Is Huawei’s new phone the next mid-range star?

Huawei is making waves in the budget mid-range segment with the Y9 Prime 2019. Armed with a sub-13k price, the Y9 Prime 2019 is packed with features such as an all-screen, notch-free display, pop-up front camera, triple rear cameras, and USB-C.

Right now, the Y9 Prime 2019’s closest rival is Samsung’s Galaxy A30—touted as one of the Korean brand’s best budget mid-range phones in recent memory. Is the Y9 Prime 2019 a legit threat to Samsung’s budget mid-range offering? Let’s take a quick look at the spec sheet:

Samsung Galaxy A30 specs

  • Exynos 7904 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G71 MP2 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 6.4-inch Full HD+ Infinity-U Super AMOLED display
  • 64GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB)
  • Dual rear cameras: 16-megapixel f/1.7 main camera, 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth camera,
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner, Face Unlock, USB-C
  • 4000mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 9.0 Pie with OneUI
  • Php 13,990

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Specs

  • HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 6.59-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD Display; 1080×2340 resolution
  • 128GB of expandable storage
  • Triple rear cameras: 16-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with 6P lens; 8-megapixel f/2.4
  • ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel depth sensor; with AI Scene Detection, PDAF, LED
  • Flash
  • 16-megapixel pop-up front camera
  • 4G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2
  • Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock, USB-C
  • Android Pie 9.0 with EMUI 9
  • 4000mAh Battery
  • Php 12,990
Wi
With performance mode off

Kirin 710 still has some muscle

While the Y9 Prime 2019’s Kirin 710 processor maybe a year old already, but it provides more computing muscle than the Galaxy A30’s Exynos 7904 processor even without Performance Mode enabled. The same goes for 3DMark’s Slingshot test, where the Kirin 710 trumped over the Exynos 7904.

With Performance Mode on

The performance of Huawei’s 2018 mid-range processor can be boosted further with performance mode enabled at the expense of battery life.

Both phones come with 4GB RAM, though the Y9 Prime 2019 offers more internal storage at 128GB. Both phones are up to date with Android Pie.

All-screen, notch-free is the way to go

Both phones sport full HD+ resolution displays, but the similarities end there. The Y9 Prime 2019’s panel uses an IPS panel, while the Galaxy A30 uses a superior AMOLED display. This results in better color saturation, vibrancy, and black levels, though the Y9 Prime 2019’s display isn’t too shabby either.

While the Galaxy A30’s AMOLED panel has an edge on color vibrancy and saturation, the Y9 Pro 2019’s display is slightly bigger and is devoid of a notch, which is still present on Samsung’s phone. This makes the phone the best choice for people that hate ugly notches on devices that don’t want to pay a premium, thanks to the fact that the Y9 Pro 2019 is the most affordable phone to date that has a full-screen display.

Triple rear cameras give the Y9 Prime 2019 an edge

The most obvious difference between the Galaxy A30 and Y9 Prime 2019 is that the latter has another camera for ultra-wide-angle shots.

Based on our time with both phones, the Galaxy A30 has punchier colors, while the Y9 Prime has better dynamic range.

Both struggle through with low light, with the Galaxy A30’s autofocus being inconsistent. While the Galaxy A30 slightly overexposes photos in low light (hence the sluggish shutter) the Y9 Prime 2019 makes up for it with Huawei’s Night Mode.

Better battery life on the Y9 Prime 2019

While both phones have a 4000mAh battery and USB-C, the Galaxy A30 has the advantage of having support for fast charging.

When it comes to battery life, the Y9 Prime 2019 fared better. While we could not run PCMark properly, the Y9 Prime 2019 managed a near-14 hour usage time, which is an hour better than the Galaxy A30. This is due to the Y9 Prime 2019’s Kirin 710 processor, which is based on a 12nm process compared to the 14nm process used on the Galaxy A30’s Exynos 7904.

Verdict: Huawei grabs the spot yet again

Aside from being one of the most affordable all-display phones with a pop-up front camera in the market, the Y9 Prime 2019 can even rival similarly-priced phones with a conventional notch. It’s Php 1k less than the Galaxy A30, yet still delivers many features that you’d expect on a more expensive phone: versatile triple rear camera setup, roomy internal storage, and a power-efficient processor.

In addition, Huawei’s Y9 Prime 2019 is the most affordable smartphone in the marketplace that has a pop-up selfie module and a full-view display. You really have to see it in person to see the value it brings to the table – you might just want to stop by a Huawei concept store to check it out before deciding.