The Galaxy C9 Pro is a slim stunner that shoots excellent photos.
IT always happens – every time I take out the Galaxy C9 Pro, I’m inevitably met with the excited question: “Is that the Galaxy S8??”
Yes, the C9 Pro is one good looking smartphone – and I get how one could easily mistake it for Samsung’s latest flagship – but no, it’s really not the flagship phone (I wish!).
Having just come back from the S8/S8+ launch in New York, I have to say that the C9 Pro is no slouch in performance either.
The C9 Pro is a beautiful piece of hardware – our review unit came in gold with white bezels, and the full metal unibody is slim but feels solid.
Despite being just 6.9mm thick it is also durable, having survived the depths of my oversized bag with nary a scratch. Best of all, it’s not a fingerprint magnet.
Watching videos on the 6in (full HD) screen was truly a joy. Sound quality was a little softer than I would have preferred but a headphone solves that.
While not exactly bezelless like its more upmarket sibling, the C9 Pro’s screen does extend further to the side than most phones – it took me a while to figure out that I was actually touching the screen while holding it, which explained its initial non-responsiveness.
One thing that the C9 Pro truly excels at is taking photos – both the front and rear cameras are 16 megapixels.
One of the more interesting camera modes is Continuous Burst that takes multiple images and then animates them to create your own GIF, which is always fun to do. Instagrammers will also be thrilled to know that there’s even a dedicated Food mode just for all your food porn photos.
However, the front camera is the one that impressed the most – I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve never taken as many selfies in my life as I have during my two weeks with it.
I used the C9 Pro’s camera extensively while in New York and I have to admit that selfies taken with it have been an absolute game changer – the skies were bluer than blue and Lady Liberty seemed to have been captured with better clarity than with my own (admittedly several years older) Apple iPhone 6 Plus.
Selfie lovers can even choose to have the C9 Pro artificially enlarge their eyes, slim their face or smoothen their skin tone – cue obsessive photo taking!
There’s also a wide-selfie mode in which you can pan the camera to get a wider shot, although this was a hit and miss affair as the camera would sometimes fail to recognise the subject if you pan the camera too quickly or at a different angle than specified.
The C9 Pro packs a Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor and a whopping 6GB RAM so it handled everything I could throw at it with aplomb. There was zero lag with games like Temple Run 2, and even resource-intensive apps loaded quickly and ran smoothly.
With its 4,000mAh battery, the smartphone lasted the better part of two whole days with light use, although if you watch a few episodes of TV shows on it the battery life will, of course, be shortened significantly. But fear not as it comes with fast charging so even a fully depleted battery will be back to 100% in no time at all.
At RM2,299, you get quite a few bells and whistles with really nice aesthetics that should please all but those with their hearts set on the top-end S8/S8+.
I’d say those not keen to pony up top dollar for Samsung’s latest flagships but who still want a high-performing phone should definitely check out the C9 Pro.
Pros: Excellent camera; dual SIM with separate microSD card slot; lightweight.
Cons: Runs on older Android (Marshmallow).
Galaxy C9 Pro
Android 6 smartphone
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm MSM8976 Snapdragon 653 octa-core (4 x 1.95GHz Cortex-A72 + 4 x 1.4GHz Cortex-A53)
MEMORY: 64GB, 6GB RAM, microSD (up to 256GB)
CAMERA: 16-megapixel front and rear cameras
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C
OTHER FEATURES: Fingerprint sensor, fast charging
DISPLAY: 6in Super Amoled (1,080 x 1,920 pixels)
DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): 162.9 x 80.7 x 6.9mm
RATING: 4 stars
PRICE: RM2,299 (inclusive of GST)
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia, 1-800-88-9999