When the Huawei Y5p was first released, it seemed like an automatic buy with its decent specs and budget-friendly price of Php4,490, which is perhaps Huawei’s most affordable smartphone in the Philippines.
But after spending the last few weeks using it, and with several similarly priced phones about to be launched, is the Huawei Y5p still worth buying?
This is our full review of the Huawei Y5p:
First let’s take a look at the specs:
HUAWEI Y5P Specs:
- Display Size: 5.45 inches Type: TFT LCD (IPS)
- Resolution: HD+1,440 x 720 pixels
- Processor: Mediatek MT6762R
- Memory and Storage 2 GB RAM + 32 GB ROM
- External Memory Support:
- Micro SD Card support up to 512 GB *sold separately
- Battery 3,020 mAh (typical value)
- Charging: 5V/1A
- Camera Rear: 8MP (f/2.0 aperture), AF
- Front Camera: 5 MP (f/2.2 aperture), FF
- Connectivity: WLAN: 802.11b/g/n, 2.4 GHz
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB: microUSB, USB 2.0
- 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
- Dimensions: Height: 146.5mm
- Width: 70.94mm Depth: 8.35mm
- Weight: Approx. 144g (Battery included)
- Colors Midnight Black, Mint Green, Phantom Blue
- No Google Play support
- Okay cameras
- Back Design/texture looks premium
- Deceiving but nice Camera Panel
- Android 10 and EMUI 10
- No Google Play
- Dated front design
Let’s start with a recap of our unboxing and exploring the Huawei Y5p
The Huawei Y5p comes in the standard white box of Huawei, with an actual-sized photo on the front and the Experience it on the APP Gallery label.
Take note that this phone like all other new Huawei phones doesn’t come with Google Services or Google Play, I’ve gotten a lot of messages from friends who thought that the APP Gallery was just another feature and was not aware that the phone had no Google Play.
Lifting the box cover reveals the Huawei Y5p unit, wrapped in plastic though not sealed so be careful when removing it as it might slip and fall. The one I received was the Phantom Blue color but you also have the choice to get the Mint Green or Midnight Black.
You also find the usual warranty and user guide paperwork as well as the SIM tray ejector tool, micro USB charging cable, and the wall charger.
For its price, I was not surprised that it didn’t come with a pair of earphones—but I was a bit disappointed by the lack of a plastic case. It is not that big of a deal as you can probably get one from Shopee or Lazada, but I really think ALL phones should now come with a case and just maybe get rid of those printed documents instead?
You can read our first impressions here:
The phone is built quite solid and has a certain heft to it that is quite assuring that you are holding a quality product and there are no creaks when trying to press on the sides of the phone.
BUILD AND DESIGN
The Y5p has a pretty standard design and looks even a bit dated from the front. The 5.45-inch LCD screen doesn’t have a notch, instead, it has the old forehead and a chin– like all the smartphones from a couple of years ago. I know it’s a budget phone, but the thick bezels all around don’t help.
It’s a good thing that the back panel makes up for it.
The back is made of hard plastic with a slightly textured finish that gives it a bit more premium look. But its the Y5p’s “squircle” shaped camera panel that makes it a 2020 smartphone and reminded us of the midrange Huawei Nova 7i. It’s a bit deceiving though, as it only houses a single rear camera with an 8MP-megapixel sensor. The other circles just house the LED flash and mic.
The power button is on the right and is lined up alongside the volume rocker. On the other side, is the dual-SIM and microSD card tray that can accommodate up to 512GB to further expand your storage. Up top, you have the 3.5mm audio jack port.
You’ll find a micro USB port at the bottom for charging and file transferring purposes, together with the microphone for making and taking calls, as well as for video recording. It would have been nice to have the faster performance of USB-C but at this price point, that would be expecting too much.
Now you might be wondering where the speakers are since they’re not in the regular spot.
The earpiece is actually where the speaker is. The sound coming from it is decent and can go loud, but don’t expect too much from it. The good thing about this placement is that you wouldn’t accidentally cover it when holding the phone in landscape mode or for those who usually turn on the loudspeaker when taking or making calls.
It doesn’t have a fingerprint reader but does offer the face unlock security option. I would stick to the traditional passcode/PIN/Pattern, however, as face unlock isn’t the most reliable when in dark rooms.
The Huawei Y5p is a small smartphone by today’s standards, but its size does allow easy one-handed use. This size is best suited for younger people or those with smaller fingers as it can be a bit tough to type on this smaller display for people with bigger fingers. As for the feel of the phone, there’s no mistaking it for a budget device. It’s light and made of plastic but coming from Huawei, you know it is built with quality.
The Huawei Y5p has a 5.45-inch LCD screen HD+ with an HD+ FullView display and 1,440 x 720 resolution. Huawei says the screen has an 81% screen-to-body ratio and that 18:9 aspect ratio offers about 10% more content in the display than a traditional 16:9 smartphone.
My opinion on the Huawei Y5p display remains the same; its resolution is good enough for its screen size with ample brightness and vibrant color reproduction. It’s good enough for browsing through your social media feeds, watching movies or playing games, and best for indoor use.
The Huawei Y5p has a single 8MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash. Cameras features are pretty straightforward and you get the usual Panorama mode, HDR, Pro mode, and of course Beautification.
The cameras are as good as you’d expect from an entry-level Huawei phone. It works best in great lighting but quality dips when you use it indoors with less than ideal light. The rear cameras take decent photos but you really can’t expect a lot of details and color accuracy. Also worth noting is its 4x digital zoom, but there’s really no reason to max it out as you just end up with photos that are grainy and full of noise.
For the front camera, it has a 5MP selfie shooter that can recognize ambient lighting to help the user capture clear selfies. Again, the better the lighting, the better your selfies.
Beautification is effective in smoothing out the skin and you can adjust the intensity from 0 to 10. Keep it in the 5 to 6 range unless you want to look really flawless—and waxy.
The Huawei Y5p can shoot up to 1080p videos and can focus quickly but without stabilization, videos can get shaky.
Overall, the Huawei Y5p can capture okay photos for your FB & IG stories and social media postings or even for doing those TikTok videos, again just make sure you are either outside or are in a well-lit room.
The Huawei Y5p is powered by the same MediaTek Helio P22 processor as the slightly more expensive Huawei Y6p. The Huawei Y6p was praised for its performance which makes it even more impressive on the Y5p even though it only has 2GB of RAM.
The Mediatek processor adopts intelligent AI scheduling technology, which helps maintain smoothness when using it for long periods of time. It also comes with a 32GB storage and supports Huawei’s proprietary EROFS file system that can increase available storage space, allowing users to store more music, photos, and other files. If you need more storage you can simply get a microSD card up to 512GB.
It’s good as the Huawei Y5p ships with the latest Android 10 out of the box and EMUI 10 just like its other pricier siblings. EMUI 10 has been a great improvement from previous versions.
The Y5p may not the fastest device, but it’s definitely no slouch. Switching between apps isn’t an issue and there is very minimal lag. We’ve also used it quite extensively for games and it didn’t heat up or crash during our testing. Just be aware of its capabilities and don’t max out the settings and you can play most games without any problems.
In terms of battery life, the HUAWEI Y5p uses a 3020mAh (typical value) battery. According to official test data, the smartphone allows users to play videos for 17 hours continuously or surf the internet on 4G for 13 hours uninterruptedly. At the same time, the HUAWEI Y5p supports HUAWEI AI Power Saving, which can optimize your phone battery with a single tap (energy saving modes including Ultra Power Saving Mode). When the user has to be out and about all day, the standby time is prolonged, so battery life is not a problem anymore.
THE APP GALLERY
Ah. That one big caveat when buying a Huawei phone. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who are not aware that Huawei’s phone’s don’t ship with Google Mobile Services or Google Play anymore. Like I mentioned in the beginning I have friends asking me where they could find Google Play on their newly bought Huawei phone as if it was just a hidden icon. Some actually thought that the US Ban was just a rumor, a joke or had already expired.
This makes the Huawei AppGallery your primary (but not solely) your source of android apps. The good thing is that all the apps on the AppGallery were optimized to work with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) as a framework, and this seamlessly connects all Huawei devices.
As the third biggest app market, next only to Google Play and the Apple Store, Huawei’s App Gallery continues to improve. The AppGallery continues to grow as more developers partner with Huawei, including all the top names like Facebook, Snapchat, and Viber for social apps, while Viu and iFlix offer a wide variety of media streaming titles. For Online banking you can download PayMaya and Unionbank, BDO, and most of the banking apps. There’s GMA, ABS-CBN News, and CNN apps for your news and government services like SSS have landed in the AppGallery as well.
If you can’t find it on the App Gallery you can use APKPure, APTOIDE, APKMonk etc. The latest and most useful innovation from Huawei is its new Petal search widget. If you don’t want to keep shuffling from one app market you can just use Petal search and it will direct you to where you can download the app you need. If you are migrating from an old android smartphone, you can also use Huawei’s phone clone app to transfer the apps you need.
The truth is, for most Pinoy users who’ve been used to getting all their apps on Google Play since their first Android smartphone, it can be confusing and disorienting at first. But if you have an idea of what “apks” sideloading and app markets are, you’ll have less problems adjusting. But honestly, compared to my first Mate 30 Pro experience, I really don’t mind not having Google now as I’ve already found a lot of alternatives and workarounds to install the apps I need.
The Y5p is a fairly capable phone that delivers on its modest promises. For ordinary smartphone use such as browsing the internet, checking out your social media feeds, or binge-watching your favorite vlogs on YouTube (via browser or the NewPipe app), the Y5p performs quite well. EMUI 10 is responsive and most of the time you won’t notice much lag. It’s not the fastest in its price point, but there’s no frustrating slowdown.
As with all the Huawei phones however, the one big caveat is its lack of Google Mobile services
Is the AppGallery a disadvantage? Well, that all depends on the user and the apps they need. If you are a beginner, you could learn a thing or two when sourcing your apps, and if you are used to sideloading, then I’m sure you’ll have all your apps in no time at all. It’s just a little inconvenient.
So is the Huawei Y5p Passable or a Pass?
The Huawei Y5p is passable if you are looking for an affordable but reliable second phone or even your daily driver if all you need is to call, text and do some messaging. It’s one of those phones that would be a great giveaway or gift to a kid especially during these times when people need a smartphone for school or their work at home requirements.
The Huawei Y5p is now available for purchase from Huawei’s official stores on Lazada and Shopee for just Php4,490.