I am a fan of TECNO tablets and have used the first N9 Phantom Pad, the P9 Phantom Pad Mini and now the TECNO G9 Phantom Pad II which is the latest tablet released by TECNO and sporting Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, a 7.85“ IPS screen, 1.3GHz Quad-core processor and a 4200 mAh battery.
Usually when I buy a new gadget the first step, like I’m sure most of you take as well, is to check online for any reviews. In this case there were very few user reviews so I just *closed eyes* prayed and hoped for the best… I am very glad I did… I hope this review will help all those looking to buy the TECNO G9 but want to know more about it before taking the plunge.
*****Please note that I am not an employee of TECNO or affiliated in any way, this review was put up to give more information on the Tecno G9 and possibly help out with minor challenges that I as a G9 owner may have come across…*****
Now on to the review…
- OS: Android 4.2, Jellybean
- Network: 3.75G
- Band: GSM-900M/1800M, WCDMA 2100M
- Dimensions: 200 x 135.2 x 8.5mm
- Display: 7.85” IPS Touch screen
- Resolution: 1024 x 768
- Processor: 1.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
- Camera: 5.0MP Back Camera with Flash, 5.0MP Front Camera
- Memory: 16GB ROM + 1GB RAM + Supports up to 32GB Micro SD card
- Connectivity: GPS/AGPS, Wi-Fi, BT, OTG
- Battery: 4200 mAh
- Sensor: G sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
- Other Features: Google Maps, Gameloft, FM Radio, Voice Recording
Whats in the box?
Accessories included are a set of white headphones, a charger, usb cable, one year warranty card and user manual. The G9 also comes with a Flip case in a separate package so make sure you ask for it if the person selling to you forgets.
One thing to note about the flip case is that the screen goes off when you close the front flap which is really convenient and saves you continuously pressing the power button. The thing is when you fold the flap back and it covers the camera lens the screen goes off as well, this can be extremely annoying whilst holding the tab in one hand, I found the best way to get round this is to insert my index finger in between the flap and the back of the tab… problem solved.
The G9 is a nice slim tablet that feels great in the hand (well, a large hand, even at that you have to really stretch to hold the tab as shown) it is slightly on the heavy side with the flip case and I found my hand getting tired holding it for long periods of time reading a book for example.
The G9 comes (as far as I could find out) in Dark Blue and Silver colours with a silver trim all around the tab (similar to the 1st Phantom pad). I bought the Blue one simply because I thought it looked better and I generally lean towards darker colours on tablets and phones; however the silver one looked pretty good as well and will suit those that like lighter colours nicely.
The 3.5mm headphone jack and mini usb port for charging and data transfer, are at the top, USB on the GO is supported out of the box and worked perfectly with the flash drive and wired USB keyboard I tried out. Hardware buttons for power and volume are on the right side nothing on the bottom or left side, on the front there’s a 5 megapixel front camera, proximity sensor and earpiece, on the back is a 5 megapixel camera with flash and two speakers at the bottom.
For some reason, Tecno decided to change where the Sim card and memory card slots are located from the side of previous tabs covered by a flap to under a top strip at the back of the tab, it was tricky getting that open and at first glance there’s no sign of anywhere to open it up, on closer investigation I found a small groove just above the flash, slip a fingernail in there and carefully run it along the whole top of the tab and open it up (don’t panic when you see a whole top strip of the tab come away). The G9 uses a single mini SIM card (regular size) and supports up to 32GB micro SD cards.
The 7.85” IPS Touch screen at 1024 x 768 resolution is quite clear and text is not blurry, whilst good quality videos and pictures look great. Transitions are really smooth and very responsive.
Indoors I am able to get away with putting the brightness down completely, outdoors it’s another story at the lowest setting you can’t see anything at all and the brightness needs to be cranked up to the highest setting if you want to use the tab outdoors especially in sunlight (not too happy with that but I can live with it). There’s a screen protector pre-installed.
Software and Performance
The Tecno G9 runs Android 4.2.2 Jellybean OS ,The Tecno UI is pretty close to vanilla android as much as I can tell and does the job decently however I prefer Nova Launcher(shown in the screenshots) and that’s the first thing installed whenever I get a new *machine* its available free in google play store. The G9 comes with quite a few apps pre-installed including Gameloft’s RF13 and BBM but you’ll have to update this manually.
The G9 has a Mediatek MT8382 quadcore processor and 1GB RAM, honestly the tab hums along just nicely and does everything I need it to without a struggle.
For storage it has 0.98GB for apps and it seems one can move apps to SD card out of the box without rooting etc if the developer has enabled the app to do so. There’s 12.31GB left for all other storage needs plus the option of adding an SD card with support of up to 32GB.
I am not a gamer but I did try out Angry Birds and RF13 (much to the amusement of my six year old) no stutters or lag and graphics were great even at my usual lowest brightness setting.
Phone and Internet
The G9 comes with Phone functionality built in and you can make calls and send sms. There’s support for EDGE and 3.75G, WIFI and WIFI hotspot sharing is also there.
The G9 has stereo speakers located at the back of the tab, I truly wish they were in front like the P9, sound is loud enough at full volume whilst quality is average. I definitely prefer headphones whilst watching a movie or listening to music. The stock music app does the job fairly well. I use VLC player for video files and everything I’ve thrown at it so far has shown no stutters and an enjoyable video viewing experience. Watching youtube videos is also great via the youtube app.
The 5 MP camera takes in my opinion adequate pictures outdoors and indoors, I am no picture taking expert in any way imaginable and hardly open up the app but here are a few pics taken for you to have an idea
Outdoors no sun
Indoors taken in complete darkness
The Tecno G9 has a 4200 mAh battery and for me lasts a whole day without breaking a sweat and I’m left with 40-50% battery life before plugging in to charge at the end of the day, please note that I am not a heavy user this is my usage pattern daily: brightness set at the lowest, 3G always on, BBM and Whatsapp running, two emails syncing all the time, about a couple of hours book reading, an hour of browsing, an hour of video and that’s it give or take.
In order for you to get an idea of the battery life I conducted a little test I ran videos continuously for four hours solid at a reasonable screen brightness setting with the 3G connection on throughout and BBM and Emails syncing in the background
For me the battery life is great and does way more than I need it to… yayyyy no battery nursing activity.
Having used the Tecno G9 Phantom Pad II for a week plus now it’s been truly an enjoyable experience. For the N30,000 I paid for it all I can say it’s a whole lot of tab for that price and I see myself keeping it for a long while yet.
If you are considering buying a tablet in this range I would highly recommend it. I hope this review was helpful and that I’ve not left anything out…please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I’ll be glad to answer as best I can.