So, I’ve had with me the latest budget smartphone from Chinese device maker Huawei for quite some time now.
As I will be able to note in coming days, the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 is quite the device. Given where I am coming from – my encounter with its predecessor last year – I probably need to control myself in order to see things from a rather objective angle and not let my excitement get over me.
Before I drone on and on about the device, here’s what you get in the box:
- A clear plastic case that I have not had much use for (you can’t hide away all that beauty, it’s not fair),
- A screen protector that may come in handy,
- A SIM kit ejection tool to grant access to the microSD card and dual-SIM slot (for those that will get the variant that will eventually make its way to Safaricom’s retail shops that will be a single-SIM slot),
- A cable to pair up with the included wall adaptor for charging purposes (no fast charging and, definitely, no fancy USB Type-C)
- The usual documentation – quick start guide and all,
- A pair of basic headsets that may be the only letdown in what is a fantastic package – wish Huawei bundled the same earphones it provided in the box with the G series budget devices in past years.
- The Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 is, surprisingly, quite light out of the box. You are almost looking for a replaceable battery unit in the box so that things can balance out but that’s the way it is. The end result is a 6-inch smartphone that manages to feel at home in your hands.
- While I expected to find the back slippery given how it looks outdoors, I was pleasantly surprised that I could go on my daily hustles while using the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 as my primary device and not having to worry about going back on my decision not to slap on the case that comes in its packaging.
- The case may become necessary for those that like their devices clean. Sure, the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 looks good from behind and all (see what I did there?) but it’s also a serious fingerprint magnet and it shows. Exactly what happens when all admirers are let to touch things.
- For those that, for some reason or the other, still find the device to be slippery, the perforations on the power on/off button will go a long way. As will the placement of the volume rocker.
- The bottom of the device houses a speaker, on the left. There’s another grille on the right but it’s only there for aesthetic effect – to hide the microphones.
- As longtime readers of my reviews on this site would know, I definitely take a lot of pleasure in this feature: the ability to hide the notch. Sure, the most noticeable thing about the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 is the teardrop notch (Huawei calls it “dewdrop”) that it borrows from its more pricey siblings in the Mate series but even that reduced notch stops being an issue by just taking a trip to the display section of the settings app.
- Whereas some will argue that extending the black bar at the top in the half-futile attempt to hide the cutout eats into the real estate that is supposed to bring the 19:9 panel to life, everything sizes up when you turn on my other favourite feature of the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019: gestures. Definitely, this feature is not limited to the Y7 Prime 2019 as we also got to see it in the Y9 2019 smartphone last year. What this tells you is that you get most of the features of Huawei devices that cost a little more, like the Y9 2019, for a little less money with a few expected compromises here and there, all thanks to EMUI, Huawei’s custom software overlay. Others have to make the jump to Android 9 Pie in order to get any gestures beyond the obvious: double tap to wake/sleep et al. With no confirmation from Huawei about the device’s Android Pie future, if any, this should be some little consolation.
- Still sticking with gestures, another feature that we have obviously highlighted on other Huawei (as well as non-Huawei devices) that one finds on the Y7 Prime 2019 while going about initial setups is the ability to configure the fingerprint sensor to do much more than just unlocking the device – bringing down the notification dropdown when one swipes downwards etc.
- Talking about fingerprint sensors, the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 has something that will make sure you use the fingerprint sensor for those other use cases I have highlighted and not the usual unlocking: face unlock. It’s fast, though not as fast as I found it to be on the Huawei Y9 2019 and, definitely, not as buggy as I found it to be on last year’s model.
- Picking up the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 from the table results in it automatically waking up and triggering the front-facing camera to scan any available faces for authorization.
- The battery lasts and lasts. Yes, I have gone through a full day of work, hopped on to an evening flight to a big city 4 hours away, got there, sampled a bit of its nightlife and still done a 6AM-6PM day the following day on a single charge. To say that the battery is good may be an understatement. It’s amazing. Huawei has an explanation of why that is the case. While the HD+ display definitely does go a long way in helping keep things at bay, the device taps into its reported Artificial Intelligence smarts to tie one’s usage with its own wake/sleep cycles and resource utilization priorities to keep consumption reasonable. As far as I am concerned, the one thing anyone using the Y7 Prime 2019 notices is that the system manages to do this so well.
I could go on and on since there is so much to say about the Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 but this is supposed to be about my first impressions. I will be sharing more in the coming days. For now, you can still find more details about the device here.
It is worth noting that Huawei Mobile Kenya has pushed the release date of the device into the market to Valentine’s Day eve (13th February). You know what that means, right? 5 more days to pre-order the device and get yourself some of the goodies Huawei is giving away.