The HUAWEI P smart Z offers a very large display area and records battery life. It’s also the first Huawei smartphone with a pop-up front camera. However, a legitimate question arises: do you have to buy a smartphone from Huawei while this Chinese manufacturer sanctions the US government with its Android devices? This mid-range smartphone currently costs around € 215 and is even cheaper in some online shops.
At this price point, this is a good buy, in our opinion. This mid-range model runs with Android 9 and offers two unusual components for this price level: a large 6.59-inch display (just over 16 cm diagonal) and a pop-up front camera. In addition, the P smart Z has solid housing, two rearview cameras and a large 4000mAh battery.
According to the manufacturer, this battery guarantees “exceptional battery life”. After several weeks of testing, we think the following about this smartphone.
HUAWEI P smart Z specifications
Generally Type: smartphone
OS version, at the beginning of the sale: Android 9.0
Housing type: classic
Number of SIM cards: 2
SIM Type: Nano-SIM Multiple
SIM mode: alternative
Contactless payment: yes
Weight: 197g Dimensions (WxHxD): 77.26 x 163.45 x 8.85 mm
Screen type: colour TFT, touch
Touchscreen type: multi-touch, capacitive
Diagonal: 6.59 inches
Image size: 2340 × 1080 Pixels
Per Inch (PPI): 391
Aspect ratio: 19.5: 9 Automatic screen rotation: yes
Rearview camera sensor Quantity: 2
Sensor resolutions: 16 MP, 2 MP
Flash: rear, LED
Functions of the rearview camera: autofocus, macro mode
Video recording: yes
max.video resolution: 1920 × 1080
Front camera: yes, 16 MP
Audio: MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, FM radio
Standard: GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G, 4G LTE, LTE-A Cat. 4, VoLTE
Support for LTE bands: LTE FDD: Band 1/3/7/8/20
Interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2, USB, NFC
Geolocation: A-GPS, Glonass, GPS
Memory and processor
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 710, 2200 MHz
Number of processor cores: 8
Video processor: Mali-G51 MP4
Built-in memory: 64 GB
RAM: 4 GB Slot for memory cards: yes, up to 512 GB, combined with a SIM card
Battery capacity: 4000 mah
Battery: Not removable
Hands-free kit (built-in loudspeaker): yes
Control: language selection, voice control
Aeroplane mode: yes
Sensors: lighting, proximity, gyroscope, compass, fingerprint scanner
Package content: smartphone, charger, USB cable, user manual, warranty card, card extractor, headphones.
HUAWEI P smart Z design
With a thickness of 8.8 mm, a width of 7.8 cm and a weight of almost 200 grams, the P Smart Z is not a very small smartphone. This mobile phone is designed for people with large hands. To lower the smartphone price, Huawei uses plastic for the housing, which offers excellent quality and a reinforced metal frame.
Familiar controls are conveniently arranged. There is a power and volume control on the right side, while on the back, there is a highly sensitive fingerprint scanner. On the bottom of the device, there is a headphone jack and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. On the top of the HUAWEI P smart Z is the dual SIM tray, which can also accommodate a microSD card. There is also a point on the top of the smartphone where the 16 MP front camera slides out.
It goes back and forth in about a second while making a barely audible sound. During our several weeks of testing, there were no glitches when using the camera. The camera mechanism appears to be reliable, and Huawei claims it is rated for 100,000 opening and closing cycles.
If the smartphone accidentally slips out of your hand during the recording, the accelerometer integrated into the camera detects a free fall and automatically removes the camera. It is certainly not a bad thing, but as we’ll see later, the image quality of this camera leaves a lot to be desired.
Show HUAWEI P smart Z. Thanks to the pop-up camera, there are no notches or holes on the display surface. The display measures 6.59 inches (approx. 17 cm) diagonally, with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels and a density of 381 ppi. It’s well configured by default and bright enough to remain legible in bright sunlight. The HUAWEI P smart Z display also offers a high contrast ratio (1497: 1).
Combined with the large display area, these features make the P smart Z a good smartphone for navigation, video playback and gaming. Performance HUAWEI P smart Z Thanks to the good performance of the 8-core Hisilicon Kirin 710F processor, we could not find any problems with multitasking or heating the smartphone in our tests.
HUAWEI P smart Z battery The battery life of this smartphone is a welcome surprise despite the large display. It is a slightly improved version of the Kirin 710 that works on other mid-range devices like the Huawei P30 Lite or Honor 20 Lite. The HUAWEI P smart Z has a Kirin processor coupled with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. The integrated memory can be expanded by up to 512 GB using a microSD card. Display control in 2D or 3D mode is assigned to the Mali-G51 GPU. It’s not the most powerful processor, but it can still run PUBG and some games downloaded from the Play Store.
Thanks to the correct power consumption setting, the P smart Z can last two days with moderate use. These uses have included messaging, web browsing, and photography. In addition, the 4000mAh battery allows the smartphone to work for a whole day even with intensive use of the device with the use of games and videos. The HUAWEI P smart Z lasted 15 hours in our universal battery test, 10 and 22 minutes in continuous video playback and almost 26 hours in phone calls. In our opinion, these are excellent results.
Image and video quality
You shouldn’t expect perfect photos from a smartphone at this price. However, we expected better recording quality from the HUAWEI P smart Z than some competitors, such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, which are even cheaper. The 16 MP main sensor that maintains a generally well-controlled bokeh effect can take pretty good photos during the day. At night or in a dimly lit room, the P smart Z has its greatest challenges. It creates images with yellowish tones.
A clear picture in very low light is rare and only possible with a little luck. If the night mode significantly improves the picture quality by reducing the noise, the focus is slow – from 5 to 10 seconds, and the camera sensor is too easily blinded by the bright light of the street lights. The image quality of the front camera is even worse than that of the rear camera, even during the day. Here it is better not to switch on the bokeh mode suggested in the settings, as the object in the foreground is cropped too imprecisely. The same goes for video recordings. The recorded footage only works well if you stand still and don’t wiggle the smartphone in your hands, as it has no optical stabilization.
Our verdict The HUAWEI P smart Z is a good buy if you are looking for a smartphone with a very large display and good battery life. This 6.59-inch smartphone easily lasts two days on a single full charge. You can use it to play games, watch videos or read your e-book while you are travelling. We also liked the small pop-up camera. However, we do not recommend this smartphone for those for whom photography is a priority.