HOME­GROWN PRIDE

Nine­tol­ogy U9Z1T

HWM (Malaysia) - - TELEPORT -

With the ar­rival of Qual­comm's Snap­dragon 400 SoC and im­pres­sive spec­i­fi­ca­tions, many smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers have been tak­ing ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to en­hance their pres­ence in the mar­ket with a tor­rent of af­ford­able, and rel­a­tively pow­er­ful midrange smart­phones. The craze has even ar­rived on the home­front, and Nine­tol­ogy has al­ready got­ten in on the ac­tion with the re­lease of its very own midrange smart­phone, the U9Z1T.

We be­gin, as we al­ways do, with the over­all looks and aes­thet­ics of the de­vice. For the U9Z1T, we can eas­ily de­scribe the phone with the use of two words from the proverb about sin­cer­ity and em­u­la­tion: im­i­ta­tion and flat­tery. The U9Z1T is an amal­ga­ma­tion of de­signs in­spired by to­day's smart­phone in­dus­try trends. In Nine­tol­ogy's case, they've pretty much com­piled the de­sign lan­guages from their com­peti­tors, an­a­lyzed it, and fi­nally took the sen­si­ble parts of each de­sign and in­cor­po­rate it into the U9Z1T. In­stead of soft­ware-based but­tons, the U9Z1T uses the more tra­di­tional phys­i­cal but­tons, which pro­vide strong hap­tic feed­back to reg­is­ter any touch.

The cam­eras on the U9Z1T are pretty much par for the course. It sports a rear 13-megapixel cam­era that takes some pretty de­cent pic­tures. The front-fac­ing cam­era is a bit of a sur­prise though: at 1.6-megapix­els, we ex­pected Nine­tol­ogy to im­ple­ment the same 5-megapixel sen­sor it pre­miered back with one of its pre­vi­ous mod­els.

Now, to the com­pany's credit, this phone is ac­tu­ally a mile­stone in its reper­toire of af­ford­able mod­els. With the ar­rival of the Snap­dragon 400 SoC and its 4G LTE prowess, Nine­tol­ogy could put it­self out on the 4G LTE mar­ket and stand tall among the other pre­mium smart­phone brands that of­fer their own take on midrange smart­phones.

With the aes­thet­ics out of the way, we can now turn our at­ten­tion to the U9Z1T's UI. Nine­tol­ogy has al­ways launched its phones us­ing Google's stock UI. This time around, the com­pany launched the phone pre­loaded with an aes­thet­i­cally-pleas­ing and sim­ple-to-use launcher known as NQ Mo­bile. De­spite all the an­i­ma­tions, the U9Z1T was pretty re­spon­sive, even to the touch.

On our bench­marks of 3DMark, AnTuTu, and Quad­rant, the U9Z1T ob­tained a score of 4,520, 17,684 and 8,196 re­spec­tively, which was par for the course, given its pro­ces­sor. The story was pretty much the same for Epic Ci­tadel, with the U9Z1T av­er­ag­ing 31FPS on the app's Ul­tra High Qual­ity set­tings.

If any­thing has to be said about Nine­tol­ogy's U9Z1T, it's this: the model has fi­nally placed the com­pany up on the pedestals of af­ford­able smart­phones. At a price point of less than RM1,000, it's def­i­nitely a model to be con­sid­ered if you're on a bud­get.

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