Huawei Y6 2018 Review: A Respectable Budget Phone

We review the Y6 2018!

While Huawei has been making a buzz with its flagship and mid-range models, the Chinese brand also wants to have a solid entry in the entry-level segment with the Y6 2018. While it comes with modest internals. The Y6 2018 has a few notable features such as an 18:9 HD+ display, face unlock, and Android Oreo outside of the box.

Do these key features make the Y6 2018 a budget phone worth considering in 2018? Before we start off the review, let’s take a quick look at the spec sheet:

Huawei Y6 2018 specs
  • 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5.7-inch HD+ IPS display,18:9 display aspect ratio, 1440 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 13-megapixel f/2.2 rear camera with PDAF, LED flash
  • 5-megapixel f/2.2 front camera with selfie toning flash
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Face unlock, USB OTG
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0

Sleek build, but you have to be careful of the front glass

While the Y6 has a plastic build, this entry-level phone has the looks of a premium phone with glossy metallic sides and a matte-finished rear, regardless if you choose either the black or blue color. Since it is primarily made of plastic, the Y6 2018 is very light.

Aside from being light, the Y6 2018 is slim for an entry-level phone, which explains the presence of a camera bump at the back.

One word of caution though: Huawei did not specify if the Y6 2018 comes with Gorilla or Dragontail glass. Even if the Y6 2018 comes with a screen protector, we recommend buying a case for it to protect it from accidental drops.

Display is gorgeous and very readable even in direct sunlight

While it is billed as a budget phone, you get a generous 5.7-inch HD+ display with a trendy 18:9 aspect ratio. Colors are good on this display, though you’d lose some sharpness since you are dealing with and HD+ panel. To be honest, it is hard to complain about this aspect, especially since we are dealing with a budget phone over here.

Another thing worth noting with the Y6 2018’s display is its readability, as the auto brightness control makes the necessary adjustments on the fly, regardless if you are using the phone in the dark n in direct sunlight.

The aging processor can do the usual tasks but shows limitations in gaming

With its modest specs comprising of a Snapdragon 425 processor and 2GB RAM, the Y6 2018 can manage to keep up with multitasking. Scoring 46265 in AnTuTu, the Snapdragon 425 is starting to show its age, and this becomes evident when we tried the phone with a few games.

Using GameBench, we checked the Y6 2018’s framerate stability for Marvel Future Fight, Asphalt 8, and PUBG Mobile.

*In low settings

For role-playing video games like Future Fight, we got a median FPS of 11, along with an FPS stability of 25% on high settings. On low settings, we got a median FPS of 18 and an FPS stability of 63%. Frame drops were noticed during battle sequences involving multiple enemies. The lag is noticeable in high settings, which is why its recommended to play such games in low settings for a smoother gaming experience.

For racing games like Asphalt 8, we were getting a median FPS of 25 on high settings, along with a 96% FPS stability, which is respectable. In fact, we did not deal with any frame drops during any racing session. That being said, this makes the Y6 2018 a suitable phone for playing similar games.

For battle royale games like the popular PUBG Mobile, the game would automatically set to low graphics settings due to the Y6 2018’s internals. On real-time use, we were getting a median FPS of 17 and a 53% FPS stability. A big chunk of frame drops occurs during gunfight scenes. This is a concern for those playing games similar to PUBG Mobile, as such lags can mean life-or-death for the player.

EMUI 8.0 is refreshing to use

Aside from being one of the few entry-level phones to have Android Oreo out of the box, what makes EMUI a pleasure to use are its added features and minimal bloatware. On top of that, users have a choice of either having an app drawer or not, which is good.By default, you get around 8.5GB of free space from its 16GB. You can increase that further by deleting some of its pre-installed apps like a few Gameloft games.Utilities such as storage cleaner, motion control, smart resolution and battery optimization are all seamlessly integrated into EMUI, making it one of the more polished Android skins out there.

Face unlock is a hit or miss

Among the main selling points of the Y6 2018 is its face unlock feature. While the feature depends on the face data captured phone’s 8-megapixel front camera, face unlock gets the job done in most lighting situations.

On our real-time use, face unlock works fast during daylight and in good lighting. However, face unlock becomes a bit unreliable in dim situations, making us resort to unlocking the phone via a pattern or PIN. While it is a good thing for the Y6 2018 to have face unlock, we do not suggest to use this feature all the time.

Cameras produce stellar shots for an entry-level phone

While the Y6 2018’s camera may sound modest, its UI and image processing makes this phone shine through. On good lighting, we managed to get sharp images with punchy colors on its 13-megapixel rear camera. Image quality dips when used in low light, where photos are grainy and lose detail, but are considerably better compared to its rivals.

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The same can be said with its 8-megapixel front camera in terms of image quality.

As for the camera UI’s features, the Y6 2018 has a set of filters along with an HDR, panorama, and an all-focus mode, with the latter letting you refocus the image after taking the shot. It also comes with two interesting modes such as document scan and good food, with the latter producing more saturated colors suited for food photography. It also has a beautification filter to improve your selfie game, but we recommend using it at around level 5.

Battery life is respectable

Equipped with a 3000mAh battery, the Y6 2018 manages to get a decent battery life at 9 hours and 28 minutes based on PCMark’s battery test. The result is quite expected, as the Snapdragon 425 processor is a power-efficient chip in spite of its age. On real-time use, the phone can last a day of moderate use—which includes a few games, photography, and web browsing, leaving you with some juice towards the end of the day.

In juicing up the phone, you have to wait a while, as the Y6 2018 does not come with fast charging. With the supplied 5V/1A charger, it takes around a little over two hours to fully charge the Y6 2018.

Still a decent entry-level phone in spite of an aging processor

While it comes with a modest RAM and internal storage combo, along with an aging processor, the Y6 2018 is a decent entry-level phone. It has a few features normally found in mid-range phones such as an 18:9 display and face unlock, and its cameras—although not mind-blowing—can produce great photos.

As an entry-level phone, the Y6 2018 does offer the essentials that a normal smartphone user will need—from being able to play a few game titles to being a decent snapper.

While Huawei has yet given its price for the Y6 2018, it has to consider the pricing of its potential rivals: Xiaomi’s Snapdragon 450-sporting Redmi 5 retails for a hair under Php 6.5k/$125 for its 2GB/16GB version. On the other side of the coin, ASUS’ recently-launched ZenFone Max M1—while sporting a dual rear camera setup, retails for a little under Php 9,000/$173 for its 3GB/32GB version.

Aside from that, the Y6 2018 will face competition against ASUS’ lite versions of the ZenFone 4 Selfie and Max—both retailing for under Php 8,000. On the local side, there’s the Cloudfone Next Infinity and Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Deluxe: Both sport an 18:9 display, and are priced at Php 6,999/$135 and Php 5,999/$116 respectively.