminiscent of the Pixel’s design. The unit we have on hand here is in the Emerald Green color. While the rear is made of plastic, it gives off a glass-like look and feel upon the first touch. The polycarbonate material also allows the device to feel sturdy and premium when held.
At the right, there’s the power button and the volume rocker. As the phone is quite sizeable, you might need to stretch your thumb a little to reach the buttons, especially if you have small hands. Despite that, they’re both clicky and tactile. The left side of the device is bare without any buttons or the like.
At the top, next to the pop-up camera mechanism, one can find the hybrid dual SIM card tray and the noise-canceling mic.
Last but not least, there’s the 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-C port, a noise-canceling mic for regular calls, and the single-downward firing speaker, all located at the bottom of the device.
Display and Multimedia
The Y9 Prime comes equipped with a 6.59-inch FHD+ LTPS LCD, with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. Slapping a screen protector on the phone would be ideal as the Y9 Prime does not come with any display protection. The enormous display is incredible when it comes to consuming media. You do get an almost-full screen experience as there are no thick bezels nor a notch to obstruct the view; the viewing angles are great as well. The contrast could be more improved though, as well as the vibrancy of the colors.
When it comes to the speaker’s performance, the audio quality is a disappointment. The volume needs to be improved as it doesn’t get loud enough to fill an entire room, even at maximum volume. The lows aren’t exactly present with the volume turned up, resulting in a tinny sound.
OS, UI, and Apps
Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9 skinned on top runs as the Y9 Prime’s operating system. EMUI has a pretty straightforward UI, with tips popping up here and there if ever you’re a first-time user. A standard home screen will greet you out of the box, with the app icons arranged in different screens. This can be modified into a drawer-style arrangement if you’re into that. For navigation, you can also change it up to a gesture-based instead of the default three-button navigation.
Our unit here has 128GB of storage, with about 110GB of it usable. The usual Google apps come with the phone out of the box, as well as third-party apps like Facebook, Agoda, Netflix, and Camera360. The Y9 Prime also has a Party mode, a SIM Toolkit, HiCare, Health, FM Radio, Storage Cleaner, and the Huawei AppGallery.
A 16MP shooter sits in the Y9 Prime’s pop-up mechanism, while on a triple camera setup composed of the 16MP main + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP depth shooters sit on the rear.
When it comes to selfies, using the standard photo mode, the quality of the images is average enough to post on social media. A bit of a downside, however, is that some of the photos tend to look overexposed. As for portrait selfies, the subject-background separation is rather weak. The edges of the subject are slightly smudged and blurry as well, which shouldn’t be the case in portrait selfies.
As for the rear cameras, in the standard photo mode, the quality is pretty decent. There’s contrast, sharpness for details can be seen as well. When it comes to color, however, it’s not quite accurate, and it lacks vibrancy as some of the photos produced look washed-out. Portrait-mode with the rear cameras, again there’s the lack of a subject-background separation. Similar to the selfies, the edges of the subject are smudged and blurry as well. The Y9 Prime’s camera has a Night Mode, and it’s pretty good when compared to taking low-light shots with just the standard photo mode. In Night Mode, the images take on a brighter tone and get a tinge of color as well.
For video, the Y9 Prime can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps. Video quality is modest, especially in natural light. Check it out.
Performance and Benchmarks
Hisilicon Kirin 710F powers up the Y9 Prime, coupled with Mali-G51 MP4 GPU and 4GB of RAM. As always, we ran the smartphone through a couple of benchmarks, and here are the results:
- AnTuTu – 131,039
- GeekBench – 1,524 (Single-core), 5,442 (Multi-core)
- PCMark – 8,597 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark – 867 (SSE – OpenGL)
- AndroBench – 286.48 MB/s (Read), 202.69 MB/s (Write)
Performance-wise, the Y9 Prime is pretty capable of multi-tasking, productivity, and gaming. We found the large, full-screen to be a big help when it comes to doing tasks such as reading documents, writing, jotting notes, and the like. Gaming-wise, we played Honkai Impact, Asphalt, and PUBG on it. The games were playable, but do note that we were either at the lowest or at the medium setting to be able to play them.
For biometrics, the Y9 Prime comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It registered fingerprints pretty quick. Even with the quick registration, unlocking the device took about a second. It might be a tad slower than what we’re used to, but it’s still reliable.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Y9 Prime 2019 has the usual connectivity features like LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the like. Pinning locations and such on the map and Waze was also accurate. AR games are possible to play with this phone as it has a Gyroscope sensor.
For battery, the device comes equipped with a 4,000mAh battery. PC Mark’s battery test gave the Y9 Prime a total of 16 hours and 15 minutes. In our standard video loop test (50% brightness, 50% volume, airplane mode, headphones plugged in), the Y9 Prime ran for about 18 hours and 53 minutes.
The sizeable, unobstructed display is the Y9 Prime 2019’s most significant selling point. Apart from that, you also get a great battery life, an attractive-looking smartphone, EMUI 9, and a modest performance. If that’s all you’re looking for, then definitely snag the Y9 Prime 2019 for PHP 12,990.
Although, if you’re looking for a phone with better selfie qualities, more power for gaming, better biometrics options, or a device with a lesser price tag, you might want to reconsider the purchasing the Y9 Prime 2019 and check out other devices instead.
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 specs
6.59-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) LTPS display, 391ppi
HiSilicon Kirin 710 (12nm) 2.2GHz octa-core CPU
Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
64GB, 128GB storage
microSD card support
16MP (main) + 8MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (depth) triple rear cameras
16MP FF pop-up front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
USB 2.0 Type-C
3.5mm audio jack
EMUI 9.0 (Android 9 Pie)
163.5 x 77.3 x 8.8 mm
Midnight Black, Emerald Green, Sapphire Blue
What we liked:
- Large, unobstructed display
- Great battery life
- Attractive design
- Modest performance
What we didn’t:
- Selfie camera quality
- Portrait mode photo quality
- Slow fingerprint unlock response