Early Verdict: Huawei’s latest budget offering incorporates a lot of features normally found on its higher-end devices like 22.5w USB-C charging, 48-megapixel main camera, and a full HD+ display. Priced at just Php Php 8,999, the Y7a looks to be a compelling offering for people who are looking for a budget phone that packs a lot of features.
- Large 6.67 display with Full HD+ resolution
- Huawei SuperCharge finally coming to entry-level models
- 14nm Kirin 710a is dated by 2020 standards
Initially launched in Europe as the P Smart 2021 a few weeks ago, the Y7a is Huawei’s answer in the competitive and growing sub-Php 10k budget phone segment. We got our hands on the Y7a ahead of its official launch here in the Philippines, and here are our first impressions:
Just like with all Huawei phones, you get a white box with the Y7a, along with a photo of the phone in front and the usual Huawei branding. Inside the box, you get the phone itself, 5A USB-C cable, 22.5w SuperCharge power brick, and SIM ejector tool.
While we did not get any documentation and jelly case, both items are expected to be included with the official retail packaging.
Design and display
Unlike previously-released Huawei smartphones, the Y7a is the first from the brand to employ a punch hole placed in the center—Nova phones since the Nova 5T have the punch-hole placed on the upper left corner instead. The Y7a’s rectangle camera module is reminiscent of those found on the Nova 7 and Nova 7 SE where you have all four cameras arranged vertically inside the module. Like with any Y-series device, you get a polycarbonate frame and back panel, with the former having a matte finish and the latter having a glossy finish that attracts a lot of smudges.
The button and port layout are typically what you expect on a Y-series smartphone: SIM card tray on the left, volume controls, and power button (that also acts as a fingerprint scanner) on the right, and headphone jack, USB-C port, and loudspeaker. Because it packs a 5000mAh battery, the Y7a is a little on the thick and heavy side.
The display is large and generous for a Y-series smartphone at 6.67-inches, and you get a full HD+ resolution with it. The IPS panel used is a good one, and while it can’t deliver inky blacks typical of AMOLED panels, the Y7a’s display is bright enough for outdoor use, and colors are vibrant enough regardless of the viewing angle.
For the first time, Huawei is incorporating a quad-rear module on a Y-series phone. For the Y7a, that consists of a 48-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, and a pair of 2-megapixel cameras: one for macro shots, and one for depth sensing.
Based on our initial use, both the main camera and ultra-wide-angle camera delivered consistent white balance and color accuracy, though the ultra-wide-angle camera experienced challenges in low light.
This is the first time a Y-series phone is getting a 48-megapixel main camera, and Huawei made sure to incorporate features like Night mode, support for 60FPS shooting in Full HD, and slo-mo video shooting at up to 480FPS in 720p. For selfies, you get an 8-megapixel camera.
Powering the Y7a is a Kirin 710a processor that is paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The Kirin 710a is a 14nm processor that is manufactured by SMIC. While it has a slightly lower clock speed than the 12nm, TSMC-manufactured Kirin 710, the Kirin 710a should offer almost the same performance. We will do our usual set of tests with the Y7a before we give our final verdict.
Like recently-released Huawei phones, the Y7a comes with Android 10-based EMUI 10.1 out of the box. You get Huawei Mobile Services and Petal Search, along with EMUI-exclusive features like MeeTime and knock screenshot gestures.
Typical of phones nowadays, the Y7a gets a 5000mAh battery with Huawei’s proprietary 22.5w SuperCharge wired charging solution to top up the battery. While it is a few watts better than the more common 18w wired charging, you can only enjoy the 22.5w charging speeds when using the right Huawei USB-C cable and SuperCharge charger.
Wrap up and conclusions
As the latest model under the Y-series, Huawei is serious about staying competitive in the budget segment with the Y7a. Adding features like 22.5w USB-C charging, 48-megapixel main rear camera, and a large 6.7-inch Full HD+ display makes the Y7a a compelling budget phone, though some people might hesitate due to the Kirin 710a processor it uses. We will be putting the Y7a to our usual set of tests before giving our final verdict.
The Y7a is priced at Php 8,999 and is available for pre-order from October 30 to November 6. Those pre-ordering will get a Bluetooth headset, vouchers for mobile games like FreeFire, and rewards for apps like GCash, PayMaya, Viu, and FoodPanda.