I had to double, no triple take when I read the outright price for the Huawei Y9 Prime.
Wait, WAIT. You mean to tell me, the smartphone I’ve been thoroughly enjoying over the past week costs $329? Get this trash tier phone out of my sight, I say to my personal assistant.
But seriously folks. We like to have fun here but the Y9 Prime’s generous price is no laughing matter.
I was genuinely surprised when I realised how far down the mid-range scale the Y9 Prime was. The Samsung Galaxy A70 I recently reviewed is a killer handset for the price but $699 can’t really be considered a “budget” price tag.
In fact, some retailers are slinging this budget beast for far lower than the $399 RRP. Check out the prices below.
The Huawei Y9 Prime is a fantastic budget smartphone but you'll still have to fork out for upfront. If you'd rather pay your smartphone off over time, we've rounded up a few of the best budget Android options on a plan.
One of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had with the Huawei Y9 Prime so far has been its outstanding battery life. The Huawei Y9 Prime’s vibrant 6.59-inch display is powered by a 4,000mAh battery. That’s a big battery but the Huawei Y9 Prime is a big phone and usually, these two factors combined give you the kind of battery life you’d expect from a smaller smartphone with a smaller battery.
That’s not the case with the Y9 Prime. This is a case of bigger battery, better battery life.
My first attempt to run the battery dry was a long and patient process. It was the Betty White of smartphone batteries, it just wouldn’t die.
I left my apartment on Sunday morning at 9:30 am with a full charge. I hit up a new cafe for breakfast, then headed for the Sunday markets; giving the Y9 Prime’s camera a real workout for most of the day.
I used the Y9 Prime a lot that Sunday and I fully expected to return home that night with the battery a small red sliver from death. That was far from the case, the Y9 Prime’s battery indicator was a fat slab of white (about 80%). Okay, I thought, this going to be one of those phones that pretends like its all good under the hood only to absolutely lose it when it gets below 50%. Not true, either.
On that single charge, I went almost three days without running out of battery. On Wednesday morning (3 days later) I woke to a dead Huawei Y9 Prime. It had gone peacefully during the wee hours of Tuesday night (it’s worth noting I went to bed with about 5%).
Nearly 3 days without a top-up or any kind of battery saving feature activated. This was on above-average usage for me, so needless to say, I was blown away by the Y9 Prime’s battery life.
While the big dogs bicker over who has the sexier notch, Oppo and Huawei are over here quietly scrapping the notch altogether in favour of pop-up front-facing cameras. The Huawei Y9 Prime’s 16MP selfie camera is concealed at the top of the handset (next to the SIM tray). When you flick over the selfie mode, the mechanism begins to whir, exposing the selfie camera.
It’s a very novel feature - like a little robot buddy whose one and only purpose is to take glamorous photographs of your massive noggin.
The main advantage of the pop-up camera is, as mentioned, it negates the need for an intrusive camera notch. It’s a fun idea that pays off in our experience so far.
If the sight of an exposed, mechanical camera sends a shiver down your spine, Huawei has assured us that the selfie camera has survived 100,000 pops during internal testing and can withstand up to 15kg of pressure (if you’re worried about breaking it off).
There’s also some clever AI running in the background when the selfie-camera is popped that tells the Y9 Prime if the handset has been dropped. If it detects that the user has dropped the phone, the pop-up camera will quickly retreat into its shell.
We couldn’t test out the 100,000 pops claim, but we did try dropping it with the camera popped. I dropped the Y9 Prime to the floor from a standing position and, true to the claim, the Y9 Prime’s camera was tucked away by the time the phone hit the ground.
I really like the notch-less display. Unfortunately, there’s a fairly obnoxious bezel on the bottom of the display that looks a little asymmetrical and a little cheap. The bottom bezel and the rounded edges of the Y9 Prime’s body are really the only two things that cheapen its appearance.
Otherwise, it’s a stylish phone that kicked off the two-tone finish that the new P30 Pros are sporting.