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Huawei Y7 Prime Review - Armed and loaded!

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Aside from the ageing yet still capable GR3 2017, Huawei has another contender in the sub PHP 10K range, the Y7 Prime.
Huawei Y7 Prime Review - Armed and loaded!
It's Huawei's affordable big battery phone!

On paper, it seems to be on par or better than most of the competing phones from the mainstream brands. It even has a newer gen entry mid-range grade CPU and massive 4,000mAh battery.

Given those specs, this handset the potential to be one of the must consider devices for the price.

Now, its time to check it out!

Huawei Y7 Prime Specs

Display: 5.5-inch HD IPS In-Cell 1280 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 267 ppi
CPU: 1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 505
RAM: 3GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ screen flash
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat w/ EMUI 5.1
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Colors: silver, aurora blue, gray, black, prestige gold
Dimensions: 153.6 x 76.4 x 8.35 mm
Weight: 165 g
Price: PHP 9,990

Disclaimer: This unit for review was borrowed from Huawei Philippines. Expect our fair review always.

Unboxing / Accessories

Everything inside the box
Everything inside the box

Like most Huawei devices, the Y7 Prime arrived in a pretty neat package. Inside, the company improved their freebies too. It slim type of 2A USB wall charger, the usual USB to micro USB data and charging cables, earphones with mic, SIM ejector too, and paper documentations.

Moreover, Huawei provided a pre-installed screen protector and a FREE translucent plastic case in the package to protect the phone from damages. NICE!

Build Quality / Design

Study enough build
Study enough build

Construction of the phone a bit better than average for the price. It has a plastic frame in the middle that looks and feels like metal at first. At the back, the plate is made out of metal. In front, the screen has 2.5D curved glass on top. It has no creaking parts and feels solid overall.

Construction of the phone a bit better than average for the price.

It has no mention of Gorilla or Dragontrail glass protection though. Fortunately, there's a pre-installed screen protector and free case in the package to protect the handset from unwanted damages.
Top
Top
Bottom
Bottom
Left
Left
Right
Right

Design-wise, the phone doesn't have the new and trendy 18:9 tall screen, but it still looks pretty elegant. It is curvy and near overall. At 8.35 mm thick, this handset is considered as slim for a phone with large 4,000mAh battery. In comparison, there are some similarly devices like the Cherry Flare S6 Plus with just 3,000mAh battery is thicker at 8.6 mm.

Classic design!

The side bezels are far from the slimmest I've seen, but it is still acceptable. The top and bottom bezels are alright, but I wished Huawei maximized the space below by putting physical Android keys there.

At the back, there's a slight camera bump, but it is almost not noticeable. Just put the case and the camera behind will be protected against unwanted scratches.

Personally, I liked the consistent metallic all black paint finish. However, it is prone to fingerprint smudges.

The hold and grip of the phone reminds me of the good Cloudfone Excite Prime 2. It has no sharp edges and feels comfortable to hold. Just sure that your grip is tight to avoid slippage.

One handed is possible for those who have big hands. On my end, using both hands provided the best possible experience. All ports are also easy to reach and on familiar locations.

It still has a headphone jack slot on top and fingerprint scanner at the back. I wished it has stereo speakers and used the new USB Type-C standard though. But at PHP 9,990, you can't really have it all.

Display Quality

Good enough screen
Good enough screen

At this price point, having a 5.5-inch HD 720p display is still acceptable. But, at just 267 ppi is a downgrade coming from the 424 ppi 5.2-inch FHD screen of the GR3 2017.

Don't get us wrong, this screen is still decent, I just got spoiled by the FHD sharpness of other higher-end devices.

It even has pretty accurate colors and legible enough max brightness even for outdoor use. The viewing angles are also wide and you can even adjust the color temperature in the settings.

It even goes with adjustable font sizes and eye comfort mode to lessen the harmful effects of blue light.

It has 5 points of touch as well.

Audio Quality

One of the few minor weaknesses of this phone is its single down-firing speaker. Yes it is clear and crisp, but I personally wished that it is louder. As expected, bass is almost non-existent.

Gladly, the tunes coming from the 3.5 mm female headphone audio port is nice! Just download the Foobar music app and you can even play high bitrate lossless audio files. In particular, it was able to play some of my AIFF files with some over 9,000 kbps bitrates with ease.

Audio output is a bit warmer (still close to balanced) on my default headphones with good emphasis on the bass and sub-bass frequencies. Details are thick and well separated as well.

It isn't still on the level of phones with dedicated HiFi DACs, but this sounded pretty fine for an affordable smartphone.

Microphone quality for calls is great! For recordings, it is stereo in quality! It isn't the cleanest around, but it was able to record our voices clearly. Decent!

Battery Life

Long battery life
Long battery life

The main highlight of the Y7 Prime is its HUGE 4,000mAh battery. It is bigger than most of the competition.

The battery performance of this handset is crazy good! 

Our PC Mark battery test failed, but it clocked 5 hours and 40 minutes of screen on time while on 4G data and even WiFi hotspot mode all the time!

The battery performance of this device is even better than some big battery phones like the ZenFone Max Plus M1 by ASUS. 
We were able to use the phone for 21 hours and 13 minutes in total.

It even has several power saving modes that could extend its battery life further. It also has reverse charging where you can use the phone as a power bank via micro USB port.

Charging time is a bit slow though which is understandable for the price. It clocked 2 hours and 50 minutes to fully charge the 4,000mAh battery from 0 to 100 percent.

Cameras

12MP primary shooter
12MP primary shooter

At the back, this handset boasts a 12MP f/2.2 camera with PDAF focus and LED flash. It has several modes like the HDR, panorama, face beauty, and various filters. It even has grids and fibonacci for guides.
Camera modes, interface, and settings
Camera modes, interface, and settings

It even has a pro photo mode which will allow you to adjust ISO (100 to 3200), shutter (1/1800 to 8s), EV (-4 to +4), focus, and white balance.
Pro photo mode
Pro photo mode

Rear camera experience is good. Focus speed is decent and can do macro shots on subjects around 2 to 3 inches near. Shooting and saving of photos are average in speed.

Quality images is a mixed bag, but mostly good. It can produce great images with proper sharpness and good color accuracy in daylight. Indoor shots are tricky and would require a bit more patience when shooting.

In lowlight, it will struggle. Shots are still acceptable for the price, but you'll see loss of detail, colors, and dynamic range.

Fortunately, Huawei added a pro photo mode here. You can shoot long exposure shots with the help of a tripod for clearer and better looking stills at and in lowlight conditions.

The flash is also quite useful when badly needed.

Rear Camera Samples

Auto daylight
Auto daylight
HDR 1
HDR 1
HDR 2
HDR 2
Close-up 1
Close-up 1
Close-up 2
Close-up 2
Close-up 3
Close-up 3
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Night auto
Night auto
EV -4 (ISO 100, 4s)
EV -4 (ISO 100, 4s)
EV -4 (ISO 100, 5s)
EV -4 (ISO 100, 5s)

For selfies, the 8MP f/2.0 snapper it has is one of the better for the price. It has face beauty, some filters, and panorama modes.
Single selfie cam
Single selfie cam

Focus is fixed, but shooting speed has some good speed. It is also wide enough to fit up to 5 people in one frame.
Selfie cam modes and UI
Selfie cam modes and UI

Details are crisp in daylight and has pretty vibrant colors. Expect it to struggle in lowlight even when you turn the screen flash mode on.

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight indoor
Selfie daylight indoor
Indoor selfie with face beauty mode on
Indoor selfie with face beauty mode on
Night selfie with face beauty
Night selfie with face beauty

For videos, it can shoot up to 1080p quality both on the back and front cameras. It also has 720p time-lapse and 480p slow motion modes. Shooting videos using this phone won't wow you, but it gets the job done at times. It even has nice focus and decent color reproduction. Just make sure that you have a tripod, gimbal, or a pair of very steady hands.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark scores!
Benchmark scores!

Inside, the phone is powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz. That chipset has several connectivity advantages over the ageing Snapdragon 430 processor.


It's also coupled with Adreno 505 graphics, 4GB RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. The 32GB storage has 24.6GB left for your consumption. It's the same configuration found on the higher priced LG Q6 and OPPO A57.

In our test, we discovered that it is capable of running most of the basic tasks with ease. It isn't as snappy as other higher-end phones, but it is quite great in performance for its low asking price. Multitasking is decent and gaming is acceptable with this phone.

In particular, we were able to run few graphics intensive apps nicely. It can play NBA 2K18 at all high settings, but we recommend to play it at all medium settings for smoother framerates and less heating.

Speaking of thermal management, it is quite okay even if you open Huawei Share and 4G data all at the same time. It gets warm a bit, but it is far from hot.
EMUI 5.1 skin
EMUI 5.1 skin

This phone boots with Android 7.0 Nougat OS with EMUI 5.1 skin. By default, it has no app drawer. But, like other EMUI 5.1 devices, there's an option in the settings that allows you to use a mode with app drawer.

It has several pre-installed apps. It includes: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. It also has other apps such as Booking.com, CNN, and Flipboard. All can be uninstalled if you have no use for them.

The phone also has the usual Phone Manager to keep your phone fast, Themes for customization, and Health app to track your fitness. In the settings, you may even select from an array of navigation buttons arrangement. There's a Floating Dock, Mirror Share, and Huawei Share options too.

Like what we mentioned earlier, the Y7 Prime also has a fingerprint scanner at the back. It is snappy and accurate. You can even add up to 5 fingerprints, use it to take photo or videos, answer calls, stop the alarm, and slide gestures. The slide gestures will allow you to show the notification panel by sliding down the fingerprint scanner and browse photos by swiping left or right.

In terms of call quality and connectivity, the phone has stable and strong GSM signals. It has dual SIM slots as well. WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS works fine too. LTE signal is quite strong! It has OTG too!

However, Huawei failed to add a gyroscope sensor. It isn't much of a big deal though. The phone is solid overall.

Pros - Okay build, alright performance, extra long battery life, capable cameras, pro photo mode, accurate fingerprint scanner, good headphone audio output, strong signal reception
Cons - No mention of Gorilla Glass protection, no fast charging, no gyroscope, speaker could have been louder

Verdict

After using the Huawei Y7 Prime for a bit more than a month, we were left with mostly positive impressions. This smartphone very few weaknesses for the price!

At just PHP 9,990, you'll get a solid all-rounder with great looks, decent speed, strong connectivity, capable, cameras, and extra long battery life with the Huawei Y7 Prime.

While it doesn't have the best specs you'll see for the price, this phone delivered a bit more of the performance we expected from it.

Build / Design - 4
Display - 3.75
Audio - 3.75
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4
Average - 4.041 / 5
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