Huawei Y5 2019 Review: Go-to choice budget smartphone

The good people at Huawei sent me a review unit of the Huawei Y5 2019 last month just a week before the device was officially launched in the market. The entry-level smartphone was launched at a time when Huawei had been restricted from using Google’s Android OS. This ban basically meant that Huawei’s future smartphone ecosystem won’t be able to access any Google services, including Gmail, Play Store, or even YouTube. It also meant that any future updates for the Android OS won’t be provided for the company too.

We have covered all this extensively here at TechTrendsKE including all the recent developments of Huawei working on its own OS and even recent reports of Google reportedly asking the U.S government to lift the ban. Well, I wouldn’t want to go much into the details since I am sure this China-US war is something that should be ending soon.

Back to the Huawei Y5 2019, the device is already available in the market retailing at Ksh. 11,499. At that price, Huawei is directly hitting on devices like the Tecno Spark 3 and the Infinix S4 all of which were launched at almost the same time in April this year.

We have the specs highlighted in a separate article which you can read about here.  If you noticed Huawei decided not to go with the name Y5 Prime 2019, well does it mean the company is finally killing the word PRIME, considering the Y5 2019 predecessor was the Y5 Prime 2018? Well, let us not speculate anything, we could be wrong putting in mind the company could also be launching the Huawei Y9 Prime (2019) any day this June.

Huawei Y5 2019 Design, Build and Display

The Huawei Y5 2019 is available in 4 colours: Midnight Black, Modern Black, Sapphire Blue, Amber Brown, we got the Amber Brown as our review unit which is actually my favourite colour. It’s an entry-level device and it looks anything but that. The faux leather finish, however, makes the smartphone appear as if it’s a little on the premium side. The phone feels stable and very light. The build is pretty good and the rounded corners make it fit perfectly against your palm.

Just as it’s expected with most smartphone in the budget range, we’re getting very thick bezels surrounding the Huawei Y5 Prime display. The top bezel is thinner though and this is where you also get the dewdrop notch which houses the selfie camera. The bottom bezel is quite hefty and has the Huawei logo splashed in the middle.

The display is 5.71-inches again as I said with a waterdrop notch, 1,520 x 720 pixels, at an aspect ratio of 19:9. There is also a standard notification LED at the top-right corner just above the screen. I never had any problems with the picture quality, its sharp given the screen size, the colour reproduction is pretty good as well. If you’re really careful, you will, however, notice some slight amount of colour shift at extreme angles.

The power and volume rockers are all on the right-hand side. They are pretty visible and feel solid so you won’t struggle while pressing them. The left side is where you have the card tray for two nano-SIMs and a microSD.

At the bottom is where you have the single speaker which is surprisingly loud at full volume and the microUSB charging port; at full volume, it can get surprisingly loud.

The headphone jack is at the top.

Specs Performance and battery life

The Huawei Y5 2019 is powered by a quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which should enough for any for a budget smartphone. The device actually comes with massive improvements compared to what we saw on its predecessor the Huawei Y5 Prime 2018. It runs on Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9 skinned on top of it.

Out of the box, the Huawei Y5 2019 interface is just the standard home screen style which of course you can change to a drawer-style in the settings.  I need to also mention that the smartphone gives you an option to hide the notch if you’re not a fan of notches like me.

In terms of performance, the Huawei Y5 2019 overall performance is satisfying. Even when multitasking, most apps open very fast. The phone is very responsive when navigating through apps.

Overall performance aside, the Huawei Y5 2019 comes with a 3,020mAh battery, which takes less than two hours to charge from 0% to 100% capacity. This should actually be standard for any modern phone. The battery can easily get you through a full day and even longer.  EMUI also has extra battery optimization settings/features that can use for your battery to last longer. There are the power performance mode, power saving mode and ultra-power saving mode.


The Huawei Y5 2019 comes with a single 13-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture lens around back. The selfie camera, on the other hand, is a 5-megapixel, f/2.2 camera located in the notch above the display. Well, both cameras do a great job especially during the daytime. Huawei also included a pro mode with some manual controls for ISO, shutter speed, auto-focus, and exposure compensation. The front camera comes with beauty.

I won’t say much about the camera, I will let the sample photos below speak for themselves.

More sample photos are available on our official TechTrendsKE Instagram Page.

Conclusion, Price and Availability

The Huawei Y5 2019 is a good entry-level offering from Huawei with updated looks and some really decent specs.  The design is quite good, the performance and battery life is also really impressive. The camera might be a bit disappointing but the smartphone is still a go-to choice for anyone looking for a phone with a lower price tag.

It is available on Jumia and other Huawei distributors across the country for a recommended retail price of Ksh. 11,499.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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