Huawei presented the new P Smart in December, the new version for the new year. Last year two generations of the P Smart appeared. Is the Huawei P Smart (2019) even better? We discuss it in the Huawei P Smart 2019 review.
Huawei P Smart (2019): our experiences
A year ago the Huawei P Smart appeared, the first generation. A great smartphone for a decent price. In the autumn of 2018 the second generation appeared under the name Huawei P Smart +, encased in a neat, colorful design. With the third generation Huawei has a new mid-end smartphone ready for the new year; the Huawei P Smart 2019.
Like in our preview already indicated, there are not substantial differences between the previous edition and these. The front camera now has no 24 megapixels, but 8 megapixel and the screen has also become a little smaller. The device has the same Kirin 710 processor and instead of 4GB RAM there is now 3GB of RAM. But new is the support for 5GHz WiFi, NFC and of course Android 9 Pie. Hardly any improvements on paper, is it more of a refill model, or does the Huawei P Smart (2019) actually have more to offer? We will investigate this in our review.
The sales package has a rectangular design and gives you access to the device itself. Below that we find a thick book with a quick start guide in different languages. A 3.5 millimeter headset is included, along with a pin for the SIM slot and an adapter. The cable is a Micro-USB cable, still no USB-C.
Design and interface
The Huawei P Smart (2019) offers a 6.21 inch screen with Full-HD + resolution and a neat drop-notch. Here is the 8 megapixel front camera. Striking is the placement of the LED notification. This is indeed present but is left, under the screen in the screen border. It’s nice that Huawei just placed it in the device. The screen has thin edges and has a good maximum brightness and shows the colors nicely. We do see that the standard screen protector quickly scratches.
At the back of the P Smart 2019 we find the 13MP + 2MP dual-camera with the flash underneath . The fingerprint scanner of the device is also on the back of the phone. You have two colors on the phone; black and a gradient color where bright green overflows to blue. You have to love it, but it does not look great. However, the color of the predecessor, the Huawei P Smart + was more subtle. At the top is the SIM card slot, at the bottom the Micro-USB and 3.5 millimeter connection. On the right is the volume key and the power button.
The interface is as we are used to from Huawei; EMUI 9 is the version of the own skin. In recent years, Huawei has much improved on the own skin that is about Android. In addition, you get access to the various Android 9 Pie functions that the smartphone has to offer. By default, the applications are distributed over home screens, but you can also choose a menu.
Incidentally, energy management remains a problem with Huawei. Sometimes applications are closed ‘hard’ and you will no longer receive notifications from some apps, for example take notifications of your tasks app. I also sometimes receive diary notifications later. Fortunately, all of this can be solved by removing these from the restrictions. For example, an application is no longer managed by EMUI and you simply receive the notifications.
You can choose themes with the lock screen. The photo of the lockscreen changes with each unlocking. Unlocking your device can be done very quickly with the fingerprint scanner, but also with the face recognition that works well. You can also always choose unlocking with a pin code or pattern.
Communication: calling, internet and network
We used the Huawei P Smart (2019) with great regularity to make calls. Here we do not notice any shortcomings. The call quality is of high quality; we do not notice disturbing factors and the range is good. From the dialer app you have access to your contacts and you can of course enter a number.
Writing a message is possible in the Android Messaging app, the application of Google itself. The P Smart comes standard with the SwiftKey keyboard. What we regularly run against is that the keyboard does not come out. It will take some time before it turns up. We have tried multiple keyboards, and also notice this with the Gboard keyboard. The keyboard also disappears spontaneously during typing. In principle, this should be solved with a software update. Below the screen is the LED notification that lights up in reports.
In contrast to its predecessor, the Huawei P Smart +, the P Smart 2019 has a number of improvements. We see this mainly in the networks. There is also 5GHz WiFi available in addition to 2.4GHz support. Another technique that was not present before is NFC. Internet access is via the Chrome browser, goes smoothly and runs smoothly.
Multimedia: music and film
Listening to music and watching a video, it works fine with the Huawei P Smart (2019). The image quality is of high quality and shows the images sharply. The viewing angle is also of good quality and both the maximum and the minimum brightness can be adjusted as desired.
For listening to music you can use a 3.5 millimeter headset; the connection for this is at the bottom of the Huawei. Of course you can also use the speaker. The sound quality is of sufficient quality. The volume can be loud enough, but at full volume it sounds a little upset. For this price the quality of the speaker can continue.
If you do not have enough of your own music or Spotify, you can also listen to the radio. The Huawei P Smart (2019) has an FM radio on board. This works when you connect the headset.
Camera: pictures and videos
The Huawei P Smart (2019) has a 13 megapixel + 2 megapixel dual camera. Below that is the LED flash. In the camera app of the device we find extensive possibilities. At the bottom of the screen you will find options such as making a ‘light painting’, timelapse or panorama. You can also choose a special night or aperture mode and you can adjust the settings manually in pro mode.
When we look at the camera quality, the Huawei P Smart (2019) does it nice. In the evening hours we see some blur, but can continue for its price. During the day we see fine pictures indoors, outdoors the images are rich in details, but they are sometimes a bit on the dark side.
We have placed a photo below that was made with the phone. Of course we made more pictures with the device, also in different circumstances. The photo album of the P Smart (2019) can be found here .
The movies you shoot with the Huawei P Smart (2019) can have a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. You can also film in 60fps. The quality of the videos is okay, but the image stabilization could have provided some better work. The images are also still on the jerky side with image stabilization. For the price of the device, the quality meets the P Smart. Photos and videos can be viewed via the Huawei gallery app.
Shrouded in one colorful case, the Huawei P Smart (2019) has much more to offer than just a dual-camera, 6.2-inch screen and a drop-notch. In this part of the Huawei P Smart 2019 review we discuss the other important possibilities of the smartphone.
We discussed it earlier in the review; the way of security. We are also positive about the fingerprint scanner with the Huawei P Smart (2019). You found it like that and react quickly. We are usually used to this type of fingerprint scanner. Huawei has a name to uphold in it.
In addition to the fingerprint scanner you can also get started with facial recognition. This works very well for a mid-end segment. A quick look at the phone is enough to unlock the device. In addition, the Face Unlock feature can still do its job in environments with less good light.
Huawei delivers the P Smart (2019) with quite a bit of bloatware. That is unfortunate to see. We continue to believe that users can decide for themselves which applications they want. Apps that we already see on the Huawei are for example eBay, Booking, Facebook, Amazon Shopping and some Huawei apps. However, this will probably be a financial issue. Huawei will receive money from the parties to deliver the apps directly. Fortunately, those pre-installed applications can be removed, it would have been better to simply not deliver them at all.
Performance: battery, speed and memory
With the new generation of the P Smart there is still 64GB of storage available. You can possibly expand this with a memory card. Striking is the choice for 3GB of memory. The previous model, the Huawei P Smart + even got a 4GB model of RAM, making it strange. The smartphone offers a Kirin 710 processor, just like its predecessor and the Mate 20 Lite .
The speed of the phone is certainly not slow, but we sometimes notice some small delays. We do not find this disturbing and it works fine with it. Huawei has certainly made progress in this, given the remarkable lags and delays that the previous model had. Huawei can even further refine it with a software update.
Huawei delivers the P Smart (2019) with a 3400 mAh battery. Charging is done via a Micro-USB cable that comes with the device. There is no support for fast charging, so take into account a charging time of about 2-2.5 hours. The endurance of the P Smart 2019 is excellent. With a day of fairly intensive use, we get about 1 to 1.5 days. We achieve a screen-on time of 4.5 to 5.5 hours. Neatly.
Huawei still has a strict battery management. This allows it to close certain applications, which means that some notifications do not come through. With apps like WhatsApp and mail you do not suffer from this, but for example with my task app I notice this. You can easily solve this by adjusting the settings, otherwise it may happen that you miss a notification.
The Huawei P Smart (2019) comes with 64GB of storage. This is neat and will be more than enough for many users to store their files. If you do not have enough of this, you can choose to insert a memory card. For example, you can expand the memory by a maximum of 512GB.
A security update is expected to appear every quarter and recently Huawei has made many improvements in the update policy. At the moment of writing, the smartphone runs on Android 9 Pie with the security update of November 2018.
We walked around for a few weeks with the Huawei P Smart (2019). It is a nice smartphone and runs directly from the box on Android 9 Pie. On paper, the 2019 version is not always better than the P Smart +, but in practice these ‘lesser sides’ do not really stand out. There is NFC, 5GHz WiFi support and stability (especially in multitasking) has been improved with the new model. The camera could still be refined, but otherwise the Huawei P Smart (2019) is a great device.
However, the competition is strong in this segment. For example, we published our positive Honor 8X review and the Honor 10 Lite is almost identical to the P Smart from 2019. Then there is the Nokia 5.1 Plus . ] with Android One, but with smaller battery, Android Oreo (at the moment), no NFC and HD + resolution of the screen.