A great phone that happens to have a 2nd display – Siswoo R9 Darkmoon


siswoo r9 darkmoon review

After trying the Siswoo R9 Darkmoon on numerous occasions I’ve changed my opinion about the phone, perhaps you might too?

When I first learned that Siswoo had made a dual-screen phone, I got to thinking why? What really are the benefits of a secondary E-ink display? After a good search around and a lot of consideration I came up with 2. 1) An E-ink display uses less power and can prolong battery life, and 2) An E-ink display is better for reading in bright sunny conditions.

The first point can be seen as mute if you consider that having a second display by nature will take extra power from a phone, and that another display means less room for a larger battery. But this isn’t quite fair, at least for the R9 Darkmoon.

siswoo r9 darkmoon review

I’ve used the Siswoo R9 Darkmoon more than anyone (well anyone not at Siswoo) and with my hands on with the phone I came to the opinion that it isn’t fair to think of the R9 as a dual screen phone, it is much more than that.

First of all the build quality of the phone is above anything that similar Chinese manufacturers are able to achieve. The finish and fit of the alloy chassis is simply stunning, and the phone itself is surprisingly light-weight considering what it has to offer.

siswoo r9 darkmoon review

The front ‘main display’ is a really vibrant piece of kit. It’s 5.2-inch (the same size as I enjoyed on the Vivo Xshot) and boasts a Full HD resolution with a lovely 2.5D curve that matches the smooth alloy body.

A Mediatek MT6752 chipset might be an early 2015 generation processor, but it is still one of the better chipsets from Mediatek this year. I’m still confused as to why phone makers are giving their phones MT6753 and MT6735 processors. A MT6752 is always going to out perform in every single way. 3GB RAM makes sense with this powerful chipset too, as does Android 5.1 and 32GB storage as standard.

siswoo r9 darkmoon review

Siswoo even managed to do well with the cameras, giving the R9 Darkmoon a 13 mega-pixel main camera and 8 mega-pixel front, and if you want to share your photos quickly there is even NFC on board.

siswoo r9 darkmoon review

You see, even before we mention the Siswoo R9’s rear 4.7-inch E-ind display it is already shaping up to be a really well put together phone.

Now back to the point about battery life and the use of a secondary display. Siswoo have actually been working very closely with E-ink to ensure that users of the phone have a smooth transition from one screen to the other. The E-ink display does mean the battery in the R9 is just 2500mAh, but when not in use it doesn’t add to battery drainage. When the E-ink display is switched on it becomes the primary display, and uses such a small amount of power the battery life runs in to days!

And yes, viewing in direct sunlight on the E-ink rear panel is stunning, you simply cannot compare the E-ink panel for reading to a standard screen! Even one of high-resolution.

Siswoo R9 Darkmoon Gallery

Since Siswoo announced their R9 Darkmoon we have seen rival phone makers reveal that they too have dual screen phones, but we worry that the second display is going to be the main selling point of those phones, and the rest of the device (build, hardware, design) is going to be left to the last minute and rushed.

It’s interesting to see Siswoo, a comparably new phone maker, produce a product like the R9 Darkmoon. Every aspect of the device has been carefully considered to make it the best phone Siswoo have ever made, and the price reflects that. Its also impressive to see that Siswoo have managed to create a phone that can been seen as premium in its own right, rather than ‘just another dual screen device’.

We hope to receive a Siswoo R9 Darkmoon once production begins and the phone is officially onside, so keep your eye’s peeled for the full review.

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52 Comments

  1. Steven Fox
    September 30, 2015

    Could be a little bit cheaper, not allot of people are ready to trust a new brand with a 300$ phone.

    • September 30, 2015

      Yep, it’s a pricey piece of kit

    • October 1, 2015

      It’s a bit pricey for a Chinese phone with a mid-range CPU, but competively priced against the other dual-screen smartphone available: the YotaPhone 2. I can see myself buying this since I do a lot of reading, but I’ll probably wait until they stick a Helios in there.

  2. Gyuri Kiss
    September 30, 2015

    hola, do you know anything about the price?

  3. CiroD
    September 30, 2015

    Andi, could please confirm physical dimension of R9?

    • Julia
      September 30, 2015

      5.2 inch FHD screem will be a good size for girls.

      • jolu
        September 30, 2015

        many people will be happy with 5.2 inch. Although I prefer large screen smarpthones ( 6,3 – 7inch), this one is something I would like to own.

        • Julia
          September 30, 2015

          yes, for a luxury phones at least i wish for a bigger screen ,but 5.5 is too big to take . 5.2 i think is good.

        • Andrew P
          September 30, 2015

          7 inch device is not a phone, it is a tablet.

      • Chico Migraña
        September 30, 2015

        For girls? So 5,5 its for E.T. i guess, cause never seen a guy with those large fingers either.

      • Tajwar
        September 30, 2015

        Yeah around that size would be great although I wouldn’t mind a 5.5 inch

      • balcobomber25
        September 30, 2015

        You mean a good size for you. I know girls that use Galaxy Notes and think that is the perfect size and others who use Iphone 5’s and think that is the perfect size. It’s like the old age saying goes “size does matter”, it just matters differently for each person.

        • jimberkas
          September 30, 2015

          I’m a dude who is 6’5″ tall with plenty large hands, and I still prefer 5.2″ phones. its not just handling the phone, its carrying it around in my pocket. my phone spends way more time in my pockets than in my hand

        • Tajwar
          October 3, 2015

          Yeah, my friends girlfriend has an iPhone 6 plus and she’s ok with whereas my friend likes smaller ones

    • October 1, 2015

      145.55 x 71.8 x 8.1mm

      • CiroD
        October 1, 2015

        Thanks! Almost the same size of Honor 7 but with a very interesting PLUS

  4. jolu
    September 30, 2015

    Does anyone know when this might be available?

    • Julia
      September 30, 2015

      Yotaphone2 is too expensive for me , im waiting the white color for R9, wish can get it before Xmas

      • jolu
        September 30, 2015

        Would be nice if it came by the end of October. I just gave my Letv Le one to my dad and now I use the OP2 and Mi note. Siswoo R9 and the new Ramos might be my next phones.

  5. MSi_GS70
    September 30, 2015

    It is like iphone 5 and is quite thick

    • Joel Adames
      September 30, 2015

      i think he referred that the back E-ink screen is the small one the front one is more like the size of a galaxy S5/S6. Thickness is understandable.

  6. Steven Fox
    September 30, 2015

    Could be a little bit cheaper, not allot of people are ready to trust a new brand with a 300$ phone.

    • Andi Sykes
      September 30, 2015

      Yep, it’s a pricey piece of kit

    • 10basetom
      October 1, 2015

      It’s a bit pricey for a Chinese phone with a mid-range CPU, but competively priced against the other dual-screen smartphone available: the YotaPhone 2. I can see myself buying this since I do a lot of reading, but I’ll probably wait until they stick a Helios in there. The battery could have a higher capacity also; if other Chinese manufacturers can design 7mm thin phones with 4000+ mAh batteries, then I’m confident Siswoo will figure something out that’s a good balance (e.g., 3000mAh with 9mm thickness).

  7. Gyuri Kiss
    September 30, 2015

    hola, do you know anything about the price?

  8. CiroD
    September 30, 2015

    Andi, could please confirm physical dimension of R9?

    • Guest
      September 30, 2015

      5.2 inch FHD screem will be a good size for girls.

    • jolu
      September 30, 2015

      many people will be happy with 5.2 inch. Although I prefer large screen smarpthones ( 6,3 – 7inch), this one is something I would like to own.

    • Ricardo A.
      September 30, 2015

      For girls? So 5,5 its for E.T. i guess, cause never seen a guy with those large fingers either.

    • Guest
      September 30, 2015

      yes, for a luxury phones at least i wish for a bigger screen ,but 5.5 is too big to take . 5.2 i think is good.

    • Tajwar
      September 30, 2015

      Yeah around that size would be great although I wouldn’t mind a 5.5 inch

    • balcobomber25
      September 30, 2015

      You mean a good size for you. I know girls that use Galaxy Notes and think that is the perfect size and others who use Iphone 5’s and think that is the perfect size. It’s like the old age saying goes “size does matter”, it just matters differently for each person.

    • Andrew P
      September 30, 2015

      7 inch device is not a smartphone, it is a tablet.

    • jimberkas
      September 30, 2015

      I’m a dude who is 6’5″ tall with plenty large hands, and I still prefer 5.2″ phones. its not just handling the phone, its carrying it around in my pocket. my phone spends way more time in my pockets than in my hand

    • Andi Sykes
      October 1, 2015

      145.55 x 71.8 x 8.1mm

    • CiroD
      October 1, 2015

      Thanks! Almost the same size of Honor 7 but with a very interesting PLUS

    • Tajwar
      October 4, 2015

      Yeah, my friends girlfriend has an iPhone 6 plus and she’s ok with whereas my friend likes smaller ones

  9. jolu
    September 30, 2015

    Does anyone know when this might be available?

    • Guest
      September 30, 2015

      Yotaphone2 is too expensive for me , im waiting the white color for R9, wish can get it before Xmas

    • jolu
      September 30, 2015

      Would be nice if it came by the end of October. I just gave my Letv Le one to my dad and now I use the OP2 and Mi note. Siswoo R9 and the new Ramos might be my next phones.

  10. G'n'T
    September 30, 2015

    is it definitely Android 5.1? I haven’t seen any phones with that SOC on 5.1 yet. I didn’t think Mediatek had released the code for 6752 as yet to get to 5.1?

  11. Guest
    September 30, 2015

    This comment was deleted.

    • Joel Adames
      September 30, 2015

      i think he referred that the back E-ink screen is the small one the front one is more like the size of a galaxy S5/S6. Thickness is understandable.

  12. G'n'T
    September 30, 2015

    is it definitely Android 5.1? I haven’t seen any phones with that SOC on 5.1 yet. I didn’t think Mediatek had released the code for 6752 as yet to get to 5.1?

  13. Begbie
    September 30, 2015

    Nice to see the R9 in Busapest, however it would have been better to see it in my own hands. 🙂

  14. Guest
    September 30, 2015

    Nice to see the R9 in Busapest, however it would have been better to see it in my own hands. 🙂

  15. Mani
    October 1, 2015

    is it dual sim, looks great to travel and read books on it

  16. Mani
    October 1, 2015

    is it dual sim, looks great to travel and read books on it