Huawei delivered one of the best budget smartphones of 2018 with the P Smart. The manufacturer hopes to repeat that trick with the P Smart 2019. In this Huawei P Smart 2019 review, we tell you whether the smartphone is a good buy.
Huawei P Smart (2019)Price €249,-
Colors Blue, black, blue/green
OS Android 9.0 (EMUI)
Screen 6.21 inch LCD (2340 x 1080)
Processor 2.2GHz octa-core (Hisilicon Kirin 710)
Storage 64GB (expandable with memory card)
Camera 12 and 2 megapixels (rear), 8 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
Format 15.5 x 7.7 x 0.8 cm
Weight 162 grams
Other micro usb, headphone port
Website www.huawei.com 8 Score 80
- Beautiful and solid design
- Powerful specifications
- Clear software support
- EMUI software
- micro usb
- Back gets dirty quickly
Huawei P Smart (2019) vs Honor 10 Lite
The Huawei P Smart (2019) is competitively priced with a suggested retail price of 249 euros, but two tens more than the almost identical Honor 10 Lite. Honor is a subsidiary of Huawei. The 10 Lite has a different front camera and a less clear software policy – otherwise it is equal to the P Smart. Bargain hunters are therefore better off with the Honor smartphone, but paying twenty euros more for Huawei's better software support is a smart choice.
Design and display
The design of the P Smart (2019) is beautiful, especially for a cheaper phone. The device has an almost front-filling display with a narrow notch for the selfie camera. The back looks luxurious, but is plastic and attracts dust and fingerprints. A case is therefore not an unnecessary luxury, and also protects the smartphone against scratches and falls. Although the name plastic suggests otherwise, the P Smart is a solidly built and well finished phone. The fingerprint scanner on the back is fast and accurate.
The 6.21 inch LCD screen has an accurate color reproduction and is nice and clear. The full HD resolution ensures a sharp image. Around the notch 'leaks' some light, lightbleeding in English. It's barely noticeable on my review model, but I've seen devices where more light leaks out.
Under the hood of the P Smart (2019) is a HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor. This chip is also used in the Honor 8X and the Huawei P Smart+ and has quite a bit of computing power. Combined with 3GB of RAM, the P Smart is easy to use and handles all popular apps and games well. Just don't expect to play heavy games like Fortnite on the highest settings.
The RAM of the phone is 64GB on the large side for a budget device. Of that 64GB, about 53GB is available and you can store a lot of apps, photos, videos and other media on it. If you still need more (temporary) memory, you can put a micro-SD card in the smartphone. The Huawei P Smart also supports dual SIM, which means that you can use two SIM cards at the same time. An NFC chip for contactless payment is also present. A nice innovation compared to last year's Huawei P Smart is the support for 5GHz WiFi networks.
Don't worry about a dead battery. The – non-removable – 3400 mAh battery can easily last a day. If you take it easier, two days is also possible. Charging takes quite a while, over an hour and a half. Unfortunately, the P Smart uses a micro-usb connection instead of the new standard: usb-c. The latter offers many advantages, including faster loading and compatibility with all kinds of modern equipment.
To start with the 8 megapixel front camera: it makes great selfies. Provided you have enough daylight, because in the (twilight) dark noise occurs and the details of your face and the environment disappear. It is better to turn off Huawei's built-in beauty mode, because it adjusts your face very strangely.
The dual 13 and 2 megapixel camera on the back looks identical to that of the previous P Smart. That's not the case, though: the camera on the 2019 model has a wider aperture (and thus captures more light in the dark) and uses smart software to shoot better photos. That may sound a bit vague, but the smartphone generally takes beautiful photos and videos. The camera has a harder time in a dark situation, but the results are still sufficient. The artificial intelligence software sometimes goes a bit too far when polishing your images, but luckily you can cancel the adjustments (also afterwards). We are curious how the P Smart camera performs compared to new models like the Motorola Moto G7 (Plus).
Like all Huawei and Honor smartphones, the P Smart (2019) runs on Android with Huawei's EMUI shell. In this case, it concerns Android 9.0 (Pie), the most recent Android version. The EMUI 9 shell differs little from previous EMUI versions and cannot (still) appeal to us. The software visually adjusts many things while in most cases this is not an improvement over the standard Android version. EMUI also makes adjustments in managing performance, battery life and incoming app notifications. These changes benefit battery life, but limit the possibilities of apps and background processes.
Huawei promises that the P Smart (2019) will receive a security update at least once a quarter for two years. At the time of writing, the phone is running on the November 1 update.
There will also be an update to Android Q, the next Android version that Google will probably release in August. That is neat for a budget smartphone, although it remains to be seen how long it takes before the Android Q update becomes available.
The Huawei P Smart (2019) is an affordable smartphone that scores more than satisfactory to good in many areas. It has a nice and sturdy design, smooth hardware and decent cameras. The EMUI software will not be to everyone's taste, but it is workable and Huawei's update policy is positive. In short: a lot of phone for little money. Highly recommended, although the competition is fierce. For example, the Honor 10 Lite, Motorola Moto G7 (Plus), Xiaomi Mi A2 and Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro are good alternatives.