Huawei Y7a Review
A couple of days ago, Huawei released one of its most affordable mid-range smartphone, the Y7a. Many people were impressed with its specs considering that it comes with such a budget-friendly price tag. Apart from what we’ve already discussed in our hands-on, let’s find out what else the Y7a has to offer.
Design and Construction
Undoubtedly, the Y7a is one of the prettiest and attractive smartphones we’ve seen. It comes in this subtle pink gradient with its faint pink tinge in the middle. No wonder this colorway is called Blush Gold. It does look like blush. However, it’s prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches due to its glossy coat, so users might have to slap on a jelly case to remedy that.
The body is made up of plastic, but it feels premium and solid. We love its slim profile, and holding it feels comfortable. It also comes with quite a heft at 206g.
Checking out its rear, we get the vertically-stacked 48MP AI quad-camera setup, along with the Huawei branding.
Upfront, we see a rather large dot notch in the middle of the screen that houses the front camera and the call speaker and sensors on top of it.
We have the volume keys and the power/lock button acting as the fingerprint sensor on the right side. The buttons feel sturdy and have a tactile feel to it.
We have a triple card slot that can accommodate a dual nano-SIM and a dedicated microSD card slot on the left side.
Then up top, we get a noise-canceling microphone.
Down below, there’s the USB Type-C port, the primary microphone, the 3.5mm audio port, and the single speaker grille.
Display and Multimedia
For display, the Y7a sports a 6.67-inch Full HD+ IPS display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080. As far as quality goes, it’s great. The colors are vibrant and punchy. It’s got a widescreen real estate, so users will definitely enjoy watching content on this device. There’s an option to hide the notch, just in case, it bothers you.
Users can also tweak the settings by adjusting the screen’s color mode and temperature to their liking and changing the screen’s resolution to either High (2400 x 1080) or Low (1600 x 720) to consume less battery. However, in our case, we mostly just used the Smart Resolution as it adapts when it will automatically lower the resolution when it has to.
As for audio quality, it’s actually not that bad. It’s loud and clear, though there’s a noticeable distortion when the volume is set at max. But other than that, it’s enough for casual listening. Users may use the earphones that come with the box for a better listening experience.
The Y7a gets a quad-rear setup consisting of a 48MP main, an 8MP 120-degrees ultra-wide, a 2MP depth, and 2MP macro sensors. It also comes with a 6x zoom. Meanwhile, for selfies, it comes with a single 8MP front camera.
It also comes with a bunch of camera features, including Aperture (bokeh), Night, Portrait, Pro, Slow-mo, Panorama, Light Painting, and High-Resolution, to name a few. We tried its AI Lens feature, which is similar to Google Lens, and it wasn’t the quickest. The instant translation isn’t instantaneous, to say the least, and the calorie counter doesn’t sometimes recognize food and is seldom inaccurate. But the good news, though, is the rest of the AI features work fast.
Now for image quality, they’re good. It comes with the right amount of sharpness, though color reproduction seems a bit saturated, even with AI turned off. Basically, what the AI does is boost the image’s saturation, and at times, there’s not much difference with it turned off or on, so we prefer just having it turned off most of the time. The ultra-wide lens also does a pretty decent job, and we appreciate that it doesn’t produce much distortion. The 6x zoom isn’t too terrible either.
In low light situations, photos came out muddy and noisy, mostly when you use the ultra-wide lens– though there are instances that shots look pretty decent with the Night mode on.
For bokeh, we like it. It has an excellent background to subject separation, and users can go as low as f/0.95 for that creamy bokeh. It also comes with a High-Resolution feature that stays true to its name. It comes with many details, a better dynamic range, and more flattering color reproduction.
Now for selfies, they’re okay. Like what we mentioned with the rear cameras, the color looks saturated, and frequently the skin tone doesn’t look natural. Nonetheless, you can still get decent selfies with this device.
Now for videos, it can shoot up to 1080p at 60fps for the rear and 1080p at 30fps for the front camera. Just in case you’re wondering, there’s no support for EIS, so better keep your hands steady to avoid shaky footage. Also, you can’t utilize the ultra-wide lens at 60fps. As far as quality goes, it’s average. We get relatively good footage in daylight, though don’t expect much at night. It’s muddy and peppered with noise.
UI, OS, and Apps
Running the Y7a is EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10. One thing we don’t like with EMUI is its bloatware. From the get-go, we get several apps waiting to download. While we have the option to delete them, deleting them one by one can be cumbersome.
But on the bright side, navigation is easy, and users get nifty features like Multi-Window, which is especially useful when multitasking. Users can also take a screenshot by knocking on the screen with a knuckle. Knock once for taking screenshots and knock twice for taking screen record. There’s also the HUAWEI Assistant that shows you AI tips, a news feed, and other services that you can personally customize.
As we have mentioned time and time again, Huawei doesn’t use Google Mobile Services. Users don’t have to worry as there’s the Huawei AppGallery to download all the apps you need. Some of the new top apps you can find here include Garena FreeFire, SpeedTest, Gcash, TikTok, VLC, and FoodPanda. There’s also the Petal Search Widget that allows you to install apps not only from the Huawei AppGallery but also from official and third-party websites. It also provides suggestions and trending apps information.
Out of the 128GB storage, users get a usable 113GB storage that can be further expanded up to 512GB via microSD card.
Performance and Benchmarks
For internals, the Y7a is powered with HiSilicon Kirin 710A chip coupled with 4GB RAM, Mali G51 MP4 GPU, and 128GB storage. Performance-wise, launching and loading apps is fast; however, it isn’t that snappy. What we do is turn off the Advanced Visual Effects since the animation and blur adds loading time. But that’s just our preference. Even so, navigation is smooth, and multitasking is a breeze.
As for gaming, we tried playing Genshin Impact at the highest possible setting, and as expected, it’s laggy and suffers from frame drops. We tried setting it to medium, and we seldom encounter stutters, too. We were only able to play it smoothly in low settings. However, for PUBG Mobile, we somehow managed to play in a high frame rate with the graphics set to balanced, though there are still occasional lags here and there. We recommend you set the frame rate to medium and the graphics to balanced for a better experience. The back also gets pretty hot after a long time.
• AnTuTu v8 – 158,054
• GeekBench 5 – 299 (Single-core), 1,334 (Multi-core)
• 3D Mark – 1,082 (SSE – OpenGL 3.1), 1,050 (Vulkan)
• PCMark – 6,528 (Work 2.0)
• AndroBench – 305.62 MB/s (Read), 186.89 MB/s (Write)
For biometrics, we get a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face recognition. Both the fingerprint scanner and face recognition work fast. We’d also like to note that the face recognition works even when we’re wearing a mask, though it’s not as responsive and quick. It also doesn’t work if you’re in a pitch-black room.
Connectivity and Battery Life
For connectivity, the Y7a comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, and 4G LTE. It offers a massive 5,000mAh battery with 22.5W Huawei SuperCharge. Hands-down, you get an impressive battery life on this device. It could last us a day or two on a single charge, which involves playing games and browsing on our social media. It can even last longer if you lower the display resolution. As for charging, it took less nearly two hours, probably around an hour and 45 minutes, for it to be fully replenished from 0-100%.
In our PCMark Battery Test, the device got a score of 22 hours and 30 minutes. While in our standard video loop test, it yielded an impressive 24 hours and 10 minutes of playback.
When it comes to bang-for-your-buck smartphones, most consumers’ first choice would probably be either from realme or Xiaomi. However, we think the Huawei Y7a is a strong contender for this segment.
For PHP 8,999, you’re actually getting good specs, including a Full HD+ display, a decent processor, a 48MP quad-camera setup, and not to mention, it’s got amazing battery life. Of course, it also comes with few shortcomings, like not being able to play graphically-intensive games smoothly at high settings and lacking EIS in the video.
At this point, we don’t think that the lack of Google Mobile Services is much of a disadvantage since the AppGallery and the Petal Search Widget offer all the apps you need. We understand where the reluctance is coming from, but it would be a waste not to give the Y7a a chance.
Huawei Y7a specs:
6.67-inches FHD+ (2400 x 1080) IPS display
Kirin 710A octa-core CPU
Mali G51-MP4 GPU
Expandable up to 512GB via micro SD
Quad rear cameras
• 48MP f/1.8 main
• 8MP f/2.4 120-degrees ultra-wide
• 2MP f/2.4 depth
• 2MP f/2.4 macro
8MP f/2.0 front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
3.5mm headphone jack
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
5,000mAh battery W/ 22.5w SuperCharge
USB Type-C port
Huawei App Gallery
EMUI 10.1 (based on Android 10)
165.65 x 76.88 x 9.26 mm
Midnight Black, Crush Green, Blush Gold