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HUAWEI nova Y61 REVIEW: Packing power in a trusty budget phone

By AYIE LICSI Published Nov 30, 2022 3:53 pm

Smartphones can be expensive, especially if you're eyeing a premium device with all the bells and whistles. However, if you just need a reliable gadget that can do all the basics—social media, camera, web browsing—but won't put a dent in your wallet, a solid budget phone is all you need.

Huawei recently just came out with its latest budget handset with specs that make it a bang for your buck: the nova Y61. Equipped with a 50MP camera, fast-charging capabilities, and beefy 6GB of RAM, this device is a cut above other entry-level smartphones. We got our hands on this new smartphone and here are our thoughts as we put it to the test.

Design and specs

The nova Y61 comes in fresh, youthful colors of Mint Green, Sapphire Blue, and Midnight Black. The phone feels pretty solid with its plastic rear and is quite hefty. In front are a 6.52-inch display that outputs a vibrant screen and a 5MP selfie camera.

Sitting on the right side of the device are the volume rocker and power button which doubles as a fingerprint reader. This makes it more convenient to open your phone as you won't need to press the button to unlock it.

Meanwhile, the bottom of the phone houses a USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack. Oddly, there are no speakers on this side—instead, they are found on the top of the phone, and it actually gets covered when you're playing games and watching videos on landscape.

User experience

Out of the box, this entry-level phone runs on EMUI 12, so there are no Google services on board like all Huawei phones. The tech giant does offer alternative essential apps like Email, Petal Maps, MeeTime, and Petal Search.

What I didn't like about this device, however, is the amount of bloatware—although these apps aren't installed yet, there are entire folders filled with suggestions for apps to install on your phone. This can be helpful for others who want to easily download new applications on their freshly opened handset.

Using the phone to watch videos was an okay experience as the screen is crisp and clear, but the subpar speaker, which at times sounds muffled, puts a damper on it.

Performance-wise, the nova Y61 does not disappoint. With 6GB of RAM, running multiple apps was a breeze, and games like Asphalt 9 are not laggy, a feat impressive for a budget phone.

Equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, this Huawei phone can run a full day before needing a charge. It also supports 22.5W SuperCharging to cut down on time plugged in.


For an entry-level device, the nova Y61 packs a 50MP main camera, 2MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro shooter and has several camera modes—aside from the usual portrait, night, and video shooting, users can get creative with aperture, slow-mo, panorama, light painting, time-lapse, super macro, and high-res modes.

Photos taken with the phone turn out better under natural light and look good enough for your social media posts. Sometimes they aren't as crisp, but just make sure you have enough light and lock the focus to get better shots.

Captured with the HUAWEI nova Y61
Captured with the HUAWEI nova Y61

Overall, the Huawei nova Y61 is a reliable smartphone for different daily tasks, whether that's gaming or browsing through social media. With 6GB of RAM, this device is a multitasking beast despite its cheaper price tag. This is definitely one gadget you can consider as a first phone for kids and teens with its capabilities.

The nova Y61 is now available for P7,999 at Huawei authorized retail outlets, Shopee, and Lazada.