Hands-On

Huawei Y9 2018 Hands-on: Another midrange phone from the same company

The more, the merrier?

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There’s a phone in our office that, at first, I thought I already used before, but it turned out being a relatively new model from Huawei.

The budget-midrange market is already populated with a lot of handsets and the Y9 2018 is the latest one to join the group. We can’t blame you if you’re confused about which phone to buy, or better yet, which Huawei phone to get since the company has a number of phones in the same segment.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the Huawei Y9 2018 and check out what’s so special that the company had to make a new model.

The 5.93-inch Full HD+ 18:9 display is sharp and vibrant

There are multiple display modes if you want to tweak the colors

The top bezel houses two front cameras, sensors, and the earpiece

Secondary sensor is for bokeh on selfies

The chin only has Huawei branding

A familiar sight among Huawei phones

The triple-card slot is on the left side…

No need to sacrifice your second SIM card for more storage

While the physical buttons for volume and power are on the right

The long button is for volume, while the short one is for powering up your phone

The bottom side is jampacked with the audio port, micro-USB, microphone, and loudspeaker

It’s pretty busy down here and USB-C is still not available

At the back are the dual rear cameras, LED flash, fingerprint reader, and Huawei logo

Clean but too simple, maybe?

Usual design, boring looks

I miss the good old days when phones looked differently. I can still remember that part of the decision when buying a new phone was the looks, but that’s not the case anymore. Most (if not all) of the phones you see in stores have a plain front fully occupied by the display, and the Y9 2018 is no different.

Good thing its 5.93-inch IPS display doesn’t disappoint thanks to its crisp pixel density and good color reproduction. I do like that you can adjust the color balance of the display according to your liking; it can be warm, cool, or just about whatever temperature you prefer.

The display gives justice to the colorful default theme of the phone’s launcher. EMUI on top of Android Oreo benefits the end user with a lot of customization options and extra features that phones running bare Android don’t have.

Overall, there’s not much to say about the phone’s design. The metal back gives an added premium feel when using the phone, but I’m not liking the gold color of the unit I have. It’s just a personal preference, but the tint of gold phones in 2018 is not as appealing as when it was popular a few years back.

Same performance as other mid-tier Huawei phones

Since most touchscreen phones look alike and manufacturers like to release multiple smartphones in the same segment, we focus on specs because that’s what makes a phone worthwhile today. Thankfully, the Huawei Y9 doesn’t disappoint in this part.

The Y9 2018 is powered by a Kirin 659 processor paired with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage. That’s about the same processing power as its higher-tier siblings like the Huawei Mate 10 Lite and even the P20 Lite, sans the slightly lower memory. After a few days with the phone, I didn’t encounter any lag. Some apps do load a bit slow compared to a flagship phone, but that’s acceptable given the specs of the device.

Gaming shouldn’t also be an issue but it’s also not the phone’s strength. I tested my go-to game Asphalt Xtreme on the highest-possible settings and it ran smoothly. Other titles should also play fine, but don’t expect the smoothest frame rates or best graphics all the time.

There’s also a large 4000mAh battery inside the phone, but sadly, there’s no support for Huawei SuperCharge. It charges through a micro-USB port and not the reversible USB-C, as well.

Shoots better selfies than others

Equipped with four cameras, the Y9 2018 doesn’t lack any photography prowess. The rear has 13- and 2-megapixel sensors while the front has a whopping 16- and 2-megapixel combo. The numbers alone tell that this phone is made for taking selfies, but that doesn’t mean the main camera is not a good shooter. Here are a few samples taken with the rear cameras:

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The captured details of the rear cameras are decent, but not that great. I also find the dynamic range to be limited, especially in a gloomy day. There’s HDR mode but it’s not automatically available.

As for selfies, here are three samples: one with no beauty effect, another with beauty, and the last one with added bokeh for portrait-like shots.

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The selfies are definitely better than the rear samples, so you might want to get the Y9 2018 for the former. The field of view of the front shooter is also pretty wide, so you’ll be able to take group shots with no problem.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Huawei Y9 2018 can easily get lost in the sea of midrange Android phones. It doesn’t offer anything special, but we can’t expect it to because “special features” are reserved for the expensive options. That’s how phone manufacturers form the line between budget, midrange, and premium now.

I see the Y9 2018 as a new option if you find a similar offering too common for your liking. The phone is currently available in select markets in Asia. In Nepal, it’s priced at NPR 25,990 while it goes for THB 6,990 in Thailand.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P20 Pro review: 3 months later

Hands-On

All the fun things you need to know about the OPPO’s RX17 Pro

Here’s what it can do

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My smartphone is the one thing that I hold most on a daily basis — more than my boyfriend’s hand or my pet dogs. This device is almost always on my body. That being the case, whatever phone I use automatically becomes an accessory. I want my phones bright and beautiful. If you’re anything like me, a fan of pretty things, continue reading.

This is the OPPO RX17 Pro that was just unveiled in Milan, Italy. It’s one eye-catching device.

To get the confusion out of the way: Yes, the OPPO RX17 Pro is the same phone as the R17 Pro.

First of all, let me state on record: This is one pretty phone. The gradient back is actually made of matted glass (apparently that’s a thing now) and that gives this device an extra oomph. It also means this thing feels great in your hands: Premium with just enough heft.

This right-to-left gradient look, named “Radiant Mist” by the Chinese smartphone company, is tantalizing to say the least. I couldn’t stop staring at it!

This phone will not match all your outfits, though. Even better, it will make all your outfits. It’s the perfect statement piece.

But, as in all things, we all know that looks aren’t everything. What else can this thing do?

I spent some time with a test unit in Milan, and here are my main takeaways. Take note, however, that this particular device isn’t running on final software yet so there might be a few minor differences when the actual units ship out.

Now, without further ado:

Its screen invites attention

That 6.4-inch AMOLED screen looks bright and crisp — great for watching YouTube or for Netflix and chilling. 👀

And look, ma! A notch that isn’t as obtrusive, thank heavens! That tiny teardrop up top is actually something I don’t hate. You sort of forget it’s even there.

This almost all-screen design insists on having it all: There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner on this phone. Simply press your finger to that fingerprint design on the display and voila! That’s not all, though. It’s also capable of face unlock and it’s pretty smooth.

Custom beauty mode and more

Being a smartphone from Asia, the RX17 Pro has a built-in beauty mode on its 25-megapixel selfie camera.

They take it a bit further with not just AI beauty mode (which was previously on R-series devices); there’s also a custom beauty mode which allows for facial adjustments depending on your own personal preferences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: OPPO’s beauty mode is one of the best out there — if you add these on with moderation.

Stickers, stickers, and more stickers

On to the fun stuff… there are also built-in stickers and so many of them! Here are just a few cute examples as there are pages and pages of them.

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You can also create your own Omoji — think Samsung AR Emoji, OPPO style. Basically, you make sticker avatars based on your face, dress the sticker up then send to your friends as GIFs or videos.

I can’t say it will turn out looking really like you, though, because mine didn’t. See example below:

There are also pre-set AR stickers and those are pretty cute and very fun — I had a blast “testing” these out.


It raises the bar

The Smart Bar, that is.

This added feature is a hovering bar on the screen that brings you to a mini menu for faster access to certain apps.

You can customize apps that go on here and even move the bar around on the screen at your convenience.

More and merrier cameras

There are three cameras on this phone’s back: The main shooter is a 12-megapixel dual aperture camera (that just means the camera adjusts to different lighting scenarios to get the best-possible photos), a second 20-megapixel shooter, and a 3D TOF camera. That last camera supposedly allows for 3D and AR capabilities, but that feature wasn’t ready on this test device.

There’s a Portrait Lighting feature, much like Apple’s, on this phone. As my patient boyfriend has so willingly shown below, there are many different photo styles you can get. The cutouts, despite the busy background, looked pretty good.

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This phone highlights its low-light capabilities with a new “Night” feature. AI combined with optical image stabilization ensures better photos in scenarios that aren’t so well lit. I put it to the test at the RX17 Pro launch event:

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Like the previous R-series phones, there’s also AI built into the camera that automatically adjusts settings depending on the scenario for optimum photo results. All that’s left for you to do is keep shooting and photos turn out like this.

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Of course, I’d have to spend more time with this camera, but these initial samples have pretty much impressed.

All other things

Other notable features include a Snapdragon 710 processor with 6GB memory and 128GB storage which makes for a smooth running phone. And as a first for an R-series phone, it’s equipped with a USB-C port and SuperVOOC charging. Yep, that’s the same one on the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition which zooms to full charge in 35 minutes.

For more details on this phone’s specs, you can watch GadgetMatch’s full hands-on here.

A day and a half with the RX17 Pro and it’s performed pretty well. Not to mention, it totally looked good with my outfit.

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Hands-On

Apple iPad Pro Hands-on: Can this replace your laptop?

Apple says it’s like a computer, but unlike any computer

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We go hands on with the new iPad Pro and give you our first impressions. Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet is available in two sizes,12.9 inches and 11 inches, but they’re even smaller than previous models because the bezels have been reduced.

Two other big changes to the iPad Pro are the omission of Apple’s signature features: the home button that enables Touch ID, and the Lightning port. In their place are the new TrueDepth camera technology first seen on the iPhone X and a USB-C port — the latter opening up so many possibilities for the iPad Pro.

Special thanks are in order to the following people who made this video possible:

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Hands-On

OPPO R17 Pro Hands-on

A triple-camera setup like nothing before

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This is our OPPO R17 Pro hands-on.

The Chinese company’s latest upper-midrange phone is here and with it comes hardware never before seen on a smartphone. Will it pave the way to a broader application of our handsets in the future?

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