Huawei Y6P Smartphone REVIEW
Huawei Y6P Smartphone REVIEW
Huawei’s budget-priced Y6P has the smart looks, fabulous function and overall panache of a premium machine writes a gobsmacked PAT PILCHER.
It’s a curious thing. While a lot of gadgetry gets cheaper over time, flagship smartphones have grown more expensive. What would have cost $999 a few years back is now closer to the two grand mark. Manufacturers offer lame excuses, but an upside of this trend is that the boundaries between budget and flagship smartphones is blurring, so canny shoppers can pick up more for less.
A case in point is Huawei’s Y6P. Costing a mere $299, the Y6P offers a premium look and feel and decent specs. It’s a pleasant surprise given that the smartphone costs a fraction of most of its flagship counterparts.
Trump’s ban means the Y6P doesn’t come with Google apps. It instead ships with Huawei’s App Gallery and Petal search. I added a third party Google Play clone, the Aurora Store. It doesn’t need Google Mobile services and has excellent data privacy. This arrangement meant getting all the apps I needed wasn’t a challenge.
The lack of Google Mobile services also meant I couldn’t run Google apps. Instead, I installed Firefox to replace Chrome, and Outlook which also supports Gmail. I also used One Drive for photo backups and From Here for GPS navigation.
The Y6P is a classy looking beast. The review unit was finished in what Huawei calls “Phantom Purple”. It has a glass front and rear panels that both sandwich a purple alloy band. Curved edges on the band also make for a comfy in-hand fit.
You’d be hard-pressed to know that the Y6P wasn’t a flagship device. The look (and feel) is very premium indeed.
Little seems to have got trimmed under its hood, either. About the only real exception to this is the MediaTek P22 MT6762R octa-core CPU. Huawei hasn’t skimped with the storage and memory. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which is generous, especially considering the reasonable sticker price. Better still, it’s expandable using MicroSD instead of Huawei’s hard to find Nano memory. On the OS front, the Y6P runs Android 10.
You get a 6.09-inch TFT IPS 720x 1600 display. It looks almost bezel-free, apart from the bottom bezel. Atop of the screen is a teardrop notch for the 8MP camera. The display might only be 283ppi but this is hard to notice with most applications.
Speaking of cameras, the Y6P packs an 8MP front shooter and a triple camera setup on its rear. The cameras around the back consist of a 13MP primary camera, a 5MP wide-angle camera and a 2MP depth sensor.
The Y6P did a good job on the photo and video front. Photos shot in daylight conditions by the rear cameras were both vibrant and sharp. Like other Huawei devices, the Y6P uses image post-processing. It sometimes resulted in background colours looking a tad oversaturated. The lack of yRGB image sensors also showed in low-light situations. Evening images were much less vivid. That said, pixel noise was low.
The wide-angle lens provides a 120-degree field of view. This is ideal for group shots. While the wide-angle sensor is only 5MP, the detail it caught was good, even if there was some distortion noticeable around the edge of some images. As with other Huawei shooters, the 2MP depth sensor provided accurate Bokeh effects too.
With the front shooter, photos were bright and tended towards cooler tones. The front sensor is only 8MP which is more than ample for selfies, and Zoom/Skype calls. On the video front, it’s capable of 1080p at 30fps. Image stabilisation isn’t brilliant, so a steady hand it is. A bonus is that the video mode can use the wide-angle lens.
On the phone front, you get dual SIM capabilities. This allows you to use two different SIM cards on the same phone and is a boon for anyone juggling work and home phones. Another nice touch is the addition of a 3.5mm headphone jack for those who have yet to opt for wireless earbuds.
Charging happens via a legacy Micro-USB slot. Huawei seems to have forgotten that the Y6P is a budget phone when it comes to its battery and charging. The 5000mAh battery delivered a solid 32 hours of battery life. That’s a full day, a night, and a good chunk of the following day. Fast charging is there too. I was able to take the Y6P from dead flat to charged in around two hours. It also supports reverse charging. This turns it into a high capacity energy bank capable of charging other QI wireless devices.
The Y6P is a curious beast. Huawei priced it at the bottom end of the market but gave it features you’d find on more costly hardware. This makes it a bit of a bargain. Given its solid build, pleasing design, decent spec, and its sticker price, the Y6P is a fantastic buy. If you can live without Google’s apps (which proved to be no big deal for me while testing it) we recommend that you go for it.