The Galaxy C9 Pro is a device that is touted to be for those who are in need of sheer performance in a premium package, and those who don’t mind carrying a big chunk of metal with them. Its 6-inch display emits vibrance and makes it ideal for gaming and media consumption. And of course, there’s the whopping  6GB of RAM for heavy multi-tasking.

But for a toy which supposedly belongs to the mid-range segment, a PhP27,990 price tag may seem a little steep. So the question remains, does it deserve its price? Or is it just an overly hyped slab of metal and glass? Let’s find out in this full review.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Specs:

  • 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 Octa-Core Processor
  • 6GB of RAM, 64 GB of Internal Storage Expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD Card
  • 6-inch Full HD Super AMOLED Display with 2.5D Gorilla Glass Protection
  • 16MP Rear Camera, f/1.9, PDAF
  • 16MP Front Camera, f/1.9
  • LTE, Dual SIM
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 4000mAh Battery
  • NFC
  • USB Type-C
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front), Accelerometer, Proximity, Compass, Light, Gyroscope

Sleek and Thin

At first glance, one wouldn’t even think that the C9 Pro is a mid-ranger, as the overall look just screams the word premium. It’s also one of the thinnest devices that i’ve seen.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasThe front looks reminiscent of the Galaxy Note Series, I’d say the closest would be the Note 4. It’s covered by 2.5D Gorilla Glass which adds a more premium feel. The Home button can be pressed, and also acts as a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasThe Power button is located on the right side of the device, along with the SIM Card and microSD slots (yes, they are separate), while the volume rocker is housed on the left side.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasApart from the camera module, the back houses the antenna lines and the familiar Samsung branding. It’s also quite slippery, so you might want to invest in a case.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasAt the bottom of the device is a USB Type-C port, a single speaker, a micrphone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

A Display Oozing With Vibrance

The C9 Pro’s 6-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display carries the familiar vibrancy that you’ll find in other Samsung devices. Colors pop out, text looks sharp, and the overall quality is just so lively.

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It’s not for everyone though, especially for those who are looking for a display with a more natural tone.

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There’s an Always On Display that you can enable, which can show you certain notifications along with the time, the date, or a specific image. It’s a nice to have, so long as the impact on battery life is minimal.

Great for Media Consumption and Gaming

The Galaxy C9 Pro proved its performance prowess, as it breezed through normal daily tasks.

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NBA 2K17 ran pretty well at the highest setting, though you’ll probably want to turn some options to medium for a more optimal experience. Frequently switching between running apps also didn’t yield any problems.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasThere is something that can be improved in terms of overall performance, the fingerprint sensor, which tends to miss my inputs every so often that in 8 out of 10 tries, i resort to entering the PIN code instead.

Decent Cameras

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Photos taken with the rear camera came out with good sharpness and excellent detail. Color accuracy is also on point.

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Selfies also turned out well, with adequate details and enough background blur to make the subject stand out. Some shots came out a bit grainy, but barely noticeable.

, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas , Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: A Truly Premium Mid-Range Phablet, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasLow light performance of the camera, as expected, produced grainy shots and loss of details.

The default camera app does offer a few shooting modes that you can play with, including a Pro mode which lets you control more elements for each shot.

Well-Tuned Software

The C9 Pro runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Samsung’s custom skin on top. Icons look clean and straightforward, and though seemingly resource-heavy, there were no hints of lag or stutters when navigating the interface. In fact, it’s one of the more fluid skins that i’ve used.

Microsoft apps are pre-loaded onto the device, so you won’t have any trouble doing productivity work right off the bat. In terms of customization, I would’ve wanted a bit more features such as the familiar double tap to sleep/wake, but what it offers is I think, more than enough for the average user.

Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without a dose of Samsung’s own apps such as S-Voice, which is basically their very own voice recognition agent, S-health, which keeps track of your physical activities, and Samsung’s own app store.

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I do like the Game Launcher app, which lets you do a few extra tasks while playing games. It lets you block notifications, and it also allows for taking screenshots and recording your gameplay.

Excellent Battery Life

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On a single charge, the Galaxy C9 Pro should last you more than a day of light to moderate usage. Charging the device to full takes around 2 hours, which is also slightly better than average.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro is an excellent all around device. Its got a beautiful sslim and premium design with a sturdy construction, the display is oozing with color and vibrancy, the performance is more than what is expected of a mid-ranger, the cameras are more than decent, the software is well optimized, and there’s the excellent battery life.

So with all the positives, what’s going to keep one away from this phone? Yes, you guessed it right. The price. For all that it offers, I think that PhP27,990 is just too much. At this price, i was just expecting more, such as a dual cam setup, or perhaps OIS. Might as well save a bit and get a flagship device.

The Good  

  • Design and Build Quality
  • Gaming Performance
  • Vibrant Display
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Camera Performance (Day)
  • Well-Optimized Software

 The Not So Good

  • Price
  • Camera Performance (Low light)
  • Fingerprint sensor tends to be a hit and miss

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.