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.