We knew they were coming and here they are! Huawei’s low-cost smartphone Y series has been updated locally to include 2017 entrants Y7 Prime, Y5 2017 and Y3 2017.
The 3 devices arrive to take the place of last year’s second generation Y series devices.
While today’s unveiling, at a small event in Nairobi, means they are officially in the market, the trio has been retailing countrywide in the days and weeks prior at prices above the recommended retail prices that Huawei Kenya announced.
According to Huawei, the Y7 Prime, the better-specced of the three, should cost Kshs 23,000 while the Y5 2017 and Y3 2017 should go for Kshs 13,000 and 9,000 respectively. A quick spot check we made last week revealed that this was not exactly the case. Maybe retailers will adjust prices going forward? This is because Huawei’s brand store presence is not as strong as its competitors in the market even though it has managed to onboard many retail partners including the likes of FoneXpress, Tuscom, Tricom Technologies among others. Samsung, for instance, had nearly 30 such stores the last time we checked.
At those prices, though, Huawei has even bigger problems like having to count on lady luck if it has any hopes of upsetting the market dominance of the Transsion Holdings duo, Tecno and Infinix. The Y series is meant to capture the imagination of the youth if we are to stick with Huawei Kenya’s campaign last year for the second generation Y series devices, the exact segment that the Tecno-Infinix duopoly has been successful in netting over the last few years with shiny, cheap but feature-packed smartphones.
While all three devices are being hyped by the Chinese company for their camera prowess at the budget segment, they each have their own strong points. The Y7 Prime, for instance, has two features the rest lack: a fingerprint sensor at the back and Android 7.0, Nougat. The Y5 2017’s key selling point is its beefy battery which Huawei says won’t weaken with time while the Y3 2017 stands out for its relatively small footprint and low pricing.
Specifications of the three devices are as follows:
|Huawei Y7 Prime||Huawei Y5 2017||Huawei Y3 2017|
|Dimensions and weight||153.6 x 76.4 x 8.4 mm||143.8 x 72 x 8.35mm||145.1 x 73.7 x 9.45mm|
|Display||5.5-inch HD display||5.0-inch HD display||5.0-inch FWVGA display|
|Camera||Rear : 12MP (f/2.2), Front : 8MP (f/2.0)||Rear : 8MP (f/2.0), Front : 5MP||Rear : 8MP (f/2.0), Front : 2MP|
|Processor||Octa-core Snapdragon 435 clocked at 1.4 GHz||Quad-core MediaTek MT6737T clocked at 1.4 GHz||Choice of either a quad-core MediaTek MT6737M clocked at 1.1 Ghz or MT6580M clocked at 1.3 GHz|
|Memory||3GB RAM, 32GB Storage (expandable via microSD slot up to 256GB)||2GB RAM, 16GB Storage (expandable via microSD slot)||1GB RAM, 8GB Storage (expandable via microSD slot)|
|Operating System||Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 layered on top||Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1||Same as Y5 2017|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 4.1, USB Type-C, NFC||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0||Same as Y5 2017|
|Colour options||Silver, Gray, Gold||Pink, Blue, Gray, Gold, White||Same as Y5 2017|
With Huawei’s management making it clear that the company was moving away from the low budget smartphone segment to focus more on mid-range and high-end devices, it is still anyone’s guess where we go from here.