Definitely, wow: a review of the smartphone Huawei P Smart Z

This year, having noticeably lost its position in the global smartphone market to Chinese Huawei, Samsung has rethought

its Galaxy A line of mid-range smartphones.The line really turned out to be a hit, especially the Galaxy A50 model in the price category of 8,000-10,000 UAH. But the competitors did not hesitate either. A couple of months ago, the new head of Huawei’s consumer electronics division in Ukraine, Alan Chen, at a meeting with journalists, promised a powerful response to a competitor in the same price segment. We were talking about the P Smart Z model - without cutouts on the screen, almost without frames and with a retractable camera. Finally, the model entered the Ukrainian market and came to us for review.

What is it?

The current mid-range smartphoneHuawei– This is performance that is comfortable for most users (even with 4 GB of RAM), non-standard body colors, battery life for a couple of days, almost complete absence of frames and a decent camera.

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Nice? Convenient?

Huawei P Smart Z presented in three colors&#8211; emerald green, sapphire blue and midnight black. I had green. In my opinion, the color is luxurious. In the photo he looks a little bluer than in life.

Housing &#8211; made of glossy plastic, the height of ⅔ of the case on the back there is a strip that divides the case into two parts. In different lighting conditions, the top and bottom ones look darker. This is not noticeable, I noticed after a couple of weeks, but overall it makes the model’s appearance more interesting. For some reason, the case is not as slippery as it might seem from its appearance.

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The model weighs almost 200 grams, and its thicknessis almost 9 mm, the weight is evenly distributed and the frames are small. Due to this, it does not seem massive or heavy. With a diagonal of 6.59 inches (oh gods, we lived to see the days when smartphone screens caught up with tablets and nothing terrible happened) it still fits in the palm of your hand and can be operated with one hand. I don’t know what will happen with the case; it will probably be more difficult to operate with one hand. The plastic looks “dangerous”, but in reality it is resistant to deep scratches, and although there is a small detail, it is almost invisible, only at a certain angle. But the fingerprints &#8211; always and from any angle.

With the screen on, the P Smart Z is impressivethin bezels and no notch. It would seem that we (at least those who used smartphones this and last year) are accustomed to cutouts. But as soon as this annoying misunderstanding disappears from sight, using the device becomes much more convenient &#8211; take photos, videos, read, watch videos. Like the joke about the goat.

Pop-up selfie camera &#8211; mainthe wow factor of this model. People around you instantly show interest in your smartphone. This is Huawei's first smartphone with a similar design, although manufacturers have been playing with sliders and pop-up, rotating cameras for about a year now.

Fingerprint Sensor LocationThe back side and the volume and lock screen keys on the right side for my medium-sized hand were successful. I also can’t complain about the position of the dual main camera, but the selfies occasionally turned out with my fingers, although it seemed that I was holding the smartphone quite neatly.

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How about performance?

In terms of hardware P Smart Z &#8211; almost complete copyP30 lite, a review of which is on the site, Mate 20 lite and some other models. Equipped with 4 GB of RAM and an eight-core Hisilicon Kirin 710F processor. Essentially, this is the same 710, as the benchmarks define it. The processor has four high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 clocked at up to 2.2 GHz and four power-efficient ARM Cortex-A53 clocked at up to 1.7 GHz. It was introduced about a year ago and is aimed at mid-range devices. Supports GPU Turbo technology, which, according to the manufacturer, provides a 60% performance increase and a 30% reduction in energy costs.

Such a set of characteristics on paper looks likenot the most productive even for everyday life. In synthetic tests, the smartphone also shows average results. In fact, the interface is smooth, there are no brakes either in the browser or in any other everyday tasks, as if the smartphone belongs to a higher segment. I usually have dozens of applications installed, for the Internet I use voracious Chrome. And with all this good and only 4 GB of RAM, the smartphone is comfortable.








How long does the battery hold?

Autonomy &#8211; one of the strengthssmartphone. Despite the fact that the battery capacity of a 6.59-inch display is 4000 mAh, and the processor, although good in terms of energy efficiency, is not the hero of our time, a day of intensive work with the screen frequently turned on, music at full blast, maps and navigation is a feasible task for the model.





With an average load, the device worked for mea couple of days. This is without power saving mode and saving on screen brightness. Judging by how slowly the charge in the standby mode is melting, three days are possible if you use little, but such a scenario is not for me. One feels that Huawei is working on optimizing software. For me, once again, one of the drawbacks of this optimization is that the smartphone constantly offers to unload too voracious messengers from memory. However, this can be turned off in the settings and the smartphone at least consults with the user.

Is the screen normal?

The model is equipped with a 6.59-inch IPS-display withFull HD resolution +, i.e. 1080 x 2340 pixels and 391 ppi. In general, a good screen, typical of its price range. Pixel density is sufficient for comfortable work and not too large to load the “iron” once again. Those who are accustomed to OLED-displays, the screen is likely to seem not colorful enough.

There are two color modes in the screen settings&#8211; normal and bright, and bright can be made warm or cool or you can adjust the color scheme manually. There is also an eye protection mode. Usually on all smartphones I turn it on immediately so as not to strain my eyes. Color rendition with a shift to a warm range on the screen of this model seemed to me, as usual, the most pleasing to the eye.

Brightness is adjusted automatically, but its alsoYou can make it more intense and less to your taste. My slider was about in the middle, and on the street there were enough screen capabilities, I did not have to take off my sunglasses.

In power saving mode, you can reduce the screen resolution.







What about biometrics?

There was no space on the front of the device.face recognition system that has become a familiar thing even in the Android world. If you have had time to get used to it, then the first time will be uncomfortable (if not, of course, you will not even notice).

On the back side of the model case, in a convenientplace, there is a fingerprint scanner. It is designed not only to unlock the smartphone and protect data on the device (using a fingerprint you can protect applications and personal data), but also to control certain applications. For example, scrolling through the gallery, opening the notification curtain, answering a call, etc. Works quickly and accurately. Regarding gestures &#8211; There are no complaints about accuracy either, convenience &#8211; matter of habit.





And how is the camera?

The camera at Huawei P Smart Z is double, consists of16 megapixel module (f / 1.8) and an additional two megapixel module (f / 2.4) for the depth effect. She writes video in FullHD with a frequency of 30 frames per second. The interface is similar to the top solutions of Huawei, there is a separate mode for night shooting and shooting with aperture priority, there is a portrait mode with “enhancers” and effects of different types of flashes.

At the same time, the camera quality is, of course, inferiortop Huawei solutions. If in flagship models it was sometimes possible to do without a special mode when shooting at night, then here it really &#8211; Each mode is needed for different effects. I used it not only directly at night, but also sometimes when, in the old days, smartphone cameras required the use of HDR mode. For example, in a deciduous forest during the day, when bright light breaks through the dense crowns. Yes, the camera also has AI; when shooting with this option, the resolution of the images is reduced, but the detail &#8211; rises. Without AI, the pictures turn out to be soapy. Like this.









An example of a photo in normal conditions.


























An example of a photo in poor lighting.













An example of panoramic shooting. It’s better not even try to get close, but panoramas in large spaces work well.







An example of shooting with different effects.











Below are a couple of examples of videos. For myself, shot more. The video from the festival is noticeable that the sound is not written very. But in reality, under normal conditions, there is no problem with sound, even music can be recorded normally, but for some reason it turns out bad in concert conditions.

Selfie camera comfortable?

The pop-up selfie camera has a resolution of 16 MP.Huawei realized a long time ago that this shooting mode was popular and made a sweetie out of it. During the day, at night, and in other strange shooting modes, self-portraits turn out great. You can blur the background, you can without it, you can use different flash effects or light filters &#8211; Everything will be fine. It will be bad if you want to take a selfie with someone in a horizontal camera orientation - their faces will be distorted.

For some reason, when taking a horizontal shot on a selfie-camera, the smartphone automatically reduces the brightness of the screen. So much so that in sunglasses you have to poke your finger at the display at random.





As for the form factor, everything is wrong heredefinitely. On the one hand, the camera quickly moves out (but you still have to wait a little longer for it to start than with regular software switching between modules) and moves in by itself if you lock the screen. The likelihood of damaging the camera in a pocket or bag is minimal &#8211; She actually manages to hide faster than she can put her phone away somewhere. On the other hand &#8211; mechanics are mechanics. The memories of almost 10 years ago about slider phones, where something was constantly breaking and fraying, are too vivid. About 10 years ago, Mobile Review published an article about typical cell phone breakdowns, and there was this graph. As the cases were simplified, the number of mechanical failures decreased. As the OS becomes more complex &#8211; the number of software problems increased.

I really liked this model for the price, autonomy, design and speed, but for me it was the pop-up camera &#8211; one reason to look at other models.

What is interesting interface?

The smartphone runs on Android 9.0 Pie, on top of which the EMUI 9 branded shell is installed. In general, in reviews of the latest Huawei and Honor models, we dwelt on it in detail (for example, here and here).

For me this was my first experience interacting withsmartphone gestures (if you are considering this model for purchase, most likely it will be for you too), and it is interesting. At first I wanted to turn it all off right away; it was annoying that the smartphone would quit applications when I didn’t need it and everything was quite unusual. Gestures became familiar on the second or third day, and now, returning to my old device, I understand that these save a lot of time, and this is truly a step forward in navigation. In addition, with such a large screen, it is difficult to imagine any other control &#8211; the smartphone will have to be placed in the palm of your hand, and this increases the risk that sooner or later it will fly off to the floor.

By the way, in the settings you can turn them off and return to the good old buttons. Or to the navigation bar.

This firmware version already has access toAppGallery (Huawei’s app store, which was talked about in connection with Trump’s sanctions), you’ll need to have a Huawei account (or log in using Google and Facebook) to familiarize yourself with it. For Ukraine, it already has, for example,, Citrus app, Kasta, etc., as well as a bunch of games and utilities. In general, it seems that someone is actively preparing the rear.






You can also link your bank card and pay with Huawei Pay, which is not yet relevant for Ukraine, but is already relevant for Russian users.

What else?

The internal memory of Huawei P Smart Z is 64 GB, there is support for microUSB up to 1 TB. There is a headphone jack and an NFC module.

I really liked the speakers of the device &#8211;They are loud, the sound is quite clear and spacious. The volume reserve in the headphones is small, but it can be increased using Huawei Histen proprietary software. I also liked that in the settings of the Music application you can limit the folders where the smartphone will look for new songs and their duration. I often use my smartphone’s voice recorder and don’t like it when the player automatically pulls up audio recordings. This can be avoided here.

What are the alternatives?

Huawei themselves calls this model a competitorSamsung Galaxy A50. Galaxy A50 &#8211; a strong competitor to Samsung, with an OLED display, excellent cameras, a strong brand and a balanced price. It is somewhat more expensive than its competitor, but it does not have such a risky twist as an upstart camera. Apparently, the competitor has more powerful hardware and, perhaps, slightly better battery life due to the more energy-efficient Exynos 9610 processor (manufactured using a 10nm process technology). At the same time, Huawei looks more interesting, it seems that they have a slightly different target audience, P Smart Z &#8211; This is definitely a wow thing.

Based on the current price, the model is more likely to compete with the Galaxy A30 and A40 &#8211; a simpler Samsung smartphone with almost the same hardware, but a weaker processor.

In the manufacturer’s own line, you can alsopay attention to the compact Honor 10 (5.8-inch display, but a more powerful processor Kirin 970), Honor 8X (costs less, but it has a smaller battery, as well as a regular selfie camera and face recognition system), Huawei P30 lite with a cool 48 megapixel camera, but a slightly more compact screen.

In the dry residue

I find it difficult to give a clear assessment of Huawei P SmartZ. I really liked the smartphone. Beautiful, fast for everyday tasks, it works for a long time, there are no complaints at all, a cool screen without a cut. But, perhaps, I would prefer all the same, only in a simple classical design and with face recognition. For example, Huawei P30 lite. Although on the other hand, this concept also has a right to exist if the cutout on the display is already sitting in the liver.

5 reasons to buy Huawei P Smart Z:

  • balanced price;
  • wow design;
  • long battery life and energy efficient processor;
  • comfortable performance;
  • screen without a cutout.

3 reasons not to buy Huawei P Smart Z:

  • impractical selfie camera design;
  • no face recognition sensor;
  • You need a better quality camera in your smartphone.

SpecificationsHuawei P Smart Z

IPS LCD 6.59&#8243;, 1080&#215;2312 pixels, 391 ppi

Dimensions and weight
164x77x9 mm, 197 g

Kirin 710 (8 cores: 4 Cortex A73 2.2 GHz + 4 Cortex A-53 1.7 GHz), ARM Mali-G51 graphics, 1.0 GHz

RAM 4 GB, ROM 128 GB + microSD up to 1 TB (hybrid tray)


Main 16 MP, F1.8, auxiliary (for blurring the background) 2 MP

Front: 16 MP, pop-up

USB Type-C

Wireless technology
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC

non-removable, lithium polymer, 4000 mAh

operating system
Android 9.0 (Pie) with EMUI 9.0.1 add-on

SIM card
2 x nanoSIM

The fingerprint scanner
on the back panel

Huawei P Smart Z

Huawei's first smartphone with a screen without holes and cutouts

This is a wow-smart phone with a 6.59-inch IPS-display, an exit front camera, dual main, 4000 mAh battery and Kirin 710F chip

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