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Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 first impressions: late to the party but dressed for the occasion

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is the brand’s entry into the newest club of affordable smartphones with a pop-up selfie camera. Launched earlier today, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is the latest mid-range offering from the brand and comes flaunting a full-screen fascia, triple AI cameras on the back and a rising selfie camera as its highlights. Pricebaba was present at the launch event in New Delhi today and managed to spend some time with the smartphone. Here’s a brief account of our first-hand experience with the smartphone.

To say that the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is a good looking phone will be an understatement. While it doesn’t have a shock-and-awe kind of design like the Redmi K20 duo, the rear panel of the phone is glossy polycarbonate, which gives its a glass-like feel and consequently makes it a smudge-magnet. I would advice slapping the provided case in the box to keep the phone shiny. That being said, what caught my eye the dual-tone finish on the back à la Google Pixel 3 duo. The top portion of the rear panel is shiny whereas the bottom portion has been given a matte treatment. The entire rear panel has a very fine sandblasted sort of finish giving it an appearance of a pearl paint job, which becomes more prominent as the light hits at an angle.

As for the design elements, you will find the circular fingerprint scanner and a triple camera module with LED flash towards the center and top left corner, respectively. There is Huawei logo and CE marking on either side at the bottom of the rear panel. The hidden selfie camera cutout and hybrid SIM slot are sitting on top, while the bottom edge is housing a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging port and the loudspeaker grille. There is a very slim slit above the display to house the earpiece.

Speaking of the display, there are literally no bezels all around except for a tiny chin at the bottom, which we feel might be the slimmest among the new crop of all-screen phones. This has resulted in an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 91.02 percent. As for the display itself, the 19.5:9 panel measures 6.59 inches and offers a screen resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels. The display was very immersive, pretty sharp and bright during our short time with the phone. Huawei has equipped the phone with display settings like eye comfort, Smart screen resolution and more.

The smartphone comes with the HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC ticking at its core, which is surprising since it is a year-old chipset and has already been superseded by Kirin 810. That being said, the Kirin 710 is no slouch and accompanied by 4GB RAM, was able to handle multitasking, basic games and such during our brief usage. The phone comes with 128GB storage onboard and offers around 115GB out of the box. While this is more than enough, you can insert microSD cards up to 512GB if needed. Bear in mind, you won’t be able to use a secondary SIM if you use expandable storage.

The phone runs the Android 9 Pie-based EMUI out of the box and is powered by a 4,000mAh battery. However, there is no support for fast charging, which is a bummer.

Coming to cameras, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 comes with a 16-megapixel f/1.8 primary sensor on the back. The main camera is accompanied by an 8-megapixel f/2.4 120-degree wide-angle lens and 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor. For selfies, the motorised module houses a 16-megapixel shooter. Both cameras modules are backed by AI-based scene recognition. The camera app is loaded to the brim with features like Night Mode, Aperture, Portrait, Pro, Slow Motions, HDR, Time Lapse and more. The initial shots taken from the rear cameras and selfies looked decent, however, we will reserve our judgement for the full review.

While there’s no denying that Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is a solid contender, the competition is fierce. With Redmi K20 and OPPO K3 (first impressions) offering in-display fingerprint scanner, better rear cameras and more, Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 looks like an underdog. However, with a more aggressive price tag of Rs 15,990 and offline availability, the new launch just might work for the brand.

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