Blackview A9 Pro – seeing the data sheet, this device seems to be the revolution of the low-budget price section. Dual-camera, removable rear cover and therefore replaceable battery, USB Type-C, dual-SIM and the possibility to use a micro-SD card: sounds like a dream to many. In the following review you’ll find out what the Blackview A9 Pro really has to offer.
Design and build quality
Taking Blackview A9 Pro in the hand, you instantly notice the compactness and clean build quality of the 143.6×72.4x9mm smartphone. The weight of 171g is surprisingly high, but it increases the feeling of quality. Although the rear side is not made of metal, the device does not seem cheap and the aluminium frame perfectly finishes the overall package. The dual-camera, which is located on the rear, does not jut out of the casing and is accompanied by an LED flash.
Above the display, you can find front camera, sensors and earpiece. There is also a notification LED available, which shines in read, green and blue. The home button is located below the display and serves also as fingerprint scanner. Since there are no common soft touch buttons, you operate the phone with the multifunctional home button instead. As an alternative, you can activate on-screen buttons, too.
Power button and volume control are located on the right. They consist of aluminium, are firmly attached to the casing and have a nice feedback. As usual, an audio jack can be found at the top. At the bottom on the other hand, you can find USB Type-C port, speaker and microphone.
Unfortunately, the speaker’s quality is not very convincing. Volume is okay, but the sound is slightly dull and tinny. However, this is the only weak spot in this category. Build quality is excellent and the device seems to belong to a higher price segment.
Blackview A9 Pro scope of delivery
- Quick reference guide
- USB Type-C cable
- Power plug
- Silicone casing
- Screen protector
Blackview A9 Pro houses a 5-inch HD-display with 1280×720 resolution. Thanks to the size, the display is sharp even with this resolution and you cannot detect any single pixels. The panel can register up to 10 points of contact simultaneously and reacts fast to every input.
The 2.5D glass gives the display nice haptics and you fingers can slide over it well. Viewing angles are stable and contrast is good. White is not depicted too cold, but the display could be a bit brighter. In bright sunlight, you have some problems to read contents. The Blackview device does not offer MiraVision, which I think is also not necessary with this display.
Blackview A9 Pro houses a MT6737 quad-core processor by Mediatek, which is quite common for this price category. It clocks at 4×1.3GHz (1.248) and it is supported by 2GB of RAM. The internal storage of 16GB can be extended via a micro-SD card. If you do so, you can also use the dual-SIM function at the same time.
The internal memory is really not that fast. The 76/43MB/s reading/writing speed are not good values. The RAM is rather slow as well with 2.9GB/s. The memories’ slow performance is perceptible in daily life. Demanding apps need some time until they’re ready for use and multitasking is even worse. You are absolutely not able to play high-end games and even just medium demanding games struggle with jerks. However, it is not only the processor’s fault, the speed of the memory can also be made responsible for that.
As the device reached just 29,629 points in the Antutu benchmark, one expects that the phone is not a performance miracle. Nevertheless, the smartphone provides the basic functions, although it’s not that good with multitasking. Unfortunately, A9 Pro is not successful in terms of performance and it cannot keep up with the level of other low-budget china phones. The manufacturer saved on performance in favour of other functions. Those who are using their phone primarily for WhatsApp, Facebook, surfing the internet or watching YouTube videos will not encounter problems with the phone. It is, however, not a heavy-duty machine.
Blackview A9 Pro uses the new Android 7. The system has an adapted launcher. There is no app drawer and all apps are put directly on the home screen. On top of that, you get ugly icons, as colourful squares are put under the app icons. You cannot choose the colour, it is chosen arbitrarily. Unfortunately, the system does not offer a design app to change the theme. You can solve this problem via installing any launcher from the Playstore, for example the Google Now Launcher.
Navigating the system is fluent and the device offers several special functions, such as customizable screenshots, gesture control and unlocking the phone via gestures.
As there are no soft touch buttons, the home button can be configured in order to compensate for the missing functions. Those who would rather have the “normal” navigation can activate on-screen buttons. The system is clean, without malware and it has only one app preinstalled, which is called Parallel Space. The app can be used to clone other apps.
The phone’s main camera has an 8 + 0.3MP resolution and it is made by Samsung. The second camera is a monochrome-sensor, which gives the pictures more depth of field. In addition, you can modify the aperture to focus a certain object while the background is blurred. Trigger time and the focus’ speed are okay, but they could be a bit faster. Despite the low resolution of 8MP, the images turn out quite sharp. Colours are dynamic and nothing is overexposed or goes into the shade of one colour. The pictures are not so rich in detail, which sometimes leads to image noise, as it can be seen in the picture with the spider sculpture. However, this is quite common for cameras in this price range. Nevertheless, the camera is one of the smartphone’s highlights.
The 2MP front camera has a quite low resolution. Selfies turn out very nice and colourfast. In this price range especially I had the impression that front camera pictures usually are either very pale or overexposed. Concerning this matter, the Blackview device does a good job.
Blackview A9 Pro supports all 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies. Reception is good, but I had some problems in the 3G network. However, the network itself could be to blame, as there was some interference recently. Voice quality is good. Both the caller and I understood everything loud and clear. You can insert a Nano and a micro-SIM in the smartphone. Those who would like to use an SD card have not to go without dual-SIM function. In addition, the smartphone’s battery is replaceable.
GPS is also convincing. The fix only took a few seconds and navigation was perfect. Besides WLAN b/g/n, A9 Pro also supports Bluetooth 4.1. Wi-Fi reception as well as range were good. Data transfer via Bluetooth and the connection to the hands-free kit worked without any problems.
In terms of sensors, the phone is equipped very economically. Apart from the fingerprint scanner, the smartphone only offers the three standard sensors (proximity, light and acceleration sensor). The fingerprint scanner was reliable and unlocked A9 Pro with some delay in 8/10 attempts.
Blackview A9 Pro houses a 3000mAh battery, with which the phone gets well through the day, thanks to the thrifty processor. With casual use, the phone can last up to 2 days. The system also provides a configurable energy saving mode, which is supposed to activate itself after a certain limit has been reached. If you play games or use the phone as a navigation system, the phone loses capacity quickly. It reached 5 hours and 53 minutes in the PC Mark battery test, which is okay, but not outstanding. Normally, you can get through the day with an active use of 3-4 hours. Unfortunately, charging takes some time because of the missing Quick-charge function.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.