Earlier this week Huawei Mobile South Africa announced that its new P Smart 2019 would be landing locally at the beginning of the February, costing a recommended R4 999.

Having spent a couple of days with the phone, here’s our first impressions for a device that has improved quite a bit from its predecessor. With Samsung, Huawei and Nokia duking it out for dominance in the value for money mid-range segment, this new device lays down a strong marker from the Chinese manufacturer.

This is what we learned from the P Smart so far.

Design

Take a quick look at the P Smart 2019 and it could easily be mistaken for one of Huawei’s more recent flagship phones. This is especially so for the gradient Aurora colour option.

This particular model lightweight at 160g, and sports a shinier look compared to its predecessor. While it looks good, the back cover is a magnet for smudges, and therefore requires a protective sleeve in order to keep things fingerprint-free.

While the new design is welcome, there are a few options which seem a bit odd. There’s a microUSB port at the bottom of the phone for charging, which is something that older devices usually sport. If Huawei was trying to really modernise the P Smart 2019, then it should have gone the USB Type-C route.

Display

The other big change is up front, where a larger 6.21″ screen is found. It also goes for a FullView design, with a dew drop shaped notch to house the front facing camera. The bezels are also ultra thin, and it sports an 89.6 percent screen-to-body ratio.

As such, this all adds up to a device that appears more premium than some of the newer mid-range offerings on the market.

Regarding quality of the display, it provides crisp and clear visuals, with a 2 340 X 1 080 resolution. One thing we did notice is that the lower levels of brightness make the screen look quite dull, so you’ll likely be option for anything north of 50 percent brightness when using the P Smart 2019 during the day or outside.

Camera

Shifting focus to the main camera setup, Huawei has opted to retain the dual lens option on the P Smart 2019.

To this end a 13MP and 2MP lens is on offer, with the latter taken care of the depth sensing portion of the photography functions.

The primary yields solid pictures all round, and performs particularly well outdoors, dealing with colour well. There is a little bit of ISO sensitivity though, when you press on the camera viewfinder and select a specific focal point. Should you opt to keep things automatic, however, the P Smart 2019 will stand you in good stead.

Processor

Now for how things work internally. Huawei decided to go for the same setup as found on the Huawei P20 Lite.

This therefore means an octa-core Kirin 710 chipset is present, with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage available on the P Smart 2019.

Naturally we ran a benchmark on this phone, and it performed quite well. On AnTuTu (v7.1.4) the P Smart mustered a total score of 125 292, and compares quite favourably to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy A6+. The benchmark score is matched with the actual in-hand experience, with the P Smart capable of handling intensive multitasking and quick switching between apps.

On the processor front then, it too gets the job done.

First impression

When it comes to what’s expected of a value for money mid-range smartphone, the Huawei P Smart 2019 ticks all of he necessary boxes. It also has a more pleasing UI than we’ve spotted on previous Huawei devices, not to mention its price tag.

We’re yet to do a full-blown review for this device, but the early consensus is that it won’t leave users wanting, while still not breaking the bank.