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Huawei Y6p review – How good is one of Huawei’s most affordable smartphones?

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The Huawei Y6p was born in a difficult time. The smartphone market as a whole is now in recession due to the economic crisis (pandemic, production problems, decreased purchasing power of the population), and in addition, US sanctions are still putting pressure on Huawei. But the company does not even think of giving up – furthermore, it has been dominating the global market for several months running and continues to launch new devices. For example, it has just released a new affordable device in the trendy Y series. Will it make frugal buyers happy? Let’s find out.

Huawei Y6p review

All photos are shot on Huawei P40 Pro

Positioning and price

The Huawei Y6p went on sale at the end of May 2020 for about $140. And to be honest, at first it may seem that it has enough serious competitors for this price. The Redmi 8 and 8A, as well as other devices from China, like the OPPO A31, the Realme 3 and C3, the Vivo Y11 and U3X.

Huawei Y6p review

But even just comparing the specifications and hardware, it becomes clear that the cost of the new Huawei is interesting to say the least. Because the Y6p for the same price has either more powerful hardware, or a larger battery, or more storage. Although, if you are prepared to pay a little more, you can find even better options. But we must understand that every dollar matters when you are on a budget. What other trump cards does the new smartphone have? Let’s see.

Huawei Y6p (MED-LX9N) specs

NETWORK Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2020, May
Status Available
BODY Dimensions 159.1 x 74.1 x 9 mm (6.26 x 2.92 x 0.35 in)
Weight 185 g (6.53 oz)
Build Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.3 inches, 95.8 cm2 (~81.3% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~278 ppi density)
PLATFORM OS Android 10, EMUI 10.1, no Google Play Services
Chipset Mediatek MT6762R Helio P22 (12 nm)
CPU Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU PowerVR GE8320
MEMORY Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
Internal 32GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM
eMMC 5.1
MAIN CAMERA Triple 13 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
5 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p@30fps
SELFIE CAMERA Single 8 MP, f/2.0, (wide)
Features HDR
Video 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
NFC Yes (market/region dependent)
MED-LX9N (Yes); MED-LX9 (No)
Radio FM radio; built-in antenna
USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Charging 10W, Reverse charging
MISC Colors Phantom Purple, Emerald Green, Midnight Black

What’s in the box

What is in the box? A smartphone with a protective film glued on the screen, a charger, a cable, a SIM card eject tool, documentation, and a simple wired headset. The last element can even be considered a bonus – after all, this is a cheaper phone, not a flagship.

Huawei Y6p

Overall, nothing special, simple headphones, on a round wire there is a remote with one button (pause and switch tracks, answer a call, end a conversation) and a microphone. But the headset is actually quite nice; it will suffice until you buy something more decent. Even the sound is not the worst, although the bass is lacking.

Гарнитура из комплекта Huawei Y6p

Design, materials, build quality

The design of the Y6p is nothing to write home about. Typical 2020 budget smartphone design. The multi-colored back covers remain the most enticing thing about these modern low-range phones. But since the number of possible color combinations is finite, Huawei and others try to interest us with different patterns of reflections and overflows. In the case of the Huawei Y6p, these are diagonal curves that transform into waves when the angle of reflection changes. It is almost impossible to describe this effect.

Huawei Y6p

As for the materials, plastic is everywhere except the front part. There you’ll find chemically strengthened glass from an unknown brand. The frame with the coating is the same color as the smartphone, but it is not glossy, and it looks nice and no prints are visible on it. There is also plastic on the back, which will attract scratches and prints, that is inevitable.

I tested the Emerald Green model. You can find the Midnight Black and the Phantom Purple variations as well.

Huawei Y6p

The build quality is excellent, traditionally for Huawei.

Element configuration

Most of the front of the Huawei Y6p is occupied by a drop-shaped notch at the top. Inside you’ll find the selfie camera.

Huawei Y6p

Above is an earpiece speaker. And somewhere nearby are light and proximity sensors. There are medium-sized bezels around the screen on the sides and on top, and the field below is about two times thicker. In general, everything is usual for this class.

Huawei Y6p

On the edge on the left is a tray for two SIM cards and a microSD memory card. Yes, three separate slots, you don’t have to sacrifice anything.

Huawei Y6p

On the right is a traditional power button and a paired volume button.

Huawei Y6p

On the lower edge you’ll find a 3.5 mm audio jack, a main microphone, a microUSB port (sad face), and 6 holes of the main speaker.

Huawei Y6p

Above is the second microphone.

Huawei Y6p

On the back is a vertical unit with three cameras in the upper left corner. Yes, this tired design again, but it is relevant now in the budget segment. Below is a single flash and a fingerprint scanner. The Huawei logo is in landscape orientation, and to the right there is some text that nobody ever reads.

Huawei Y6p

Ergonomics

Huawei Y6p is a mid-sized smartphone. Of course, to someone it may seem large, but all modern flagships are even larger. With almost no problems I can control it with one hand. But I have a big palm and long fingers.

Huawei Y6p

The buttons are in a convenient place, as is always the case with Huawei smartphones. They fall under the thumb if you hold the smartphone in your right hand or under the index/middle finger, if you use your left hand. The fingerprint scanner is also located in the right place.

Huawei Y6p

And the phone is not slippery! And all thanks to the matte frame. The Y6p does not try to constantly slip out of hands, as it usually happens with glossy devices. I don’t even want to put this smartphone in a case. So, if you are not afraid of scratches and/or use your smartphone very carefully, you should not worry. For some reason I think that the plastic case is more resistant to shock when dropped, the main thing is not to damage the screen.  I almost never say such things about modern smartphones.

Screen

The usual IPS (PLS), typical for the budget Huawei devices. Of course, when switching from the flagship OLED, it seems pale and inexpressive. But it is clear that this happens only with direct comparison with smartphone screens that are 5-8 times more expensive.

Huawei Y6p screen

Really, the Huawei Y6p has a decent display. Or even great. It is 6.3-inch with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1600×720 pixels (density 278 ppi).

Huawei Y6p screen

The viewing angles are great, the contrast as well. Black color is deep – on the screen it almost merges with black bezels. Decent brightness. Outdoors, the display remains readable in most cases. For this price the screen is A-OK.

Huawei Y6p screen

In the display settings we can adjust the color temperature (usual stuff for EMUI), enable eye protection and hide the notch. But there are also unique features – for example, the e-book mode that switches the screen to black and white mode. Not even the flagships has this feature! And there is also a dark theme, it is not clear why since this is not OLED, but we will assume it’s for the aesthetic.

Hardware and performance

The Huawei Y6p works on Mediatek MT6762R Helio P22 chipset, based on 12-nm technology. The processor is eight-core (4x 2 GHz Cortex-A53 and 4x 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53). PowerVR GE8320 handles the graphics.

The hardware is not the freshest, this SoC was introduced 2 years ago. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most popular chipsets for budget smartphones, which provides sufficient performance in undemanding tasks. About 80K in the popular AnTuTu test is a decent result.

Huawei Y6p

Personally, I immediately saw all the main disadvantages of the platform, especially after the transition from flagship smartphones (with 90-120 Hz screens). Applications open longer (instead of a split second – about a second), the animation is not as smooth, when scrolling through long lists (Twitter, Facebook or the application store), slight slowdowns are observed. But still, you and me we understand that no one buys cheap phone after the flagships. Even after a few days of using the Y6p, I got used to its leisureliness and it became easier to live with. In general, it does everything the expensive smartphones do, just slower. To the credit of the device, it’s very reliable. Nothing freezes, there are no errors of any kind.

A little bit about the games. Well-optimized Asphalt 9 runs with medium graphics settings. There are no issues with FPS and the gameplay is smooth. In general, with regard to games, you can play almost anything from the AppGallery store. We have a selection of the best games for Huawei smartphones.

The Huawei Y6p doesn’t support proprietary GPU Turbo graphics acceleration technology, since it is available only for Kirin chips. So yes, the smartphone is definitely not for gaming.

As for memory, you can choose between 3/32, 3/64 and 4/64 GB configurations. At my disposal is a medium modification. Of 64 GB, the user can access approximately 57 GB out of the box, which isn’t bad, the system occupies very little space, only about 7 GB. eMMC 5.1 storage is not very fast, but also not quite slow. But again, file transfers take some time and the installation of applications or saving files takes much longer.

In general, the performance of the Huawei Y6p is on a par with other budget smartphones (for example, the Redmi 8) and the device can not stand out in this regard. Everything is ordinary and a bit boring, in other words, average.

Read also: Huawei Watch GT 2e smartwatch review — Style and substance in a trendy package

Battery life

With battery everything is mighty fine. 5000 mAh is more than enough, especially with energy-efficient shell and a low-resolution screen. A little off topic, but I want to note that the lack of Google services also positively affects the battery life of the smartphone. We get 2 stable days of battery life in the average activity mode. You can stretch it to 3-4 days, if you use the smartphone sparingly.

Charging is not fast: you get a 10W charger and the smartphone needs more than 2 hours to fully recharge. But there is a reverse charging function, which means you can use the Huawei Y6p as a portable charger with the help of an OTG adapter.

Cameras

First of all, it is worth noting that the Huawei Y6p camera software does not have fashionable support for artificial intelligence. Probably because the smartphone uses a budget MTK chip instead of the proprietary Huawei Kirin. Good or bad, I can’t say for sure. On the one hand, AI often helps with the more complex scenes. On the other hand, many users complain that the photos look unnatural. Of course, machine learning can be turned off. But in the case of the Y6p, you do not have to think about these nuances. No AI – no problems.

Now about the cameras themselves. They seem like nothing special if you look at the bare numbers. There are three modules:

  • 13 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
  • 5 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide)
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)

Huawei Y6p cameras

Suddenly, the cameras here turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The main module is definitely good. Naturally, within the class and price. In good lighting, you can get great photos. And even in low light conditions, the camera behaves more than decently – the detail is good, especially at close and short distances, there is practically no noise.

At the same time, the module demonstrates natural color reproduction and a good dynamic range. As I already said, there is no AI support here, and the HDR mode has been moved to a separate additional menu and cannot be activated directly from the shooting screen. But it seems to me that the camera uses it automatically. When you aim the viewfinder at objects in scenes with bright light and shadows, you see the exposure along the guidance zone. But if you take a picture and see it later in the gallery, it magically becomes pretty good. The software is simple, but the algorithms are not stupid. Everything happens automatically, without any additional input from the user. The only thing I dislike is how slowly it all works, both saving and opening the pictures. But blame the hardware.

There is no separate night mode in the camera interface. Night photos are weak in terms of detail in the shadows. Of course, compared to the flagships. In this class it’s not too bad. In general, probably one of the best cameras in the price segment.

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS IN THE ORIGINAL RESOLUTION

The ultra-wide camera is usual for its class. What I mean is that it’s present and it can capture a wider scene. But the detail, of course, is noticeably lower than that of the main module. This is especially noticeable in low light. But again – for its price it’s quite OK.

The depth module provides the Aperture mode, to help blur the background. It’s quite alright. The object is cropped clearly, you can adjust the degree of bokeh effect. It’s here for a reason, and it does its job.

Regarding the video, it’s okay, except that of course there is no stabilization. You get 1080p/30 fps videos, which is standard for the budget segment. In general, the quality is decent if you have a firm hand and there is enough light.

The selfie camera in the Y6p is also not bad, it is enough for Skype and a decent selfies. There is a customizable beautification mode, which will make your face smooth and remove defects. But blurring the background is not supported, so there is no normal portrait mode here.

The Huawei Y6p camera software is the same as in other smartphones of the brand, but with significant simplifications. Many modes that are in more expensive devices are missing. Panorama, HDR and the pro mode are hidden in the “more” menu. From the shooting screen, you can only turn on the flash and go to settings that don’t offer much variety. For some reason, there is an option to select the frame rate for shooting video, but there is only one possibility – 30 fps. But the very existence of this option suggests that perhaps something will change soon with subsequent updates.

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS IN THE ORIGINAL RESOLUTION

Sound

Everything is usual here, for budget smartphone. The main speaker is loud, but the sound is inexpressive with a predominance of midrange. The earpiece speaker is fine.

As for the sound in the headphones, everything is fine if you have a good pair. In wired 1MORE Triple-Driver headphones music sounds great, especially if you set up the equalizer and effects in the built-in Huawei Histen.

Huawei Y6p sound

By the way, Histen also works with wireless headphones. And yes, support for the AAC codec is also present, so you can enjoy high-quality streaming via Bluetooth.

Read also: Huawei FreeBuds 3i review — Mid-range TWS headset with flagship features

Communications

In this regard, everything is also standard. Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n module is single-band, only 2.4 GHz. Bluetooth 5.0 and – this is a surprise! – NFC!

Huawei Y6p - NFC

Traditionally, I want to scold the manufacturer for the microUSB port. It’s high time to put USB-C everywhere and forget the obsolete microUSB.

NFC Huawei Y6p

The geolocation module supports GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou networks. It works as advertised.

Another interesting feature of the Huawei Y6p is the presence of FM radio that works without headphones – it uses an internal antenna. But if you connect the headphones, the signal will become more stable.

Read also: Huawei P40 lite E (Huawei Y7p) review – Affordable recession-proof smartphone with a 48-megapixel camera

Biometric unlocking

The fingerprint scanner at the back is lightning fast. Just like always from Huawei.

Huawei Y6p fingerprint scanner

As for unlocking with face, it works great with good lighting. In the twilight, the system begins to think for 2-4 seconds. And even in the dark you can unlock the smartphone, but it can take 5 or more seconds. In addition, in the settings there is an option “Face illumination using the screen”, it gradually increases the backlight of the screen with a white background so that it doesn’t even strain your eyes. With this feature, you are guaranteed to unlock your smartphone even in complete darkness.

Read also: Huawei Watch GT 2 (42 mm) review – Smartwatch in unisex style

Firmware and software

The key point is that the Huawei Y6p is an AG smartphone. What I mean is that it runs on Android 10 and the EMUI 10.1.0 shell with support for Huawei Mobile Services and the Huawei AppGallery app store (hence the term AG). There are no pre-installed Google services in the system, as well as the Google Play store.

Huawei Y6p

How to live with it? It turns out that it’s quite simple if you are ready to switch to using alternative services. Of which, as it turned out, there are countless numbers and often they are even better than the real thing. You don’t have to say goodbye to Google completely, some of the services can be used through a browser or third-party applications. In addition, the special MoreApps utility, which can be downloaded from the AppGallery, will help you in choosing sources for installing your favorite apps.

You can even install some Google applications on this smartphone from alternative sources (for example, the APKPure store); that way you can get Google Maps (you’ll find routs, but you can’t save points); the gboard keyboard works as well, but some functions, like dictionary synchronization, will not work. Mail, contacts and Gmail work through third-party clients, for example, Outlook. You will not be able to launch only those applications that require a Google account and synchronization with the Google Play Services cloud.

Facebook, Instagram, FB Messenger, Telegram, Viber, Twitter and other popular apps can be installed from the Huawei AppGallery store or third-party repositories. You should have no problems with most games, but there are nuances with those titles that require you to save progress in the Google Play cloud.

The topic of Huawei smartphones without Google services is too extensive to cover it fully in the review of one smartphone, so I’ll leave links to other materials that will help you figure out what’s what.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments. I will try to check the app you’re interested in and see whether it’s possibly to use it.

In fact, the HMS platform now is the real third power in the mobile market that many users have been waiting for so many years. The ecosystem is developing at an insane pace. There are more applications in the AppGallery store every day, there is almost complete compatibility with any Android software that can be installed from a large number of safe sources.

In addition, Huawei offers its own services: an alternative to Google Play Services and a cloud for backup and synchronization of your data – contacts, calendar, notes, bookmarks, system settings, gallery content (photos and videos), as well as installed applications and their data. I think this system is thought out even better (more clearly and more logically) than Google services. There is also access to personal data and files in the Huawei cloud from any other device, mobile or stationary on any OS via any browser. But, this is the topic of my future material.

Verdict

The Huawei Y6p is a simple and inexpensive smartphone. But it looks modern, offers great build quality, is comfortable to use, and has a decent screen. It has everything that an ordinary undemanding user might possibly need. The main advantage of this smartphone is its main camera, which is very good for its class. The battery life also deserves mentioning since it’s just outstanding. In addition, there is an NFC module for contactless payments.

Huawei Y6p

There are some issues, of course: the lack of 5 GHz Wi-Fi, the outdated microUSB port and the lack of Google services. Although I can easily live without Google; Huawei Mobile Services easily stands on its own. The new fast-growing ecosystem provides users with most of the benefits of the Android system, plus all the amenities and advanced features of the popular EMUI shell. There are lots of features that users value, and the continued growth in sales of AG-smartphones only confirms this.

All photos are shot on Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei Y6p review – How good is one of Huawei's most affordable smartphones?

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
6
Materials
7
Build quality
10
Ergonomics
9
Display
7
Performance
6
Cameras
7
Sound
8
Battery life
10
Software
9
The Huawei Y6p is a simple and inexpensive smartphone. But it looks modern, offers great build quality, is comfortable to use, and has a decent screen. It has everything that an ordinary undemanding user might possibly need. The main advantage of this smartphone is its main camera, which is very good for its class. The battery life also deserves mentioning since it’s just outstanding. In addition, there is an NFC module for contactless payments.

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