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Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Review: An Over-hyped Device

Among all the excitement about the launch of Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, the company has not abandoned its budget lineup and has recently launched its successor of the last year’s Y7 prime, known as Huawei Y7 Prime 2018.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer might be following the footprints of Samsung as we see an abundance of devices thrown by the company into the market within small intervals of time and it’s getting literally hard to remember the names and specs of the devices.

Take an example of Honor 7c and Huawei Y7 Prime. Both the phones have almost similar specs and virtually identical designs.

The budget smartphone category is very saturated, so Huawei needs to innovative smartly to remain ahead of other manufacturers. Being the latest phone in the series, we expect Y7 Prime 2018  to be better than its predecessor in every way and be good enough to satiate the needs of the modern user.

Take a look at our review of the phone to see where it stands among the budget oriented market of phones.

Design

Looking at the front of the device you can instantly notice that it has slimmer bezels than its last year’s model. The device is noticeably bigger than its predecessor which makes it quite challenging to use and manage with one hand.

The phone has a plastic body embedded in an aluminum frame and has a glossy finish on its back. Earlier in our overview of Honor 9 Lite we professed how it’s nothing less than a premium phone, however, Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 despite being of plastic build, proves itself as a phone to show off.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Back

On the front, Y7 prime 2018 flashes Huawei’s Fullview display with minimum bezels, an 8MP selfie cam on the top left corner, and Huawei branding on the bottom bezel. When taking selfies with a single hand, you have to firmly grip the phone as it falls out of hand due to its large body and slippery back.

On the back of the device we have Dual camera setup of 13 MP+2 MP with an LED flash on the top left corner and in center of the device is placed the fingerprint scanner. As for the placement, we don’t like the position of the fingerprint scanner.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Power and volume

Since the phone is a whopping 6 inches, the fingerprint scanner is way above than where it should have been, particularly, if you have smaller hands you might want to stretch your finger a bit to reach to the fingerprint scanner.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 sim and card tray

The back of the phone is prone to smudges and fingerprints due to its shiny finish. It could have been better with the matte finish so that you wouldn’t have to worry about how dirty your phone gets instantly. But now you’ll have to cover the phone in a protective case if you want to avoid smudges.

On the usual right-hand side, we have a power button and a volume rocker both of which are placed conveniently within thumb’s reach. On the left, we have a SIM tray which hosts dual SIM slots and a dedicated micro SD card slot.

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 bottom

The bottom of the phone hosts a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a single speaker grill and a micro USB charging port along with a microphone. Huawei Y7 prime weighs 155 g which is not heavy at all considering the size of the phone; however, the phone’s ergonomics are pretty compromised because of its size which makes one hand use on the phone quite tricky.

The phone comes in Black, Gold and Blue color. Among all the colors, the blue one has a dazzling shine which Huawei is calling “Mirror Effect.”

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Display

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 includes 5.99-inch Huawei Fullview display. It is an 18:9 aspect ratio display with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels. Full view display gives you a 76.3% screen to body ratio. For a screen that large, a 269 PPI is not enough for rich viewing experience and you’ll have to cope with the low-res display of the device.

Huawei-Y7-prime2018-Front

The bezels around the display are pretty thin, so you get a more immersive screen experiencing when watching a movie or playing a game. Thankfully the phone doesn’t feature the infamous notch that most of the people seem to loathe.

Huawei has added an array of tweaks for the display. Usually, like most other Huawei midrange phones, this phone’s display has a bluish tint and inclined towards the cooler side. But with an option that Huawei calls “Color temperature,” you can adjust the color of the screen according to your liking.

Another feature is the eye comfort mode, which tends to spread a warm yellowish tint over the screen which results in less strain on eyes. This feature is handy if you want to use the phone for more extended periods, i.e., reading a book or looking at the display for long.

Y7 Prime 2018 Display Tweaks

Y7 Prime 2018 Display Settings and Color Adjustment Options

Movie watching experience is much more enjoyable on a bigger screen, but unfortunately, the phone offers only a 720P display so movies with higher resolution won’t produce as crisp results as you’d expect.

The phone also exhibits rather poor display at different viewing angles. Tilting the phone to certain sides results in darkening of the display. In outdoors, while the screen is bright enough to browse through the phone, direct sunlight makes it almost impossible to watch movies or other media on the phone.

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Software

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 comes with Android 8.0, abreast with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 which now also comes with an app drawer but is littered with bloatware like preinstalled games.

Huawei has also encompassed some gestures in the all-new EMUI 8.0 which can be enabled in Smart Assistance section of the settings which include three finger screenshot, double tap to wake up and turn off the screen and flip the phone to mute while ringing.

Y7 Prime 2018 gestures

Y7 Prime 2018 Gestures

One of the best features that EMUI offers is the file safe. It can be enabled in Settings>Security & Privacy and creates a password enabled space for your private data. Apart from that, you can also enable App Lock for every app separately in the settings.

As per the latest and the hottest trend in the industry, Huawei has also included face unlock feature in the Y7 Prime 2018 which means you can unlock your phone just by looking at it from a certain distance. It uses facial recognition technology to unlock the phone. The face-unlock works quite well and snappy and recognizes your face even in dark conditions.

However, the face-unlock option might not be as secure as the PIN or password protection, so we recommend you to use password protection as the primary option for locking your phone for keeping your data safe.

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Performance & Battery

Since Huawei has separated the Honor phone from their line-up, we failed to see a solid performer in Huawei’s budget line up. It’s like Huawei is focusing more on the flagships like P20 and P20 Pro and neglecting the budget phones like the  Y7 Prime 2018.

The processor is downgraded from its predecessor’s Snapdragon 435 to Snapdragon 430 in Y7 prime 2018 with 3GB RAM and 32GB memory. It’s ironical to use a 2-year-old chipset in a phone whose name shows it to be a 2018 model.

Y7 Prime 2018 scored 59532 on AnTuTu benchmark test and achieved a 670 single-core and 2765 multi-core score on GeekBench.

With a relatively old and entry-level SoC, we don’t expect this phone to be much of a performer. However, we ran our real-life usage tests on the phone, and the results were, as we expected, pretty ordinary. We always try to keep the tests as real as possible to give you a proper idea of how this phone would perform in day-to-day use.

We started with Y7 Prime 2018 as our main driver of the day. Light usage test included downloading files, simple multitasking between social media apps, watching videos and YouTube while going through the phone. Occasional use of the camera was also involved throughout that time.

During the test, we kept the display at full brightness. So far the phone was behaving well, and we didn’t receive any significant lags or stutters in light usage.

A noticeable increase in phone’s temperature could be felt on heavy usage. We opened maximum apps while playing music in the background to check the processing behavior. That’s where we began to spot discontinuity in the phone’s processing flow. The phone started to lag and heat up.

Playing resourceful games like “Deer Hunter” and “Real Racing” even with mobile data turned off in the background resulted in an extreme lag in the phone while repeating the same with mobile data made the phone froze and had to be restarted. This clearly demonstrated that the phone with its basic specs wasn’t fit for power users.

We also noticed that even a minimum time of  15 mins of simultaneous mobile data and gaming tend to overheat the phone which ultimately results in battery drainage.

Huawei has once again downgraded the battery in a weird turn of events. Y7 Prime had a battery of 4000 mAh with a screen of 5.5″ while Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 hosts a 3000 mAh battery with an increased screen size of 5.99″.

Hypothetically, with an SD 430 chip, a 720P screen, and a 3000 mAh battery, Huawei Y7 Prime should be able to get the user through a day of heavy use. But that’s not the case. The 5.99 inches of the LCD panel on the phone plays the horrendous part of driving maximum juice out through the day.

Since it is an entry level phone so its target audience are youngsters and people who cannot afford to buy an expensive device. This means more media consumption on the phone and if it is not capable of delivering good performance in terms of battery and processing, what good it can do then?

It’s a shame that phone manufacturers are still trying to shove micro USB ports in the latest phones and not providing USB type C. Same is the case with Y7 Prime 2018 which affects its charging time heavily.

The phone gains its full charge from 0% to 100% in 2hours 50 minutes.

In our real-life usage test, the phone dropped from 100 % to 78% with 1 hour of light use. It included playing videos on youtube, browsing through social media apps and playing music. The test was performed with wifi connectivity and full brightness on the screen.

On heavy use, the phone started to drain the battery really fast. After half an hour of heavy gaming and multitasking with a 4G connection, the battery dropped from 78% to 64% and the device began to heat up. As soon as the phone heated up, battery drain increased exponentially, and within another half an hour the phone’s battery reached 46 %.

So, the battery reduced from 100% to 46% in just 2 hours of a combined moderate and heavy use.

From our real-life battery test, we concluded that the battery could not withstand a full day of heavy usage thus not fit for power users. However, light users may get the juice out of the battery for a full day.

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Camera

Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 Back camera

The rear camera comprises of 13MP + 2MP dual lens. However, in terms of quality, Y7 Prime 2018 camera is a significant downgrade rather than an upgrade from its last year’s model.

As in Huawei’s other phones, when you open the camera app, it takes you to the main camera screen. From there you can swipe left or right for more options. On the top bar of the main camera screen, we have toggles of wide aperture mode, beauty mode, flash, and secondary camera.

Swiping right takes you to different modes of the camera which include video, HDR panorama, watermark, and filter. Swiping left takes you to camera settings. Here you can tone your camera resolution, set the timer, turn on smile capture (photos are taken automatically when a smile is detected) enable audio control over the camera, etc.

We tested the camera in outdoor conditions, and as it came out to be, the colors were very washed out and out of place. The camera lost it at capturing the detail too. On zooming in, excessive noise and loss and lack of sharpness can clearly be seen in the image.

Landscape Shot in Auto Mode

Auto Mode

We were so intrigued by the wide aperture mode and so eager to test. Not only were the colors compromised in wide aperture mode, but the blur effect was also imbalanced and inappropriate. The camera couldn’t focus and decide on which areas to blur out and which to keep. Bokeh effect in wide aperture mode remains unreliable as the camera struggles to keep the subject in focus and spreads an unwanted blur across the picture.

Bokeh Effect Wide Apture Shot

Wide Aperture Mode

Wide Aperture mode gives you the interesting option of adjusting the intensity of focus after taking a picture and saving it in your photos. However, the software processing of the pictures is poor on the phone. After taking a picture in the wide aperture mode, when you try to adjust the softness of the background focus, it also affects the color of the subject in the picture.

Wide Apture

Wide Aperture Shot ( Before Adjusting Focus in Gallery)

Wide Apture after Edit

Color Change in Wide Aperture Shot ( After Adjusting Focus in Gallery)

The beauty mode on the rear camera is a disaster. We took some photos in ideal condition, i.e., in the daytime with plenty of light, and still, the pictures came to be extremely washed out and off the colors. The beauty mode smoothens the skin tone to the point where it starts looking artificial.

HDR on the rear camera is nothing more than an artifice as it does not affect or enhance the image quality at all, even in outdoor conditions. Images with or without HDR look almost the same.

Auto Mode without HDR

Auto Mode without HDR

Auto Mode with HDR

Auto Mode with HDR

Beauty mode cannot be used along with wide aperture mode on the front camera. Anyway, the beauty mode on the front cam is even more horrendous. It repeats the same story, so we decided to take pictures without beauty, and it turns out that beauty mode diminishes the details in the picture and gives an artificial look to the picture. Beauty mode also tends to enlarge the eye size which looks unnatural.

Selfie with Huawei Y7 Prime 2018

Selfie with beauty mode (L) and without beauty mode (R)

After all our tests in ideal light conditions, we did not expect much from the phone to perform in low light, and that’s exactly what happened. Low light pictures came out to be very dark and full of grain and noise, and even with HDR on, the difference remained very minute. However, it would be unjust to expect more from a budget phone like the Y7 Prime 2018.

Y7 Prime 2018 Low light result

Low Light Camera Result with HDR (L) and without HDR (R)

All in all, Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 is a total disappointment in camera quality and controls. Huawei has ripped this phone off the modes that were present in last year’s model like Pro Photo, Pro Video, Time Lapse, and Slow-mo. If you are looking for a budget phone with a good camera, we recommend you to look for better alternatives. Also check out our detailed review of the Honor 9 Lite, a budget phone with four cameras.

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Verdict

It would have been better if instead of marketing it insanely, Huawei would let the phone speak for itself but what happened was opposite, and in spite of the massive advertisement, the phone turned out to be a disappointment

The phone costs $163 at the time of launch and comes in Black, Gold and Mystic Blue colors and out of all, the Blue one has a mesmerizing shine to it while other colors look pretty dull and boring.

The processor and the battery, both are downgraded from last year’s model. Moreover, for just around $20 more you can buy Honor 9 Lite which has four cameras and much better performance than the Y7 prime 2018.

6.2 Total Score
Our Score

If you are an average Android user and looking for a budget smartphone with decent specs, Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 may be the phone for you. Although it does not deliver as much as high-end Android phones, it's still an average performer. The Glossy finish of the phone is a major appeal and adds to the aesthetics of the design.

Design
8
Display
8
Performance
5
Battery
4
Camera
6
PROS
  • Great design
  • Big bright screen
  • Average Camera
CONS
  • Bloatware pre-installed
  • Below average performance
  • Heating problem
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