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Huawei Y9s Review: A Prime Upgrade


While Huawei’s flagship smartphones are still rooted in notched displays, the brand has been experimenting with pop-up cameras with their mid-range offerings. This year, the first smartphone to come with a pop-up camera from the brand is the Huawei Y9s. Essentially an upgraded version of the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 from last year, is the Y9s a worthy upgrade from its contemporaries?

Huawei Y9s

Chipset Kirin 710F
Screen 6.59-inch, 19.5:9, 2340 x 1080, LTPS
OS Android 9.0 Pie with EMUI 9.1
Rear Camera 48MP f/1.8, 8MP f/2.4 ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 portrait, PDAF
Front Camera 16MP f/2.2 motorized pop-up
Storage 128GB expandable up to 512GB via MicroSD slot
Network 4G, LTE
Connectivity WiFi 802.11n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C
Battery 4,000mAh
Others Face Unlock, Side-mounted Fingerprint Scanner
Colors Midnight Black, Breathing Crystal



The Huawei Y9s is encased in a traditional white-colored Y-series box. The device comes with a traditional set of accessories, which includes a USB Type-C cable, a pair of earphones, a silicone case, a SIM ejector pin as well as some documentation.

Design and Features

The Huawei Y9s comes with largely the same specifications as last year’s Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. Both smartphones come with a 6.59-inch 19.5:9 LTPS display with a 2340 x 1080 resolution with no notches since the front-facing camera has been placed on a pop-up mechanism.

The smartphone’s display is able to produce bright images unhindered by sunlight. Color reproduction is decent enough offering well-saturated colors without being over-the-top. The screen can be set to either Normal or Vivid Mode and you can also adjust its color temperature to your preference via the Display settings.

As mentioned, the 16MP f/2.2 front-facing camera now rests on a motorized platform that rises up from the top of the smartphone whenever Selfie Mode is activated in the camera app. The pop-up action is quick enough to allow you to capture a photo without missing the moment.

The smartphone is encased in a two-tone chassis. The top three-fourths of the back is clad in light blue while the bottom portion has been painted in a purple. The contrast between the clean blue and aggressive purple gives the Huawei Y9s a distinct aesthetic of its own.

The rear of the Y9s is pretty barren in terms of hardware aside from the camera. One of the recent upgrades of the device from the Y9s is an upgraded 48MP f/1.8 main camera backed by an 8MP f/2.4 ultrawide, a 2MP f/2.4 portrait lens, and an LED Flash.

Another notable upgrade on the Y9s from its predecessor is the fingerprint scanner. Instead of a traditional rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, the fingerprint sensor has been integrated to the power button at the right-hand side of the smartphone alongside the volume rocker.

The hybrid dual-SIM tray is located at the top. This allows you to have either two SIM cards or a single SIM card and a MicroSD card in case you need to expand its 128GB internal storage.

The bottom portion of the Huawei Y9s houses its 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C for charging and data trasnfer, bottom-firing speakers, and a microphone grille.

User Interface

The Huawei Y9s ships with Android 9.0 Pie with the brand’s EMUI 9.1 OS. Unlike the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, the Huawei Y9s does come with Google apps pre-installed. Of course, standard Huawei apps such as HiCare and App Gallery is also pre-installed in the device.

The Y9s comes with a standard Android experience in terms of UI that we’ve come to expect. Split-screen and multi-window view is available as well as gesture and general performance optimization options are available.


The camera on the Huawei Y9s come with AI scene optimization as well as standard options such as Night, Portrait, Aperture, Video, Slow Motion, HDR, Panorama, Light Painting, and Pro Mode. The Y9s also come with additional features such as Light Painting Moving Picture, AR Lens, Time Lapse, Stickers, as well as 9 different filters.

The 48MP f/1.8 main camera on the Huawei Y9s is a big upgrade from its predecessor in terms of pixel count. It’s able to take sharp and well-detailed photos with decent enough contrast. Colors are a bit on the dull side depending on the subject you are photographing.

While the 8MP f/2.4 ultrawide does not have the same high pixel count as the main camera, it is still able to take well-saturated photos. Shadows, however, are a bit underwhelming lacking a bit of contrast to our liking.

The 16MP f/2.2 pop-up selfie camera takes selfies in the right lighting. The beautification is a bit aggressive so you might want to tone down the effect in order to get a natural-looking photo.

Performance and Benchmarks

Inside the two-tone chassis of the Huawei Y9s is a Kirin 710F, which is the same chip that comes with the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. RAM, however, has been upgraded to 6GB instead of 4GB while the internal storage space remains the same at 128GB.

Performance is perfectly serviceable for a mid-range smartphone. We’ve used the Y9s with our daily work including browsing the Internet and social media, and replying to emails without any inconsistencies in performance.

Benchmarks on the Huawei Y9s ran perfectly without any hitches. In terms of numbers produced, the smartphone is able to pump out 187437 in AnTuTu, 875 in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, and 5843 in PCMark Work 2.0.


The Y9s gets its juice from a 4,000mAh battery reserve. Though large enough for most cases, some smartphone in its class come with a larger 5,000mAh battery capacity. The smartphone is charged via a USB Type-C port at the bottom. Charging is provided by a 5V/2A wall adapter.

With medium use including video consumption, replying to emails, and listening to music throughout, the smartphone is able to last us until the end of the day with plenty of battery left to watch more videos before sleep. PCMark Work 2.0 benchmark puts the device at 16 hours and 2 minutes with medium brightness and volume.


Though the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 set the standard in the brand’s mid-range smartphones with a pop-up camera, the Huawei Y9s is a clear improvement and thus a natural progression of where the Y9 series is headed.

Some may say that the upgrades on the Huawei Y9s may be minor, but they are still quality of life improvements for the smartphone. The improved 48MP f/1.8 main camera takes decent photos while the 16MP f/2.2 pop-up camera captures natural-looking selfies so long as you tone down the beautification.

Performance on par with some mid-range smartphones. The 6GB of RAM will help you to multitask more apps while the 128GB internal storage allows store more photos, videos, and music without the help of an external storage solution.

With the bumped up pixel count of its main camera, more RAM, and the addition of a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, the Huawei Y9s seems like a solid choice for an upgrade for PhP 13,990, which is why we are giving it our seal of approval.




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With the bumped up pixel count of its main camera, more RAM, and the addition of a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, the Y9s seems like a solid choice for an upgrade for PhP 13,990.Huawei Y9s Review: A Prime Upgrade