Home Tech Reviews Samsung Galaxy A9 PRO Full Review – Bigger Is Better

Samsung Galaxy A9 PRO Full Review – Bigger Is Better

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Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Official Review PH Specs Price Release 16

Is Galaxy A9 Pro version better than non-pro A9?

It was a surprised when Samsung launched the beefier Galaxy A9 Pro this 2016, a few months after the non-pro, standard Galaxy A9 made available and released globally including the Philippines. The pro label adds extra features and specs improvements. But are these advantages of Pro are worth for your extra money if you’re torn between the two versions? Let us answer that in our full review.

More reviews and comparisons

Design and build quality

Built with the same curved Gorilla Glass front and back while supported by a metal frame, there are no visible changes outside for the Pro model. But when you start holding each phablet and put them on a flat surface you will notice the differences. The Pro is a few hairlines thicker and few grams heavier. It makes some distinguishable assets when comparing the two, but impossible when you only have either one of the two.

Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Official Review PH Specs Price Release 11

The added weight and thickness do not spoil the premium experience. The device felt solid in hands, thanks to the non-slippery glass finish and curved aluminum corners.

All ports and slots are intact and unchanged. We have microUSB 2.0 on the bottom along with 3.5mm audio jack and mono speaker. The access to nano cut dual-SIM cards is on the right while the microSD tray is found on top.

Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Official Review PH Specs Price Release 9

The aluminum buttons are clicky as the home button embedded with a fingerprint scanner. As usual, the scanner works fast and accurate, but there are times it struggles reading my thumb when wet. Overall, it still reads my thumbs swiftly for most of the time.

See also: HTC 10 full review

Despite with unchanged design, the Pro version remains premium and solid as the other non-pro model, which we still find attractive compared to most metal phones today.

Display and viewing experience

The Pro label didn’t add any changes to the display. The 6-inch wide Super AMOLED flaunts up front with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 4 on its top. Colors are very vivid, detailed, and have pleasing viewing angles even in outdoors under the bright, sunny weather. There’s a little contrast difference between the standard version, but it doesn’t make a serious deal breaker.

Camera for still, video, selfie

Now the advantages of Pro versions starts here. We have a bigger sensor at 16MP f1.9, up from 13MP f1.9 Samsung Galaxy A9 of 2015. Meanwhile, the front-facing selfie camera is stuck at 8MP f1.9 on each. The video quality is still at 1080p at 30fps.

See also: HTC 10 vs LG G5 vs Xperia Z5 vs Galaxy S7

In terms of quality, the new Galaxy A9 Pro’s camera produces overall brighter and warmer photos. The preserved details are crisp as the non-pro, but with only slight smoother sharpening and processing for the Pro.

In low light, the higher exposure level of the Pro version is more noticeable. However, the processing seems to incline to more grainy shots.

For selfie photos, the lack of natural colors is very apparent for both cameras. The beautification adds an effective skin toning while making you look pale and unrealistic with thick makeup effect.

Overall, the camera is a slight improvement while still doing the job of a mid-range shooter.

Software and UI

Running on TouchWiz UI on top Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, the software experience on the Pro is richer than the Lollipop-flavored non-pro. However, the latter is already scheduled to receive the update in the coming weeks to keep up with Pro model.

There are a few visible changes in tow including the drop down shortcuts and notification area. Most of the remaining changes are under the hood and more on security, which is really the highlight for Marshmallow.

Performance and benchmark

Under the hood is the same Snapdragon 652 chip with octa-core CPU. The RAM is now 4GB, up from 3GB of the non-pro. This adds a little speed in running apps and games, but won’t give any extra mile lead in benchmark scores and overall performance.

Antutu benchmark

Battery and charging

Perhaps the biggest change is seen in the battery capacity. From 4000mAh, we have now a 5000mAh here adding several more hours in battery endurance rating and extending the life up the second day. Getting up on the second morning with 50% battery is just a normal feat for the Pro version. The average screen-on time is 5 – 6 hours.

Charging the behemoth 5000mAh only takes 2 hours and 30 minutes using the 2.0A fast adaptive charging. There are times the battery is filled from 0 to 100% in just about 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Battery endurance rating and charging time

Speaker and audio

A small bump in audio quality is also seen here with the Pro having a little extra bass and crisper vocals. Make no mistake, the speaker on the Galaxy A9 is still loud and reliable for playing music or video without a headset plugged in. Both have ANT+ audio profile support.

Pricing and Verdict

With a small price difference, P24k price for Galaxy A9 Pro vs Php 20k+ for Galaxy A9, this makes a tough choice for people planning on buying either one of the two. But after reviewing and comparing both, we say the small and big bumps are both worth it when going for the Pro model.

Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Official Review PH Specs Price Release 17

We are thinking that it is unfair for those non-pro Galaxy A9 owners as it looks like Samsung had originally intended the Pro specs for it at first. On the bright side, having options is always better for consumers. Indeed, bigger is better, which is true for the A9 Pro.

Pros

+ Premium design
+ Solid build
+ Improved camera
+ Impressive battery
+ Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box

Cons

– Unwieldy and large
– Unrealistic selfie quality
– A bit expensive

Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (2016) Official price, full specs, release date in the Philippines

Display: 6.0-inches 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED, 367 ppi
Design: Metal, Curved 2.5D Glass, Gorilla Glass 4
Size: 7.9mm thick, 215g weight
Chip: Snapdragon 652 octa-core
CPU: Quad-core Cortex A72 + A53 processor
GPU: Adreno 510 graphics
RAM: 4GB
Memory: 32GB internal + 128GB max microSD card (hybrid)
Camera: 16MP, f1.9 lens aperture, OIS, LED flash, Full HD 1080p video
Selfie: 8MP f1.9 front-facing, 1080p video
Connectivity: WiFi a, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 4G LTE, dual-SIM (hybrid slot)
Sensor: Fingerprint scanner
Port: microUSB 2.0
Battery: 5000 mAh + Fast Charging
Color: Gold, White, Black, Rose Gold
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, up to Android 7.0 Nutella
Release date: April 2016 in the Philippines
Price: Php 24k pesos /$500 in online, purchased from WidgetCity

Full video review and comparison of Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro

20 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, thank you for the review!
    Just got A9 Pro for myself, but all Google services are missing . Have you flashed GApps yourself or got them out of the box?

  2. Overall who would you crown? one plus 3 or samsung galaxy a9pro… On a side note does the a9pro warrant (depending where you purchase) a 7-8k php in price diff?? Yes it has a larger screen, a much larger battery but to me performancewise the one plus 3 dominates the a9pro. Thoughts?

  3. I bought this phone in white. I like white, as I can find it easier when in a rush to leave the house.

    This past week I’ve done Thailand, KL, Langkawi, KL, and Thailand again.

    The battery life of this phone was outstanding! Reading news & answering shemales was so easy on the large screen – I made much fewer mistakes.

    It was interesting to watch my European SIM and my Thai sim finding different networks / towers when going through areas of patchy connectivity. I used Cell info lite to see the details.

    My friend on the other hand, was constantly tethered to her battery bank with her iPhone 6s. She carries a Note 2, iPhone 6S, and an iPad2, all in her handbag. She snapped at me when I posited she should consolidate her devices to the iPad, and a single A9 Pro.

    Apple freaks…

    Either way it is an outstanding phone, and I am a happy customer.

    When an A10 Pro, sub 28nm arrives – that’ll really be the battery life device to beat.

    No custom ROM anywhere!?!

  4. Weired but the A9 pro comes with a dedicated SD slot in India! It has a dedicated sim tray on top!You have mentioned hybrid sim tray here.
    I have waited a long for 128Gb Mi Max and now this comes out!! BTW Mi Max 128GB is 30% cheaper than A9 pro

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