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Sometimes it feels that the turbulent 2020 will never come to an end, but Huawei, for one, is hopeful. Has been so for a while, too – the P smart 2021 was announced a good month ago, and we now have it here with us for review.
Despite its forward-looking name, the smartphone isn't overly innovative, though we didn't expect as much from an iterative update in the entry-level to mid-range segment. Instead, it comes with well-rounded specs at a modest price of sub-€200.
Perhaps that's an appropriate spot to mention that the P smart 2021 also goes by the name Y7a in some markets, with identical specs. Best as we can tell, the only difference is the availability of a 64GB storage option on the Y7a, while the P smart 2021 only comes in 128GB trim. We'll go with 'P smart 2021' for the remainder of this review because that's what it says on our unit's box, but our findings should be equally applicable to the Y7a.
It's also worth noting that Honor has a very similarly specced 10X Lite that also looks a lot like the P smart 2021. We'll be checking that one out too in the coming days.
Anyway, the P smart 2021 features a large 6.67-inch FullHD display, and it's an LCD as opposed to OLED – OLEDs can be had in this price bracket, but not on this one. A Kirin 710A chipset is at the helm here, an in-house design that debuted in 2018 and is a bit long in the tooth, plus the 'A' in the name stands for a 14nm manufacturing process where other 710s were 12nm. The 2 extra nanometers shouldn't be a huge burden, however, and with a 5,000mAh battery inside next year's P smart, we expect solid endurance numbers.
There's also a standard-issue camera setup on the back with a 48MP main unit, complemented by an 8MP ultra-wide and two 2MP modules – one for close-ups and another one for depth detection. An 8MP selfie camera rounds up the imaging department. See – nothing special, but nothing really missing either.
Oh, okay, nothing is missing except Google Play services. Replaced by Huawei's Mobile Services and the AppGallery, getting a Huawei phone these days still means getting your favorite apps and games is not as straightforward as on an Android phone with Google's blessing.
Huawei P smart 2021 specs:
- Body: 165.7×76.9×9.3mm, 206g; Colors: Crush Green, Blush Gold, Midnight Black.
- Display: 6.67" IPS LCD, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
- Chipset: Kirin 710A (14 nm): Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53); Mali-G51 MP4.
- Memory: 128GB 4GB RAM; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS/Software: Android 10, EMUI 10.1, no Google Play Services.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.4, 120˚; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4; LED flash, HDR, panorama.
- Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.0; HDR.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@60/30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 22.5W.
- Misc: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass, FM radio.
Huawei P smart 2021 unboxing
The P smart 2021 arrives in a white cardboard box like every other Huawei we've had at the office in recent years that's not a Mate. Inside it, you get the bare minimum of items – a USB-A-to-C cable and a power adapter. The adapter supports Huawei SuperCharge at up to 22.5 watts and will be much appreciated when filling up that big 5,000mAh battery.