The speaker can be found on the lower edge. It does not impress with the quality of sound, but for a casual watching videos and series on Netflix it will be more than enough. It is best to listen to music through Bluetooth speakers. It is due to the fact that the sound produced by it is rather loud, but at the same time flat, and lacking lower tones. It is rather irritating in the upper scale of loudness, in addition it is easy to muffle it while holding the device horizontally. For playing music we can use the Google app or the player preinstalled by Huawei, I am pleased with the presence of an FM radio, which, as usual, requires plugging in earphones. Huawei preinstalled a set of tools for improving the sound, that is Huawei Histen.
Earphones added by the manufacturer have poor quality. They do not muffle noises from the surrounding and give a poor sound, which is flat, sharp and lacks lower tones. But there is a minijack, so there is no problem with plugging in our favourite ones.
Photos and video
The main camera of the smartphone is placed in the upper, left corner of the back panel and it almost does not stand above the housing. There are two cameras – the main, 16-megapixel with an f/1.8 aperture and the additional, 2-megapixel for measuring depth. The camera received a support from AI, which is supposed to recognize over 500 scenes and adjust photo’s parameters according to them. But we will not achieve a full photo resolution this way – in the auto mode without AI it has 16 megapixels, in photos with AI used the quality is reduced to 8 megapixels.
The camera app is well known from other Huawei models. It provides a lot of modes, like portrait, night mode or aperture, slightly deeper we can find panorama, HDR (that runs manually), colour filters or the pro mode. The maximum resolution of photos is 4608x3456 pixels. There are options like Ultra snapshot (we can quickly take the photo with the locked screen), voice control or smile detection. There is the HiVision app for scanning barcodes and QR codes, recognizing texts, searching for products and identifying cuisines, buildings and other objects.
The quality of photos is decent and is not far from what competitions offer in the similar price shelf. Good colours in photos and the quick work of the autofocus deserve a commendation. However, the camera is not so great when it comes to details and photos’ dynamics. Sometimes it focuses too much. In the daytime photos we cannot complain about the quality of photos – but in these conditions even models from the budget shelf work nice. When lighting conditions deteriorate, we need to spend more time to achieve a good photo – and it is best if the photographed object will not move. Photos viewed on a PC reveal that some parts are blurred (watercolour effect) and out of focus.
And here is a selection of photos taken in different weather conditions and with different lighting:
When it comes to night time photos it is best to drop the auto mode and take photos in the night mode. It takes 3-4 seconds to take a shot, but results are much better. Though I will underline that a similar thing happens as when running the AI mode – in the night mode photos resolution is reduced to 8 megapixels.
The main camera can record in the maximum resolution of Full HD 60 frames per second, using the H.265 or H.264 format, it supports slow-motion – we can record in 16x slow motion with 480 frames per second.
Pop-up front camera
The pop-up front camera for selfies is without a doubt a novelty in the offer of the Chinese manufacturer, but the privilege of being the first and providing prototype solutions is usually connected with some risk. So let us see how the pop-up camera works in practice and if this is a better solution then the traditional camera, placed in the upper frame, notch or in a hole.
The selfies camera has 16 megapixels and a fixed focus. It is placed in the housing and when the user would like to use it – the module slides out of the upper edge of the smartphone with a quiet, mechanical noise. Sliding it out (or hiding it) takes 1.5 seconds. It is worth mentioning that the manufacturer added a protection from a fall – if the phone with the module out will fall from the user’s hands, the camera will hide automatically, which is supposed to help in limiting potential damages. And this security works, though I do not think that the module can slide back into to housing when falling from a lower height.
We need to add that due to such a construction of the smartphone and the front camera the manufacturer decided not to use the additional biometric settings – which is facial recognition. It is probably due to the fact that the manufacturer decided to save the mechanism – after all, during the day we more often need to use the camera to unlock the phone rather than taking selfies. We must add that the pop-up module is more susceptible to damage than a camera fixed in the housing. The manufacturer declares that the mechanism will last for 100 000 cycles and is supposed to withstand a pressure of up to 12 kg.
And what is the quality of photos? Photography effects can be shared without any complexes in social media, photos have nice colours and the support from AI, though we need to hit the particular point with the focus. There are different AI’s at work, thanks to which the camera adjusts optimal photos parameters on itself. There is portrait mode with beautifying, lighting and bokeh modes. Beautifying works mostly on brightening and softening up the face, and the bokeh effect (created by the software) does not work that well with softening edges – and the worst is with hair. Basically photos are decent, but not above average in its price shelf.