Huawei nova Y61: Is this the new alternative entry-level phone?

Huawei just released the Huawei nova Y61, and given the Chinese company’s reputation (take it negatively or not), you can’t deny that they make quality phones, and the nova Y61 is no exception…

Box design and more

With the nova logo on the left, the phone image in the center, the model name in the lower portion, and the AppGallery logo below, the Huawei nova Y61 has an aesthetically pleasing design.

The Huawei nova Y61, jelly case, SIM pin Type-C cable, some important papers, and the unit itself (obviously) are all included in the box.

Although they stated on their website that a charger is included, we didn’t receive one. Additionally, despite the fact that it is stated on their website that it should, our phone does not have any thin protection on it.

The phone itself

Mint Green is the color of our unit, however Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue are also options. We appreciate how the pastel green color of our Nova Y61 is both refreshing to look at and fairly distinctive for a smartphone.

The design of the back panel wraps around the frame. The back panels of the Huawei nova Y61 contain a feature dubbed “Star Effect Finishing” that, when exposed to light, causes them to glow like a brilliant galaxy. Because of its matte texture, the panel is not a fingerprint magnet.

Because of its boxy design, it is easy to handle. The nova Y61 has ordinary and manageable dimensions of 164.28mm in length, 75.8mm in width, and 8.94mm in thickness with a weight of 188g.

For the camera, there is a small extruded platform with a triple cam configuration and a flash in the top right corner that is patterned after an iPhone and is marked with the words “50MP AI CAMERA.”

Additionally, even with the included case, the phone wobbles when placed on a flat surface because of the camera bump.

On the right side of the nova Y61 are the volume rocker and power button, which also functions as a built-in fingerprint scanner. The left side of the device has a SIM card slot where two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and a MicroSD card can be put.

The audio jack, USB type-C port, and microphone hole are located on the bottom portion. The speaker grill is located on the top side.

The display

The Huawei nova Y61 boasts a large 6.52-inch IPS LCD screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 720×1600 pixels. It also has a refresh rate of 60Hz.

The nova Y61 has thick bezels and a camera in the shape of a teardrop. The fact that it has an LCD screen rather than an AMOLED one makes the bezels on it rather noticeable.

It is a single-firing speaker for the speaker. The sound quality is not that great; it peaks when the volume is turned up all the way.

Can it game?

The Huawei Nova Y61 has a HiSilicon Kirin 710 2.0Ghz processor. It has a Mali-G51 GPU, an octa-core processor with 4x ARM Cortex-A73 running at 2.0 GHz and 4x ARM Cortex-A53 running at 1.70 GHz, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage.

The phone runs EMUI 12 on top of Android 10, but it still lacks Google PlayStore, and the only app installation store available is AppGallery. It scored around 201,098 on AnTuTu version 9.4 and we say, it is enough.

On Mobile Legends, we get High graphics and High refresh rate settings and medium graphics/high frame rates for Call of Duty. On Genshin Impact, the game just crashes so we didn’t attempt to push the phone that much further.

Usability

Thankfully, there is a new method called “GBox” that allows Google PlayStore to be installed on a Huawei smartphone. It still falls short of a smartphone with a Google Play Store, but it does provide you with the essential programs, such as Google apps (Google Drive, Gmail, Youtube, and so on).

The phone’s navigation was reasonably easy, and the apps are responsive. You may reach the control panel by pushing down on the top right side of the screen, and the notification bar by doing the same on the top left.

You may reach the search bar with the suggested apps that you recently opened and the most popular searches by pulling down on the middle.

Our default search engine is Petal Search, which can not only search websites and images but also apps, saving you the trouble of entering the AppGallery. Additionally, it offers a Google Maps substitute called Petal Maps, which functions similarly to Google Maps.

There is an email program that allows you to log in to your Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or other custom email provider in order to access your emails. Huawei Docs is an alternative to an office suite where you may create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and memos. There is a Huawei Drive menu in the Huawei Docs app as an alternative to Google Drive.

Camera

Regarding the Huawei nova Y61’s cameras, they include a 50MP primary camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth camera in its rear camera configuration. It has a 5MP selfie camera for the front camera.

The feature set of the default camera is adequate. It has modes for portraits, night shots, aperture shots, photos, videos, slow motion, panoramas, light paintings, time lapses, moving pictures, stickers, super macro, and high resolution images.

When you click the icon in the upper left corner of the Photo mode, you can also find the AI Lens in the app as a substitute for Google Lens.

Code Scanning, Instant Translation, Shopping, Calories (by aiming your camera at something, it can estimate how many calories are in the food you’re about to consume), and Identify are just a few of the features that the AI Lens can perform.

It can also read QR codes or barcodes (it can determine what object you are pointing the camera at). Testing has thus far demonstrated the value of the Code Scanning and Instant Translation. However, using the shopping and calorie capabilities almost always results in problems.

The 5MP selfie camera produced nice selfies when we used the Photo mode, but when we switched to the Portrait mode, we occasionally saw noise in our images. Our selfies thus far indicate that background separation is respectable.

Battery

We ran a battery benchmark software and got a result of 14 hours and 16 minutes, which is a pretty decent result as other phones with the same battery capacity only get around 13 hours.

The Huawei nova Y61 has a 5,000mAh battery capacity, which is typical nowadays, and it supports 22.5w fast charging that charges via USB Type-C.

Conclusion

The Huawei Nova Y61 is an amazing entry-level smartphone all around. For the price, we received adequate performance, a pleasing appearance, and a decent camera.

As the AppGallery still lacks the other apps, you will need to be open to the idea of installing your programs through APK or learning to use alternate means to reclaim the Google Play Store, such as the GBox approach. The Huawei Nova Y61 is a fantastic entry-level smartphone if you’re okay with it.

The Huawei Nova Y61 is offered on Lazada and Shopee for ₱7,999.

FINAL RATING: NEEDS IMPROVEMENT (3.0/5)

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