With each passing year, we are getting some tech beauties in the mid-range lineup. Recently we got an opportunity to review the Huawei Y9 2018, which came into Pakistan in the first week of May. Before we dwell into the intricacies, let’s take a quick peek at key specifications.
The Huawei Y9 has a 5.93-inch display with 76.7% screen to body ratio. The company has gone with the in-house Kirin 659 octa-core processor, maximum of 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It houses a massive 4,000mAh Li-ion battery.
Is this package worth your money and does it qualify to be the best mid-range smartphone? Let’s find out the answers in our detailed review of Y9 2018.
The Huawei Y9 has a metal unibody design, which is the outdated but tested case. The dimensions of the phone are 157.2×75.3×7.9 mm, it weighs about 170g, and we didn’t find it burdensome to hold. The phone looks shiny and well-trimmed from all angles. The metal body does have slight curves around the edges which enabled us to use the device comfortably with one hand.
The volume rocker and the power button are on the right side of the phone and are very prompt. The left side of the phone has a 3 in 1 SIM tray having two sim card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot, which enhances the usability of the phone.
You will find a headphone jack, charging port and single-speaker grill at the base of the phone. At the back, you will see a dual horizontal camera set up along with an LED flash just at the top left corner. The fingerprint scanner is placed at back traditionally within reach of the finger.
The phone is available in Gold, Black and Blue colors. We got our hands on the Black and Gold colors out of which, we prefer the gold one because it never catches any smudges, but it varies with the choice of aesthetics. Huawei Y9 2018 has a bold and imposing look to it but doesn’t beat the glass back and premium build of the Honor 9 Lite that also falls in the same price category.
The display is quite sharp, brightness tones accurately in auto brightness mode, making it easy to see the screen in bright sunlight.
Huawei Y9 2018 carries IPS LCD touchscreen with FHD+ screen resolution, 1080×2160 pixels, and 407 ppi density which is stunning in this genre of phones.
Huawei and Honor budget devices display always incline towards the cooler side. A blue hue over the display never looks natural; this phone is no exception here. You can change this by going into settings.
It shows a 76.7 percent screen to body ratio, which is one of the best to find in the smartphones of its league.
Given the price category, Huawei Y9 2018 has a superb display and produces crisp colors with great viewing angles however direct sunlight makes it harder to view videos on the phone.
Huawei Y9 2018 comes with Android Oreo 8.0 coupled with EMUI 8.0 which gives a smooth user experience. The EMUI has noticeably evolved from being a buggy and irritating skin to a smooth and facilitating UI.
Besides the display color adjustment in settings and the option to enable app drawer, there are certainly worth mentioning features that Huawei has stuffed up the new EMUI with.
We particularly like the Game Suite, an option which lets you enjoy games without any interruption.
It provide you with immersive gaming experiencing and displays incoming calls with a short prompt at the top of the screen without interrupting the game. Upon picking the call, the voice is routed to the speaker, so the game keeps running smoothly.
Huawei has also included gesture support in EMUI, for example, you can swipe down with three fingers to take a screenshot. You can use the fingerprint scanner to perform different functions like answer a call, take a photo, draw the notification bar or browse pictures in the gallery by swiping on it.
Huawei Y9 2018 houses an octa-core Kirin 659 processor which is accompanied by 3/4 GB RAM and 32/64/128 GB of internal storage to choose from. This same processor was in Mate 10 Lite and the recently launched P20 lite.
The phone conveniently handled all the daily usage tasks which included Texting, using social media, streaming videos, camera usage and multitasking without any lag.
The device scored a decent 87,823 on AnTuTu Benchmark and grabbed a 908 in Geekbench single core test while a 3731 in multi-core test.
Huawei Y9 2018 had been our daily driver for quite some time and honestly, left us pretty impressed with its performance in light usage.
However, our heavy usage tests proved otherwise. The phone showed processing lags and hiccups when heavy games like the Modern Combat 5 and Real Racing 3 were played. Under normal usage, the phone remains cool or often tepid but again when heavily used it gets pretty warm.
After being warm, the volume keys on the phone also took some time to respond. A slight change in temperature after heavy usage is a common phenomenon nothing unusual, but we want to see how it behaves over the months of regular use.
An amazing battery is one of the commanding attributes of the Huawei Y9 2018. It packs a 4000 mAh battery to bear the phone’s power needs. Sadly, the Phone doesn’t support fast charging and takes forever to charge, but on the bright side, the phone’s battery will not die on you and can easily get you through your day even with quite a heavy usage.
Of course, the flip side of battery life is charging that battery. With a larger capacity battery, it means it’s going to take longer to charge, and well, that is the case here.
It took the battery 2 Hours and 48 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% which is becoming a norm here in mid-range phones.
We tested the phone’s battery endurance in two scenarios, Light, and Heavy usage and the results were phenomenal. The phone’s battery optimization is on point, and during our light usage test, it consumed 11% battery in 1 hour while our heavy usage drained out 17% of battery in 1 hour.
Note that our heavy usage tests include power intensive gaming sessions, video streaming, video calling, downloading large files and heavy multitasking with brightness cranked to full and connected to an LTE network all the time.
Huawei Y9 2018 has the quad camera setup on the phone. It is equipped with dual rear cameras of 16MP + 2MP resolution and dual front cameras with 13MP + 2MP.
Both the camera setups work typically, i.e., one lens gathers the depth of field while other captures the details. After testing the camera, we concluded that the phone definitely boasts a better camera than the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018, but we loved the Honor 9 Lite camera more.
The camera in Huawei Y9 2018 offers a variety of modes. These modes include a wide aperture, HDR, bokeh mode, Good Food, AR, Light painting and Pro mode.
The color capturing on the rear camera is adequate and natural. Under plenty of light, the camera snaps gorgeous pictures. The HDR mode enhances the colors and brings a noticeable difference to the pictures all while keeping it natural.
Though good food mode enhances the color, it also exposes the picture too much and oversaturates the color.
Wide aperture mode on the camera sometimes struggles a lot to differentiate between the background and the picture subject and as a result, spreads an unwanted blur on the subject. Sometimes the pictures come out just fine. This is the best wide aperture mode shot that we could get from the Huawei Y9 2018.
With a well-lit subject, the camera performs more than average and captures decent colors even at night. Although the loss of little bit detail is noticeable is the picture, but we surely can’t expect much from the phone considering the price tag.
Here is another picture with HDR mode where the camera successfully pops up the colors of the subject but not to the extent that it looks artificial. Again, a slight loss of detail can clearly be spotted which we have to forgo keeping in mind the midrange specs and lower price of the phone.
What we liked about this phone the most are its design, display and especially the battery life that quite thrilled us during our tests.
The Y9 is a pretty decent smartphone for its price point, and with the huge 4,000mAh capacity battery inside, it’s definitely going to get a lot of attention from those looking to get a new smartphone, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg.
As for the performance the phone performs day to day tasks with ease and act sufficiently for the needs of average users. However, if you are an avid gamer and want to buy a mid-range phone for heavy gaming, you might have to increase your budget and look for alternatives like Honor 10.
While the Auto Focus was pretty quick in the camera and it captured decent pictures in Auto and HDR modes.
Should you go for it? Well if you can compromise on a little bit of camera glitches, Huawei Y9 2018 is a worthy piece of gadget if you are looking for a good performance and design in affordable price.