HomTom S9 Plus Review / A poor prince

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During this 2017 we have witnessed a real one horde of smartphones characterized by reduced frames and display appeasing to the sight. Among these is theHomTom S9 Plus, which is characterized by being the first 6 inch without frames on three sides, with dual cameras and well 64 GB of internal storage. I thank the store Gearbest.com for sending the sample, from which I advise you to go to make all your technological purchases.

Of HomTom we had dealt with it a long time ago, practically at my beginning, but the S9 Plus model proposed by the Chinese company is at the top of the range of smartphones produced by them and judged by the package, which is presented in an elegant black cardboard, we must expect a product that is certainly interesting. Inside the sales box we find in addition to our S9 Plus, a charging cable with micro USB connector, for an charger with European socket and 5V / 2A output, for an OTG adapter, a plastic cover opaque useful to increase the grip with the smartphone, the needle for removing the SIM cartridge, a fast guide the English language and finally one screen protector film in plastic considering that one is already applied to the display of our HomTom. A really complete endowment with the exception of the lack of earphones, as per Chinese tradition.

The design of the HomTom S9 Plus looks refined and not obvious, in fact, even if you follow the current fashion with full display and reduced frames, the Chinese smartphone does not scimmiotta the most famous Xiaomi Mi Mix, but finds its own identity by proposing a 5,99 inch display in 18: 9 format which first makes the smartphone closer but at the same time stretched and moreover facilitates the grip by making the same firm.

Oltre a questo amazes the work done by the company which has succeeded in inserting in the thin upper edge, slightly curved, the earpiece capsule but also a notification LED and the proximity and brightness sensors. In the lower frame, instead, the frontal chamber and the fingerprint sensor, clickable, to which it is possible to associate some functions how to recall the latest applications open, scroll through the home screen, change the music track etc .. The unlock is not the fastest but nevertheless I have never had problems resulting precise 10 times on 10.

As mentioned the sensor integrates a true button, useful to control the smartphone as an alternative to the softkeys on the display which can be reversed or hidden. A touch of the Home button replaces the BACK button while the pressure will return to the Home and the long press will activate the list of recent applications.

The profile that runs along the entire perimeter of the smartphone It is made of aluminum and hosts the trolley for hybrid SIMs (or insert two SIM cards in nano format or a SIM and a micro SD card) on the right and the volume rocker and the on / off button on the right also made of metal (the power button also shows a slight knurling for be easily recognizable). On the upper profile we find the antennas and thejack input from 3,5 mm while on the lower one are the system speaker, the micro USB input with OTG support and the microphone.

The dimensions of the HomTom S9 Plus are quite generous and thick (158,8, x 74,5 x 8,2 mm) as is the weight equal to 222 grams, which in the long run makes itself felt in one-handed use. Finally the back is made of plastic covered with a small layer of glass, which when hit by direct sunlight gives pleasant reflections of light, quality but that unfortunately it holds imprints or dirt in general. The company logo and the labels are clearly visible two rear cameras surrounded by a profile in polished aluminum and the single flash LED. I have not found the smartphone particularly slippery but in any case the supplied cover manages to cancel any type of fear thanks to theexcellent ergonomics of the device obtained from double milling on the edges (CNC machining).

The display is a unit supplied by Sharp from 5,99 inches of type IPS with aspect format in 18: 9 and HD + resolution (1440 x 720) e InCell technology (the conductive material is installed directly inside the glass panel). The colors returned are bright and never faded, even the contrasts are definitely noticeable while the blacks as IPS technology at a certain inclination radically turn to gray. The MiraVision function is present at the software level through which to set temperatures, contrasts and saturation of colors as desired, as well as set the blue light filter. The 18: 9 format, however, also carries some disadvantages, such as in the videos in 16: 9 which are accompanied by black side bands or problems of visualizations of some applications and / or games not yet optimized for this type of format. Unfortunately, there is no support for multimedia files in 4K, UHD and MKV.

The whole system takes care of it CPU supplied by MediaTek, MT6750T model, Cortex-A53 octacore with clock frequency at 1,5 GHz, flanked by one GPU Mali-T860 MP2 @ 650MHz, 4 GB of RAM e 64 GB of expandable internal storage via micro SD card, giving up the Dual Sim Dual Standby functionality with support up to 128 GB. Naturally present the form Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi b / g / n FM radio (which should not be underestimated) and the GPS module, which amazed me for speed in fix and accuracy during navigation.

homtom s9 plus

The performances, even if in the benchmarks the HomTom S9 Plus does not stand out among the first places, they are definitely good. I've never seen system slowdowns or lag in general, and the RAM is well optimized. Despite the considerable applications left in the background it is also nice to play games with graphics not really simple. In short, a fluid and reactive system that in everyday life he manages to be appreciated in every situation.

The operating system is Android 7.0 with 5 July 2017 security patch

, an operating system slightly customized by HomTom, without giving up the peculiar characteristics of Nougat, such as the Multi Screen. Compared to other models of the same brand, the system is more accurate, as the proprietary launcher (without app drawer) has been slightly updated adding transition effects between pages, improving the graphics of the notification bar and settings. Also during my use I received a firmware update which bodes well about any bug fixes or other, such as the error in the activation phase to search for the "fingerprint sensor on the back".

 

Some features have also been added, such as the Screen Assistant (an iPhone-style dot that emulates the soft keys and the screen lock but unfortunately does not remove them from the bottom bar), or some gesture on the screen for launching certain applications, or you can shake the phone to answer a call, double tap to turn on or off the display, but also activate the mode super energy saving which will allow you to use the phone depriving it of the smart functions in order to save battery and finally holding down for about 3 seconds the back button you can make one screenshot with predefined shapes or designed by the user.

There are no problems related to the failure to receive notifications, and the system is completely in Italian with the exception of the functions introduced by HomTom (in English), as it is present the Play Store and much of the suite of apps provided by Google. Absent the one-hand mode instead that would have further facilitated ergonomics, in itself good, but disadvantaged by the excessive weight of the device.

Switching to the telephone division, there is no problem with the Dual SIM management, and reception is always at the top, also strong LTE connectivity and the presence of the 20 band to 800 MHz. The audio performance in capsule is very good, bright and with the right volume. Even the mono speaker performs very well its work with a high volume level, even if the low tones damped by the high ones are affected.

homtom s9 plus

Also interesting is the photographic sector that boasts on the front a 13 megapixel camera with opening f2.2 (actually 8 interpolated to 13). As seen on similar models the position is in the lower left corner and therefore you will need to turn the smartphone upside down to take a selfie or a video. The quality is more than discrete, even if sometimes lights and shadows are not always managed in the right way, as with the decline of lighting the background noise and loss of detail becomes evident. On the back instead we find a double module consisting of a 16 megapixel sensor (actually 13 interpolated to 16) with opening f/ 2.0 and one from 5 megapixel (actually 2 interpolated to 5).

Unfortunately the presence of the double room turned out to be only a skylight mirror, because the secondary room has never worked and the bokeh effect is obtained only by software. That said, the HomTom S9 Plus camera produces more than discrete quality shots, with good details and quite natural colors. The focus is sometimes inaccurate while in the videos is completely absent, so you need to plug on the screen. Even the videos, which can be shot in resolution Full HD to 30 fps, they are often blurred and the colors are too saturated, while in low light conditions the background noise in the photos is quite limited, exceeding the expectations and performances of the fellow cinesoni.

The interface is the classic provided by MediaTek with the only update related to Picture in Picture mode, which allows you to create combined shots between the front and back, with the possibility take advantage of the function also in the videos. The HDR is present, the beauty mode, panorama as well as various filters applicable in real time. HomTom S9 Plus finally integrates a specific photo editor for selfies can modify some parameters such as skin tones, teeth whitening, face shape and much more. Unfortunately, the annoying HDR-related bug, because by enabling it, purple intermittent spots will appear on the screen.

Finally there is a non-removable battery from 4050 mAh that manages to guarantee a complete day with medium-intense use obtaining about 4 hours and 40 approximately minutes of active screen without benefiting from any energy savings, while the charging takes place in times not exactly rapid, as indicated by the supplier, as it will take about 3 hours to bring the HomTom S9 Plus from 0 to 100.

HomTom S9 Plus tries to stand out from the crowd of smartphone clones of other models finding its own identity in a latest generation design and with a good constructive solidity. Unfortunately, the expense is really excessive weight that in a sense can be forgiven by the excellent ergonomics due to the 18: 9 format of the display. A display that convinces how they do it general performance and fluidity that can accompany the user throughout a medium-intense day. The thing that just did not go down is the non-functioning of the double room getting the so-called blurred effect only by software, as well as the bugs related to the use of the camera as blurred video and blight spots when using HDR. Perhaps it was better to equip the device with a single module, perhaps with a sensor of the highest quality, hoping that some of the faults found will be fixed with a next system update. Currently you can find the HomTom S9 Plus on offer on the store Gearbest.com a poco less than 130 euros, an honest price after all, net of the defects found.

8.1 Total score
HomTom S9 Plus

I defined the HomTom S9 Plus a poor prince, because apparently seems to have all the credentials to become a best buy, but unfortunately the faults of a fake double camera and the general yield of the photographic industry, nowadays not they can be taken under the leg. A real pity because the display, the strength and the construction quality but above all the performance and reliability in everyday use are qualities difficult to find on the so-called Cinesoni.

CONFEZIONE
9.2
DESIGN AND MATERIALS
8.8
DISPLAY
8.9
HARDWARE
8
AUDIO AND RECEPTION
8.7
SOFTWARE
7.5
CAMERA
6
BATTERY
7.7
PRICE
8.2
PROS
  • DISPLAY OF BRILLIANT COLORS
  • TELEPHONE RECEPTION
  • DESIGN AND MATERIALS
  • RELIABILITY IN DAILY USE
  • MULTIFUNCTION DIGITAL IMPRESSION BUTTON
CONS
  • INSUFFICIENT CAMERA
  • OVERWEIGHT
  • BACK AND DISPLAY POCO OLEOPHOBICS
  • LACK OF QUICK CHARGE SUPPORT
  • ANTIQUE MICRO USB INPUT TYPE-C
  • LOW OPTIMIZATION FOR 18 REPORT: 9
  • WIFI MONOBANDA
  • FINTA DOUBLE CAMERA
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Emanuele Iafulla

Nerd, Geek, Netizen, terms that do not belong to me. Simply myself, technology lover and provocative as Xiaomi does with his products. High quality at fair prices, a real provocation for the other most famous brands.

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Devis Venturelli
Devis Venturelli
3 years ago

Good morning, I'm willing to buy this smartphone. I would like to know, in case of failure, how do you proceed?
I state, I have a 2 OnePlus, already been in assistance twice, impeccable service, send at their expense with UPS the cel in Poland and in less than a week returns completely settled.
Thank you.

Simone
3 years ago

With GearBest you have to send the phone back to China (about 25 € with international collection) and the time is about 30 days. Obviously we are talking about completely different figures compared to OnePlus!

Paolo Boccardi
Paolo Boccardi
3 years ago

Thank you, beautiful and exhaustive review. I bought this smartphone but now that I arrived I can not use it: it crashes continuously, it restarts, the applications give error, the restart does not always end the upload (remains on the logo homtom). Smartphone failed in the ram?

Simone
3 years ago
Reply to  Paolo Boccardi

Try a reset of the settings

Paolo Boccardi
Paolo Boccardi
3 years ago
Reply to  Simone

I reset several times, even doing a total wipe. Nothing. It will be faulty, the problem is to send it back to gearbox.
Paul

Simone
3 years ago
Reply to  Paolo Boccardi

You just have to open a support ticket today. I anticipate that you will ask a video of the problem, send it along with the ticket so you gain time.

Paolo Boccardi
Paolo Boccardi
3 years ago
Reply to  Simone

Can the firmware update that sent the sietema into the ball? I installed it just turned on.
Sent by iPhone

Simone
3 years ago
Reply to  Paolo Boccardi

But has it arrived automatically?

Paolo Boccardi
Paolo Boccardi
3 years ago
Reply to  Simone

Automatically just connected to the wifi network

Paul

Paolo Boccardi
Paolo Boccardi
3 years ago
Reply to  Simone

I wrote and sent him a video. Since I said that I think it is a problem with the Play Service, every time I update the problems, I have been told that they certify in January. But it is strange that if I restart the smartphone very often does not start even after wipe. Then I rewrote it saying that my unit may be faulty and I asked him to change it. We'll see. Thank you
Paul

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