Reviews

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Review – Budget-Friendly 18:9 Display Phone

Huawei has followed up its last year’s Y7 Prime phone with the latest Huawei Y7 Prime 2018. Keeping the same price bracket, the brand has managed to improve a lot of things in this year’s iteration of the Y7 lineup. Key things that differentiate the phone include the new 18:9 display which Huawei refer to as FullView. Further, there is a dual-lens camera setup on the back and consistent from last year, there is an included fingerprint scanner which, again, is placed on the back. But the question stands, has Huawei done enough with the new Y7 Prime 2018 to stay relevant in this ever expanding budget smartphone space?

We have had the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 smartphone with us for over a week and after rigorously testing the smartphone in each aspect, we will be detailing our findings ahead. Over the past couple of years, smartphone innovation has indeed stagnated. There hasn’t been many drastic changes in flagship smartphones hence users are still satisfied with older versions. On the contrary, the budget smartphone class has improved by multiple folds — Y7 Prime 2018 proves to be a great candidate as evidence. The motto behind Y7 Prime 2018 definitely seems to be more at a lesser price. However, are there any compromises? Let’s discuss right ahead.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

Take a look at all the technical specifications of Huawei Y7 Prime 2018:

  • Network: FDD-LTE / WCDMA / GSM
  • Display: 5.99 inch 1440×720 Huawei Fullview Display
  • Processor: MSM8937 (Snapdragon 430) Octa-core 1.4GHz
  • OS: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Camera Rear: 13 MP + 2MP
  • Camera Front: 8MP (Front Facing Flash Light)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Micro USB, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hot Spot
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass, Fingerprint sensor
  • Memory: 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)
  • Dimension: 158.3mm x 76.7mm x 7.8mm
  • Battery: 3,000mAh

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Design and Hardware

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

Huawei has been sticking to their standard set of designs with all their recent smartphones. The Y7 Prime 2018, straight of, takes a lot of design cues from Mate and Honor lineup. The center piece of Y7 Prime 2018, is the display itself. Rest of the phone is designed to fade out of the way to give you the most immersive experience.

Right from the front, the phone houses 18:9 display which is sized at 5.99 inches diagonally. The long build makes such a large screen quite manageable with a single hand. As much as I love the display and think it truly sets this phone apart, the display is also one of the major drawbacks of the phone. This display comes with a 720p resolution which is simply a no-go. In this day and age, 1080p is the minimum standard each smartphone should follow regardless of the price bracket. Nonetheless, making use of the tall screen, Y7 Prime 2018 features touch navigation buttons which has become a standard on all Huawei smartphones in recent years. As there is no notch, there are symmetric chins on the front. The top chin houses all the sensors which include the camera, call-speaker, light sensors and flashlight.

Moving to the edges, the left edge gets all the buttons. There is an elongated button to house volume rockers along with a dedicated power button. There is no texture differentiating each button but the placement is easy to get used to if you are an avid Huawei phone user. Next, the right edge houses the SIM tray. The SIM tray features dedicated dual SIM functionality along with a microSD card slot. As each functionality is dedicated, you can use dual SIMs along with a microSD card which is a big plus.

The top edge is left blank whereas the bottom edge is populated with microUSB slot for charging and data transfers. Alongside it, there is the speaker cutout and also a headphone jack. The speaker is adequate enough, nothing extra ordinary. As for the headphone jack, you can equalize the sound output which is good plus and this equalization is implemented at system level so all output coming out will be on your set equalization.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

Lastly, the back gets improved as well. Similar to last year, Y7 Prime 2018 comes with a rear mounted fingerprint scanner, quite ergonomic and easy to use. Also, at the back, is a much improved camera setup. Y7 Prime 2018 features a dual lens camera module for creating a more refined bokeh effect thanks to the wide aperture mode. We will be discussing about this in detail ahead. Rest, the back cover feels like plastic coated to look like aluminium and the phone is housed in a glossy black plastic border — NCVM coated. Our unit arrived in Black color, you can opt for either shiny Blue or Gold as well.

Jumping towards the internal hardware, as mentioned in the technical specification listing, this phone is powered by a Snapdragon 430 chipset. This recent processor is quite good especially when you consider the efficiency. Paired with 3GB RAM, there aren’t many apps that would notice any performance issues. Demanding games like PUBG run at a playable framerate. Further, the storage is at a standard 32GB which is very good to see and also, if you want more, you can expand it with a microSD card. In the end, the battery deserves a mention as well. The module is rated at 3,000mAh which works to provide all-day battery life and impeccable standby times. This efficient performance is partly credited to the software as well.

Here are few synthetic benchmark results from Huawei Y7 Prime 2018:

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Camera

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

This year’s Y7 Prime features improved camera performance. The main accreditation for this improvement goes to Huawei opting for a dual camera setup. Definitely, according to the price bracket, this dual lens setup isn’t comparable to what you will find on flagship smartphones. But then again, the real question is, should Huawei have gone with a better single camera rather than opt for two for the same price? Well, I think, at this price-point, the dual lens camera marketing favors the brand quite well and in some scenarios, you can really pull off a DSLR like bokeh effect.

The main shooter is 13MP and to provide assistance, there is a 2MP module. Performance wise, the camera is good, improved over last year. The focus is fast and sharp. Users interested to buy this phone would be quite intrigued with the dual camera setup and correctly so. The bokeh effect has really carried on as it provides a great outlook to normal photos, especially portraits.

Here are some of the sample shots we took with the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018:

Coming to the camera app, it is simple enough to be utilized while carries adequate customization to tweak it to your liking. The highlight feature comes in the form of Wide Aperture mode — Huawei’s name for the portrait / bokeh effect. This mode obtains images from both lenses and stitches together a final picture. Fortunately, similar to high end flagships, once you have captured the picture, you can tweak the effect after the fact — there are 7 different levels to choose from. However, as a user who has utilized multiple other smartphones at this price bracket, camera is not Huawei Y7 Prime’s main selling point. Yes, the Wide Aperture mode is great when it works however all photos have less vivid colors and experience high noise in low light conditions. For videos, you can record maximum at 1080p.

Coming towards the front, there is a 8MP camera module placed on the top chin. Along with the camera, there is a front flashlight present as well. This camera serves its purpose quite nicely and thanks to software processing, you can capture some amazing selfies in good lighting conditions. Huawei markets the front flash as a Selfie Toning Flash which relates to automatic levels of brightness for the front flash according to lighting conditions. The front flash remains to be a gimmick in my book but it is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. Despite the high pixel count, for front video, the camera tops out at 720p. There is also one more trick which is AR Lens support. You can utilize AR Lens through the stock camera app to map figurines to your face and it will augment them in real time. These AR effects needed to be additionally downloaded and don’t ship out of the box probably due to storage concerns.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Connectivity, Memory and Battery

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

As important as all the hardware is, for a smartphone, the fundamental factor is connectivity and communication. It is always assumed that smartphones have excellent communication abilities but unfortunately, some devices skip on this. Gladly, Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 doesn’t fall in that class. Rather it is an example of how a smartphone should be in terms of connections in this price bracket. The good starts right from the SIM tray itself, it features dedicated dual SIM slots along with a third slot for microSD. More often than not, brands usually market phones with dual SIM along with expandable storage but one at the expense of the other. Also, Huawei Y7 Prime features 4G LTE speeds on both SIMs.

Moving towards the overall memory found on the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018, the phone features 32GB ROM which can be used to store user data such as photos, music and more. As for the RAM, it is an abundant 3GB. All in all, this combination hits the sweet spot for budget class phones. As storage has become cheaper, brands are looking to carry forward this benefit to their consumers.

If there is one thing which surprised me except the display, it is the battery. There is a 3,000mAh module fitted in this slim chassis. If you set the brightness at auto, there is easily 3 to 4 hours of on-screen time to be utilized. Further, this is all without using any of the phone’s smart power saving features.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Software

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

Huawei’s signature EMUI 8.0 is running on Y7 Prime 2018. Based on Android 8.0 Oreo, this skin is one of the more like-able skins available on the market and there are two main reasons. The first being adequate customization options and the second being, fast updates. For starters, EMUI does offer you a handful of gestures that you can utilize to better manage the smartphone. Along with these gestures, options like customiz-able home screen, option to display normal apps in the stretched 18:9 layout and a wide variety of built-in apps make the Y7 Prime 2018 a complete package.

Huawei has also managed to add in Face Unlock feature to the Y7 Prime. The brand has utilized its own facial recognition algorithm through which the device can automatically detect 1,024 points of a human face and perform high accuracy mapping. In our tests, the lighting conditions affected the results quite aggressively but if you are in a well-lit room, Y7 Prime can unlock itself within a second using face unlock.

Y7 Prime 2018, right out of the box, features Android 8.0 Oreo and thanks to Project Treble, we expect future updates to arrive quite quickly. As we touched on the built-in apps of Y7 Prime 2018 before, let’s take a look at them in more detail right ahead.

Default bundled Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Apps and Features:

  • Phone Manager: This is sort of a central app provided by Huawei to overview your phone stats and monitor it. It is helpful for cleaning out junk from storage and seeing which apps use the most RAM and all of that sort.
  • Themes: Huawei provides this Theme app from which you can download extensive themes for your EMUI device. The good thing is, it has a variety of selection and you can easily filter through.
  • HiGame: A sort of redudancy towards Google Play but HiGame basically provides the best games which Huawei has helped in development for its smartphones. Good to browse through when you are searching for an optimized game for your phone.
  • Mini Screen View: This built-in mode allows you to shorten the whole display towards the bottom of the screen so that you can use the phone effectively with one hand.
  • Huawei Clone: For users transferring from older smartphones, Huawei Clone offers you to copy over older SMS, photos and other user data to your new Y7 Prime 2018 quite effectively and automatically.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Screenshots

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018: Gallery