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Phone Comparison Review – Ninetology U9 X1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Comparison review - Ninetology U9 X1 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Last week, I was given the opportunity to test these two phones – a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and a phone by a local Malaysian company, Ninetology U9 Series X1. The time that was given to me for my evaluation is one week. So I split the usage time between the two phones as 3 days each and 1 day for last minute tests.

As the first introduction – about me, I used to blog a lot a few years back and I mostly blog about places, things I do, food I eat and also tech & gadget reviews. Now I’m back into active blogging again. I love gadgets, I love technology and I love to play around with them. So that’s why I was given this opportunity to test these two smartphones this week.

Second introduction, Ninetology is a smartphone and mobile device company in Malaysia that has been around for about 10 years or so. Only recently that most of us heard about them and their new line of smartphones. Their main target market are from the ASEAN countries and they do have offices around the region. Currently they are running a blogger’s review programme called the “Tech Kaiju Arena“, where bloggers will be given a one week to use and then review the smartphones in their respective blog(s). So now I will give my own personal and “honest” comparison review between these two smartphones.

There’s a bonus at the end of the blog post for my readers. Be sure to check it out.

Now for the phone comparison review, let’s start.

First Look & Specifications

Let’s take a look at the basic technical specifications for these two Android smartphones.

Ninetology U9 Series X1

  • Platform
    Chipset: MediaTek MT6589 Cortex-A7
    CPU:  Quad-core 1.2GHz
    GPU: PowerVR SGX544
  • Operating System
    Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
  • Memory
    Internal: 16GB ROM with 1GB RAM
    External: MicroSD Up to 64GB
  • Display
    Size: 4.8 inch
    Resolution: 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED HD
    Capacitive 5-point, IPS Touch Screen, 309ppi.
  • Camera
    Rear Camera: 13 MP 720p HD
    Front Camera: 2 MP
  • Camera Features
    f2.0 Aperture, 2nd Generation BSI, HDR, Zero Shutter Delay, Panorama shooting, Face Detection, Fast Burst Shot, HD video recording (Video Effect)
  • Connectivity
    Dual SIM support on GSM/HSDPA network.
Phone Comparison Review - Overview
Ninetology U9 X1 overview

The Ninetology U9 X1 looks big due to the 4.8 inch screen, but small enough to use it in one hand. But for those with smaller hands or for the ladies, they may have to operate this phone with both hands. The response is quite fast. The clarity of the display is surprisingly vibrant and very clear. And the transitions are smooth between one desktop screen to another.

Phone Comparison Review - Overview
Ninetology U9 X1 overview – Sides and battery compartment

You may notice the yellow/gold-ish strips on the inside of the phone’s back cover (pic above, bottom left). That is actually the additional network antenna receiver for the extra boost of network signal. That’s why when I was using this phone, I got full signal bar in places that I usually don’t get full coverage in my other phones. Battery capacity is 2,200 mAh and it can last me the whole day.

Now for the contender.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

  • Platform
    Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8930 Snapdragon 400
    CPU: Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait
    GPU: Adreno 305
  • Operating System
    Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  • Memory
    Internal: 8GB ROM (5GB user available) with 1.5GB RAM
    External: MicroSD Up to 64GB
  • Display
    Size: 4.3 inch
    Resolution: 540 x 960 Super AMOLED Multitouch 256ppi
  • Camera
    Rear Camera: 8 MP
    Front Camera: 1.9 MP
  • Camera Features
    3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama.
Phone Comparison Review - Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini overview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini overview

Honestly when I held this phone in my hand, I almost felt like it is the Apple iPod Touch. The size, the thickness, almost similar. Of course the iPod Touch is thinner but the overall feel is the same. Or that’s just me. Anyone can definitely operate this device in one hand with ease. The screen is bright and vibrant. The operation is smooth and it is really doing well for a dual-core phone. The extra RAM does help to smooth everything out.

Phone Comparison Review - Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini overview - all around.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini overview – all around.

Although it is the smaller and cheaper version than it’s flagship big brother, it still has that premium feel to it. The whole structure feels sturdy with no loose parts. That means there’s no creaking sound when I pressed all around the sides of the phone. With the Ninetology U9 X1, I do feel and hear some creaking sounds, especially around the top edges.

Now, both phones have a physical home button at the bottom center of the phone. I don’t quite like it because the phone can be “awaken” from standby mode by pressing this button. With the X1, there was one time that I had the phone in my pocket and without me knowing, the phone made about 5 Google Hangout video calls to my contacts randomly. I didn’t create the security unlock function yet at that time and I only use the “swipe to unlock” function instead. So I’m assuming that while I was walking, the button get pressed, and the friction does all the swiping and pressing and making the calls. So that’s a no for me. I don’t like the physical home button on both phones.

Next page -> System Overview

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