Huawei Y9 (2019) First Impressions: Big display to take on Xiaomi, Asus?


With the new Huawei Y9 (2019), the Chinese major has expanded its portfolio in India beyond the premium mid-range devices. This is the first Y-series device to launch in India, which joins existing Huawei lineup of Mate 20 Pro, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei Nova 3 ,and Huawei Nova 3i.

The newly launched smartphone is targeted towards young generation, which usually require big screen and big battery in a smartphone. With all the trendy design elements and dual-camera setup, the Huawei Y9 (2019) is one of the contenders for the most stylish mid-range smartphone in the Indian market. Priced at Rs 15,990, the handset will go up against the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Motorola One Power and Realme 2 Pro.

Big Display, Trendy Design

Starting with the build quality and design, the Huawei Y9 (2019) sports an all-glass design like most Honor smartphones. In particular, it borrows same 3D arc design from the existing Honor 8X, though I found it to be sleeker and offering better grip that the Honor 8X. Having said that the glass does attract a lot of fingerprints and smudges.
Coming to the highlight Huawei Y9 (2019), which is the big display. The smartphone features a 6.5-inch LCD display with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels (full-HD+), and 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a notch. Just like any Honor smartphone in this price range, the display on Huawei Y9 offers a tad saturated colors that pleases the eye in one go. I felt the brightness levels were a little low for outdoor sunlight visibility, but we will only be able to determine its performance after the full review.

Specifications, Cameras and Battery

Internally, the handset is powered by an octa-core Kirin 710 chipset clocked at 2.2GHz coupled with Mali-G51 MP4. The gamers will have the advantage of GPU Turbo technology, which is deigned to enhance the gameplay experience. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. You also have an option of external microSD card for additional storage expandability. I couldn’t properly test the performance aspect because I only had little time with the device. But from my past experience of the Kirin 710, I feel that the smartphone is at par with devices that have Snapdragon 660 in the market right now.
In terms of camera, I didn’t find it appealing. On paper, the Huawei Y9 (2019) comes with four cameras in total. The front dual-camera setup includes a 16-megapixel main shooter with phase detection autofocus and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. At the rear, there is a 13-megapixel main shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

Huawei calls these as AI cameras, which are optimized for features such as scene/object detection, face detection, night mode and more. The company has even integrated TikTok-like video making option in the camera app, which is again a feature that will attract the young generation in particular.
Lastly, the smartphone packs a big 4,000mAh battery to power up 6.5-inch 1080p display. Huawei claims that it can give you nine hours of video watching, 52 hours of voice calling, and 65 hours of music playback in one charge. It comes with AI power management, but there is no fast charging support. The smartphone runs EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo, but Huawei didn’t say anything about the Android Pie update.

Initial Thoughts

Huawei is the second largest smartphone maker in the world right now. During the launch, the company said it has shipped record 200 million smartphones last year, and the plan is to increase its presence in India with Huawei-branded devices. With the new Y9 (2019), Huawei has taken a step forward in that direction, and it is company’s most affordable smartphone at Rs 15,990. The smartphone will be available exclusively via Amazon India starting next week from January 15.
In my short time with it, the Huawei Y9 (2019) comes across as a good looking device with strong specifications which will appeal to the youth. I feel the Huawei Y9 (2019) has the potential to be the one giving tough competition to the likes Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2. So is it a good buy? To answer that I will be putting the Huawei Y9 (2019) through its paces in a detailed review. So stay tuned.

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