Now that Motorola and Alcatel are putting up strong competition with low prices, it’s time to see what Huawei will challenge with.

Two new phones have turned up from the maker of the Leica-equipped Mate and P ranges, and while they lack the two cameras that made those models intriguing, Huawei’s new phones come with their own interesting features.

The new phones make up what Huawei calls its “Y” series, with a Y5 and Y7. While they’re part of the same series, the phones are a touch different, each sporting something aimed at being appealing for the budget price points Huawei is aiming at.

First there’s the Y5 2017, a confusing name for a phone, though this will be a 5 inch phone sporting a “textured body” which you can usually read as plastic. We’re not surprised, though, because with a price of $199, metal is usually rare.

What makes Huawei’s Y5 2017 interesting is a special button called the “Easy Key” designed to make phone shortcuts available to you, accessing apps or features with a press, double press, and a press-and-hold gesture, providing that little bit of extra functionality, as well as two cameras delivering 8 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels on the front, with a fairly sizeable 3000mAh battery.

Up from there is a $299 phone with a slightly bigger screen and a slightly bigger battery, and that’s the Y7, delivering a 4000mAh battery.

A bigger battery and screen isn’t all that gets larger here, with a more impressive 12 megapixel rear camera, while the front-facing camera is set to 8 megapixels on this one.

At least you’ll find a metal body on the Y7, a step up from the textured plastic on its sibling, but really the only other serious changes between them are the operating system, with the Y7 running the recent Android 7.0 “Nougat” and Huawei’s latest EMUI 5.1 overlay like that of the P10, while the Y5 drops things back to the what they were like last year with Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” and EMUI 4.1.

Both the Huawei Y5 and Huawei Y7 are in the Pickr Trackr now, ready for you to make your own phone comparisons, while the phones themselves will hit retail in August and July respectively.

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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