304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Y9 series from Huawei has been further refined by the introduction of new Huawei Y9a. Featuring almost the same dimensions as the older Y9s, Y9a promises practical improvements for the budget mid-range market. We have already reviewed Huawei Y9 Prime from last year and this iteration targets to improve on the same formula.
Huawei Y9a sports a MediaTek Helio G80 processor that then gets coupled with 8GB of RAM. More, for connectivity, the phone has a USB Type-C port that supports Huawei Fast Charge that goes upto 40W. On paper, the phone offers some great specs but how does it fare overall? Let’s discuss ahead!
Here are the complete technical details and specifications of Huawei Y9a:
Y9a features a unique design for its glass back, one that makes it immediately stand out from the older phones. There is a large circular camera bump placed in the center that houses the 4 camera array — the specifics of which we will discuss ahead. More, for the dual camera flash, there is a separate cut-out on the top rear left that adds to the overall design character.
In true Huawei fashion, Y9a comes in some amazing color finishes. Our unit, Space Silver, has a purplish grey hue that reflects uniquely in different lighting conditions. Further, there is an additional Sakura Pink gradient color finish for lighter tones. For customers that want a solid color, Y9a also comes in Midnight Black paint choice.
Huawei has provided a high-gloss finish on the main body surrounds that give the phone a premium look despite the chassis being plastic and not stainless steel or aluminum. Starting from the bottom, Y9a has a USB Type-C port at the center which is flanked by a microphone cut-out as well as the speaker grill on the left along with SIM card tray on the right. The SIM tray supports dual SIM functionality but at the cost of using the NM card expansion slot — different to microSD, customers would need to buy nano SD cards for adding extra storage.
For the left, Huawei Y9a comes with an indented fingerprint scanner that doubles up as a power button. Overall placement is very ergonomic and the accuracy is perfect. Above the power button, there is a long singular volume locker. The right side of the chassis is clean and lastly, for the top side, we get to see the camera cut-out for pop-up front camera along with the 3.5mm headphone jack and the second microphone hole.
Finishing up with the hardware, the front display is notch-free, thanks to having a motorized front camera, and it also has the least amount of bezels as well as chin. This aspect alone serves as a great feature for Huawei Y9a and one that many customers would appreciate at this price point.
Discussing the technical details of the large front display panel, it is a 6.63 inch IPS unit that runs at a resolution of 2400 x 1080 (FHD+). The colors are adequate and the sharpness is there but, standard refresh rate of 60Hz makes it one step behind the competition.
From a brightness stand point, the display is good enough to be used outdoors but struggles in direct sunlight. More, the taller screen ratio makes the phone easier to navigate one-handed.
For mid-range budget devices such as Huawei Y9a, the internals play a key role in its overall user acceptability. Rather than going with Kirin, Huawei has outfitted Y9a with MediaTek G80 processor that is paired with a large 8GB RAM module. Completing the internal spec sheet, the storage capacity is set at 128GB standard for Y9a.
The whole internal package of Huawei’s latest Y9 phone performs really well. For day to day usage such as navigating the system UI, there are no hiccups whatsoever. As for games and high-end tasks, MediaTek G80 processor really steps up and provides a great experience. For its Snapdragon counterparts, the chip works much better than SD710 and is just slightly behind the SD730.
We have added some benchmarks so you can compare the figures for yourself.
Huawei Y series has always had a strong focus on battery endurance. The new Y9a comes with a 4,200mAh battery module. This, on its own, easily makes the phone last a complete day of usage and in some cases, two days.
Levelling it up further, Huawei has introduced 40W SuperCharge with the new Y9a that allows the phone recharge much faster than usual. The wall-brick provided within the box supports this feature along with the USB type-C cable so users wont have to buy the fast charger accessories separately.
If endurance is one thing you look within a phone, the new Huawei Y9a delivers greatly in this aspect.
Flaunting a 4 camera array, Huawei Y9a comes with a 64MP main sensor along with an 8MP ultrawide and then two 2MP macro and depth cameras. This combination has been quite popular in the budget range. Improving from 48MP on Y9s, the new main sensor has been upgraded to 64MP.
In our tests, the phone performs exceptionally well in sunlight, that goes for all of its sensors and modes. But, in low-light conditions, there is a lot of struggle. To counteract this, Huawei has added in a dedicated night mode that works well to produce way better images than the standard ones. To better grasp the performance, here are sample shots taken in various lighting conditions and utilizing different camera modes.
For the front, it offers crisp photos and is aided by loads of filters & modes within the camera app. The actual module is 16MP with f/2.2 aperture and is aided by a pop-up motor.
Software is one thing that every prospective Huawei buyer is concerned about. The new Huawei Y9a comes with EMUI 10.1 that is based on Android 10. However, there are no Google Services and no Google Play Store. Surely this has been a big challenge but Huawei has already started adapting. Starting with AppGallery, Huawei’s replacement for Play Store, there are various other services that step up to replace Google’s.
This time round, there is an additional app called Petal Search integrated within the phone. Through this, users can instantly search for different apps that are otherwise not available on AppGallery. Once a search is made, the app scours the internet for the APK file and then displays it to the user. It uses various sources for its search such as APK mirroring sites and AppGallery itself. In our testing, we found Petal Search to be pretty useful when it comes to installing apps that aren’t listed on AppGallery.
From the overall design and usability aspect, EMUI is a seasoned Android skin that has been around for quite some time. Thanks to this, it is refined, supports all new features such as full-screen gestures and is quite efficient. Part of Huawei Y9a’s great battery endurance is its optimized software that works to preserve battery life as much as possible.