Reviewing The Huawei Y3 II: Good Things Come In Small Packages

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Our previous review was about the Huawei Y5 II which as we found out, was the successor to the Huawei Y5. Today we will be looking at the Huawei Y3 II. The successor of yet another popular model of Huawei’s affordable smartphone lineup, the Huawei Y3. So what does this device offer to make it the successor to the Y3? Well read on and find out.

Priced at LKR 9,000 for the 4G model, the Y3 II is available at all Singer outlets island wide.

The Basics

As with standard packaging by Huawei, the phone comes wrapped up in a nice white cardboard box which includes the basics you would find with a smartphone (charging cable, dock, earphones). The charging cable also doubles as a standard micro USB cable for charging and data transfer.

Measuring 134.2 x 66.7 x 9.9 mm or 5.28 x 2.63 x 0.39 inches, the device is the standard candybar form factor weighing in at 150g. In comparison, the Y3 was 122.6 x 63.8 x 10.9 mm and weighed in at around 118g.

Huawei Y3 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

Once again, we see the standard layout for the device with the top of the device housing the 3.5mm audio connector and the front houses the front camera (2mp), ear piece and ambient light sensor. The bottom consists of hardware navigation (Back, Home, and Recents), microphone and the microUSB port. The power button and volume rocker are both housed on the right side of the device whilst the camera is located at the back of the devices towards the center along with the flash.

The Hardware

Packing a 4.5 inch, 480 x 854 pixel display, the screen of the Y3 II has a pixel density of approximately 218 ppi. It also upgrades from a 4” screen to a 4.5” screen whilst maintaining a 62.3% screen-to-body ratio.

With regard to network and connectivity options, you’re looking at dual MicroSIM support with full LTE (4G) support. As for storage, you’re looking at 8 GB as internal memory and a dedicated MicroSD slot that supports up to 32GB.

Huawei again manages to make text clear and readable at both full brightness and at automatic brightness despite the lack of an IPS display. At first it looks pretty decent, but upon closer inspection toy begin to notice pixellation and a slight blurriness of text. But then again, given the price you’re paying, it’s nothing to cry over. That doesn’t mean that photos and playback of videos is bad, rather its quite decent.

The Software

The device ships with Huawei’s basic apps which include Kingsoft Office, weather, a flashlight, a mirror app and even a magnifier. You also get the standard Google apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Play Store.

Huawei Y3 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

We see the standard set of entertainment options such as an FM Radio or a media player capable of handling almost all audio formats along with audio enhancements AKA Dolby DTS which add a certain level of clarity to the music. That level is also seen in the built in loudspeaker where it’s just the right blend of volume and clarity.

Rainbow Lights, Anyone?

An addition to the standard set of features is “Rainbow light”. Curious to see exactly what this was, I launched the app and it gave me 4 options: Music Blink, Status Indicator, Calling Blink and Honey Words. It turns out that located at the back of the phone around the camera lens, there exists a small circle. This circle is actually an LED indicator that works in conjunction with the Rainbow light feature to mimic notifications. For example, if you set the mode to Music Blink, then the LED indicator will begin to pulse to the beat of the music. The colors can be changed to any of the preset colors and can likewise be done for the other three modes as well.

Huawei Y3 II
The “Rainbow Light” feature of the Huawei Y3 II

The Y3 II is powered by either a Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 for the 4G variant or a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 for the 3G variant with all your graphical needs being handled by a Mali-T720MP2 for the 4G variant or a Mali-400MP2 for the 3G variant backed by 1GB of RAM. Regardless of which variant you have, they are both capable of handling your day to day processing and graphical needs.

The Y3 II ships again with Android Lollipop 5.1.1 coupled with Huawei’s proprietary EmotionUI 3.1 to deliver a seemingly flawless user experience. Much like the other Huawei devices we reviewed, Homescreen switching is butter smooth and animations are fluid. Navigating within the app drawer is equally fast. As for multitasking, with 1GB of you can do most things without the phone becoming laggy or unresponsive.

Lights, Camera, Action

Equipped with a 5MP camera and a built in LED flash, the Y3 II is a decent contender in the photography department. Skinned to give off an iOS-esque, but also intuitive interface, the camera has a plethora of features such as beauty mode, a time lapse mode and even a video mode capable of recording at Full HD 1080p. Now that is something to brag about from a phone that costs under 10K. The camera has a HDR mode and also a Panorama and Watermark mode as well. Video quality relies heavily on lighting and if there is a lack thereof, simply use the inbuilt flash to shed some light.

Huawei Y3 II
Image Credits: Mahesh de Andrado

Testing the Huawei Y3 II

Antutu has time and time again proven to be the choice for smartphone benchmarks. The latest version (6.1.1) has some improvements for OpenGL and OpenESL standards which also means that the benchmarking tool has undergone some radical changes to make it more challenging. The entire test takes around 5 minutes to complete and your device get heated up but that’s completely normal.

Huawei Y3 II

Giving a score of around 24,000, the results are more or less what we would have expected from the Y3 II.

A 2100 mAh battery would be more than enough to get you through the day given the 480×854 pixel screen and battery optimization tweaks put in place by Huawei. With around 1-2 hours of screen on time, whilst using a number of apps, the device had just enough juice left till I got home and put it to charge. Actual usage though depends on factors such as screen on time, network signal quality and how much you actually use the phone and its apps.

Final Thoughts about the Huawei Y3 II

The Huawei Y3 II is the successor to the popular Y5 Smartphone. Both share similar characteristics such as build quality, a good loudspeaker and the Y3 II improves on its predecessor by having a slightly larger screen. At this price range, it competes with numerous the likes of the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen, Lumia 540, and numerous Samsung models. If you’re on the lookout for a new affordable smartphone within the LKR 10,000-16,000 price. range, then the Huawei Y3 II is indeed worth looking at. Coupled with Singer’s warranty terms and Huawei’s build quality, the device certainly deserves a round of applause.

3 COMMENTS

  1. my huawei y3 II is showing a red light at the back when charging , what doea that mean. though i drained the battery

  2. Is Y3 ii mobile compatable with an ALDI sim card
    they are a telstra sim
    I was told by Aldi that the sim works on 8500 mega hurts only.
    what mega hurts does the Y3ii operate on

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