Huawei hopes to make AR mainstream with the 2018 Y7 Prime

Other than the “budget” member of the Huawei P20 family that is currently hogging all the limelight, the Huawei P20 Lite, there’s yet another device from the same company targeted at people down the food chain. That device is the Huawei Y7 Prime.

There’s not much in the way of differences between the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 and the device bearing a similar name that went on sale in Kenya in September last year. The 2018 model is available in the same colours as last year’s, it has the same processor and the same memory and storage configurations. That said, one cannot miss the obvious differences between the Y7 Prime 2018 and the Y7 Prime from 2017 and the former’s standout feature: the FullView display that brings the trendy 18:9 aspect ratio that is all the rage today to the budget-focused device.

Another standout feature that may not be so apparent to many is one that takes advantage of the device’s cameras: AR. AR is short for Augmented Reality. Simply put, AR is converging the experiences in a virtual world with those in the real world. The best example I like pointing out is the hit game Pokémon Go, which can be played on most Android devices from the most expensive to the cheapest even though the experience varies across the board.

Now, Huawei has a product, AR Lens, that it’s been rolling out to select mid-range smartphones in addition to availing it on its high-end device range. It’s part of the Y7 Prime’s feature set. In the case of Huawei’s AR Lens, how it comes to life is by allowing users to add life-like effects to snaps they take using either the device’s front-facing or back cameras. AR Lens is usually one of the camera “modes” that one can select when they swipe from left to right on the camera viewfinder.

Face unlock, another feature that has suddenly seen renewed interest since Apple made it a big part of its iPhone X feature set, is also available on the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018, further making the case for why it should be considered over last year’s model which is still active in the market.

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Sadly, it’s likely that the device’s Snapdragon 430 processor may be what makes it trail other budget devices in the market. My encounter with the chipset between late last year and early this year, on the Nokia 6, left me with a sour taste. It really lives up to its entry-level (yes, that league that we usually reserve for the 200 series) chip billing. That’s not the experience that one will be getting on those shiny Snapdragon 625-powered Xiaomis.

There’s also the small matter of a device with “2018” as part of its name having a microUSB port for connectivity.

Other features, available thanks to the upgraded software include split screen multitasking and the trademark three-finger swipe to take a screenshot. None of the gimmicky knock gestures are available on the device.

One more thing, it has something that I loved on the OPPO F5: triple slots, two for SIM cards and one for a microSD. Every device should have this. I am not a fan of the hybrid arrangements (choose whether you want to have an extra SIM or more storage, sigh) that we often have to put up with on most devices.

Specifications of the device are as follows:

Dimensions and weight158.3 x 76.7 x 7.8 mm, 155g
Display5.99-inch HD+ (1440× 720 pixels) FullView display
CameraMain camera: 13MP + 2MP
Selfie camera: 8MP
ProcessorSnapdragon 430
Memory3GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0, Oreo, with EMUI 8.0
Network3G, 4G
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB, NFC (only the LDN-TL10 model)
OthersDual-SIM, fingerprint sensor
Colour optionsBlack, Gold, Blue

The ultimate deal breaker will be the device’s pricing. The competition is offering better processors and more storage space and memory for pretty much the same (maybe less) amount of money that Huawei will likely be asking for the Y7 Prime 2018.

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]