Review: TP-Link Neffos X9

You probably know the brand TP-Link. It is a known brand when it comes to networking devices such as switches, routers, modems, Wi-Fi adapters and so on. The company also has a sub-brand called Neffos, which carries a range of smartphones on the market. The company recently announced its new budget phone called Neffos X9, which comes with mid-range specs and features.

Inside the box, the Neffos X9 comes with a bunch of accessories that include a protective case, a screen protector, a pair of earphones, a microUSB cable, and a power adapter. You also get some paperwork that includes the manual and the warranty information.

The Neffos X9 looks and feels premium for the AED 649 price tag it accompanies. The body is made of polycarbonate and has a matte metallic finish to it. There is a metal frame that runs around the phone. The phone comes in two colors – white and black. We received the white/silver variant for this review.

On the front, you get a 5.99-inch HD+ display that boasts an aspect ratio of 18:9. On top of the display is a 8MP wide-angle selfie camera that accompanies an AI-beautify mode. On the top edge, you get the 3.5mm audio jack, while the bottom edge has the microUSB port, with the speaker grilles on either sides of the port.

On the left edge, you get a dual SIM slot, while on the right edge you get the power and volume buttons. Flip the phone around, and you see the dual camera module along with the fingerprint sensor just below it. The dual rear camera pairs a 13-megapixel f/2.0 lens with a 5-megapixel lens and offers real-time Portrait Mode with background blurring feature.

Under the hood, the Neffos X9 features a MediaTek MTK 6750 Octa-core processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded to up to 128GB using the microSD card slot. While the phone itself is priced at a very affordable AED 649, TP-Link has filled the phone with a boatload of features.

Apart from the fingerprint sensor and the PIN / password / pattern security for the phone, TP-Link also throws in the face unlock feature. The feature verifies the user’s identity by scanning facial details using artificial intelligence. The phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo operating system with the company’s very own NFUI8.0 on top of it.

Since the X9 is positioned as a budget phone, the performance also matches the price point. The X9 handles day to day tasks such as social networking, emails, photography, videography and productivity apps, with aplomb. However, high-end gaming is something where the X9 suffers. So, if you play PUBG, Fortnite and so on, this might not be the device you want to invest in.

Camera performance is something that blew me away. I was expecting the X9 to do a half-decent job at photography and videography. But I am surprised with what I was able to achieve with it. Images under good lighting conditions turned out to be brilliant.

The depth of field (or bokeh) mode impressed me with very good shots. Even under low light conditions I did not find any shots with noise issues. Videos also turned out pretty good for a phone that is priced at the budget level, but comes with mid-range specs.

The Neffos X9 comes with a Li-ion 3060mAh battery, which easily lasted more than a day on a single charge. Using the NFUI was a good experience – it was very neat and tidy and the icons are laid out neatly. We did not experience any lags or stutters when browsing through through multiple open app windows.

If you are on a budget and require a dependable primary phone, the TP-Link Neffos X9 should be on your shopping list.

Price: AED 649

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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