• Operating System: Android 4.2 (Jellybean)
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Quad-Core CPU
  • Frequency: GSM 90/1800MHz, WCDMA 2100MHz
  • Screen: 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD (720x1280) IPS Panel
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio, microSD
  • Others: 13 megapixel rear camera, 2.0 megapixel 720p HD front camera
  • Dimensions: 137.8 x 69.9 x 10mm
  • Weight: 160g
  • Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Dual-SIM
  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Stock Android
  • Cons:
  • Fingerprint & smudge magnet

Dressed To The Nines

Local brands just don’t get enough recognition as consumers tend to deem them inferior compared to the international brands. But with the launch of Ninetology’s U9 series, that stigma was easily broken as the three devices in the series aren’t only affordable but pack high-end features.

Out of the trio, the X1 is the most affordable. Don’t let that statement fool you though as this device is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU coupled with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and 1GB worth of RAM. Throughout our time with it, it provided us with a smooth experience most of the time but it did get just a tad jerky when under heavy load.

In terms of design the X1, looks quite similar to certain Korean smartphones but also has its own distinctive looks due to the design of the back cover and shape of the buttons. We didn’t really have a problem with the location of the buttons but we found the volume rocker on the left a little difficult to press as they sit flushed against the edge of the device. While it may not be very thin, we still found the X1 to be comfortable to hold and felt no discomfort when it was in our pockets.

For such an affordable device, we actually expected an 8-megapixel rear camera but Ninetology actually equipped the X1 with a 13-megapixel shooter that boasts an f/2.0 aperture, second generation backside illumination (BSI) sensor and also dual LED flash. We found the images we took to be good as colours were quite accurate and had very little loss of detail but they were also a bit noisy.

Powered by a 2,200mAh battery, the X1 easily lasted us a full day of use. We used the device with only one SIM card, had push notifications turn on for a single email account, Facebook and also Twitter. We also used it for just some light web surfing and video streaming. For those who use two 3G SIMs with the device, your battery life may not last as long but as always you can easily swap out the drained battery.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Ninetology’s U9X1 has some minor flaws but then again, it only costs RM1,099 and yet still packs quite an impressive set of features. If you can overlook the niggles, the X1 is actually quite a good choice for first-time Android smartphone users or those who don’t want to burn a hole in their pocket.

(previously published in issue September 2013)