January 12, 2019
Two weeks into 2019 and we already have our first major smartphone launch. Huawei took to stage at an event in New Delhi on Thursday to announce the Y9 (2019) mid-range smartphone. The phone touts a massive display, a large battery and a total of four cameras, all for a price of Rs 15,990. That’s a pretty decent price for a phone packs a lot of features, but it also places the Y9 in a spot where we have some highly competitive phones like the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
Huawei is typically known for offering high-end ultra premium phones, so when it comes out with an affordable product, there might be an air of suspicion among consumers who lean more towards phones from Redmi, Nokia and Honor. This is why the Nokia 6.1 Plus is arguably the biggest competitor to the Huawei Y9 (2019) right now. The Nokia phone has done exceedingly well in this segment, while the Y9 (2019) offers some exciting features that will be worth considering. Here’s how the two phones fare against each other.
— The Huawei Y9 (2019) gets a premium design language with an edge-to-edge notched display and glass-like reflective rear panel. The phone is designed for entertainment junkies as it gets a massive 6.5-inch FHD+ (2340X1080) display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. In comparison, the Nokia 6.1 Plus also gets a premium glass design with a notched display but offers a more compact form factor. The display size is much smaller at 5.8 inches and it also gets an FHD+ (2280×1080) resolution.
— The Y9 is powered by Huawei’s mid-range octa-core Kirin 710 chipset which is paired with 4GB of RAM. The chipset also supports GPU Turbo which enhances the gameplay experience by boosting GPU performance. The Nokia 6.1 Plus offers a mid-range Snapdragon 636 chipset which is also coupled with 4GB of RAM. Both the phones promise to deliver a smooth user experience, but the memory provided means they will not be multitasking beasts.
— Huawei’s latest mid-range phone for India runs on Android Oreo software with EMUI 8 on top. EMUI is a pretty heavy skin, which means you will not get a stock Android experience here, but you will get some Huawei-specific features like ultra battery saving mode. The Nokia 6.1 Plus, on the other hand, is an Android One device that ships with Oreo but has been updated to Android Pie. This is one for Android purists who are looking for a lightweight, bloat-free Android OS. Huawei has not confirmed Pie update for the Y9 (2019). The Nokia 6.1 Plus now on Pie means it gets features like Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, new gesture navigation and Digital Wellbeing.
— The Y9 (2019) offers a total of four cameras, two on the back and two on the front. It gets a 13MP + 2MP configuration on the back with f/1.8 aperture and a 16MP + 2MP combination up front with f/2.0 aperture. Both the front and back cameras support portrait mode and AI scene recognition. The rear camera also gets a dedicated Night mode as well as a Pro mode and AR lens among other things. The Nokia 6.1 Plus offers two sensors on the back which includes a 16-megapixel primary sensor with autofocus and f/2.0 aperture and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor for depth sensing. On the front, you get a 16-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture. The camera app is pretty easy to navigate and you have modes like AR stickers, bokeh, bothie, beauty, panorama and manual. However, the front camera cannot take bokeh shots and there is no AI scene recognition available here.
— The battery is another area where the Y9 (2019) goes big. It houses a 4,000mAh battery which should offer a full-day battery life and maybe more thanks to some aggressive battery saving features on board. In comparison, the Nokia 6.1 Plus offers a small 3,060mAh battery, which is nothing to write home about. The phone will last by night time thanks to some good system optimization, but you will need to charge it once in a day if the usage is above average.
Huawei Y9 (2019) vs Nokia 6.1 Plus price in India
As mentioned, the Y9 (2019) has been priced at Rs 15,990 and the device is an Amazon exclusive product that will go on sale starting January 15. Meanwhile, the Nokia 6.1 Plus was launched in India last year at Rs 15,999. Earlier this week, HMD dropped the price of the Nokia 6.1 Plus by Rs 500. This means the phone is available for Rs 15,499 on Flipkart and via the Nokia mobile store. In fact, at the time of writing this piece, the Nokia 6.1 Plus was available for Rs 14,999 on Flipkart, which seems to be a limited period offer. HMD also announced that the Nokia 6.1 Plus will be available offline across leading retail stores in India.