Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) review: A-lister

A-lister

GSMArena team, 19 February, 2016.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) comes with a massive 6" Super AMOLED display. That's the biggest unit yet unless we count the Tab S tablets.

It has 1080p resolution, like the other A-series phones. It's a bit of a stretch on this diagonal - most people won't mind, but in some cases, you can see a slight cross-hatch effect. There was also the flicker issue - it's imperceptible to the human eye, but the display flickers slightly (especially at lower brightness settings), which may cause irritation.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) review

Other than that the display is a knockout. If you want perfectly calibrated color output, just switch to the Basic color mode as it comes with an average color deviation (deltaE 2000) of only 1.6 and a maximum of just 3.5. The other color modes are less color accurate but will probably be more eye pleasing due to their higher contrast.

The screen is impressively bright too, maxing out at just over 600nits when set on Auto mode. If you prefer full control, Manual mode gives you a maximum of 425nits. This, combined with the awesome AMOLED contrast, makes for a great viewing experience.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 0.00 426.6
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) max auto 0.00 609.2
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 0.00 425
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) max auto 0.00 536
Samsung Galaxy Note5 - 439
Samsung Galaxy Note5 max auto - 620 -
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ - 410
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ max auto - 540 -
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Huawei Nexus 6P 0.00 352
Microsoft Lumia 950XL 0.00 335
Microsoft Lumia 950XL (max auto) 0.00 705
Oppo R7 Plus - 351

Under bright sunlight, the Galaxy A9 screen remains perfectly legible even at the 400 or so nits that you get from Manual mode.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) is available in single-SIM form, as well as several dual-SIM flavors.The key difference between them is where does the second SIM go - on some models it displaces the microSD, on others it goes on a second tray (our review unit, SM-A9000, is like that).

The phone is officially rated at LTE Cat. 4 support - that's up to 150Mbps downloads and up to 50Mbps uploads. That's strange since Snapdragon 652's X8 modem supports the Cat. 7 standard - 300Mbps down, 100Mbps up.

Anyway, you get 3G/4G only for one SIM - the one selected as data SIM. The other is limited to 2G/EDGE.

You can connect to the fastest available Wi-Fi network at 2.4GHz or 5GHz, 802.11ac is supported too.

Additional wireless connections include Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and ANT+. Positioning methods cover American GPS, Russian GLONASS and Chinese Beidou.

Wired connections are served by the microUSB 2.0 port, which does USB On-The-Go for peripherals, but lacks MHL (or other) for TV out.

Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) has a massive 4,000mAh battery and we expect a lot from it, based on experience with the smaller A-phones. Those were using the older S615 chipset, though, this A9 unit has a Snapdragon 652.

The results are stellar, with an Endurance rating of 103 hours (in single-SIM mode), the Galaxy A9 is the longest-lasting Samsung phone save for the S6 active. With a second SIM the gas needle barely moves, the A9 lasted 98 hours.

The talk time is great at 33 hours, literally more talking than you can do in a day. The web browsing longevity is impressive, not Huawei Mate 8 impressive, but among the best aside from a few outliers. For video playback, the Galaxy A9 (2016) came second only to the LG G Flex.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) review

Reader comments

  • Woodpops

It seems to use up its battery power very quickly or am I doing something wrong

  • hunaini

Why it doesnt have notification light 😭😭😭

  • Anonymous

Plz know This phon battery life?