Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Hands-on, Initial Review: First Samsung Phone With 6GB of RAM

by John Nieves  April 6, 2017

We go hands-on with the C9 Pro

Despite being one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, Samsung hasn’t really come out with a phone with 6GB of RAM, Galaxy S8+ special editions notwithstanding. It’s an odd conundrum, especially since 6GB RAM is expected from most flagship phones nowadays.

But unknown to most, Samsung does have a phone with that much RAM, but until now it was only available in countries like China and India. Today we’re finally getting our hands on the Galaxy C9 Pro, a device first announced back in October of last year to see if the wait was really worth it for this particular phablet.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 510 GPU
  • 6-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 aperture
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/1.9 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB Type-C, fingerprint scanner
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

It’s a huge phablet with a lot of overlap over Samsung’s other phones

In the Philippines, Samsung has a neat system put in place for their smartphones – the J series are usually the entry-level devices, the A series are the mid-range phones and the S and Note series are the flagship phones. The C9 Pro is a little out of place in that neat smartphone organization, as it’s almost a flagship phone in terms of pricing, and comes close to the already existing A9 Pro in terms of spec sheet.

To add to the confusion, the Galaxy C9 Pro doesn’t really look like the other phones in Samsung’s stable. Samsung’s usual design language has been replaced with something that’s much more appealing to the C9 Pro’s initial target market: China. That Apple-esque design language is prevalent in the design of the phone, down to the placement of the USB Type-C port, speaker grille and 3.5mm audio jack. It’s not really that bad but we’re a bit saddened to see that even a player like Samsung has to conform to the design realities of a particular country.

Anyway, moving on – the phone has a massive 6-inch full HD Super AMOLED display that brings really vivid (if over-saturated) colors to the fore, along with deep, inky blacks. Because of the size of the display, the C9 Pro is a literal handful, with one-handed use being difficult (if not impossible) for people with smaller hands.

The rear of the phone houses the 16-megapixel rear camera that’s fitted with a f/1.9 apreture lens, dual-tone LED flash and PDAF capability. The camera module is a little raised, so you might want to be careful where you place the phone when you start to use it, lest the lens gets scratched. The antenna bands are located on the top and bottom of the device. Going around the body of the phone, you’ll see the power button on the right along with two slots for nano SIM cards and a microSD card. Samsung’s made it so you don’t have to choose between two SIM cards or microSD expansion – in the C9 Pro, you can have both.

The left side of the phone holds the volume rocker, while the bottom holds the 3.5mm jack, USB Type-C connector and a speaker grille.

Right below the 6-inch display is the physical home button along with the requisite Android navigation keys. The home button also pulls double duty as a fingerprint scanner.

Interestingly enough, the C9 Pro has the biggest front-facing sensor of any Samsung device to date, sporting a 16-megapixel f/1.9 aperture lens for better selfies under low light.

Inside the Galaxy C9 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor, along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Why did Samsung put 6GB of RAM in this phone when it’s avoided doing the same for all the other phones it has released in the market? Simple – it’s to combat other brands in China that offer similarly-specc’d phones. It’s the same reason why Samsung is being forced to put 6GB of RAM in their Galaxy S8+ in that particular part of the world, and while 4GB of RAM is totally fine in a smartphone today, having 6GB is better in terms of marketing the device.

As for the actual performance of the phone? It feels rather quick – while Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 653 may be getting a little long in the tooth, it’s still a great performer for the price. You’ll probably not going to complain about the C9 Pro’s performance at all, as the chipset is perfectly capable of running most games and apps without slowing down.

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