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Huawei last month launched their update to the 2017’s Y5 2017 budget smartphone with the Y5 Prime (2018) and I’ve been tinkering with it for over a month now.

Specs in brief:

  • 13MP main camera
  • 5MP selfie shooter with an AI beauty mode
  • Android 8.1.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0 on top
  • 4G Support
  • 3020mAh battery

Design

Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) Front

 

The Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) in my possession comes in stunning and beautiful blue and black colours with smaller bezels than last year’s Y5. It feels solid even though it’s made of plastic and its unibody design make it feel better in the hand. No camera bulge and thus no toppling when placed on a flat surface. The rear camera and LED are horizontal at the top left corner. You won’t find a fingerprint scanner but that shouldn’t hold you back.

Display

The phone comes with a 720p 5.45-inch HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen in an 18:9 aspect ratio that stretches up to 74% screen to body ratio. The 295 ppi density provides stunningly enough visuals for media consumption, especially in landscape. However, it struggles with viewing angles and affects legibility when under direct sunlight.

Usability

The Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) runs on Android 8.1.0 Oreo with a MediaTek MT6739 chip with Quad-core processor that runs at a speed of 1.5GHz. The PowerVR GE8100 graphics processor takes charge of the graphics and clocks at 570MHz. Under the hood, the phone comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage but if that feels a little short, there’s space available to upgrade up to 128GB with a memory card.

I’ve had this phone for over a month and so far it has been a smooth ride. To counter the problem of storage, Google Photos did the heavy lifting, freeing lots of space. I’ve always been wary of Huawei’s EMUI but that changed especially with the little customisation tweaks such as Karaoke mode and the gesture support for the three finger swipe for taking screenshots and double tap to wake the screen. You’ll also have to get used to using PIN unlock due to the lack of a fingerprint scanner. One simple way to get around this hurdle is by extending the time before your phone locks after the screen goes off without being used so that when you double tap it, you resume to what you were doing before.

The 2GB of RAM works well from light to moderate tasks but as a heavy user, it starts to show lag and background refreshing especially when switching between resource intensive apps which will hardly be noticed by a regular user.

Camera

Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) Camera

 

The Huawei Y5 Prime(2018) comes with a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. The main camera has f/2.2 aperture and an LED flash. The front camera has a complimentary selfie toning flash that automatically detects the lighting and adjusts the brightness.

The rear camera with features like Panorama, continuous shooting, exposure compensation produced nice shots worth sharing across social media. The AI beauty mode will come in handy especially when taking selfies. Both cameras do a commendable job during the day and in well-lit places but struggle in low light scenarios unless you decide to tweak with the manual mode.

Battery Life

Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) Speaker

The Huawei Y5 Prime(2018) comes a non-removable battery with a capacity of 3020mAh which with moderate use can last the entire day. If you’re a huge multitasker like me, the battery can only get till the late evening where you’ll have to charge it.

Under the battery settings, there is a battery saver toggle for if you want to extend its life and you’re not near a power source. It also takes up to 2h 30 minutes to fully charge it, thanks to the luck of any fast charging technology.

Who is this phone for?

Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) Back 3

The Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) is in the lower budget category with its price of Ksh 9,999 (Jumia) making it a perfect fit for those upgrading from feature phones without breaking the bank. The Huawei Y5 Prime packs enough specs giving a performance similar to phones that cost higher in the same budget category.

If you’re searching for a smartphone under 10K that offers the right balance between performance, battery life, camera quality and build quality – then the Huawei Y5 prime (2018) should be your top pick.

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