Huawei Y7 Prime Review: Another strong mid-range contender

Huawei Y7 Prime Review

Pros

  • 4000 mAh battery
  • 3GB RAM
  • Fingerprint scanner

Cons

  • No autofocus in front camera
  • Single SIM tray: Can’t use dual SIMs with SD card
  • No Image Stabilization

Mid-rangers are getting better and better since more smartphone manufacturers are diving in with feature stuffed phones. We saw QMobile Noir A1 boasting a massive battery, and similarly, Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro 2017 also features some very exciting features other than a reliable battery.

Lately, Huawei has been busy with not only high ends of likes P10 and P10 Plus for taking on Apple and Samsung but also at the middle end where it once was moving ahead reasonably well until six months back.

The Chinese manufacturer has silently introduced Y7 Prime which is also known as ‘Enjoy 7 Plus’ back in China.

Huawei Y7 Prime is a mid-ranger that but offers some catchy features that are more or less present in other pricey alternatives from Samsung, QMobile, Oppo, etc.

The phone belongs to a league of big sized gadgets with 5.5 inches of display and a massive 4000mAh battery, but despite the juice inside, it is reasonably slim. We think QMobile should really notice the design part as their latest Noir A is too bulky.

Design and Display of Huawei Y7 Prime

It’s a unibody design similar to recently introduced Samsung J5 Pro 2017 and QMobile Noir A1 along with another common feature, its metallic as well. The back of the phone is dominated by matte finished metal that transforms into rounded edges on each side. It holds a 12 MP lens along with a fingerprint scanner right underneath for being a natural placeholder of the index finger, but the back area is also prone to fingerprints and smudges that you need to take care of throughout the day.

On the front, Huawei has put a 5.5 inch capacitive IPS LCD so you can expect a little color vibrancy and wide viewing angles on this 720p screen with a 267 ppi pixel density; much lower than J5 Pro and Q Noir A1. But in reality, the display is brighter than both and also produces some vibrant colors but not as sharp as J5 Pro 2017.

The sunlight legibility test showed that the screen reacts acceptably better under direct sunlight and the good thing is that it has the ambient light sensor that will auto adjust your brightness level.

As with the back, the front is also prone to smudges, and it gets really messy, but it wouldn’t spoil your viewing experience at any brightness level.

Huawei Y7 Prime Display Settings
Area for changing Home Screen Layout, Eye Comfort & Colour Temperature

There are three preset screen modes which Huawei is calling ‘Color Temperature,’ Moreover, you can turn on the ‘eye comfort’ for eliminating the irritating blues from the screen, but only one of them can be activated at a time.  Additionally, as a part of EMUI 5.1, Huawei Y7 Prime is offering some experimental settings that can improve the contrast of your text as well as there is a color correction feature which offers three correction modes producing a marginal impact on the display. (EMUI 5.1 feature)

On this black colored Huawei Y7 Prime that we had, the front seemed all black apart from the 8MP lens on the top right part of the phone along with an earpiece and notification LED. And at the bottom, just a Huawei logo. It is only when you turn on the screen that you happen to see three navigational keys within the premises of 5.5 inches display.

Rest of the design is very familiar to us, a power key and volume rocker on the right side and a SIM tray on the left which can hold two nano SIMs simultaneously or a nano SIM + micro SD card. The internal memory is reasonable so you can forget about an external memory card for a while but not for long.

User Interface

Huawei Y7 Prime comes with Android Nougat 7.0 and the latest version of Emotion UI (EMUI 5.1) which is a very compelling aspect of this handset since P10 and P10 Plus are also running the similar version.

Although EMUI 5.1 isn’t a big leap from 5.0, it is definitely more significant jump from version 4.0 which was way too dull, erroneous and bloated.

EMUI 5.1 is much more intelligent in learning your usage pattern and accordingly consume the hardware resources for better optimization.

Huawei Y7 Prime virtual keys

The phone doesn’t have a physical home button since EMUI 5.0 would allow having on-screen virtual keys.

Thank God there is a notification LED for alerting you, but the fingerprint scanner is unfortunately on the back which makes it compulsive to always pick up your phone for unlocking it. However, the easier way, which most of the people do, set a password, pin or pattern to unlock it after pressing the power key. Huawei should have considered that fingerprint readers are mostly landing on the front now, a more natural place to unlock your device.

However, we are happy that there is a scanner which is quick. You can also use this reader to pull down/up the notification bar while the screen is on and it can also help you with browsing the photos in the gallery by swiping left and right.

There are 3 preset options for home layout, and also you can rotate the home screens in

Huawei Y7 Prime split screen
Huawei Y7 Prime Split Screen

a loop from the same setting area. There is no app drawer in the default state and everything you put lands on one of the home screens. If you are not a fan of multiple home screens; you can invoke a dedicated ‘drawer’ icon from the home screen style area.

Another way to make things tidy is to create your own customized folders for related apps.

As a part of default feature of Android Nougat, you can split the screen from ‘recent task’ by just pressing and holding an app and drag it to the upper part of the screen for activating split screen. Alternatively, push and hold the ‘recent task key’ for splitting the screen. This a convenient feature, particularly in a situation when you want to take notes of some live broadcast that is going on, and you can’t afford to take your eye off.

There is a dedicated Themes app which is surprisingly stuffed with designs that are meant to attract of Muslim audience with a number of Eid and Ramadan related themes in addition to various others designs. So it appears that Huawei is seriously eyeing to get the loyalties of Pakistanis.

Huawei Y7 Prime Themes app and Phone Manager
Game Store (Hi Game), Themes App & Phone Manager

Phone Manager is Huawei’s old way of keeping the phone in order. Like any other Huawei phone, this app is helpful here as well. Although the phone offers a good RAM but it is recommended to run it once in a week for a smooth sail.

If you are a gaming freak, HiGame has tons of basic level games to download from its servers.

There is a Safe in the ‘file’ app for hiding everything on your phone from the intruders. You can set its key as either your fingerprint or any other combination of password or PIN.

Performance

Huawei has equipped J7 Prime with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 that has 8 cores and 3GB of RAM in addition to a separate chip for graphic handling in shape of Adreno 505 GPU.

We were expecting Huawei’s own Kirin chipset inside for which the company believes that it outperforms Qualcomm in the higher ends series. But, for mid-rangers and entry level smartphones, it’s not a bad combination for giving us a taste of everything important from a movie to a game and the multitasking throughout the day backed up by a battery which promises to last long.

During our tests, we always had enough RAM left for opening more applications, but it wasn’t seamless every time. The more time we spent on the phone, occasionally we found it wobbling due to burden before we would kill the apps to refresh it.

It scored 44577 on Antutu Benchmark tool which is behind Samsung J5 Pro 2017 and QMobile Noir A1 that scored 46346 and 48615 respectively

On Geekbench 4, it scored 645 in single core category and 2868 in multi-core category which is again behind J5 Pro’s 736 and 3656 for the single and multi-core test.

Despite getting behind in scores, the performance was noted reasonable. For example, Noir A1 could never play mkv movies of over 2 GB; however, Huawei Y7 Prime never had an issue with a 3GB 1080p file even.

Videos and Audio

Huawei Y7 Prime has native video and audio application that are simple and do the job right. Although it shouldn’t be counted among the sharpest displays for obvious reasons; still, 5.5-inch screen video gives a lot of pleasure. We also wish it had a couple of audio controls for enhancing the sound experience. A proper equalizer is missing, however, with headphones on, ‘Enhance audio’ can sweeten the experience. On this IPS LCD, the viewing angle wasn’t a problem, but the corners were a little towards darker shade.

The music app is basic with lesser controls where files can be organized by Songs, Artists, Albums, and Folders. And similar the video, with headphones on, there is an SWS audio effect that improves the bass effect; however, the sound from the single speaker at the bottom is just ok unless you are playing very high definition media file. I wouldn’t include the noise level among the list of top speakers.

While playing a track in the audio app, press and hold the play button gives you the freedom to repeat the song at maximum by 10 times.

Camera

The camera is different in certain aspects that it gives you two professional modes for shooting, one for still and other for video. Such a combination is uncommon among the cameras of mid-rangers. For still, the pro mode offers better control over the scene, however, for the video, you can just play with E value, Auto, and Manual focus as well as the white balance.

The 12MP rear camera has the auto focus, and you can make use of auto, pro, HDR and panorama modes. You can be a little creative with Pro mode, and the shutter could be an excellent experience.

Huawei Y7 Prime Camera Modes and filter Presets
Shooting Modes, Pro Mode & Preset Filters

Pictures in the bright light are good in definition, but somehow rendering mechanism does not control the noise on photos under low light. Huawei did not put a dedicated night mode in the camera which is very surprising; probably they want us to master the pro mode for night photography.

We were also not happy to see the autofocus missing in the selfie camera as this will require a sheer practice of yours to control focus. Moreover, with the beauty mode value set above the middle will tend to produce overexposed selfies.

Following pictures will tell you the results of its camera in various modes. (Click to enlarge)

Battery

Huawei Y7 Prime is powered by a 4000mAh battery that doesn’t need much introduction. With 3G and wifi connected through out during our tests, the phone comfortably survived 26 hours, and during the course, we rigorously tested it with 1080p movies, browsing, gaming and camera.

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