The Galaxy C9 Pro is Samsung’s first smartphone in the market with 6GB RAM. It’s a 6-inch device with a gorgeous screen, two 16MP cameras, a dedicated microSD slot, and plenty of performance to go around.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro specs
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 510 GPU
  • 6-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 64GB of expandable storage via dedicated MicroSD card slot (up to 1TB)
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 aperture with dual-LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/1.9 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi 2.4 & 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS
  • USB Type-C and fingerprint scanner
  • 4000mAh battery with quick-charging
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Samsung UI
  • 9 x 80.7 x 6.9 mm
  • 189g
  • PHP27,990 SRP

Design

The Galaxy C9 Pro is the cousin of the Galaxy A9 Pro, and is Samsung’s latest addition to their phablet line-up. It comes with a unibody metal build which is both light and slim for its size, considering the large battery inside. However, there isn’t any water or dust protection.

Viewed from the back, you’ll notice two sets of antenna lines running across the back of the device; one above the 16MP rear camera and the other on the bottom. It gives the device a bit of character compared to the bare glass and metal back of other Samsung smartphones.

The 6-inch display is Super AMOLED, which makes for great colors, deep blacks and good sunlight readability. Above it is the 16MP front camera, as well as the earpiece and the LED indicator. Because of the thin bezels and chins of the device, you can use it one-handed (though not recommended for users with small hands).

The Galaxy C9 Pro features a stereo speaker feature, which converts the earpiece into a right speaker, and the main speaker into a left speaker. However, the sound quality differs, with the earpiece being of lower quality than the main speaker.

Performance

At the core of the Galaxy C9 Pro is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 653 processor, an improved version of last year’s Snapdragon 652. Along with 6GB RAM, multitasking is a breeze; apps rarely stutter and sometimes I find myself switching back exactly where I left off in a game I played the day before.

The device scored 85,200 points on AnTuTu Benchmark. This backs up Qualcomm’s claims for the Snapdragon 653, offering 10% more performance compared to the previous generation (the Snapdragon 652 scores around 78,000 points).

It’s got 64GB of onboard storage, with expansion available through its dedicated microSD slot. A welcome change in an age of hybrid dual-SIM slots.

If there is one thing not to like about the performance of the Galaxy C9 Pro, it has to be the fingerprint sensor. It unlocks the device pretty quickly, I honestly can’t count how many times I’ve had to adjust my finger for it to recognize my fingerprint, and it constantly reminds me to wipe the sensor. For me this is quite a bummer since there are devices below PHP 10,000 that have more accurate (and less picky) fingerprint sensors.

Camera

The 16MP rear camera of the Galaxy C9 Pro is pretty good in daylight, with natural colors and great detail. At night though, the story changes. Despite the wide f/1.9 aperture, the camera suffers from blurry shots in low-light environments. There’s no OIS here, so you’ll need a steady hand to avoid shakes. Detail reproduction takes a dive as well, with most of the details in the photos looking smudged.

 

Rear camera samples

The front facing camera is also 16MP and has an f/1.9 aperture, but the similarities with the rear camera end there. It consistently gave us soft-looking selfies both in well-lit and low-light environments.

Front camera samples

Battery

The Galaxy C9 Pro has a non-removable 4000mAh battery. I usually get 1 and a half days of battery live with the Always On Display enabled. You can easily get 2 days of runtime and more if you turn on the power saving features, at the cost of some performance and eye candy.

There’s also support for quick-charging using supported chargers, so no need to worry if you run out of juice while in a hurry.

Initial impressions

The Galaxy C9 Pro has the makings of a hit: a good camera, good speakers, a premium design and feature-packed performance. However, the camera and fingerprint scanner sets it back a couple notches. We haven’t fully tested out the 6GB RAM yet to see how far Samsung’s RAM management can take it though, so watch out for that in the future.

If you’re a fan of slim, large-screened smartphones, then the Galaxy C9 Pro may be for you. But If you can give up the larger screen, you may want to consider the OnePlus 3T (Php24,990) which also features 6GB RAM and a better processor at a lower price, or the Huawei P10 (Php28,990) for a better camera, instead.

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