The mid premium range in India has exploded, and we are now seeing a lot more brands launching phones in the Rs 25,000 and above price mark. OPPO, vivo, OnePlus and now Micromax are all trying to grab a share in this segment, where users want a premium phone with great features without paying more than Rs 40,000. Market leader Samsung now has quite a few options for those with a Rs 35,000 budget. The new Galaxy C9 Pro, C7 Pro smartphones are premium phablets. We’ve reviewed the Galaxy C9 Pro, and here’s how this phone fared in our tests.
Specifications: 6-inch Full HD sAMOLED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor + 6GB RAM | 64GB storage (expandable) | 16MP front camera with f/1.9 aperture + 16MP front camera with f/1.9 aperture | Dual-SIM | Android 6.0 | 4000 mAh battery
Price: Rs 36,900
We got the review unit of the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro in an elegant black matte finish. The phone sports a metal unibody design, and is 6.9mm in thickness and weighs around 190 grams. For a phablet with a 6-inch display, this one is sleek, and not so bulky, though for people with tiny hands (like yours truly) managing this with one hand only can be quite a task.
The phone’s rear body has antenna bands running on the top and bottom. On the bottom, there’s a Type-C USB charging port, a single bottom firing speaker, and a headphone jack. I’m not fond of 6-inch devices, but when I unboxed this one, I thought it looked gorgeous. However, that black finish is prone to picking up your fingerprints, and I’d suggest getting a cover for this as well.
The 6-inch full SAMOLED display is stunning. Samsung is known to get its displays right, and what you get with this phone a rich, vibrant screen. I spent a fair amount of time watching YouTube videos on this one and it doesn’t disappoint in the least bit. Actually, if I had to compare this to the OnePlus 3T display, I’d pick the Samsung any day. The blacks are deeper, it is much more vibrant and gets the colours right.
Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor coupled with 6GB RAM. The processor and RAM is good enough for your daily multi-tasking, and as such you shouldn’t have problems running your social media apps like Facebook and YouTube. While it doesn’t quite beat the competition in benchmarks, general performance is not an issue.
On the gaming front, it can handle graphics-heavy games quite well, with the display making for an even better overall experience. However, the C9 Pro does tend to get warm, especially when it is charging or if you are gaming for long.
The battery on this is 4000 mAh, and this is another bit where Samsung impresses. The phone will easily last a day, and I used this with a 4G SIM. It has an impressive standby time as well. There were days when I forgot to charge this, but the phone didn’t die randomly. The phone comes with Type-C USB charging port, and takes a little over one and half hours to get from 1 to 100 per cent.
On the UI front, Samsung has loaded this with all the Microsoft apps in one folder, all the Samsung apps are in one, and it has some of the features that the company is known to do well. The Split-Screen view is something Samsung phones have supported for long, and it works well on this phone. The overall UI is cleaner and smoother. The fingerprint scanner works accurately as well.
Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro sports two 16MP cameras, one on the front and the back. The 16MP rear camera delivers well in good lighting conditions. The colour reproduction is accurate, and it can capture details in some of the photos. However, the camera is nothing exceptional in low-light, and I feel the Galaxy A series from Samsung is still the best on that front, at least in this price segment.
What’s not good?
For the price point, the front camera doesn’t impress at all. I felt the pictures were just not as sharp, and the beauty mode made things worse. In low-light, there’s a pinkish hue around the face, which was noticeable inside a room, and that didn’t really work for me.
The lack of dual firing speakers on this is a miss, especially at the price point. I used this phone to watch a lot of YouTube videos, and I felt the sound just wasn’t loud enough. Plus the 6-inch display size doesn’t always make for easy handling, especially when you want to just lie back and watch videos endlessly.
Heating is an issue on this device while charging or if you are gaming for too long. The Rs 36,900 price point seems really high for this phone. No Android Nougat is another miss, and then one can’t help wonder if the Galaxy A series will make a better deal considering, it is priced less than this one.
Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro is aimed at phablet lovers, who don’t mind the big 6-inch display and want a phone that looks good. If your primary aim is video consumption, be it on Facebook or YouTube, etc, this device can easily live up to those tasks and it delivers well. The camera is also one of the better ones in the price range, though the low-light performance is weak. The main concern though, for a lot of users will be the price tag, which I feel is on the higher side, given what the competition is offering.