Announced on January 2, 2019, the Huawei P Smart 2019 is the new affordable model from the Chinese manufacturer. Building on the success of the P smart 2018, the brand has put the finishing touches to this new edition. It takes the codes of its top-of-the-range smartphones, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, and adapts them to a model sold for 249 euros. A real hit in 2018, does this new P smart have a chance of repeating the feat in 2019? Answer in our full test!
In 2018, Huawei launched its first “P smart” smartphone. Behind this name was the successor to the brand’s best-selling P8 Lite. In 2019, Huawei is back in the spotlight with the launch of the P smart 2019. Original.
On the strength of its insolent success in 2018, Huawei wants to go further in the premium segment in 2019. All products are concerned. The brand wishes to bring consistency to all its ranges. The most affordable models will therefore be variations of the top-of-the-range models, with some sacrifices.
The P smart 2019 is the perfect illustration of this new strategy. Launched at 249 euros, it uses the codes of the latest top-of-the-range Huawei, Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. From the first one, it inherits the Full View screen with a “drop” notch. From the second, it takes up the compact design and excellent handling. With this model, Huawei wants to appeal to the “millenials”, a young audience whose uses are centered on multimedia and entertainment. We had the chance to preview the Huawei P Smart 2019. Here’s our complete test.
Huawei P Smart 2019 Data Sheet
Full View 6.21 inch 19.5:9 with drip notch
Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels)
Back: 13 MP (f/1.8) + 2 MP (depth of field)
EMUI 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie
Yes up to 512 GB
Kirin 710 engraved in 12 nm clocked at 2.2 GHz
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/b/n/ac (2.4 and 5 Ghz)
Fingerprint sensor / Facial recognition
Wireless Qi Refill
Midnight Black / Aurora Blue
The Huawei P Smart 2019 will be available on 2 January at a price of 249 euros from all partner dealers. At this price, Huawei targets a young audience whose uses are focused on entertainment and multimedia (video games, music, social networks, travel, etc.).
In this range, competition is fierce (Xiaomi, Honor). But Huawei is counting on its dealer network and fixed-price sales (starting at 1 euro) to repeat the success of the P smart 2018.
Right out of the box, the Huawei P Smart 2019 surprises with its compact size. Despite a 6.21-inch screen, the smartphone is easy to hold. Huawei has optimized the integration of its screen and you can feel it immediately. The one-piece 3D design with a slightly curved back makes the grip even more comfortable, especially for one hand.
To reinforce the high-end appearance of the P smart 2019, Huawei has integrated a shell with ceramic effect. The brand doesn’t tell us the materials used, but at first glance it’s not glass. The smartphone is too light and the overall look is a bit cheap. The rear hull quickly marks fingerprints and microscopic scratches. Huawei seems to have chosen a plastic, but we’re not sure. We will contact the brand (after the Christmas holidays) to find out more.
The integration of the photo module is exemplary. Nothing goes over. On the back, the fingerprint reader is ideally positioned. It falls naturally under the index finger. On the right border Huawei has integrated on/off and volume keys. The brand states that it has carried out extensive resistance tests. For example, the buttons can withstand up to 200,000 triggers. We don’t know exactly what that is, but the figure is, it seems, impressive.
On the top edge, the brand has integrated the SIM/microSD port. On the other side, speaker, 3.5mm jack port and micro-USB port are grouped together. So we have good news, the jack port, and bad news, the lack of USB-C.
Overall, the design of the Huawei P Smart 2019 is successful. Huawei’s challenge was to offer an affordable smartphone with a design inspired by high-end models. Without reaching the level of a top-of-the-range finish, the P smart 2019 uses the codes for a very correct result. The target of the brand (young users) should be seduced.
The big new feature of the Huawei P Smart 2019 is its display. Logic for a smartphone designed for multimedia use. Like the display of the Huawei Mate 20, , the P smart 2019’s display has the “water drop” notch. This allows the brand to integrate a 6.21-inch (19.5:9) IPS LCD panel in a relatively compact format. Borders are reduced and the display area is increased. On a smartphone at this price, the integration work is particularly successful.
Some may criticize the black borders around the screen. But they are no thicker than those of the iPhone Xr sold for 850 euros. As for the chin of the P smart, it is as small as that of the Bogdanov brothers after 258 operations. For a smartphone at 249 euros, the work done by the brand is remarkable.
The P smart 2019 displays content in Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels – 415 ppi) and supports 85% of the NTSC colour gamut. Overall, the screen is of very good quality and particularly bright. He’ll just be blamed for a tendency to turn blue. But a small turn in the settings allows to rebalance the whole. The contrasts are not comparable to those of an OLED display, but they are well marked. In the sun (yes, we had some in December), the reflections do not hinder the reading.
For those who wish to preserve their eyes, Huawei has integrated a new mode of eye protection. TÜV Rheinland certified, it filters out blue light. The parameterization can be done manually. The user can also turn it on and off according to sunset and sunrise times.
The Huawei P Smart 2019 is equipped with the Kirin 710 octa-core processor engraved in 12nm and clocked at 2.2 GHz. It comes with 3 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage (expandable up to 512 GB via microSD). Huawei explained the choice of this combo with transparency. The brand had to make sacrifices between RAM and storage to keep costs down. The target group is fond of multimedia content, games, photos and music. So she chose memory over speed.
Nevertheless, the Huawei P Smart 2019 remains an efficient smartphone. If the benchmarks are not flamboyant, the new P smart remains fluid, responsive, and meets all our demands. It launches all applications without flinching, even the most demanding games. However, players will have to make concessions on graphics quality despite the presence of the Turbo GPU: forget about the highest quality.
You can see the limits of the 3 GB of RAM on multitasking. The smartphone has some difficulties to manage the transition from one task to another when several greedy applications are launched. It will therefore be necessary to get into the habit of closing the heaviest programs completely from time to time, so that the beast can catch its breath.
EMUI 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie (good surprise) offers a lot of very interesting features. The interface is the same as that of the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, the brand’s top-of-the-range models. You can use gesture navigation, artificial intelligence or the Phone Clone application to transfer data from your old smartphone to the P smart.
Despite its compact chassis, the Huawei P Smart 2019 has a 3400 mAh battery. Software optimization combined with this generous capacity allows the Huawei P Smart 2019 to stand up to a full day’s use (videos, video games, social networks, photos, etc.). Less connected users can expect to use the P smart for a day and a half before recharging it.
In the absence of a quick recharge, we recommend a recharge every night, during the night for example. Allow about 2.5 hours for a full recharge. Other disappointments include the integration of a micro-USB port rather than a USB-C. In 2019, a brand like Huawei could break through, even on the most affordable models.
Although it is sold for 250 euros, the Huawei P Smart 2019 still inherits the brand’s know-how in the field of photography. It is equipped with a double sensor of 13 MP (f/1.8) + 2 MP (to manage the depth of field). Artificial intelligence is responsible for improving image processing. It is capable of recognizing up to 500 different scenes and optimizing the settings to get the best possible picture depending on the context. At least that’s what the brand promises.
In fact, the camera of the Huawei P Smart 2019 is amazing. Against all odds, we recommend activating the artificial intelligence. If she usually tends to contrast clichés too much, she is much more balanced here. The colors are still slightly saturated and the contrasts are still strong, but the results are much better than when the AI is not activated.
In good light conditions, the photos are detailed. We were pleasantly surprised by the excellent piqué. When light conditions are less favourable, quality deteriorates. But it’s still more than adequate, sometimes bluffing, for a smartphone at this price. At 250 euros, few smartphones can do better than. For the target group (young people who are avid users of social networks), the clichés are largely up to scratch. The portrait mode would benefit from being more precise, the contours are not always regular. Too bad.
Portrait mode: contours lack precision
The 8 MP (f/2.0) front camera does the job even if details are missing. The self-portrait mode is very irregular. We were not able to capture a proper self-portrait, as the background blur effect was too light.
Here the portrait mode is activated. However, there is no blurring effect.
As always with its entry-level and mid-range models, Huawei manages to camouflage minor flaws with a slew of shooting modes. These tricks will seem crude to photography enthusiasts, but will succeed in creating the illusion to the general public. Photos flatter the retina and have an effect on social networks.
The Huawei P Smart 2019 is a real success. For 249 euros, the smartphone is effective on all levels. Its performance is good, it is enduring, its camera is excellent, its design is neat and its screen is of high quality. The target of Huawei (millenials) will undoubtedly find his happiness there. At this price, only Xiaomi and Honor can compete. But Huawei has a significant asset: its distribution network. The Huawei P Smart 2019 will be available in all partner stores, including operators. According to Huawei France, it will be offered from 1 euro with an associated flat rate. This strategy has set the P smart 2018 on the road to success. There is no doubt that the 2019 edition is well on its way to doing the same.
- Its elegant design
- Its luminous screen very well integrated
- Its good performance
- Its good autonomy
- Its very good camera
- Ideal position of the fingerprint reader
- microSD port
- His prize!
We like less
- Beware of fingerprints
- No USB-C port
- No fast recharging
- The 3GB of RAM is a bit tight.
- The self-portrait mode on the selfies is fickle.