Although high-end mobiles are the ones that most attract our attention, the truth is that not everyone can afford them. There are also users who, although they can, do not want to spend a lot of money on a mobile. Either because they are not going to take advantage of it or because they simply want a mobile without much complication, there are many who are looking for cheap mobiles. Phones like the Neffos C9A, one of the latest proposals from the TP-Link mobile division .
The Neffos C9A is a simple, compact and very economical terminal . It has a 5.45-inch screen, a Mediatek processor, 2 GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader and a simple 13-megapixel camera. A basic mobile that we can get for only 130 euros. I have had the opportunity to try it for a few days and I will tell you what I think.
Neffos C9A data sheet
|screen||5.45 inches, HD + (1440 x 720 pixels), 1,000: 1 contrast, 400 nits brightness, 295 dpi|
|Main chamber||13 MP, f / 2.2, PDAF|
|Camera for selfies||5 MP, 84º, Softlight Camera, AI for beauty mode|
|Internal memory||16 GB|
|Extension||Micro SD up to 128GB|
|Processor and RAM||MTK6739WW (Quad Core Cortex-A53 1.5GHz), 2GB RAM|
|Operating system||NFUI 8.0 based on Android 8.1|
|Connections||4G LTE, GPS, WiFi 802.11n 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, Micro USB|
|SIM||Dual nano SIM|
|Design||Plastic, colors: gray back with black or white front|
|Dimensions||146.5 x 70.9 x 8.3 mm, 145 grams|
|Featured Features||Fingerprint reader|
Simple and compact design
The Neffos C9A is a low-end mobile, which we must take into account when analyzing it. Our test unit sports a black front and a dark silver back. A version with the front in white and the rear a little lighter is also available.
The back shell is made of plastic , although with a unibody body that offers a feeling of robustness. It has the fingerprint reader located in the central area, at a good height. The main camera has been placed in the upper left corner.
As for the frames, on the right side (looking at the mobile from the front) we have the volume and power buttons. On the opposite side we only find the SIM tray. At the top we have the headphone jack connector. And at the bottom the Micro USB connector for charging.
The use of plastic, and the size of its screen, make the Neffos C9A a very compact and lightweight mobile . Its full dimensions are 146.5 x 70.9 x 8.3 millimeters, with a weight of just 145 grams.
Restrained screen size
Although I personally like large screens, the truth is that many people in my environment prefer more compact mobiles. The Neffos C9A is ideal for these types of users. And do not believe, it is not easy to find a terminal with a "small" screen today.
Specifically we have a 5.45-inch IPS panel . It offers an 18: 9 aspect ratio, HD + resolution (1440 x 720 pixels) , 1,000: 1 contrast and a maximum brightness of 400 nits.
It is a simple screen, but with a correct quality. I have missed a bit more brightness when using the terminal in direct sunlight, but otherwise the screen looks good . Of course, we must bear in mind that, for example, the maximum resolution that we can choose on YouTube will be 720p.
Cameras that comply
It is difficult to judge a camera for such an inexpensive mobile. We know that the results will be far from the highest-end terminals, so we must always keep the price of the device in mind.
The Neffos C9A has a single camera with a 13 megapixel sensor . This has f / 2.2 aperture and PDAF focus system . As for the front camera, we have a 5 megapixel sensor with an angle of 84º . This is equipped with a beauty system with AI , which we can regulate in 10 levels.
Pretty complete camera app
Before checking the results offered by the cameras, we will review the application. On the right side (with the mobile horizontally) we have the trigger, a button to access the video recording and an access to the gallery. Just above we have three small buttons that allow you to switch between the Photo mode (the usual one), the filters and the different modes that the camera offers.
The application offers 6 extra modes in addition to video and automatic : Monochrome, Professional, Panoramic, Streamer, Fast camera and Food. In the left area we have the icon to switch between the front and rear camera, the icon to activate the beauty level, the possibility of changing the photo format (4: 3, 1: 1, 18: 9), the button to activate and deactivate the HDR (it does not have Auto position) and the icon to activate or deactivate the flash (we can set it to auto).
It has come to my attention that it does not offer settings for the camera, beyond the format. Yes we can modify the recording resolution in video mode, being able to record up to 1080p .
I really liked the Pro Mode . It offers us the possibility to manually configure the ISO, the shutter speed, the white balance, the exposure and the type of focus. But also the metering mode and options for Hue, Saturation, Brightness and Contrast. The truth is that it seemed like a really complete way.
The quality of the images obtained by the Neffos C9A, in good light conditions, is correct. The autofocus could improve, but if we do a manual focus by touching the screen we can get good results.
The color reproduction is quite faithful, although we will have to be patient to get a correct focus. In some situations a bit more sharpness is missing in the images. However, as I have commented throughout the analysis, little more can be asked of such a cheap mobile.
I was surprised by the performance of the camera indoors. It manages to take quite interesting photos if, again, we have some patience with the focus. As is logical, in night photography we will not have many options for the photo to turn out well. We will see a lot of noise and focus problems. Nothing illogical in a terminal of this range.
The front camera will allow us to take a decent selfie if we have a lot of light. But if the conditions are slightly difficult, we lose a lot of sharpness and definition.
In short, we have a simple camera, but it can perform well when conditions are not too unfavorable. I leave you a small sample of photos taken with the Neffos C9A.
Photo gallery made with the Neffos C9A
Very tight performance
We arrive at what I think is the weakest point of this terminal: its performance. The Neffos C9A hides an MTK6739WW processor inside . It is a chip with four Cortex A53 cores running at 1.5 GHz. It also has an IMG8XE1PPC GPU that runs at 570 MHz.
Accompanying this processor we have 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage . We can (and must) expand this capacity using a Micro SD card of up to 128 GB.
As you can imagine, this technical set has a very fair performance . The opening of any application takes a few seconds, especially if we have several of them open at the same time. Once opened, the applications work without problems.
When I have most noticed this lack of power is when downloading and installing many applications at the same time . It is not a mobile designed to play, although it is possible to do so. And as for the installation, the logical thing is that we only do it as soon as we acquire the terminal. Again, we must remember that we are with a mobile of 130 euros.
Good autonomy and simple connectivity
During the days that I have used the Neffos C9A I have not had any problem reaching the autonomy day. In fact, most days I've gone to bed with more than 30% battery power. That is, it could perfectly last a day and a half without going through the charger .
It does this with a 3,020 milliamp battery . It may seem an unremarkable data, but if we take into account the hardware and the screen that this mobile has, it is a more than worthy capacity.
Regarding connectivity, we have 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and Micro USB port . As we already know, connectivity is one of the points where manufacturers usually save.
NFUI 8.0 operating system
The Neffos C9A arrives with NFUI 8.0 . It is an operating system based on Android 8.1 , but it includes some of the manufacturer's own options. In addition to the aesthetic change, it includes extra applications. For example, we have Clean Master, Office Suite or the Kasa and Tether applications from TP-Link. However, all of them can be uninstalled.
For the rest, the system offers some options that may be interesting. For example, we have the possibility of hiding the navigation buttons and managing ourselves through gestures .
Another feature that draws attention in such an inexpensive mobile is facial recognition . The operation of the fingerprint reader is quite erratic. There are many occasions when it fails and we have to end up putting the PIN. So having an alternative method is not bad.
Facial recognition works somewhat better than the fingerprint reader. It generally recognizes you (as long as there is light), although it is somewhat slow. It takes about 3-4 seconds to unlock the mobile.
Conclusions and price
It may sound a bit repetitive, but the price factor is very relevant. The Neffos C9A is a basic, entry-level mobile. A mobile for users who simply want a terminal to start.
It has a compact size and is very light . Its screen is correct and having opted for a smaller panel is sure to be liked by many users. The photographic section is that of a low-end terminal. In very good light conditions it can save the photos, but it is not a mobile to take “complicated” photos.
In terms of performance, the first impression is worse than what the terminal later shows. I'm not going to fool you, the mobile works slow. But it is more noticeable the first day, when we are installed applications without mercy. The rest of the days we have a simply correct operation . I have even been able to play games with high graphic load without stopping.
Finally, the autonomy is quite good. We have a battery more than enough for a day and a half in most cases .
The Neffos C9A has been put on sale with a price of 130 euros . TP-Link will also launch the Neffos C9, a very similar mobile but with a 5.99-inch screen for 150 euros.