In Nepal, Huawei is most popular for its Nova-series of smartphones. The Y-Series is good but they had not much to turn heads. However, this is 2019 and things have changed. The first-ever affordable smartphone in Nepal with a pop-up selfie camera, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is one-of-a-kind. The phone is an answer to the intense competition from other Chinese manufacturers. But is this phone a great deal overall? Are the cameras up to the 2019 standard? Well, let’s find out the answers to all these questions in this in-depth camera review
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 houses a triple camera setup on the rear. The triple setup is aligned in a way similar to that of the Nova 4. The setup has a primary 16MP (f/1.8) wide lens, an 8MP Ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth-sensing unit. Using the phone for more than a month we found that the camera is actually good. It was capable of clicking some really good photos in the broad daylight. The 16MP primary sensor took some amazing shots but like every other Huawei smartphone, colors were punchy and most of the time the photos were oversaturated. One can notice over-processing in play here! That said, we do prefer the extra punch of colors the Huawei shooters offer. They are much better and social media ready than the bland outputs from some camera phones.
Under the AI Mode, the photos of scenery come out great but images of the human object are a bit over sharpened. The dynamic range, on the other hand, was great.
The camera of Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 doesn’t work that well in the dark despite having an f/1.8 sensor. We could see a bit of noise in the night time images. However, we can solve this issue by using the flashlight. The phone has no front flash but the AI capability is here to save the day. Using the AI Mode, the screen brightens up, making it a front flash replacement, and it works well. We just loved this implementation! Without flash, there was a bit of noise but with the flash, the problem was almost eradicated. That said, we feel that, at a similar price point, the Nova 3i is better than the Y9 Prime in terms of camera performance.
On the other hand, the Portrait Mode shots of the Y9 Prime has improved dramatically. They are better than that of the Nova 3i during its launch time. But still, we feel that there is room for improvement. The edge detection can be further improved in future updates. The portrait shots from the front camera were also just not what we expected. Huawei needs to work a lot in this department. However, there is little or no complaint about the portrait shots taken from the rear sensor. But still, if Huawei wants, they can make the portrait shots even more astonishing through an OTA software update.
Talking about the wide-angle shots, the output is not as impressive as that of the Nova 4. However, the inclusion of the wide-angle lens, at this price range, itself is a good move by Huawei. It helped us take some amazing scenery at times when the normal wide lens was just not enough.
As mentioned earlier, the phone houses a 16MP selfie shooter inside the motorized pop-up setup. And right off the back, having this inclusion at this price range is just amazing. We are still amazed by how Huawei could pull this one-off.
Talking about the picture quality, the selfies from the camera is impressive. The phone can take some great selfies which will definitely turn some heads. The pictures from the phone are entirely social media-ready! Another thing worth talking about is the software behind the front camera. In the daytime, the camera interface is black like the most typical Huawei smartphone. But, with the Y9 Prime, the camera interface turns white during low-light to help take a brighter selfie. I know, a small tweak but a worthy one at that. A genius move from Huawei!
Talking about the pop-up camera module, when we turn to the selfie camera it pops up in about 1.5 seconds making a cool sound. The speed of the pop up could have been a bit faster but it is pretty good for a phone costing under Rs 30,000. The camera mechanism of the Y9 Prime is smart enough to retract the module in case of accidental drops. Huawei also claims that the pop-up camera can withstand a pressure of 15Kg. One complaint though that I have is the lack of a Face unlock feature. I wish Huawei had included it as it was my go-to-method for unlocking my phone.
Talking about extras, the phone uses the camera app similar to the one on other Huawei phones. There are some AR modes as well but the phone misses out on the AR-based emojis. There is a dedicated Aperture Mode too that helps you set the amount of background blur in the photos you take from the rear camera. The phone also has a Night Mode support which works quite well. The Night Mode shots keep detail but it takes 3 to 4 seconds to capture a Night Mode shot.
The videos taken from the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 are fine but it would be better if Huawei made it a bit more stabilized. The videos can be shot in 1080p at 60fps, 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps and 720p at 30fps. We found the 1080p at 30fps videos to be more stabilized among the other three. The phone can capture videos with a good amount of details but despite having EIS, the stabilization suffers a bit. Huawei can resolve this issue with future OTA updates.
Conclusion: Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Camera Review
Huawei has made quite a good reputation for being one of the standards in mobile photography over the past couple of years. The P-series and the Mate lineup provided a great tool for the gurus of photography in the smartphone world. Huawei also has been offering great innovations in its mid-range segments. The Nova series and the Y series are the creams of the crop in the mid-tier category. The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is one of them!
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 has three cameras on the rear side. It is also one of the first smartphones to provide the Ultrawide angle lens at the price point. The photo outputs are good but with Huawei, we always expect more. Photography on the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is not on the mindblowing side of thing but the photos are not bad considering the price of the phone. The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 can be a great option for social media uploads.
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