Huawei Y7: Full, in-depth review

Huawei's best budget phone yet

Design

While the marketing around the Y7 does talk a good game - saying “the rondure of the front 2.5D glass perfectly links the screen with the body, giving the impression of a floating display” - the reality is that the Y7 looks like most smartphones out. Rather, it looks like what people expect to see when they look for a smartphone. If not for the embossed Huawei branding at the base of the front-side, it’d be easy to imagine the Y7 fitting somewhere into HTC or Samsung’s respective line-ups.

There’s a sort of friendly familiarity to its layout - which drops the small design quirks found in the Y5 like the Any Key. Weighing 165g, it’s not particularly heavy. Nevertheless, pretty much across the board, the Y7 just looks much more modern than its cousin.

Performance

Everyday performance is absolutely the area where the Huawei Y7 shines best. Matched up against both the Y5 and its fellow sub-$300 competition, the Y7 outperforms them at every turn. While it’s true that it is a little bit more expensive than the other phones we benched it against, we’d say the gains more than outweigh the extra cost here.

At the end of the day, the performance in the Y7 isn’t still about half of what you’d get out of a flagship offering. However, if you compare it to the competition, it shapes up nicely. For the most part, it’s a pretty snappy and responsive phone to use. That said, we did encounter a bunch of strange-but-persistent issues on the software side of things. The Y7 often crashed and froze while using the Facebook and Messenger apps, which proved particular irksome.

Camera

Like the Y5, the Y7 packs in a lot of the features and modes you’ll find in Huawei’s more-expensive offerings. While the ceiling for what you can do with these is a bit lower here, they’re still great, easy-to-use inclusions that make the camera in Y7 much more user-friendly than a lot of other budget phones.

However, unlike the Y7, it’s clear that, well, the picture quality is indeed pretty clear. Far fewer compromises have been made this time around and it shows. Low-light shots in particular seem to show the most improvement, turning out surprisingly clear.

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Tags budget smartphonesBudget PhonesHuawei. Huawei Y7

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Fergus Halliday
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