All hell broke loose when it was first announced last year that the US government is blacklisting the Chinese smartphone giant Huawei from working with the US tech companies. It means that until the US administration lets go of the political onslaught, the firm cannot obtain an Android license and thus have to say goodbye to Google apps and their services.
Though when it seemed that Huawei had finally hit a dead end, the company didn’t wait to surprise us with its new smartphones equipped with its very own App Gallery. This brings us to the latest phone we have in our hands that is living a Google-free life, Huawei Y6p. Let’s dive into the review to see what the company has in store for us:
Design and Display
Huawei Y6p is a heavy smartphone that comes with a simple-looking design language that reminds us of the past when thick and hefty phones were in trend but in all fairness, it doesn’t look any less attractive than many new phones in the market.
At the back of the device, we get a glossy finish that makes it shine like glass but the actual star is the curved side of the frame which thanks to its matte finish helps the user to keep a tight grip on the smartphone.
The frame of Huawei Y6p is wider than what we have usually gotten accustomed to but perhaps the larger 5000mAh battery has forced Huawei’s hand to create more space inside the phone’s body. One of the benefits of having a wider body is that it provides a comfortable grip when you are playing games on the device as your hands do not get tired in the process.
Our test unit is in Phantom Purple color which looks quite beautiful in one’s hands. It is also quite refreshing to see the Chinese smartphone giant breaking away from the monotonous Bluish color. You can also get the smartphone in two other colors; Emerald Green and Midnight Black.
Talking about phone aesthetics, everything from the vertically aligned triple camera setup, rear fingerprint scanner to the company’s own branding looks quite well balanced and pleasing to the eyes. All the other phone controls are at their usual places; power and volume keys on the right side, SIM tray on the left side, and MicroUSB charging slot, audio jack, and speaker grille at the bottom of the smartphone.
Although both the front and back sides of Huawei Y6p are smudge magnets, unlike many other phones you can clean them up with a single swipe.
Coming to the display of the smartphone, we get 6.3 inches of IPS LCD screen with 720 x 1600 pixels resolution (HD). Despite having a 278ppi pixel density, the colors, though low in contrast, look quite reasonable on the screen. However, the company has provided only a few screen options in the settings area; color temperature, e-book mode, and dark mode as it still features the Android 10 operating system.
Movies and games look quite colorful on the screen as we get decent blacks and whites. The brightness of the display lights up the screen even when the settings are set to the middle of the bar and is quite adequate for outdoor use at the maximum setting. Even though it is a budget device, the extreme angles do not hinder the quality of the phone’s display.
As we have said before, Google Play seems to be history for Huawei devices unless the Chinese smartphone company is free to work with Google again and for apps like YouTube, Gmail, etc. you’ll have to resort to using the web version through the phone’s very own browser. Moving on to what the phone actually has, we get Mediatek 6762 aka Helio P22 chipset accompanied by 3GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage under the hood. It also has PowerVR GE8320 to handle the phone’s graphics.
Though we have seen the same hardware combination in many other budget devices, Huawei Y6p has shown much better phone optimization among them all. In the Antutu benchmark, although Huawei’s device scored less than Realme C11, 90938 in contrast to the latter’s 105176 score, its real-life performance is miles ahead.
In our real-life testing, the phone ran smoothly without a hitch. Owing to the absence of graphics-rich games like PUBG and Call of Duty on Huawei’s App Gallery, we could only play Asphalt 9 on the smartphone, and let us tell you that it worked flawlessly. If you are an active gamer, you have to know that Huawei’s app store offers a limited number of small games with low graphics that may not satisfy your hunger for gaming.
Overall, we did not face any frame drop or lag while playing games on the smartphone. However, you can sometimes notice a little lag while switching between different mobile apps when you are multitasking. Both the fingerprint scanner and the face unlock feature are pretty snappy and the latter can easily work even in the low-light. The single firing speaker at the bottom is quite loud and the e-book mode turns the entire phone black and white to provide a comfortable reading experience that is also easy on the eyes.
Huawei Y6p features a 5000mAh battery accompanied by a 10W charger right out of the box but unfortunately, you will not find fast charging support on this device. The phone takes 3 hours and 10 mins to fully charge from 0 to 100% which is quite better as compared to Tecno Spark 5 Pro which takes 4 hours and 24 mins to charge.
In our video loop test, the device took 14 hours and 19 mins to fully discharge the battery and lasted 40 minutes more than Tecno Spark 5 Pro. The 4-hour battery test featuring resource-heavy apps and activities running on mobile data showed 40% battery consumption where the most of power was drained by Asphalt 9 (8%).
The smartphone is equipped with a triple camera setup at the back featuring a 13MP main lens, 5MP wide lens, and 2MP aperture lens for bokeh shots. For selfies, there is an 8MP shooter at the front which rests inside the dewdrop notch. The phone’s camera app offers standard EMUI tools for taking pictures though the options are limited as it is a budget phone. It also allows the user to record 1080p videos using both the rear as well as the front-facing camera and you can zoom up to 4x in both photo and video modes.
Huawei Y6p, as evident in the image below, takes pretty decent images during daylight. It can capture better details and show natural colors of the subject which are not enhanced artificially by the phone’s software. Although if you zoom into the pictures, you can notice that some areas are a little washed out.
The smartphone slightly increases the color contrast in the HDR mode whereby making the sky a little more darker as compared to the image taken by the standard mode. Apart from this subtle difference, the two modes are almost identical and we find the behavior of HDR mode quite consistent while capturing images during the day in natural light.
The ultra-wide camera of Huawei Y6p can cover an area of 120 degrees and captures a more brighter image than the standard mode. But due to higher exposure value, the ultra-wide shot fails to capture many details of the subject in question.
Though we get a separate 2MP aperture lens, the phone grapples with mapping the subject, and most often than not, parts of it get blurred out along with the background.
When it comes to low-light or nighttime performance, there is nothing good to report as the phone struggles too hard with handling the artificial light source and thus produces images that are full of noise, light glare, and fewer details.
The HDR mode is also not much of a help at night and only accomplishes to increase the contrast in the image and make the sky a little darker than reality. However, the problem with noise, details, and light glare remains the same.
The ultra-wide camera fails to capture more details in the image as compared to the standard mode at night and in the end, you get a slightly darker picture of the subject. Also, it needs to be noted that if the camera lens is not facing the light source at night, then the image usually ends up showing a blown-out light across the subject.
The front camera takes good selfies in the daylight and can capture good colors as well as natural facial details of a person unless you have enabled the built-in beauty mode. Unfortunately at night, the selfies fail to capture more details, and the image end up with a lot of noise.
So, basically, we get a pretty standard camera setup in Huawei Y6p that works alright in the daylight but offers no special feature especially to capture better images at night time or in low-light conditions.
If you want to take look at the high res (original images), you can find here the Google drive link
Summing it all up, Huawei Y6p reminds us of the company’s previous phones due to its bulky build but what differentiates it from the previous lineups is the fact that there are no Google services available on the smartphone. We are quite delighted with the phone’s performance and battery discharge but the camera, on the other hand, showed quite ordinary performance and failed to make a lasting impression in our minds.
All in all, for the price of Rs. 20,899, Huawei is providing the users a well-rounded budget phone but if the unavailability of Google apps and services are a deal-breaker or you just want more worth for your money, you should consider buying Realme C3 whose 3GB/32GB variant is available for Rs. 20,000 or Tecno Pouvoir 4 3GB/32GB variant which is available for Rs. 16,999. Both of these devices are better in the camera department as compared to Huawei’s entry-level phone whereas the former also offers better battery performance.