Meizu C9 first impressions: Decently priced at Rs 5,999 but the Unisoc chipset is a real gamble

The Meizu C9 will be available at a special price of Rs 4,999 on Amazon India for a limited period.

At an event in New Delhi today, Meizu re-entered the Indian smartphone market with the launch of three new smartphones. One is the company’s flagship device called Meizu 16th, which is priced at Rs 39,999, the second is a budget smartphone called Meizu 6T, which costs Rs 7,999, and the third being the Meizu C9, that will set you back by a mere Rs 5,999.

Of the three, the Meizu C9 was the only device that went on sale at 4 pm on Amazon India. The former two will go on sale “soon” and we don’t have an exact date.

Interestingly, for a “limited period of time”, the Meizu C9 will be selling at a special price of Rs 4,999 on Amazon India.

The Meizu C9 will set you back by a mere Rs 5,999. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

The Meizu C9 will set you back by a mere Rs 5,999. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

But this is only an introductory price till Meizu reverts to the original price of Rs 5,999.

Post the launch I did get to spend a few minutes with the Meizu C9 and here are my first impressions.

Meizu C9: Build, Design and Display

The Meizu C9 comes with a 5.45-inch LCD display, with a resolution of 720x1440 pixels, and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The phone has thick bezels on all four sides of the display. The moment you pick up the device, its weight is pretty striking. A little heavy, that is. The back of the device, which is made of plastic, is curved towards the display, which offers a little grip, but it somehow makes the device look a little bulky.

The device does not feature a physical fingerprint sensor at the back, but a Face Unlock tech for authentication.

The device does not feature a physical fingerprint sensor at the back. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

The device does not feature a physical fingerprint sensor at the back. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

Meizu C9: Chipset, OS, Storage

The Meizu C9 is powered by a Unisoc SC9832E quad-core chipset, with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to up to 128 GB using a microSD card. The reason, I say that the Unisoc chipset in the device is a gamble in my headline, is not because of any performance doubt, which we could only really say once we review the unit. However, most users will hear about the Unisoc chipset for the first time with the Meizu device. It hasn’t been seen on any other smartphone we have tested before, so there is no comparative performance that we can think of when compared with other entry-level smartphones.

The Meizu C9 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, which is layered with Meizu’s own Flyme OS. The fluidity of the phone’s UI could not be judged with my brief time with the device. The app drawer looked pretty neat with little bloat, except for some of Meizu’s default apps and tools.

Meizu C9: Camera and Battery

The Meizu C9 features a 13 MP single camera set up at the back with f/2.2 aperture, accompanied by an LED flash. Up front is an 8 MP camera with an f/2.2 aperture. Fuelling the device is a 3,000mAh battery. I could not test the camera of the device thoroughly, but I clicked a few pictures at the event venue in a low light, and TBH I did not like what I saw.

The Meizu C9 features a 13 MP single camera set up at the back with f/2.2 aperture. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

The Meizu C9 features a 13 MP single camera set up at the back with f/2.2 aperture. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Conclusion

Meizu C9 costs about Rs 5,999 and offers pretty much all the basics you would need in an ultra-budget device. However, the new chipset on the phone which is untried leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Competition is stiff in this space with Xiaomi already offering the Redmi 6A for Rs 5,999 and it has a better build quality and a known and tested chipset. Meizu C9 has a tough market to fight in. We shall see in the review how the Unisoc chipset holds up on the Meizu C9.





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