The absurd case of Huawei’s 230-dollar smartphone with no fast charging (updated)

Look around you: $150 (₦55,000) smartphones with fast charging and Gorilla Glass displays are commonplace. Some of them even have NFC. I think that it is sacrilegious that Huawei’s 230-dollar smartphone lacks fast charging and display protection.

Important Update: Contrary to the available official specs sheet from Huawei and reports from reviewers that Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 does not support quick charging, we have some user feedback that it does support 10W fast charging. So, read the rest of this article with that in mind.

Yesterday, my brother and his family came visiting. They had come from church and he needed to top up his phone battery. My Anker 18W fast charger got it done quickly. And then his wife plugged hers in too and got topped up quickly as well.

If either of them had owned the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, they would have been unable to top up that fast.  It really should be considered sacrilegious to spend ₦83,000 on a smartphone that cannot add that kind of utility value to your life. Time is money. Time is everything.

Huawei's 230-dollar smartphone with no fast charging - Y9 Prime 2019
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is a 230-dollar smartphone with no fast charging

When Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 was launched in the market some months back, I watched with curiosity how people lapped up the marketing blitz and fan boys and girls sang its glorious praise. And I wondered if the problem was with me. I could not see how anyone could be this excited about a smartphone with no fast charging, no Gorilla Glass protection, and no NFC that costs $230, or ₦83,000.

Why quick charging matters on a 230-dollar smartphone

Fast charging has become such an essential, especially for busy people who may need a quick top up before dashing out of the house or office or in between urgent meetings. And it is that market segment that the Y9 Prime 2019 is targeted at. The average Nigerian – the vast majority who live below and hover around the poverty line cannot afford to spend ₦83,000 on a smartphone.

It is also an important feature in an environment like ours in which power supply is often quirky – you have public power switched on for 30 minutes and then it is gone for hours. A quick battery top up in 30 minutes can amount to much if you have quick charging on your phone.

Look around you: there are ₦45,000 smartphones with fast charging and Gorilla Glass displays! There are ₦30,000 smartphones with NFC.

If I were presented with a smartphone that costs ₦40,000 and there was no fast charging technology in it, I wouldn’t frown too much. I love fast charging. I find it absolutely nifty.

Key features that Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 lacks

  • Fast charging
  • Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • NFC

I really do not know how to explain these lacks away. Like a Mobilista here has already said, it appears that the only thing that the phone has going for it is the motorized selfie camera. I will also add the beautiful paint job as a plus.

A phone selling for ₦83k+ and yet, has no NFC, no infrared, no reverse charging, no Corning Gorilla Glass, and probably, no OTG feature. Too many ‘NOs’. It seems the major unique selling point is the Pop-up camera. A Samsung or Xiaomi phone of this price tag would be a lot better. I’m not totalling discrediting this device, it’s just that I expected more from it than it carries. Source.

I like that it has a big 4,000 mAh battery, but without the ability to top it up quickly…sigh. And why is there no display protection? We have seen how phones with Gorilla Glass break under different conditions. How much one without. A slip to the floor, and the Y9 Prime 2019 might not live to tell the tale.

Will you buy a 230-dollar smartphone with no quick charging and glass protection?

Or perhaps it is just me. Perhaps there is something I am missing. You tell me. Would you buy a 230-dollar smartphone from any manufacturer knowing that it lacks fast charging, Gorilla Glass protection, and NFC? Because that’s what the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 offers you – all of those missing features for ₦83,000 only.

PS: While we are at it, I think it is ridiculous too that TECNO Phantom 9 does not have fast charging either. But at least, it has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, and costs about ₦6,000 less than Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. That is some consolation, but it is ridiculous all the same. Absolutely.

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12 comments

  1. For a phone costing that much and without fast charging, no Gorilla glass protection is definitely a NO NO for me. Ordinary Nokia 3.1 plus can boast of all these and much more. The annoying part is it costs much less…..

  2. Well, brand loyalty makes people do strange things sometimes.

    The same way an iPhone would supply a rubbish fragile charger for a toy costing an arm and a leg is the same way this Huawei would still have its fans.

    We are all free to choose our poisons

    I think fast charging is overrated in some cases. If you have a phone that easily lasts a whole day, having fast charging isn’t that important. Being a city boy , it simply doesn’t matter to mem I don’t even own a powerbank !

    The Gorilla Glass omission is far more egregious, though. .

    As to NFC absence (** shrugs **), USB-OTG absence (*shrugs *)

    Perhaps the Huaweian philosophy here is to offer less for more money (like upscale laptops not coming with DVD drives despite costing a tonne of money!)

    If people believe in a brand enough, it can get away with this kind of murder.

    … Ask Apple.

  3. Ewww.. hell no.. 83k for a phone without otg? OTG? and no fast charging? *Spits*

    But most Nigerians don’t do their due diligence before buying a phone, hence, the lapping up.

    For this scam phone, Huawei has gone further down my list. Argh!!

  4. You are not wrong Mr MO, this phone really lacking some great features. Apart from not supporting fast charging, not supporting OTG also make me sick. For someone like me, this feature is very important to me. Huawei really didn’t put much thought before producing this device and that is bad. The pop-up selfie camera is what got people’s attention.

  5. In fact, I am most grateful to the Lord of the Universe for guiding me to buy the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 before coming to read this post.

    Today, I learn something new, if you have access to the phone you want to buy, do the review yourself. The reviews of most tech blog might not actually be totally true based on so many factors.

    I have been a follower of Mobility Arena from the days of Symbiam. From the days of Hot Debates about the best mobiles OS . Eye bee key was one of the Chief Contributors in those days. I have always loved everything from this site.

    But today, I am totally shocked reading too many lies told against Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 being an owner of this great beast.
    First my own Huawei Y9 Prime supports Fast Charging.

    Secondly, my own Huawei Y9 Prime supports USB OTG. I have used this feature to copy video from my flash drive to my phone. It did it at a very fast rate. I loved the way it handled everything.

    This phone really has a lot of feartures that goes for it apart from the gorgeous big screen.

    In fact, the pop up camera that you think is the one that freaks lots of people was almost the deal breaker for me. But I was convinced that the phone was designed to sense gravity of free fall and quickly retract the pop up camera automatically during free fall. This I demonstrated and found it to be true.

    As for the Gorilla Glass, I don’t know what it carries because I don’t know how to identify it apart from reading it from tech blogs. The information gotten from these sites can be true or false.

    Mr Mo, I have always respect most of your article but don’t usually rush to write phone review like this just from a single incident like you witnessed. What about if the person’s phone has factory defect or does not support the type of charger that you used on it.

    Lots of people that are currently enjoying their Huawei Y9 Prime would be highly disappointed if they come here to read this post and may never respect any information coming from this site again.

    I have used lots of Android Phones, this my first Huawei Phone ever. In fact, I have never been a fans of Huawei before now. Buy this phone is dam fast and does my job nicely.
    It has become my second laptop.

    Thanks for your time in reading my comments.

    1. Hi Surajudeen,

      It is good to read your contribution.

      Are you sure what you have is Y9 Prime 2019 and not Y9 2019? There is a difference between the two. The Y9 2019 has 10W fast charging support. Everyone else who has handled the Y9 Prime 2019 says it doesn’t have fast charge support. EVen the official Huawei website does not mention fast charging in the Y9 Prime’s features and specifications.

      Do check and confirm that your phone is Huawei Y9 Prime 2019.

      I love something you said: “..if you have access to the phone you want to buy, do the review yourself.” That is the best way to evaluate a smartphone before purchase.

  6. Yes. My phone is Y9 Prime 2019. At least there’s one obvious striking difference between the two Huawei, the pop up camera. My own has the pop up camera and a bigger screen than the regular Y9.

    I have confidently left the battery to the red zone a number of times since I know that I will get my top up fast using the factory charger.

    The output data on the charger reads:

    5v = 2A

    One thing to note is that some brands knows how to do their advertisement better than others.
    When some brands advertise, they advertised even the regular while some has the poor habit of saying few things about their new device especially if it is not their high end. For the latter, you won’t really know what their device is capable of until you have personal encounter with it.

  7. First, in this age, I disagree that 10W is fast charging. Fast charging should start from 15W abeg. There are phones with 45W fast charging technology na.

    Back to the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. Yes, it may not have fast charging but complaints about it not having NFC, reverse charging, and an IR blaster? Raise your hands if you use NFC in Nigeria? Yeah, I thought as much.

    Do you really want to use a phone with a massive 6.59″ display to charge another device?

    IR blaster, comes in handy but not a deal breaker. I can count the number of times I used it when I had a phone with the feature.

    Gorilla Glass? Huawei doesn’t usually state if it’s phones have Gorilla Glass. Check the official website for the Huawei P30 Pro, there’s no mention of Gorilla Glass protection. I believe it uses a different screen protection but just doesn’t care to mention it.

    1. Habeeb,

      We can’t change the rules in the middle of the game. 10W is official Qualcomm Quick Charge 1 standard. If the Y9 Prime 2019 has 10W charging, then it supports fast charging – the slowest standard, of course. But it is fast charging all the same.

      All other points about how Huawei lists their specs are noted.

  8. I don’t think the phone doesn’t have OTG. I currently use Huawei Y9 2019 and it has OTG which is a feature of EMUI/Android there is no way the prime version. With higher Emui version not have OTG baked in.

    Talking about fast charging it might not have been advertised. My current Huawei Y9 2019 doesn’t have fast charging advertised. Charging isn’t super fast neither is it too slow.

    I don’t have gorilla glass yet my phone has dropped without issues. I don’t think not having gorilla glass is a big deal for cheaper phones these days. Display tech has inherently improved and I don’t even have fears of breaking my phone cause I don’t have gorrilla glass. I will still recommend the Huawei any day not because am an Huawei fan but because Huawei has given me value for money

  9. Huawei company should do something about all these missing features and lack of fast charging. Honestly Huawei disappoint me on this their Huawei Y9 Prime 2019. Thank you sir this great review.

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