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