Not long ago someone inboxed me to enquire about the amount of money she is supposed to spend on a camera that can make her an instant professional photographer. I told her Shs 700K. She called me mad. I wasn’t, she was. Recently I read an article highlighting how two professional photographers used a 0.3MP kid camera to shoot some breathtaking pictures, and what I learnt from the article is that the best camera in the market is the camera you currently have, even if that camera is on the rear or front of Huawei Y6II 5.5 inches smartphone.
I looked at the pictures the photographers shot with the 0.3MP kid camera and I was challenged. Ever since I accidentally started doing professional photography in October 2016, I have always blamed the Sony Compact/DSLR bridge camera that I use. It is a camera with a very tiny sensor (1/2.3″) that introduces lots of grain and noise in low light and above x18 zoom. To compound the problem, the camera cannot take great portraits at zoom less than x18 given that it comes with a fixed 24-1200mm zoom lens. After reading the above article however, I decided to challenge myself by taking a few professional like photos using the Huawei Y6II. Under camera review in this article, I have posted edited and unedited photos of Miss MKU Nakuru that I shot on Wednesday at Kivu Resort, Nakuru using the Huawei Y6II 13MP rear camera.
Huawei Y6II is a budget phablet smartphone meant to please those of us interested in faster and smoother mobile experience, large screen image viewing and text manipulation, but at a slightly reduced screen resolution (720p on IPS-LCD tech) and unsatisfactory battery life. Huawei Y6II is great aesthetically as the edges are fabulously curved making one hand operation pleasant. The plastic cover doesn’t scream cheap, although you won’t in your right mind think that you need to break a bank in order to afford the handset by a simple act of looking at the phone on display.
Specs wise, Huawei Y6II features an octa core 1.2 GHz processor with Kirin 620 chipset which may sound a little low speed wise but it is important to remember that all budget to midrange gadgets are typically powered by quad core processors. The 2 GB of RAM allows you to easily open, use and close multiple Apps simultaneously without having to worry that the phone will slow down or even hang on you. A few times however I have experienced situations where Apps won’t respond in time, but mostly this happens when I try to use the phone while charging.
The fact that the phone runs on one of the latest Androids (Android Marshmallow instead of Lollipop) also gives it an edge over competition. Most budget and midrange Android phones released around June 2016 and earlier are powered by Android Lollipop, and so far only high end devices come with Android Nougat preinstalled. I have personally not liked Huawei UI so I won’t comment much on the Emotion 4.1 UI that powers the Huawei Y6II.
Some reviews state that Huawei Y6II’s power consumption is reduced leading to extended battery life, but my personal test revealed that under normal usage, the phone will last with power for about 7 hours before needing a recharge. This means that if you are the typical person who leaves home at 6.30AM to be back later than 6PM, you need to always walk with the charger. If you are a gamer and heavy Internet user, you should consider charging the phone every four or five hours. The fact that the phone is an LTE 4G enabled device doesn’t help with battery either. To have maximum battery life per charge, you need to be an extremely basic person who always switches off data every single time after use, never stays online for more than two minutes at a time and takes at least 30 minutes break after every online visit, and doesn’t game.
Then there is the Camera. Huawaei Y6II doesn’t have the best camera phone out there, not even on budget phones. However it has a rear 13MP camera that is made from scratch resistant material and is capable of recording 1080p videos. The camera options are also limited so you may not play around with Creative Modes and even Picture Effects while shooting. If you want to shoot in rich colour, your best bet is to use the “Good Food” mode which has a slightly higher colour saturation. It also has a beauty mode that I found to add no value on pictures. The camera however has HDR functionality which works marvelously well.
Lack of tweeks shouldn’t discourage you though as the best picture is taken at natural colour. Changes in contrast, saturation and vibrannce ought to be done in programs like Photoshop or Lightroom. As mentioned before, I took Huawei Y6II to a model photoshoot from where I was able to get the three images below. The first image is slightly edited where saturation was slightly increased, contrast reduced, and exposure reduced in photoshop. The second is a major edit with background blur effect, reduced saturation, extremely reduced exposure, colour balanced, and soft light layer applied. The third picture is however the type of selfie you will get when using Huawei Y6II 8MP camera with absolutely zero editing.
Huawei Y6II selfie with zero editing. Model: Ashley Wanjiru: Miss MKU Nakuru. Once you have taken such images with your Huawei Y6II, you shouldn’t worry so much that you will run out of space. The phone comes with 16GB internal storage that should be enough to store necessary application but you can always add memory by inserting up to 128GB mem card in the SD card slot at the back of the phone.