Our article today is dedicated to the analysis of the new Huawei P Smart 2021, a smartphone that arrived on October 29 in the national market. After 2 weeks of using this equipment, it’s time to reveal our opinion on it.
Design and display
Huawei during this year 2020, tended to use a green color in its mid-range smartphones, which I admit to love. Coincidentally, the units we received for testing, from the Huawei P Smart 2021, arrived in this color. Without a doubt, this is a smartphone aimed at an audience looking for a large smartphone, with a large screen, which will most likely use it for reading or watching multimedia content. Its IPS panel has 6.67 inches with FullHD + resolution, and as usual with Huawei, with good quality, and with good color balance.
Considering the technology, the fingerprint sensor had to be placed on the side, in the aluminum frame, and it is large enough that it has the power button integrated, that is, that it works very well. This same screen has a small hole where the front camera is located.
Considering its dimensions, using it with one hand is no easy task, and its 226 grams does not help in this task either, but this weight must probably be caused by the huge battery in it. inside.
The top speaker is placed near the bezel (between the screen and the bezel), almost invisibly, which works well during calls, but unfortunately is not used during audio playback, as this task is reserved for the lower speaker, which has decent quality. However, this device has a 3.5mm port for headphones, and at the bottom we still have a USB Type-C 2.0 port.
Let’s start with something you should want to know: the Huawei P Smart 2021 is a smartphone without Google services, but with the good services of Huawei. I can’t help but reveal that it doesn’t have any apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube, Google Photos, Google Duo, Google Chrome, Google Play Store, and it isn’t even possible to install them later … this is only possible with a few tips, which come from the world of modding, but which have nothing to do with this analysis.
In return, we have the already very interesting Huawei mobile services. This means that among the preinstalled apps you will find the classic set of apps ready to replace almost any Google app. In fact, there is a messaging app to manage emails, Calendar to replace Google Calendar, Huawei Cloud instead of Google Drive, and home services like Huawei Video instead of Google Play Video and Huawei Music Player. To find new applications and therefore compensate for the absence of the Play Store, there is the AppGallery which is an official store, and a good alternative from Huawei which is developing rapidly. With this store, which is already the third most used in the world of smartphones, we can install the vast majority of the most used applications in the world, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and many others.
However, be aware that if your current smartphone backs up your data to your Google account, you will not be able to restore it to this Huawei P Smart 2021 because it does not have Google services. The most prominent example is our phone book, which we usually sync with the Google account, but cannot restore here.
In the AppGallery there are many dedicated apps for users in Portugal, such as Vodafone TV, Millennium banking app, Activo Bank, CTT, and many more.
Its operating system is EMUI 10.1.1 which is based on Android 10, and at the time of writing this review it has the security patch for August 2020. Regarding the operating system itself , as I always say, the EMUI is one of the best, Android-based interfaces out there, so there is little to say about it, as it has everything the Android system has to. to offer.
The Huawei P Smart 2021 is a mid-range smartphone, but it is not poorly supplied on the hardware side. Inside we have the relatively new HiSilicon Kirin 710A, which has an octa-core processor with 4 Cortex A71 cores and 4 Cortex A53 cores. It comes with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. To be simple and straightforward, he is able to perform any operation, obviously with only a few seconds of delay in these heavier operations.
However, this is a processor more dedicated to energy savings than performance and therefore suitable for prolonged use. As such, its performance in heavier games may not be the best. I have tested Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite, and PUBG and the games work, with some difficulty, but they work. In addition, in social networks, and more common applications, as in less demanding games, it has more than sufficient performance.
As always, I leave the Antutu test results here for reference.
Huawei already has little to prove in the photography business, and this is no different. It does not have the performance of a top of the range, but its photographic set consists of a 48 MP sensor with f / 1.8 aperture, which is accompanied by an 8MP ultra wide-angle sensor with a 120 ° lens and a opening f /. 2.4, a 2MP depth sensor with f / 2.4 aperture, and the latter is a 2MP macro sensor with f / 2.4 aperture. Up front we have an 8MP sensor with an f / 2.0 aperture.
In terms of quality, the photos aren’t surprising, but they’re definitely good for a phone in this price range. As always, there is a very sharp clarity that can sometimes damage the photo, but that’s characteristic of a phone that uses artificial intelligence to enhance photos. Alright is the fact that it has an ultra wide angle sensor to get a different perspective, and digitally you can shoot at 2x zoom as well.
In low light conditions, this is obviously where it suffers the most, even in night mode, which still manages to improve the photos a bit, but cannot do wonders. Still, the photos are interesting and certainly won’t disappoint. Don’t expect this to be a performance similar to a top of the line, as it is not possible.
Huawei’s camera app is, as always, very comprehensive and offers a lot of features and effects that you can and should use to enhance your designs.
In videos the situation is not much different from photos, but unfortunately you will miss the optical and / or digital stabilization, despite the fact that it often has excessive clarity.
In short, the sensors are in line with what Huawei has accustomed us to in equipment in this price range. It doesn’t have the same performance as a high-end phone, but your photos certainly won’t put you off.
Battery and autonomy
The most positive and concrete aspect of this smartphone is undoubtedly its autonomy, and the reason is very obvious. Huawei has equipped this device with a 5000mAh battery, which is great for a product in this range. Then we have a very well balanced hardware, which comes with a very well done software optimization by Huawei, which properly regulates power consumption.
If we add to this the absence of Google applications, much criticized for their great impact on autonomy, we have a device that easily lasts two days of use, and with a lot of use. I managed to do over 8 hours of screen time, and without much difficulty, or save battery. My usage style means that the Wi-Fi, 4G, and Bluetooth are always on, which shows the issues (which I didn’t have) with the P Smart 2021’s battery.
Charging doesn’t take too long, it comes with a stand for 22.5W fast charging. In practical terms, that means we can charge the battery in about 2 hours. It’s letting go down to 0%, which I very rarely allow, since I prefer to turn off the equipment, in case that happens. From 15 to 100%, it takes about 1h40 minutes. It’s not the fastest on the market, but in my opinion it’s fine.
Within 30 minutes of charging, I was able to charge 20 to 56%, which is enough for a whole day of use. And that for midrange equipment is not good, it is excellent.
This is one of the more self-contained midrange devices I have tested. Probably the only device I have tested that equals this P Smart 2021 in terms of battery life is the Huawei P40 Pro + (our review here), but this phone costs 5 times more than this mid-range phone.
Huawei P Smart 2021: final verdict
At the time of writing this review, the Huawei P Smart 2021 is available in Portugal for a price of around 259 euros, and it seems to me to be fair value for what it has to offer.
We are facing a very balanced phone, where autonomy is really its strong point. The screen despite its IPS is very interesting, just like its photographic sector and its beautiful design.
And while Huawei does a great job with its AppGallery, the least positive point about this equipment is the lack of Google services (and apps). As I mentioned before, its absence also has its advantages, but we are talking about an ecosystem that is still very entrenched in the West, it is still not easy for everyone to get used to its absence. Fortunately, thanks to Huawei’s hard work, this absence is already starting to be less noticeable, and I hope that in a few months I can say that Google services are no longer needed … but by then it is the the least positive point this equipment.
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Founder of Noticias e Tecnologia, and this is his second online project, after several years connected to a portal focused on the Android system, of which he was also one of its founders.
IT professional and passionate about new technologies, mechanical sports and mountain biking.