More often than not, the budget category offers middling hardware and performance that leaves to be desired. But the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
In fact, the company’s latest affordable smartphone looks more expensive than it is — especially with that small notch — and can run heavy apps while keeping the screen-on time in the six-hour-plus territory. Which is impressive, to be sure.
In the Philippines, Huawei priced the Y7 Pro 2019 at P9,990, or around $191 converted. It’s obviously not a lot, but is it worth the money? Read on for our full review.
Visually, the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 looks modern and appealing despite its humble plastic exterior. The backing itself is glossy and picks up fingerprints and smudges a bit easily, though the black paint job on our unit manages to hide them somewhat. It’s available in a blue-purple color gradient as well.
The front features a dewdrop notch that’s just big enough to house the front camera at the top of the screen. It’s economical for phones that have nothing else to put in the notch area; not to mention, it preserves the Y7 Pro 2019’s appeal as an almost-full-screen device. And the bezels are quite slim on three sides, except for the bottom chin where the Huawei logo is displayed.
The frame that holds the front and rear panels together is curved a bit and has a matte finish instead of a glossy one. It’s clever because it creates a nice contrast with the rest of the body while helping you hold the phone more securely.
Without chunky bezels to get in the way, single-handed use is perfectly possible. The 19.5:9 aspect ratio also means a narrower display, which makes using the Y7 Pro 2019 with one hand easier.
The microUSB charging port and speaker holes are located at the base. Although there are two sets of holes down below, only the right-hand section houses an actual speaker. Huawei doesn’t offer fast charging on the Y7 Pro 2019, but the handset includes an LED light that indicates charging status to make your life a little easier.
You’ll notice the power and volume buttons along the right edge. They offer decent tactile feedback. Opposite them is a card tray that needs a SIM-eject tool to release. It has a dedicated memory card slot, allowing you to use two nano SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously. A headphone jack sits next to the mic on the top edge.
Yes, there’s a headphone jack, and the audio is great enough for private listening, too. Huawei’s Histen sound processing will also give you various effects to apply to your audio. It’s worth checking out for certain music genres and can improve your listening experience depending on what you’re playing. However, do keep in mind that the effects will only work through wired earphones.
The screen is 6.2 inches across, while the resolution is a respectable 1,520 x 720 — not bad at all for the size, though we obviously would have liked to see a sharper resolution. For media, gaming, and most purposes, HD is fine.
On a more positive note, the quality of the panel is pretty good indoors as well as outdoors. Colors look natural, and contrast is satisfactory. Huawei has even included color-mode and temperature adjustments that let you fine-tune the color balance of your screen to your liking.
There is, of course, the option to apply a black background on the status bar so that it blends in with the notch, just as Huawei has done with the Y6 Pro 2019 and other recent releases. Hiding the onscreen buttons is one toggle away if you’re okay with full-screen gestures for navigation.
For taking pictures, the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 includes dual cameras with 13- and 2-megapixel sensors on the back. And yes, the 2-megapixel camera acts as a depth sensor to create bokeh in Portrait mode. Daytime shots look pleasing and color-accurate with passable detail. The bokeh feature also produces a surprisingly accurate blurred-background effect around objects.
Portrait mode (with bokeh effect) vs Auto mode
Night shots, unfortunately, don’t come out particularly sharp or colorful. But that’s the case with most smartphone cameras at lower points. There are no dedicated features here for shooting in low light, unless you count Pro mode, which will definitely help if you know your way around cameras. You can still get good results at around sunset, though, as evidenced by these sample photos we took, especially with artificial intelligence or AI enabled.
Pictures taken at almost 6 p.m.
Other photos shot on the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019
The Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 can record videos up to 1080p but omits in-camera stabilization. Footage shot in well-light surroundings usually turn out fine for sharing online.
For selfies, this phone boasts a 16-megapixel camera capable of producing reasonably good photos as long as you stick to outdoor environments. The front camera does face unlock, too, and it works well enough to the point where lacking a fingerprint reader isn’t as big of a problem as it is on other devices.
Selfies: Beauty mode (Level 5) vs Auto mode
Another set of sample selfies
The Y7 Pro 2019 runs EMUI 8.2- based Android Oreo on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, alongside 3GB RAM and 32GB of native storage. And although it’s a Snapdragon 400-series processor, its actual and synthetic performance is really closer to the higher-end Snapdragon 600 range. It’s plenty efficient, too, as you’ll soon find out.
Gaming on the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019: PUBG Mobile (start), NBA 2K19 (5:05 mark), and Mobile Legends (10:21 mark)
Heavy games like PUBG Mobile and NBA 2K19 run at low to medium settings, at around 30 frames per second, or FPS, according to the GameBench benchmark tool. That number is enough for smooth, stable gameplay even while playing online.
It’s also worth mentioning that this phone ships with Huawei’s Game Suite app preinstalled, allowing you to specify which titles will get priority attention from the system and whether notifications are displayed silently or hidden entirely while playing a particular game.
Another thing that stands out about this phone: It can last days. The battery inside the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 is generous, with a capacity up to 4,000mAh. It is leaps ahead of many other devices in the category and can survive two days off the charger.
With moderate to heavy use, we could still wring over a day’s battery life out of our unit. In one of our tests, we got over six hours of screen-on time, even with Mobile Legends using up a ton of power during that particular cycle. The Y7 Pro 2019 has a couple of things going for it — and thankfully, endurance is one of them.
The Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 is an excellent choice for consumers on a budget. It’s got a modern design, an adequately sized screen for media, a capable processor that can handle demanding tasks, and battery life for days on a charge.
Again, this is all for P9,990 ($191), so it’s easy to forgive any flaws. Huawei seems to have covered all the bases with its new Y series phones.
Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 specs
- 6.26-inch LCD display, 1,520 x 720 resolution (19.5:9)
- Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB expandable memory
- Dual 13- and 2-megapixel rear cameras with LED flash
- 16-megapixel front camera
- 4,000mAh battery
- EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
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