The Huawei Y9s is a surprise for us mainly because it arrived pre-installed with Google Apps even after all that has been said and done with the US-China trade war drama. Just like its sister company’s Honor 9X, the Huawei Y9s probably rolled out of production before Google software is completely ruled out in Huawei’s ecosystem. But all these are good, in the sense that Malaysian smartphone users are still very used to the synergy that Android has with Google Apps. Ask any modern Malaysian for their email address and it would probably end with gmail.com. So, the Huawei Y9s would be very much welcomed locally, not just because it has Google Apps but also a great price of only RM999, which as of our review, has features that are a tad better than some smartphones priced similarly.
For the price of RM999, the Huawei Y9s actually sports a curved glass back, which makes it appear and feel quite premium. For the same price, the Honor 9X has a plastic back panel so this is quite a “1UP” for Huawei’s mid-ranger. The display is 6.59-inch with a 84.7% screen-to-body ratio so the bezel is quite minimal. Thanks to a pop-up selfie camera, the display is without a notch or a punch-hole camera to block it. The sides are made of aluminium, which gives it a sort of grip to the phone while the indented home button doubles as a fingerprint sensor that supposedly provides users with a “one touch” unlock. Honestly, it’s not bad if I do say so myself but I appreciate in-screen fingerprint sensors more as the position is universally better for left-handed users.
As a mid-ranger, the Y9s is equipped with an Ultra FullView LCD screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and 391 ppi density at a ratio of 19.5:9. You can expect visuals to be of decent quality with vivid colours and sharpness. The chipset is an octa-core Kirin 710F with a Mali-G51 MP4 graphics processor where apps and games can run quite smoothly. The battery is a large 4000mAh unit, which will last a full day with moderately heavy use - this is great for those who are always out and about for long hours. But an important note is, just don’t expect that the Y9s can outperform flagships - at the price point, these are quite a good deal.
The memory configurations are 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM including a memory card slot, which allows you to expand the storage up to 512 GB externally. This effectively means, the Y9s can store up to almost 640GB of data, rivaling the capacity of certain notebooks in the market.
The Huawei Y9s has a triple rear camera setup which includes a main 48MP f/1.8 wide angle camera, a secondary 8MP f/2.4 ultrawide camera, and finally 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. The selfie camera on the other hand is a motorised pop-up at 16MP f/2.2. While the shots of the rear cameras are decent in overall quality, the selfie camera does not seem to be on par with other mid-rangers. Additionally, Night Mode took about 21 seconds of exposure to capture the photograph shown below but the photo appears decent.
Here are the sample shots for your verdict.
Default and Night Mode,
Ultrawide Angle And Selfie Camera.
At the price of RM999, we are certain that the Y9s is already better than some models of the same price. Having a rear glass panel is also a fine touch to uplift the looks and feel of the phone - which we appreciate a lot. The triple rear camera setup produces decent photos however, the shortfall comes with its pop-up selfie camera that doesn’t perform too greatly. It runs all contemporary apps thrown at it including concurrent mobile games effortlessly, has long battery life, great display and expandable storage that will store years worth of photos and videos. Most importantly it is a Huawei phone that runs Google Apps at the end of 2019, I think that’s quite a feat by itself.