This is one of those reviews where you read how bad of a trainwreck it is, and after you read it, let me know if this changes your perspective on Chuwi.
Chuwi Hi9 Review
I was honestly pretty excited for the Chuwi Hi9 as I was looking for a great 8.4” tablet for media consumption as my Xiaomi 3:2 Mipad 3 was getting on my nerves in certain situations.
However, a major issue coupled with a myriad other smaller problems prevent this from being a seller even on firesale.
Chuwi Hi9 Specifications
|Processor||MTK8173 Octacore Processor|
|Display||8.4” 2560×1600 IPS LCD|
|Operating System||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Cameras||8MP Camera, 2MP Front|
|Physical Dimensions||21.60 x 12.80 x 0.70 cm, 373g|
Chuwi Hi9 Hardware
The build quality was promising. It was made of matte plastic which is one of my favourite materials for use in a tablet or phone. It has that nice rubbery feeling that is pleasing to touch and unfortunately picks up fingerprints also. However, this thing creaks louder than an old man with arthritis. Grab both ends of the tablet and twist it lightly and it creaks to no end. It feels very cheaply made and unfortunately is cheaply made also.
Promotional pictures suggested a tablet with minimal bezels, but they are far from that. While the bezels are not hideously massive, they are quite different from what the promo pictures suggested, with fairly sizeable side bezels and a large and bottom bezel. This is definitely not a beautiful device.
There is a microUSB slot and a microSD card slot included up top also.
Creaks like an old man
Chuwi Hi9 Display
The display is pretty much the only good part of this device, a pretty good quality LCD display with a high resolution of 2560×1600. I have to say that the display looks very good, reading comics and watching content is an absolute pleasure. With the 16:10 aspect ratio, letterboxing is minimal on TV shows and less severe on movies. In my opinion, 16:10 is the best aspect ratio for reading manga/comics as well. Maximum brightness tops out around 400 nits, not bad, and can be used barely in sunlight. However, this is where we encounter the first major problem, the touch sensitivity is very bad. I’ve reviewed many tablets and the sensitivity is one of the worse ones around, dragging your finger across the screen without enough force will cause the screen to stop registering your finger, and it honestly hampers the overall experience quite a bit. My feeling is that Chuwi tried cutting costs by using a smaller touch module than was required, causing sensitivity to be rather bad.
Chuwi Hi9 Audio
Audio quality is barely average, quality is generally very hollow and tinny with a lack of bass. In addition, you do get distortion at max volume which is a bit disappointing.
Chuwi Hi9 Battery
The 5000mAh battery gives an average of about 5 hours of screen on time which is nowhere near enough for any serious tablet user. The culprit here would be twofold, the Mediatek CPU not being power efficient and a lack of power optimization, which means that the battery is not utilized to its full capacity.
Battery’s no good
Chuwi Hi9 Software & Performance
Apart from the poor touch performance, the software on the Hi9 doesn’t fare well either. We see here Android 7.1 Nougat and slightly laggy performance most likely due to the high resolution of 2560×1600. Swiping between home screens and accessing the notifications tray has some slight lag that isn’t present in other tablets like the Mi Pad 3, however launching apps is fairly fast and multitasking isn’t a problem either.
Playing intense games at smooth framerates was difficult due to the high resolution, however less intense games ran quite well. The tablet did get fairly warm during gaming but never got burning hot.
Chuwi Hi9 Connectivity
The WiFi performance is a dealbreaker here. WiFi speeds top out around 10 feet (3m) away from the router, but any farther than that (5-10m) and WiFi speeds drop by at least half and latency (ping) shoots through the roof. Once you move closer to the 12m range (or add walls inbetween) and WiFi just stops working. Its quite ridiculous how bad the WiFi reception is on the Chuwi Hi9, and it doesn’t look like software updates are going to do anything. Both cameras are fairly low quality that is to be expected from tablets in general.
Chuwi Hi9 Verdict
The Chuwi Hi9 is promising on paper only as Chuwi’s execution is rather poor. Dismal WiFi reception coupled with lacking touch sensitivity makes this a solid don’t buy for anyone looking for a tablet.
While the display is fairly nice, other minor problems like creaky build quality and subpar battery life hamper the already crippled tablet to the point of no return. Hopefully Chuwi pulls its pants up for the next tablet, the Chuwi Hi9 Air.
A Solid Loss for Chuwi