Huawei is constantly striving and evolving to provide the best mobile phone experience. With the launch of Huawei Mate 20 Series, one may think that the company has left out the midrange category, but Huawei Y9 2019 is finally here to prove all your doubts wrong.
The phone was recently launched in Pakistan and is priced at Rs. 37,999. It is a highly competitive price point which offers ample options from almost all the mobile phone brands. This implies that the Y9 2019 will have to face a lot of competition to stand out.
Since Mate 20 Lite is not coming to Pakistan, the company aims to bridge the gap with Huawei Y9 2019. But will the phone be able to cover up for the Mate 20 lite? Does it hold enough juice to be proven a worthy contender for the mid-range throne? Let’s dive in our in-depth review of the handset to find out.
Design and Build Quality
Definitely one of the most appealing aspects of the Huawei Y9 2019 is the device build quality. It uses a unibody design with a mix of plastic and metal. The back of the phone consists of polished polycarbonate that successfully deceives eyes to give a glossy glass look.
On the back, you’ll find a vertically stacked dual camera setup in the top left corner and a fingerprint sensor in the spine of the phone within the natural reach of your finger.
I personally liked the rounded edges and a curved back on all sides that seamlessly integrate into one another to create a beautifully crafted phone that sits in your hands for long periods without any discomfort.
The usual right side contains the volume and power buttons which are pretty tactile and despite the huge body, they are easily reachable without stretching your hand.
A SIM tray sits on the left of the phone. Though the phone packs ample of storage, it also has a dedicated memory card slot that is capable to enhance your storage up to a massive 400GB.
The phone has just a single bottom firing speaker but it is loud enough to be heard even in noisy environments. Along with the speaker, we still have the headphone jack and the micro USB charging port.
Though it looks and feels good in the hand but compared to the glass body of the Huawei Nova 3i, you can clearly feel that the Y9 2019 is legions behind the design of a premium phone. Though the aesthetics of the phone’s design are quite compelling, its the company’s choice of manufacturing material that may not be of the taste for many users
Sharp and Bright Display
Huawei Y9 2019 boasts a 6.5″ Fullview display with a notch. It comes with a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels that translates into 396ppi pixel density and 82.8% screen to body ratio.
For one, I don’t play many games on the phone, but the immersive screen on this device makes you want to. The color saturation and reproduction are accurate, and you get plenty of brightness even in direct sunlight.
The viewing experience is exactly what I was hoping for, a big screen with wide enough viewing angels. Like me, if you do a lot of reading on your electronic devices, this phone provides a very welcoming experience.
Since Huawei Y9 2019 is certified with TÜV Rheinland, it ensures a gentle visual experience. Now you can stay up as long as you want without worrying about visual fatigue because it filters out the harsh blue light frequencies and reduces blue light damage.
EMUI: Useful but Bloated
Huawei Y9 2019 comes with Android Oreo 8.1.0 layered with the company’s custom skin EMUI 8.2.0. Though the UI has gotten much refined over the years, the bloatware still haunts the EMUI. This accursed bloatware haunts both Huawei and Honor devices.
The phone is preloaded with apps that most of the users don’t even use and uninstall at their first convenience. These include useless game demos and apps like Booking.com and Wego Flight. Other than that, some apps are offered by Google and also installed in the EMUI from Huawei as well, such as the app gallery.
If you loathe the infamous notch, it can be turned on or off in the setting. You can also turn the eye comfort mode on if you are reading your favorite e-book in bed for long periods.
Other than that, EMUI also provides a handful of useful option like if you are privacy freak, you can always use the Huawei Safe to secure your personal data in a vault. Moreover, App Lock can also be activated if you want individual apps to be restricted from access.
You can also use Party Mode to share your music to create a surround system by using several phones play the same music. It synchronizes other phones so that you can play a single song across all the devices.
The Y9 2019 is equipped with the latest Kirin 710 octa-core CPU which is backed by 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. Thanks to upgraded specs the handset also performs well in benchmark apps. In Geekbench the phone grabbed 1619 in single core and 5616 in multi-core tests while in AnTuTu, it scored 131486.
On moderate usage, the phone is quick and snappy. Multitasking on the phone is pretty quick and responsive. Even with plenty of apps opened in the background, not once did I experience any sign of lag or stutter.
The latest chipset has seen tremendous gaming improvement over its predecessor Kirin 659. The phone also includes Huawei’s unique GPU Turbo technology. With the hardware-software integrated solution, GPU performance is improved dramatically- enabling greater graphics accuracy and gaming performance while improving efficiency.
The gaming performance on the device can be placed alongside the Honor 8X. The Uninterrupted Gaming Mode 2.0 on the phone helps to stop all the interruptions during the game time; it can filter unimportant notifications while incoming calls and text messages will only be shown as silent notifications so you can focus on your game.
Huawei Y9 2019 packs a massive 4000 mAh battery. Though it does not support fast charging and takes a huge time of 2 hours 37 minutes, light and moderate users can easily rely on the phone to provide more than one-day usage. In our light usage tests, the phone consumed 10% of the battery in one hour which is slightly better than the battery consumption of Y9 2018.
You don’t have to worry about the battery even if you are an extensively heavy user. We tried to push the phone’s limit in heavy usage and it did not disappoint. Y9 2019 ate up 16% battery in one hour of extensive usage.
While Huawei Y9 2019 might not be purely a gaming phone, it takes you on a good run for your money and can play the heaviest of games. However, when playing the most demanding games, I experienced a negligible stutter. So if you can look past that, you’ll have a great device you can rely on for day to day use.
Let’s be frank here. What you really wanted to know about is the camera. Right? Well, I was rather curious about this myself.
Huawei Y9 2019 packs a dual-rear camera setup with 16MP + 2MP lenses. The secondary lens effortlessly captures the depth of field to give a DSLR-like picture by blurring out the background of the subject. On the front, you get a dual camera setup with 13MP + 2MP lenses.
The Y9 2019 camera app itself is packed with a variety of features and modes. The camera app comes with different modes such as light painting, panorama, AR lens (Snapchat filters aren’t handy now), time-lapse, etc. If you’re picky about settings, the camera has a pro mode too but if you are a novice, worry not! It takes amazing pictures even in auto mode.
The Huawei Y9 2019 integrates AI machine learning algorithm which improves with use and creates 22 different categories. With intelligent image identification technology, AI photography helps to select the optimized background and adjusts all the parameters after analyzing the scene (up to 500+ scenarios), so your pictures always look the best.
Though the camera disappointed us in night photography in Auto Mode, it has a dedicated Night mode which can do wonders and is particularly helpful in night photography. However, it requires a tripod as it is a long exposure shot.
The phone boasts a dual camera on the front which rests in the notch. With its 13MP + 2MP front camera snaps equally amazing selfies as well.
It all boils down to one question; should you buy this phone? well, if you ask me, it is a good choice. However, if you are a gaming freak then you may already know that mid-range phones are not designed for sole gaming purpose.
Other than that, it is a great all-rounder living up to expectations. The battery life on the phone is insane and something you’ll definitely love. The software, well, is still in the process of evolving and comes bloated. Though you can uninstall some of it, but not all.
The design language is appropriate, summing up into a device that is not only sleek enough to handle but also shiny enough to show off to your friends.
The camera performance also justifies the price tag of the phone. Expecting something like the Honor 10 here would be a mistake but considering the price, the phone offers more than expected and will definitely prove a worthy contender in the race of best mid-range phones.