Huawei Y9 2019 Review – The Shiny and Glossy

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

Just another day with another smartphone launch by the Chinese tech giant, Huawei. The company announced the availability of its new mid-range, Huawei Y9 2019 recently in Pakistan. We have brought to you the unboxing session already with quick impressions. Now this review brings to you all the bits about the new smartphone. It would be enough for you to make a decision about buying.

Huawei Y9 2019 costs PKR 37,999/- in Pakistan and pretends to be a successor to the company’s last year’s Mate 10 lite. The phone packs with many features that we have seen in the company’s Nova 3i smartphone a couple of months ago. The latest proprietary chipset Kirin 710 is the major common factor. With 64GB internal storage the phone keeps a lower profile than the Nova 3i along with its camera configuration. However the Y9 2019 comes with larger battery and larger display.

If you consider the price tag, than sure it looks expensive than it should actually be. But that’s the case with every other smartphone today in the market. Two factors involve in that price hike – first the rupee value that you don’t need any explanation about, second is the increased taxes. So you have to deal with it as you are going to face this kind of higher price tags for most of the phones out there.

Huawei Y9 2019 is available in three colors – midnight black, sapphire blue, and aurora purple. The one we got here for review is the black variant.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

Let’s have a look at the key features of the Y9 2019 before we go into details.

Quick Features and Specifications

Huawei Y9 2019
SoC Chip: Kirin 710
CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2GHz Cortex-A73 + 4×1.7GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
Memory RAM 4GB
Storage: 64GB
OS / Software Android 8.1 / EMUI 8.2
Display 6.5-inch
2340 x 1080 Full HD, 19.5:9,
Pixel density: ~396 ppi
Screen-to-body ratio: ~82.8%
Rear Camera Dual 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4
Front Camera Dual 16MP f/2.0 + 2MP f/2.4
Battery 4000mAh
Size/Weight 162.4 x 77.1 x 8.05 mm /173 grams
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Ambient light, Compass
Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2.5GHz (802.11 b/g/n)

Kirin 710 has performed really well in all the devices it has been shipped with. The Y9 2019 is no different and has performed equally good as a little expensive Nova 3i did. And if you have not forgotten, Nova 3i performed better than the competitors from OPPO and VIVO.

  • Attractive design
  • Impressive display
  • Powerful battery timing
  • Nice camera
  • Adequate gaming
  • No USB Type C
  • No Fast Charging
  • No Video Stabilizer

A separate unboxing session of Huawei Y9 2019 was already done last week, you might want to check that but here’s the list of things which you get with the retail package.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

Huawei Y9 2019 Box Contents

  • The device – Huawei Y9 2019
  • Connectivity/Charging cable
  • Travel charger – 5V+2A
  • Stereo headset
  • SIM eject tool
  • User guide
  • Add-on silicon back cover
  • Add-on screen protector

Build and Design

Huawei’s build quality never let us down and the company has maintained it for years. Huawei Y9 2019 is no different even when it’s all plastic. If it’s a good plastic, it makes you love it but afterall it is plastic and is always prone to attract scratches far quicker. On the other hand it’s a good shock absorber it won’t break or dent as easily as a glass or metal would.

Huawei Y9 2019 has a full back cover of plastic with dual edges on the sides. The mid-frame is also plastic and joins right between the screen frame and the back panel. The strange thing is that the plastic couldn’t make this phone lighter in weight than the glass built Nova 3i. The phone weighs 173 grams which is pretty good weight.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

Once again, the branding and labels are at the side of the phone following the most recent releases from the company. There is no logo design with leaves but only “HUAWEI” written in bold on the left side of the back. Some light labeling is on the opposite side.

The rear side hosts the dual-camera module on the top-left corner and prints the camera labels below in the same direction as logo. It reads “AI CAMERA” with no camera or lens specifications. Below the camera module you can also see an LED flash.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

This camera labeling is just a gap filler thing as we have seen the same “AI CAMERA” label on the expensive Nova 3 model while the cheaper Nova 3i printed only “DUAL-LENS”

Then, there is a fingerprint scanner right on the back. It also keeps the tradition of being one of the most fast fingerprint sensors among smartphones.

Components and Ports

The Y9 2019 has no different layout of these components and ports than any other smartphone. micro USB port is on the bottom of the phone along with the speaker grill. The mouthpiece (aka mic) is also down there as well as 3.5mm audio jack.

The top side of the phone only hosts a secondary mic for noise cancellation and stereo recording.

The power button and the volume buttons are on the right side of the phone, while on the other side the hybrid SIM slot is available.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review Huawei Y9 2019 Review

With the dual-SIM support you can use a microSD card along with a SIM card, or you can use all space with two SIM cards instead.

Coming towards the front, the notched cut-out follows you in this new mid-ranger as well. This smaller notch hosts two cameras with an earpiece between them.

Front and Display

We have seen even further cut-down versions of the display notches from Vivo and OPPO that only hosted a single camera unit. They moved the earpiece between the glass and the frame. But when Huawei wants to put two cameras, they sure need a little wider notch. But it’s still far smaller than we have seen in Nova 3 series recently.

The bezels around the phone are not as thin as we have seen from Vivo. Even Huawei’s has given thinner bezels around its phones recently. Android smartphones have not yet vanished the bottom chin and it’s also present on the Y9 2019.

The full front profile features a 6.5-inch display with aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The full HD+ display resolution 2340 x 1080 pixels serves with the pixel density of around 396 ppi and 82.7% screen-to-body ratio.

Above six inches, the display is little extra large for many but thanks to the slimer bezels which have made the overall profile little less bulky. Oleophobic coating available out-of-the-box – which is a good thing. It indeed makes the display clear from fingerprint smudges and it makes the experience smooth.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review

Huawei Y9 2019 also packs with an IPS panel like, the Nova 3i but it has deeper blacks than the Nova 3i. Still it doesn’t matches the black we have seen in Vivo’s recent smartphones with IPS in-cell technology.

The IPS display on Y9 2019 is not bad at all – it’s sharp and crisp with its resolution and outdoor visibility is also impressive. While overall bright user interface helps in outdoors but some dark interfaces doesn’t impress due to lower contrast ratio.

If you are not fond of the notch on the top of the display, you can just hide it from the settings. Well you don’t actually hide it, but just enable a dark status bar covering the notch from both sides so it won’t stand out of the top edge. You can go to settings and simpy hide the notch.

Hide Notch on Huawei Y9 2019

There are scenarios when the phone software will cover the top area when any incompatible app is running on the front. That’s due to the non-standard aspect ratio which is turning out to be the most recent trend.

Software and UI

Huawei Y9 2019 runs Android 8.1 Oreo operating system out-of-the-box with the proprietary EMUI 8.2 software layer on top. It’s just like the most mid-range smartphone Huawei has shipped recently including the Nova 3 and Nova 3i.

The new software of Huawei packs AI features that come right at the hardware level with its latest chipsets, including the Kirin 710. The dark theme of settings, Huawei first brought in P20 Pro, never appeared in its mid-range smartphones. I really believe the company can bring it to its mid-range devices as well.

The display notch as we noted above that could camouflage with a software based top bar – The best thing about it is that it keeps the information intact including all those statuses and notification icons.

Lock, Unlock and Home Screen

First of all, the lock screen comes first after you have setup your phone, with the same Magazine style by default as always. You can change the categories to load wallpapers from, in this specific style. Just in case if you didn’t know, this style loads a new wallpaper every time you press power button to wake up the phone. Some quick options are also present on the lock screen.

The home screen can be configured as always to have different layout of icons. Folders and context menu is there that you can initiate by tap and holding an icon – you can still drag the icon that way by ignoring the menu and continue with dragging.

App Drawer

Default home screen style is just old without the app drawer but you can turn it on by going through Settings > Display > Home screen style > Drawer. Huawei must move this option to the home screen customize settings, it will be more quick and easy that way.

Variety of Navigation Styles

In addition to common three-key navigation that you have seen in above screenshots – recent apps, home, and back keys, the new Y9 has two more navigation options. Single-key navigation, and navigation dock.

Navigation Dock. When enabled, a dock is appeared floating on the screen which you can simply tap, tap & hold, hold & stretch and drag to respectively navigate to back, home, recent tasks view or move the dock itself.

Smart Screen Resolution

The new Y9 2019’s native resolution is 2340 x 1080 pixels which is also default resolution. The system allows you to set the resolution down to 1560 x 720 pixels which will consume low power. In addition, there is a Smart resolution option; when turned on, the system will automatically adjust the screen resolution when needed. Specially when the battery is low.

System Performance

Huawei Y9 2019 is not the first smartphone to feature Kirin 710. The company’s latest mid-range system-on-chip was previously featured in the Nova 3i and Mate 20 lite. This chip replaces the Kirin 659, but it has more power than usually a successor does. The Kirin 710 outperforms its predecessor with a significant margin.

Huawei Y9 2019 was good at its performance which was most similar to the experience that we recently had with the Nova 3i and Vivo V11. Daily standard usage was quite good without any kind of lag. Everything was smooth and responsive without any objection. It did almost everything we threw at it.

With respect to gaming, while it’s a mid-range smartphone, it did really good. PUBG Mobile picked up the “balanced” graphics with “medium” frame rate. This default configuration gave me a pretty nice and lagless experience. Setting it on one step further would lag the experience.

Huawei Y9 2019 Review - PUBG Mobile

Other titles such as Asphalt 8/9, Asphalt Xtreme, Tekken, Need for Speed – No Limits also worked great on Y9 2019. The phone gave a wonderful experience with most of the games we tried. You can always use the Game Suite built-in to boost the experience of your favorite games. This feature also supports “Do not disturb” mode that prevents any incoming notifications while you are playing.

Game Suite

The new Y9 also comes with the Game Suite just like the recent Huawei releases. It allows users to add certain games in a list that will provide the users with uninterrupted gaming experience. In addition the system will optimize the settings for better performance in selected games. This may also consume more power and you may experience heat up.

The chip supports company’s GPU Turbo, hence the Y9 2019 can give you “2x the GPU efficiency and a GPU performance increase of 1.3x to deliver a powerfully immersive gaming experience.”

If you are waiting for the benchmark scores, then they are right down there. Y9 performed pretty much equally as Nova 3i did. Kirin 710 is somewhere between the MediaTek’s Helio P60 and Snapdragon 660 with regard to graphics, however the Kirin 710 leads in overall performance.

Huawei Y9 2019 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme Huawei Y9 2019 AnTuTu Huawei Y9 2019 Geekbench Multi-core Huawei Y9 2019 Geekbench Single-core Huawei Y9 2019 GFX Manhattan

Battery Performance

Huawei Y9 2019 has a superb battery timing. After having the similar experience with Nova 3i, I can say that Huawei has optimized its software with its proprietary chip really well. Do not forget the Kirin 710’s 10nm manufacturing process as well.

The new Y9 packs with a large 4000 mAh battery and it lasted with me for up to three days with one full charge. During this face I used the phone with standard calling, texting, little internet surfing, little camera usage, only a few minutes of YouTube, less frequent Facebook and Twitter and likes.

Huawei Y9 2019 battery UI Huawei Y9 2019 battery Huawei Y9 2019 battery

Little moderate use with social networks, in-browser video playback and YouTube, a couple of minutes GPS navigation, and little gaming, would give a full day very easily with a good use of camera too.

Excessive camera usage and GPUS navigation may take some battery juice but it’s much better than most in this class we have tested recently. Last but not least, gaming is something that will take most of the battery juice but I am talking about some graphically vigour titles.

Camera – Photos and Videos

Huawei Y9 2019 features four cameras – two on the front and two on the back. After last year’s Mate 10 lite, the company has provided this quad-camera setup most recently with Nova 3 series. The dual rear cameras features a 13MP primary sensor with a 2MP secondary sensor for depth mapping. It helps producing bokeh effect in portrait mode or aperture mode. On the front, Y9 has 16MP primary sensor paired with a secondary 2MP sensor.

Huawei Y9 2019 Camera

Even though the Y9 comes with the same chipset and same AI features as Nova 3i did, Huawei wants to keep some appealing camera features away from Y9. Some are related to camera itself, such as Slo-mo as the Y9’s camera is little less performer than the on in Nova 3i.

Overall the camera UI is pretty much similar, but the AR Lens feature, introduced with Nova 3i, has been moved to the “More” tab. It doesn’t have the 3D emojis and 3D live objects in Y9. In fact, anything labeled with “3D” is not present, including 3D panorama.

The new Y9 2019 offers all the features that Huawei has previously provided in most of its smartphones – Pro-mode with probably all manual settings, a specific “Night” mode helps taking shots in most darker environment. The mode can work impressively when hand-held if you try to keep yourself steady. It takes a 5 sec exposure at lowest possible ISO sensitivity according to the scene. You can choose your own exposure time and ISO as well in this mode.

The Y9 also features company’s AI algorithm that can “recognize 22 categories of 500+ scenes and provides optimized settings instantly.” Initially the company provided the option called “Master AI” hidden into the camera settings menu. Later with the launch of Nova 3i that carried the chip-based AI, the option moved directly on the viewfinder with a simple switch “AI”.

Camera Performance

Huawei Y9 2019’s camera worked well in bright sunlight. The colors are less vivid and dynamic range was ok and the highlight clipping easily captures the frame if you got a little bright background. AI performed well again identifying the scenes and setting up the right color scheme for the photo but it also seemed to involve HDR functionality along with color manipulation.

Overall the Y9’s camera was good but isn’t that impressive as Nova 3i’s was. Noise was handled nicely but only in less dark areas. Low light conditions were difficult for the Y9’s camera however if you want to take portrait shots, flash might help in some cases.

Portrait and Aperture Mode

Front Camera

The 16MP camera on the front also has a support of system’s AI features and the beauty mode is way better than before. However, I don’t like to take selfies in beauty mode, it’s good to use a bit of it on the scale.

Quality and performance wise, the front camera also struggles in low-light conditions. Thanks to the screen flash that could help with an improved selfie quality. However it’s good for selfie lovers as the camera would do its job pretty well.


Huawei Y9 2019 is a good looking phone with impressive display and smooth performance in this price – well do not count the price hike as it’s a fact that has affected every phone on the shelves. Being little heavy with plastic gives some second thoughts as why it would be like that but don’t forget it’s little larger with 6.5-inch screen. For this price tag, I really think companies should bring USB Type-C but that’s the case most other devices as well.

With the similar price tag, Infinix Note 5 Stylus indeed has a metal build with an impressive stylus too. But that phone performs way lower than Y9 2019. Currently if you compare the Y9 with company’s Nova 3i or Vivo’s V11, it’s not only performance you’d see, there are other elements such as large internal storage and better camera which come with some extra thousands.

One option to try is the Honor 8X which brings you more similar features with Huawei in less cost. But I haven’t tested it so can’t really recommend. Y9 2019 is a good option to buy indeed among many others. I liked everything about it including its polished design but the plastic build that could lead you to carry it in back case.

Huawei Y9 2019 Photo Gallery

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