The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) is available as a single-SIM phone, but there are versions (like our review unit) which are dual-SIM. The SIM card manager lets you pick a preferred SIM for voice, text and data.
This is a dual-standby phone - both SIMs listen for incoming calls, but once you're in a call, the other SIM becomes unreachable. You can set up call-forwarding though.
The dialer gives you two dial keys (if you put in two SIMs). The call log can even be filtered by SIM1 and SIM2, also by missed or rejected calls.
The Do Not Disturb mode can be put on an automated schedule. When it's on, only priority notifications can get through hand you decide what counts as "priority" - it can be anything from calls from select contacts to reminders from key apps.
The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) broke away from its pack (which scored Below Average) and pulled in an average mark. With the right ringtone the single loudspeaker can perform quite well, but don't expect much when you play music or use it in a call.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
The Galaxy A9 (2016) uses an updated version of the Samsung Keyboard. It's quite feature-packed, with a dedicated numbers row, a row above that for word suggestions and additional characters on each key (accessible via long-press).
If that seems too tall, you can scale the keyboard down (or up, if you want bigger keys). We don't like that the Space key is quite short, though.
Additional typing tools include swipe input, My Hot Keys (predefined phrases that can be typed by long-pressing a number key) and voice dictation.
Samsung continues to bundle the Microsoft app package that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Skype. Note that only Skype was actually installed, the rest are just shortcuts to Galaxy Apps (this way they don't take up space until you actually need and install them).
Google Drive is pre-installed, however, the actual document editors are not (they are a free download, though).
The Samsung-customized web browser features Web sign in - a feature that works as a password manager secured by your fingerprint. This makes log-ins as simple as unlocking the phone.
S Health is on board though without the advanced sensors (heart rate, blood oxygen) its functionality is more limited. It can still track walking/running/cycling and you can manually input water and coffee intake and so on.
Smart Manager is a hub that controls several key areas - battery, RAM, Storage and Device security. This gives you tools to track down apps that drain the battery, use too much RAM and clean-up unnecessary files.
The Device Security tab lets you activate KNOX (protects the phone and OS from attacks but adds a second to boot time) and scan for malware. The My KNOX app lets you separate work and personal apps by creating a secure, isolated space on the phone.
The My Files app is the default file browser. It features Google Drive integration. You can ZIP folders to make them easier to share as a single file.
Finally, there's Galaxy Apps, Samsung's own app store. Galaxy Essentials is a good place to find great tools (like Kids Mode), but for general app shopping, you would probably be better off with Google Play.