Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 review: Pocket friendly pop-up camera

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 gets the distinction of being one of the most affordable smartphones with a pop-up camera. With a price of PHP 12,990, it was no surprise the launch was greeted by long lines of people.

A quick run through of the phone’s specs will tell you why it’s such an attractive device. The midrange handset features a 6.59-inch display, an octa-core Kirin 710F processor, 4GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, and a 4000mAh battery. On the photography side, it has 16MP + 8MP + 2MP triple cameras at the back and a 16MP pop-up shooter for selfies.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 specs:

  • 6.59-inch Full HD+ IPS Display (2340 x 1080), 19.5:9 Aspect Ratio, 2.5D Curved Glass
  • Octa-Core HiSilicon Kirin 710F Processor
  • Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/128GB Storage, MicroSD up to 512GB
  • 16MP f/1.8 + 8MP (Ultra-wide) + 2MP Triple Rear Cameras
  • 16MP f/2.2 Pop-up Front Camera
  • 4G VoLTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS
  • EMUI 9.0, Android 9.0 Pie
  • Fingerprint Scanner (Rear)
  • USB Type-C
  • 4000mAh Battery

Design and Build Quality

The Y9 Prime 2019 features premium stylings with a clean and minimalist aesthetics. It has an attractive design and I like its modern stylings.

The back looks like glass but is actually made of plastic. It has a two-tone finish with the top half having a darker color than the lower half.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

The Y9 Prime 2019’s build quality is good as well. It feels solid, sturdy, and does not feel cheap.

The front is mostly display with narrow top and side bezels and a small chin. At the back, you have the triple cameras on the upper left, an LED flash, the fingerprint scanner at the center, and a discreet looking Huawei logo on the lower left side.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

The power button and volume rockers are on the handset’s right side. It can be easily reached with your thumb or pointer finger, depending on which hand you’re holding it with. The left side has nothing on it.

On top you have the motorized pop-up selfie camera, the SIM tray and an extra mic. At the bottom there’s the headphone jack, a mic, a USB Type-C port (thank God for this), and the speaker grill.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

Display and UI

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 comes with a 6.59-inch full HD+ IPS display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. Because of the pop-up camera, it has no notch, offering an immersive viewing experience.

The display shows good colors and saturation. In everyday use, you’ll find it to be quite pleasant to look at. Brightness is above average. Under direct sunlight, legibility is average, quite similar to handsets in this range.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

As for the UI, the phone runs on EMUI 9 with the default square icons with rounded corners. You can easily change it through the themes app but I like the default theme.

The UI is modern, and has definitely improved through the years. The default launcher has no app drawer, with all the apps on the main screen. You can change this though in Settings> Home screen & wallpaper> Home screen style. You can also download a third party launcher if you like to customize it further, including changing the icons.

Performance and Benchmarks

The Y9 Prime 2019 is powered by an octa-Core HiSilicon Kirin 710F paired with a Mali-G51 MP4 GPU and 4GB RAM.

In basic navigation, the phone is fast, responsive, and butter smooth. The fingerprint scanner is almost instant and unlocks really fast.

Also Read: Huawei Nova 5T is now available for pre-order in the Philippines

On default, it has an AnTuTu score of 119,532 points. Set on Performance mode, the score jumps to 140,302. On Geekbench, it got a score of 1,568 on the single-core test and 5,521 on the multi-core test.

Personally, I just leave it on Performance Mode in exchange for a couple of hours of battery life. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels more responsive.

I tried a couple of games with it. Asphalt 9 Legends played pretty well on default settings with no frame drops. The phone was able to handle the game even when I changed the graphics to High Quality.

Into the Dead 2 is a different story. With graphics on Max, there were noticeable frame drops. The game is playable but its a bit jittery. On Medium, the game is smooth with no noticeable performance issues.

For best results, I recommend setting the graphics on medium or low when playing games.


The phone has a 16MP + 8MP + 2MP triple camera setup. For selfies, you have the motorized pop-up 16MP shooter. The main 16MP sensor is paired with an f/1.8 aperture lens. The 8MP sensor offers ultra-wide view. While the 2MP sensor is for depth information.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

The Y9 Prime 2019’s rear cameras are actually pretty good. Colors and details are nice with ample sharpness. I’d bet most will be satisfied with what they can get out of this, especially if its for social media.

The pop-up camera rises up when activated. It’s not as fast to rise and takes a second for it to be ready. I mean, it’s not slow but the pop-up cameras of more expensive devices are faster. Also, you can hear the motor when it rises.

Colors on the front camera could use a boost in a saturation. Details are also not as sharp. But for most uses, it’s okay. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either.

Battery Life

Battery life is where the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 shines. The 4,000mAh battery capacity can definitely last most users a whole day if not more.

Standard use for me during testing is watching YouTube videos, taking a few photos, a few calls and SMS, social media, and some Spotify use.

The handset has an Ultra power saving mode, which can help for those times where you are far from a power outlet and really need to stretch the battery life.

Closing Remarks

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 definitely offers great value for PHP 12,990 price tag. It one of the most affordable phones with a pop-up camera. But the phone is more than that.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 Technobaboy Review

I like the huge full screen display, fast performance, smooth animations, and amazing battery life. The rear cameras are a bonus. Hopefully, they can improve the selfie camera which I think is average. It’s also slow to pop-up, compared to rival phones. And lastly, I think it’s name is a mouthful — try saying or typing it a few times — Huawei Y9 Prime 2019.

So whether or not you like pop-up cameras and full screen displays, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 should be on your list.

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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